Why Canadian winter can cause damage to a home's foundation

The weather in Canada changes quite rapidly and temperatures rise as high as +35 °C in the summer and fall to as low as -40 °C in winter in most major Canadian cities, including Toronto.

The Canadian winter and its harsh climate can cause damage to a home’s foundation, leading to cracks and other structural issues which could be a nightmare for most homeowners. Here are the main ways in which winter weather can affect the foundation of a house:

  1. Freeze-Thaw Cycles: The repetitive freezing and thawing of the soil around the foundation can cause it to expand and contract, which can lead to cracks and settling in the foundation.
  2. Water Damage: Snow and ice buildup around the foundation can cause water to seep into cracks and freeze, causing further expansion and damage. When the water melts, it can also cause soil erosion and shifting, leading to settling and cracking.
  3. Heaving: The freeze-thaw cycle can also cause the soil to heave, which is when it expands and lifts the foundation, causing cracks and other damage.
  4. Frost Penetration: In areas with heavy snowfall and deep frost, the soil can freeze to depths of several feet, causing the foundation to heave and crack.
  5. Improper Drainage: Poor drainage can lead to water buildup around the foundation, causing damage and cracking.

To prevent damage to your home’s foundation during the winter, it is important to take the following steps:

  1. Proper Drainage: Ensure that water is draining away from the foundation to prevent water buildup and damage.
  2. Insulation: Proper insulation can help regulate soil temperature and prevent heaving and cracking.
  3. Caulking: Regularly caulk around windows and doors to prevent water seepage and damage.
  4. De-Icing: Use de-icing products on walkways and driveways to prevent water buildup and damage.
  5. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect the foundation for cracks and damage and address any issues promptly.

In conclusion, the harsh Canadian winter and climate can cause significant damage to a home’s foundation, leading to cracks, vertical and horizontal,  and other structural issues such as water damages. To prevent this damage, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect the foundation, such as proper drainage, insulation, caulk, de-icing, and regular inspections.

If you see any visible cracks in your basement in the Greater Toronto Area, contact us today for a free quote and let us help you solve this problem.

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