After the snow has melted, your house may be feeling a little worse for wear. This is especially true of your home’s foundation. “The cold is concrete’s worst enemy,” says Tony Romanelli of RCC Waterproofing, a company that has been fixing damp basements and foundation cracks in homes in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, London and Oshawa since 1920.
Romanelli spoke to us about foundation cracks and how to prevent them.
During the winter season, any existing cracks can fill with water and freeze. When the weather warms, the freezing water thaws, causing the crack to worsen and the house to shift. In a long, freezing winter like the one that just passed, Romanelli of RCC says he expects to see more foundation issues. “There’s a lot of movement when the thaw happens,” he says. “The foundation and concrete walkways are not made to move, so they end up cracking.”
Waterproofing is a great way to protect your home’s foundation from the elements
The process involves excavating the perimeter of the home. “We dig down and restore the foundation and then apply waterproofing and new drainage tile,” says Romanelli. This prevents water, gasses and insects from getting into any existing cracks and crevices in the foundation.
Small cracks expand
When water enters cracks in the home’s foundation, the freeze-thaw effect that occurs between winter and spring causes cracks to grow larger. “You go from a small hairline crack to a major structural defect,” says Romanelli.
The age of your home tells a story
“Foundations deteriorate overtime”, says Romanelli of RCC. Because building code does not require waterproofing, Romanelli recommends all homes over 20 years old undergo this process. When working on century-old homes, Romanelli says it’s not uncommon to see foundations that are completely rotted out. These foundations then need to be structurally repaired – a much more expensive endeavour that could have been avoided if they’d been waterproofed.
Looks are deceiving
Foundation issues can be difficult to detect, especially on homes with a finished basement. While water leakage into the basement may be a sign of a foundation crack, Romanelli says taking a walk around the perimeter of your house to look for deterioration can also reveal foundation issues. “Most homes’ foundations are a little bit exposed above ground, so you can see the condition on the outside,” he says. Cracks on the inside of your home should cause alarm bells to go off. “If you see something on the inside, it’s just a shadow of what you see on the outside,” says Romanelli.
Need some more information before you call RCC Waterproofing? Take a look at this video:
It’s never too late to have your home’s foundation repaired. You can find contact information for RCC Waterproofing on our website, including a gallery of images and customer reviews.