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Garage foundation cracks are a result of the freeze/thaw cycles we experience in Ottawa. Unlike the basement foundation where heat loss minimizes the effects of adfreeeze, the unheated, no basement garage foundation is often greatly affected by ground frost penetration. Three other components of the perfect storm so to speak are the backfill soil, the non-existence of the weeping tile around the garage and the typical location of the downspouts of the eavestrough at the front corners of the garage. Here’s the scenario. The temperature rises above freezing, the snow changes to rain, the water from the eavestrough saturates the ground due to poorly draining soil (clay) and no weeping tile, the temperature drops to below freezing and adfreeze occurs causing the foundation to crack. Water can then enter the foundation crack, freeze and widen the crack. The longer the problem exists the greater the damage and costs to repair.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid foundation cracks.

  • Clean your eavestrough after all the leaves have fallen before the winter.
  • Check for foundation cracks above grade on both sides of the garage.
  • Extend downspouts to drain the water further away.
  • Make sure water does not accumulate near the front corners of the garage.