Flood Prevention: Protecting Your Garage

flood prevention

If flooding ever threatens your property, chances are your garage will be the first to take on water. Today, many expensive possessions that could be damaged by exposure to water are routinely present or stored inside the garage. However, in many cases, the garage is the structure most vulnerable to outdoor flooding due to heavy rain, snowmelt, or widespread flooding from other sources.

In order to admit vehicles as well as persons on foot, a garage includes an extra-wide door as well as a paved surface leading directly from the driveway into the garage at ground level. All these factors combine to provide possible entry points for water that may flood the garage in particular situations. Here are some suggestions to prevent that from happening:

  • Check weather-stripping. A garage door typically has a large rubber seal at the bottom that contacts the driveway and keeps out water during heavy rain. However, as the garage opens and closes repeatedly over time, the seal material wears and becomes stiff. Eventually, it will no longer prevent water from entering and, perhaps, flooding the garage. It’s normal to have to replace this seal every few years to keep the garage floor dry.
  • Seal foundation cracks. Any cracks in the garage foundation extending outdoors can provide an entry point for water to continuously seep into the garage and contribute to water damage. Small cracks may be sealed with a waterproof paint or concrete patching material. Large cracks require a contractor.
  • Ensure adequate drainage. Installing French drains in the ground along both sides of the driveway helps prevent the driveway from becoming a flooded pathway that channels water into the garage. Basically, a gravel-filled trench containing a perforated pipe, a French drain can function to capture and redirect accumulating water before it enters the driveway and floods the garage.
  • Keep sandbags on hand. If extremely heavy rain or some other event likely to create flooding is forecast, a tightly packed row of sandbags placed along the ground against the front of the garage door can help limit water entering the garage.  

Tags: , , , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page