It is important to ask ourselves, “What is the main reason for pouring your foundation very early on in the project and leaving it all winter without building on it?” Certain contractors pour their foundations during the winter due to the fact that they have teams constantly moving from place to place and are always ready to build, even during the cold season.
It is a common practice in Quebec to pour foundations 12 months a year. The snow itself poses no real problems but rather serves as insulation. As for the foundation walls, it is suggested to add a membrane on them in order to avoid frost from sticking to it.
In regards to the footings, they will be exposed to the winter climate. They could be exposed to freezing and thawing which could cause them to be unstable. If the wood floors at ground level are not built upon the foundations, according to the building code, backfill must not be used any higher than 3 ft. 11 in. on foundations with a thickness of 8”. If the wood floor is built, it is permissible to backfill to 7 ft. and 6 in. high.
As for the CMHC, they unfortunately have no technical counsellors regarding this subject.
We also consulted the Canadian Cement Association and like us, they do not recommend pouring foundations in the fall without continuing the construction immediately for the same reasons as mentioned above.
It is therefore preferable to wait until spring to pour the foundation. This way, the expensive machinery will only have to be brought in once and you will avoid any major problems that could occur. Should you decide to go ahead, be sure to follow the correct steps in order to put all chances on your side and hope that nothing moves!
Keep us posted on your decision and invite the professionals in your region to comment on our reply. Some may have tricks of the trade that we do not know about.
We look forward to hearing from you!