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Flood Sand Bags in Front of Garage Doors

How to Prevent Flooding in Your Garage

Neglecting your gutters can cause a flooding problem in your garage. Gutter traps guide the rain and snow from your roof to the ground protecting your home and its foundation.  Without gutter traps, the water will fall next to your house creating a pool near the foundation structure. Clogged gutters traps interfere with the operation of your garage door and can damage your home. If your gutters are not clear, then rain run-off water will trickle onto your garage door as it makes it way to the pavement. If you own a wood garage door, the moisture can cause swelling and operational issues.

Your garage door can freeze shut during the winter if too much water leaks and pools around the foundation and under door leaks due to blocked gutters. So what should you do?

Clean your gutters and route the water away from your house. Weatherstrips are tight seals between the bottom of your door and garage floor; they protect your garage from minor flooding. Replacing weather stripping will keep snow, rain, sleet and other weather elements out of your garage. Weather stripping wears away after years of friction and exposure, so make sure to stay on top of repairs.

Inspect the foundation for cracks and damages. When your home settles it shifts. This can cause the foundation to crack slightly. On rainy days the small cracks in your garage can make it flood easier. When the water seeps p through the cracks, it erodes and widens the space until the water pours through your garage.  Consider sealing them with waterproof paint or vinyl concrete patch.

Install adequate drainage. If your yard slopes toward your garage the water may pool up faster than it can drain. You may need to install french drains or trench drain along with your driveway or in front of your garage. This way, you channel the water away from your home.  Keep in mind to direct the drain away from your neighbor’s yard or public sidewalk.

Install flood vents. Allow water to flow through your garage unobstructed so that water doesn’t exert pressure on your doors or foundation. The flood waters might not rise high enough to reach your home’s living space.  However, a minor floor can have enough pressure to crush your garage door.

Use flood barriers and sandbags. This technique is used to redirect water away from your property and toward the street via sandbags. This option will not completely seal your garage, but it will reduce flooding during massive downpours. Stack the sandbags in a pyramid-shaped wall near the flood zone area. You will not need a fortress of sandbags around your property. It can cause more damage. You can purchase flood barriers or “quick dams” and place the products around your property. Quick damns expand once in contact with water. The swollen barriers can reach several inches high in a few minutes.

Understand what type of water is flooding your garage. If the water is contaminated or sewage, for example, then contact your local professional for help. However, if it’s fresh water from pipes then:

  1. Stop the water from spreading
  2. Remove wet items and allow them to dry
  3. Use towels, mop, or a wet vac to remove the water

If your garage has an overwhelming amount of water, don’t use an extension cord as the connection – it can shock you. Consider renting a sump pump from a hardware store. You have to remove all of the water, even if it’s an inch, to prevent mold growth. Dry out the area and disinfect it. Use a good disinfectant to get rid of bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc.  Clean the walls, wood, and non-upholstered furniture that sat in the flood water.

Need help repairing your garage door and restoring your garage space? Garage Doors of Indianapolis is available for emergency and regular repairs for commercial and residential garage doors. Contact us to schedule an assessment.

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