Dried-out soil cracking Ottawa foundations
This summer’s drought is causing big repair bills for some Ottawa homeowners as the ground they’re living on dries out.
A large part of the city’s soil is leda or Champlain sea clay, which is made up of a lot of water.
That clay dries and shrinks in drought conditions like this summer’s, which is causing serious foundation damage to entire streets as the ground slowly shifts.
“The combination of the tree roots and the very hot, dry summer has caused the clay to just start shrinking underneath my foundation,” said Rick Holdham, whose front-yard tree had to be removed after the roots started creeping under his house.
“They're going to excavate from about halfway out front of my garage to under my porch, have to rip up the steps because they're poured concrete.”
Foundation damage expert Patrick Lecours said things such as sticky doors, jammed windows and cracks on the outside of the home are signs repairs are needed.
“As that house starts to tilt or list, things that are typically put in square they get out (of place), therefore they start to jam,” he said. “Windows in a lot of cases don't open anymore.”
Holdham said he’s looking at a bill of around $30,000, which would have been worse if he had waited longer to fix it.
“In some cases people wait so long they have pull their windows, have them reset, drywall has to be re-patched and painted,” Lecours said. “The longer you wait, the more expensive it will get.”
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Claudia Cautillo