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Water Leaks in the Garage: Through the Concrete Garage Floor & Under Walls

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For a lot of homeowners, seeing water leaks in the garage is a dumbfounding experience. This is especially true if they have a two-storey home. How can leaks find their way from the roof to the garage? There are also instances when homeowners see water leaking into the garage under the wall.

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What’s even more dumbfounding is when they see water coming up through basement floor after heavy rain. That goes against logic, but there are perfectly reasonable explanations for that.

Whatever the case may be, you’re looking for answers because you’re experiencing water in the garage after heavy rain. We’ve put together this article to help out homeowners experiencing this problem. We’ll explain the possible causes of these issues, along with the dangers of water damage. Knowing the dangers involved will surely encourage you to do something about it.

We’ll also provide you with tips and solutions to prevent these damages, which is especially important if you’re looking to convert your garage into a bedroom. We’ll help you solve these issues by providing you with known solutions.

It’s also important that you know this early that it’s always recommended that you hire a professional for repair needs. While experienced DIYers should be able to take care of the issue, a professional waterproofing contractor will always do a better and safer job. This is especially true if you’ll choose the best one for the job.

roof being waterproofed

Speaking of choosing the best professional for the job, we have developed a free service that will help you do just that. As a bonus, this free service will also help you find the best available quotes that you can compare and choose from.

Dangers of Water Damage

Unfortunately, a lot of people disregard water damage because they don’t know the dangers behind it. Sure, they find the damages unpleasant to look at, but they end up being used to their appearance that they’re not really bothered anymore by them. This is alarming because their unpleasant appearance is the least of your concerns.

Here are the alarming dangers of water damage:

  • Structural damage

This is the most obvious danger. Smaller water damages may seem harmless, but they will grow bigger and be more damaging if you leave them alone. In addition, they could be a sign of a bigger issue. There could be damages already happening behind walls and underneath the roof and floor.

Water, being in liquid form, can easily travel around your house. It can seep and find its way behind walls and even underneath the concrete slab of your garage. This means that it can really affect the structural integrity of your home.

This is problematic in two ways. First, putting off repairs and waterproofing now can lead to bigger and more expensive repair needs. Trust us when we tell you that repairing structural issues is more expensive than waterproofing your home now.

More importantly, you’re putting your family at risk. A home with an unsound structure is an unsafe one. It may sound like a doomsday scenario but there have been cases of injuries and even death due to structural damage.

  • Health issues

This is actually scarier because everyone in your family will be at risk. These health issues also affect our body and that should be reason enough for you to understand the danger involved.

You have to know that water damage can lead to mold and mildew. While unpleasant to look at, the real danger is not what you can see, but what your body will go through. This is because mold and mildew have been known to cause a long list of health issues. They’re known to attack the respiratory system. You and your family can suffer from coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing and more. You can even develop asthma.

The danger is magnified if you have kids and elderly people at home. The same goes if someone in your family is already suffering from respiratory issues.

Another relatively unknown health issue is brought upon by chemicals. Seeping water can pick up chemicals along the way, spreading chemicals in and around your home. This is especially true in your garage where you store some chemicals. Before you know it, you have a concrete slab that’s contaminated with chemicals.

  • Safety issues

Water and electricity don’t play well together. Water can damage your electrical system. Disregard moisture damage and you could be looking at expensive repairs to your electrical system.

That’s actually the least of your concern. This issue can also lead to electrocution. Worse, it can also start a fire. That can lead to immeasurable losses to life and property.

  • Money issues

All of these dangers lead to money issues. This is because they’ll be very expensive to repair and solve. This is especially true with the health and safety issues.

In addition, signs of moisture damage can lead to a lower home value. This is very important if you’re looking to sell your home fast and for top dollar. More and more homeowners, with the guidance of home inspectors, will look at moisture damages and will rightfully bring down your home’s values several notches.

This is because they’re also aware of these dangers. Of course, they don’t want to expose themselves to these risks so they’d have to spend a lot of money to repair them. This is why you can fully expect them to ask for a price that’s way lower than what you’re asking. In most cases, they’d just leave and look at another listing.

Experiencing Water in the Garage after Heavy Rain

Water leaks in the garage are among the most confusing leaking issues there are. Fortunately for you, there are known causes and therefore, there are known solutions.

What should you do first? You have to determine the source. Where is it coming from? If you see the leaking just when it started raining, there’s a good chance that there are flowlines that you can trace back so you can find the source.

There are three common sources:

Continue reading to know more about these sources and how to solve them.

Water Leaking into the Garage Under the Wall

If you caught it in time, you can see water running down the wall and into your garage. This is usually caused by a leak somewhere. This is the challenge. It can be anywhere from the roof to the windows.

In order to solve water leaking into the garage under the wall, you have to find the source of the leak. You can go up the attic with a flashlight and then trace the leaking up to its highest point. You can then measure this and then transfer the measurement up on the roof when it’s safe and dry to go up in order to find the damage. Here are some of the possible sources:

In most cases, the seal on the affected areas have been compromised. You need to restore this seal in order to solve the problem. Depending on the damage, it could mean re-caulking, re-installing roof flashing or applying a flexible roof sealant.

You can also check the windows to see if there are gaps around them. Check if there’s a need to re-caulk.

There’s also a possibility that there are cracks along the walls. This is especially true if you have a concrete slab for a wall. Concrete is porous by nature and while a durable material, cracks and holes can develop especially in a demanding environment like a garage.

For this, the waterproofing professional will seal the holes and cracks using hydraulic cement. In addition, they can also seal the walls using waterproofing products to prevent water from seeping through. The professional concrete contractor will also check all wall penetrations to ensure that they have a proper seal.

The best way to identify and solve the problem is to hire a professional. It’s also the safest way.

Water Leaking through the Garage Door

This is an annoying issue. Unfortunately for you, there are several possible causes. Here are the possible reasons behind water leaking through the garage door:

  • The seal under the garage door is broken.

There should be a seal underneath the garage door. This is for weatherproofing purposes. This seal can get damaged and that’s when problems arise.

A broken seal is the most common cause of water leaking through the garage door. Take a look underneath the garage door. There should be a rubber gasket that runs through from one end to the other. Check to see if there are cracks and gaps. If it’s not at 100%, then that’s when leaks can happen.

To make matters worse, this will lead to an inefficient use of your home’s energy. This will lead to higher energy bills.

  • There’s an issue with the gutters.

The gutters play an important role of driving water away from your home. If it’s clogged, damaged or you don’t have gutters, the rain will go from your roof directly around your home. Rainwater will fall near the garage door which can lead to pooling. It will eventually lead to it seeping into the garage.

  • Poor landscaping.

The soil should be sloped away from your home. If it’s sloped towards your home, water will find the path of least resistance. Sometimes, this is the garage door.

  • The garage is too deep as compared to the soil.

It’s also surprising to see how some garages are constructed lower than the soil around it. It should be the other way around. The garage should be at least 9 inches higher than the soil around it. If it’s lower, then gravity will work against you.

Water Coming Up through the Basement Floor after Heavy Rain

This could be a very serious issue. Most people would immediately assume that there’s a leak somewhere in the basement. This is why they check for cracks and potential causes of leaks, only to find out that there’s none.

In this case, there’s a good chance that the water or moisture coming up through concrete floor is ground water. The water table continues to rise and this puts pressure on the ground water. This causes it to rise.

Why does the water table rise? It’s because of these reasons:

  • It’s been raining heavy and/or frequently.
  • The rain has a negative effect on the soil around your home.
  • There was snow that melted quickly.
  • If your downspouts, especially for the eavestroughs, are installed and positioned incorrectly.
  • The sump pump is not working.

As the water table rises, the water is pushed upwards towards the basement floor. This explains water coming up through basement floor after heavy rain.

How to Keep Water Out of your Garage

If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your garage is not just for your car. You also have a lot of valuable things in there. This is why you don’t want it to get flooded.

You have to find and fix the leak if you want to know how to keep water out of your garage:

You can drain water out of your garage the whole day but it will get flooded again if you don’t find and fix the leak. You have to solve the root of the problem and you’ve won half of the battle.

As mentioned, a lot of the leaks will be from the roof and windows. However, what if it’s coming from under the garage door? You’re probably wondering how to stop water from coming under garage door.

How to Stop Water from Coming Under Your Garage Door

Here are some proven measures to help prevent this problem:

There should be a flexible seal that stretches from one end of the garage door to the other end. This seal should cover every inch. Literally, there shouldn’t be any gap where air, insects, and yes, water can pass through.

A lot of homeowners forget about this seal. It’s often the culprit if water comes from under the garage door. It will get brittle and therefore, it can crack and tear. This is why it’s recommended that you check it regularly. Replacing it every year is good practice.

For best results, you can complement this with the addition of rubber floor seals that are raised to resemble miniature speed bumps.

  • Add gutters.

Check while it’s raining to see if water from the roof is going into the garage. If yes, then you need to install gutters so the rainwater will be properly diverted away from the garage door.

  • Make sure that the soil around the garage is lower than the garage door.

concrete crack being repaired

This is simple gravity at work. If the soil around the garage is higher, then water will understandably be driven to the garage. You need professional guidance and assistance for this because you can easily create a chain of problems if you do it incorrectly. It can even put you in trouble with your neighbors.

  • Install a trench drain.

Check your driveway to see if it slopes towards your garage and not away from it. If this is the case, installing a trench drain can help channel water away before it reaches your garage door.

This is something that has to be done by a professional.

Should You Hire a Professional?

At this point, you’re already convinced that you should take water leaks in the garage seriously. The question is – are you convinced that you should hire a professional?

Here are the reasons why you should hire a professional waterproofing contractor:

  • They’re trained to find the real source of the leaking.

This can be a huge challenge. A lot of homeowners end up fixing one thing when they should have fixed another. They find out about this the hard way the next time it rains and it starts leaking again.

You need to find the root cause and solve it for a problem like this. You can’t solve the problem if you can’t find the root cause. An experienced waterproofing contractor can easily track down the source.

  • They look at the bigger picture.

A competent waterproofer will look at the bigger picture. They’re not just going to look at holes, gaps or cracks. In addition to sealing them, they will also help you determine what caused them. This way, specific measures will be put in place to avoid a repeat.

For example if there’s an issue of water entering your garage through a cracked seal at the bottom of the garage door. In addition to replacing this seal, they will also determine why water is reaching the garage door. They can recommend the installation of gutters, trench drain, etc. depending on what’s needed.

  • They have the tools, expertise and experience needed.

This is not something that can be done half-baked. It has to be done right and it has to be done right the first time. This is why this task needs highly-specialized tools and equipment. It needs a trained eye. It needs the right expertise. These are the things that you probably don’t have so it’s best to hire a professional.

  • DIY can lead to more damages.

Since you’re not a professional, doing things DIY can lead to more damages. For example, one wrong step can lead to more roof damages.

Also, what happens if you think you solved the problem when in fact you didn’t? Here’s what will happen. It will leak again the next time it rains and it can be worse.

  • It’s safer to hire a professional.

This is especially true if there’s an issue with the roofing. It’s not really recommended for any homeowner to go up there because one misstep can lead to a catastrophe. These professionals are trained to do it safely and licensed contractors have insurance so you won’t be held accountable if in case something happens.

These reasons should be enough for you to hire a professional, don’t you agree?

Getting Quotes from Waterproofing Contractors

Most homeowners who don’t want to hire a professional have one concern – the cost. This is understandable. Hiring a professional can be very expensive. This is especially true if this contractor has the leverage.

You need to take that leverage back. The best way to do this is to get in touch with around 4 of the best contractors in your area and ask them for a quote.

Whatever you do, don’t sign up for the first quote from the first contractor. Tell each contractor that you’re shopping around for the best deal. Tell them that you’re just there to get quotes because you want to compare them so you can find the best deal.

Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, and it is. This is why we’ve made it very easy for our readers.

We’ve put together a database of the best licensed contractors in the country and you can tap into this database for free. All you need to do is to use the form that you see on the page. Fill it out with complete and accurate details and send it. It’s that easy.

By sending the form, you’re sending a request to top licensed contractors nearest you. If you’ve stated that you’re having a leaking issue, top waterproofing contractors will receive your details.

Here’s the thing – they’ll know that other contractors will receive your details. They know that they need to send their best quote because their competitors will surely send their best. This means that you’ll be receiving the best possible quotes.

You’ll get around 4 itemized quotes which makes it easy to compare. Just compare the quotes you’ll receive so you can find the professional with the best deal.

Again, this is a free service so there’s no reason for you not to try it. In addition, there’s no commitment involved to using this service. If you don’t like the quotes that you receive, then don’t hire anyone. But seeing that the best contractors will be competing for your business, you’ll surely find a deal that makes sense.

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