View Full Version : Water in garage - any ideas?

12-17-2012, 11:30 PM
So I've had water in my garage every winter for quite a few years now. What I've done so far is to put pallet rack shelving upside down, and place plastic sheets over it. This raises just about everything up off the ground about 2 inches.

I know to properly waterseal a wall, you need to do it from the outside. This really isn't a feasible option for me because my garage is in a hill - so I'd have to trench the back of my house.

What are my options? Cost-wise, I don't have 10k laying around to have my floors repoured/graded. I've thought about putting some sort of sand drain in the floor. Something similar to a car wash bay, or shop garage - where there would be a 8"x10' drain on each side of the garage. I see this as being fairly expensive and labor intensive as well.

I've heard of people just drilling holes in their floor, but I have yet to find anyone that followed up with their posts to see if it works or not. While my garage is not heated, it rarely actually freezes due to the fact that it's a tuck-under garage on one side. It usually never falls below about 40, except for those times of the year it dips to -20/-30 below (which really only happens every couple of years)

Anyone here ever had to deal with something like this? I'm not really sure where to look at options, or what I can do. It's deep enough water that it's higher than the soles of my shoes - so if I'm not careful where I step, I'm gonna get wet. I do squeegee it out a couple times a week, but so much water goes under the shelving that I really can't get much water out as it just seeps back onto the floor once I clear out some room.

I'm at a loss of what to do. I'm hoping that drilling might be a viable option, but before I just go and start making things worse - I thought I'd come on here for ideas. One other thing - I think the water is coming from the foundation wall. I have no actually located where it comes from, but it's not just snow that I've tracked in. My previous car was a winter queen, so it never left the garage. Same water problem.


12-18-2012, 12:37 AM
First of all, that Pabst Blue Ribbon will kill you :eek: Is the water running in from the garage door, coming down the wall(s), or coming in from around the perimeter of the poured slab or up from cracks in the poured slab? And do you have a sump pump in an adjoining basement? There's not really enough information in those pictures to get an idea of what the problem(s) may be.

12-18-2012, 12:56 AM
My cousin had the same problem. My cousin cut a hole. 18" by 18" and installed a sump pump well and a sump pump about 4 feet down. Never had anymore issues.

But that may not fix your issue. Your water table may be very high. What about your neighbors? Do they have the same problems?

If it doesn't rain for a week do you still have water?

12-18-2012, 01:07 AM
Well, I'm not positive where the water comes from. By the time it's there, I can't really trace it. I do know that it's not coming from the door. And I do have a couple of cracks in the floor (more like chips/pits) and water does not appear to come from there. What I believe is that the water is leaking through the foundation block somewhere near floor level. I see no signs of wet walls, so I'm sure it's not leaking in from 3 foot up on the wall. No sump pump in basement. No water is basement either.

The garage will dry out if left alone. When I stored my car in there, the floor was always wet, but it was far from huge puddles like it is now. I think they just get so bad from tracking snow into the garage. There is at least one spot that I can actually see light through the block where it looks like the mortar has cracked. It's a hairline crack, but I can see light still. I have to believe that is not the only crack.

12-18-2012, 01:11 AM
Oh, and as for water table, I don't think that's an issue where I'm at. I live in a culdesac and I happen to be up on a hill. I know this may not be a reliable reference though. Although, I know we don't have sumps or flooding in any of the area homes that would be some of the telltale signs that I would expect

12-18-2012, 04:50 AM
Hard to tell and can be many reasons. It's not the floor, the pitting is from the standing water. Could be a combination of things. Does your roof have downspouts/gutters ? Is the floor above grade at the leaks. Is the outside graded away from the garage ? Could be the backfill around the foundation has clay instead of stone. Are any leaks comming from a shared wall with the house ? Since you have no sump pump at all, I'm thinking the water around the house has no exit. If your soil has a good portion of clay in it, that will hold water. Do not drill holes in the floor unless you want even more water in the garage. Water takes the path of least resistance, remember that. Drilling holes gives it a better path to come in. Now, unless your going to put in a sump pump, thats a different story. Maybe some pics of the outside of the house, around the garage where the leaks occur.

12-18-2012, 05:01 AM
Is it the snow that's on your car that melts?

12-18-2012, 08:05 AM
Without knowing all of your details and if you have access to the perimeter of your garage, you may simply need to excavate the soil and surround (and sink) the perimeter with sloping drain tile and cover it with stone.
And / or you may have a rain gutter issue that should be further investigated.
Good luck.

12-18-2012, 08:39 AM
All of the above is good advice. In regards to the cracks, I have had great success with hydraulic cement. Just mix a small amount and trowel it into the cracks. Then I'd give thoroseal sp? a try. It goes on like paint and seals the concrete block so that water cannot seep through. Then if the water persists I'd use more hydraulic cement to form a moat around the inside perimiter of the garage about 4 inches from the wall and install a sump well and pump at the lowest point (that is where you see the deepest water). This way any water that finds it's way into the garage through the walls will be contained and flow into the sump well where it will get pumped out to somewhere that it won't flow back in.

12-18-2012, 08:51 AM
The idea is to keep the water from entering. Just building a moat on the inside will still allow the water to enter and the blocks will begin to fall apart over time. A sump pump can be done yourself and keeps the water from entering and doing structural damage to the walls or floor. I would first see what can be done on the outside first to see if anything there can remedy the situation.

12-18-2012, 09:30 AM
The best solution is almost always the simplest yet often the most difficult. 1. Find where the water is entering the building. 2.Stop the water penetration. It is the only best method to use as the rest will be band-aids which will eventually fail.
If it is entering from the block wall at the seal where it meets the slab (common entry point) then the best method may be to trench out the foundation and seal up the wall/leak. Also there may be some injection-able material that can be drilled in from the top. There must be a water repair contractor around. Best of luck.

12-18-2012, 09:44 AM
I would check first to make sure that a plugged or unsloped gutter isn't running water down the exterior wall and then it is coming in via the block wall or the slab perimiter. Gutters are usually easy to fix.

12-18-2012, 04:39 PM
I think you all are right, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear. lol. I don't have gutters on the back side of the house unfortunately, so I don't know if this helps or hurts my cause. I dug around a bit in the garage, and without pulling everything away from the wall (which is not happening today) - I'm pretty sure it is coming where the block meets the slab. I say this because I can see 2 inches up on the wall, and it's not wet. This tells me that the water isn't leaking in from the cracks that I can see.

As for trenching around the foundation and patching/watersealing - this is probably my only real solution. The issue that I have, it that my garage is sunk 4 feet into a hillside. That means digging out 4 feet of dirt, however wide I need (2 feet minimum?) along a 20 foot wall (not to mention the side wall as well). So I'm looking at removing a ton of dirt. Personally, I'd rather sell my house and get one without this problem.

There are so many projects to be done, that this doesn't rank too high on my to-do list unfortunately. I wish there was an easier way, but it's not looking so hot. I might check with a contractor in the area just for the heck of it, but I'm not about to invest 5 grand to stop my garage floor from getting wet in the winter.

Oh well - I might just have to research this a little more in the spring once I can get better access, and don't have a foot of snow on the ground to deal with. Thanks for the help anyways guys :sad:

12-18-2012, 04:51 PM
If you don't have gutters on the back side of your house then the water from the roof is just dumping on the ground and is saturating the soil and foundation. The soil can likely handle regular rain and snow but compound the problem with all the water running off the roof and you're asking for problems.

Put some gutters on the back side of the house and get the downspouts to move the water away from the house and I would venture to guess the problem will clear itself up.

12-18-2012, 06:33 PM
Call Mike Holmes,eh.

12-18-2012, 07:13 PM
I had same problem years ago but it was my basement that leaked. When first bought house the owner told me
the basement got wet when it rains real hard. Well the first month in home I was in back bed room listening to some
tunes and when music stopped I heard water running/dripping! I went to kitchen and thought I'd fine that my cat
had jumped on counter and hit the sink knob and turned on water again. NOPE it was raining so hard that water
was running up against back of house ( built into hill ) and actually filled up window wells which caused water to
flow past and thru window seal.
I put 9 tons of dirt in back to backfill yard away from house, this solved the small issue. The big issue was water
was draining to the footer of house and filling up block and cuasing basement to get wet even on medium rains.

I called B-dry sysytems and had them do the whole basement and install sub pump. $5,000 later no water and
I now have a finished basement.

My in-laws had same issue but their drain tile around the house was all clogged and needed replaced and new
gutters installed along with french drain infront of house. I took us three days to break down the deck that went
have way around house, 2 days bust up concrete slab porch and a week to dig trench. So I see your point on
moving, that was alot of work! We couldn't get any machine up next to house.

12-18-2012, 08:41 PM
Block walls, sunk 4 feet into the ground.....yeah, the ground is holding the water and water takes it's easiest exit, which is probably a seperation between the floor and first row of blocks. The floor over time will move, buckle slightly from freezing and thawing. Water may have already deteriorated some concrete and made an easier entry point. No gutters only compounds the problem. You have some work to do.

12-18-2012, 09:34 PM
jump ship.

12-18-2012, 09:37 PM
Pop the roof off, throw a liner in there and you have a pretty cool pool. Just don't open the door to the house.