We want to do a seismic retrofit on our foundation. House built in 1904. No cripple wall. Mud sill with rim joist. Foundations have a recent skim coat (that we did not do). Concrete slab.

So the question: Is there a way we can test the foundations (without doing irremediable damage) in order to test whether the foundations are reasonably solid (for a 100 year old house). For example, drill a 1/2 inch diameter hole and see if the hole maintains its shape? Install an epoxy anchor bolt and see if it holds? Thx


Yes, you can have old concrete tested and certified. Usually a concrete testing agency will take several samples (they’re called “cores”) and then use the average value. (Contact your local Building Code Department or your local concrete supplier for a reputable testing agency.)

Then, a structural engineer (not civil engineer) or an architect can design a structural plan.

However, a word of caution. If you don’t complete all the retrofit work, you’ll need to disclose to the “buyer” when you go to sell the property. Otherwise, you’ll be liable if the buyer ever discovers the seismic work was never completed.

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