Over the last few winters, a small crack has appeared in a corner of your house’s foundation.
You tell yourself that it’s tiny and therefore harmless. And you move on to other things.
That’s a big mistake because you find yourself faced with a structural problem that will affect the stability of your house. This will affect the resale value.
Where does this crack come from? Why is the foundation of the house cracking? Can you do anything about it?
The freeze and thaw cycle is often the primary cause. Depending on the region of Quebec you’re building is located in, the depth of the foundation walls varies. When you do work around the walls, you have to always keep in mind to protect them against freezing.
Once a crack is visible, how do you prevent it from degrading?
You have to fix the crack. To do that, some contractors suggest installing two plates of steel, anchored to the upper and lower part of the foundation wall. Then a product is injected into the crack to fill all spaces in the concrete. The components of this product vary according to the dimension of the crack.
Once the product is injected, you must make sure that the concrete under the soil surface is completely waterproof. This involves the installation of a waterproof membrane.
So far, the purpose of this work is to repair visible damages, but it doesn’t prevent the freeze and thaw that reaches the footings of our house. To prevent it, one solution consists in installing solid insulating panels to erect a wall between our strong colds and the bases of the house.
The moral of the story? You have to keep the footings of your house warm to better deal with the cold season.
Talk to a home improvement expert about the product to inject, the membrane and insulating panels.
The following sketch shows how to proceed:
Photo: iStockphoto LP