Has your garage flooded during heavy rainfall or a natural disaster? Since this part of a home or business is made to be accessible, it’s naturally more vulnerable to flooding or water damage during storms. When that happens, the costs can rack up quickly — flooding can cause foundation damage, destroy inventory or belongings, and lead to health concerns like mold and mildew development. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to flood-proof garage doors and help stop water from entering a garage.
At Oregon City Garage Door, we want to help home and business owners keep their property in pristine condition by providing top-quality garage door services and educational resources. Learn more about why garages flood and how you can help prevent it.
Why Do Garages Flood When It Rains?
If you live on a slope or your area is prone to flash floods, your garage flooding may be an issue you face frequently. When it rains so hard and often that the rivers and lakes rise and the drainage overflows, the water will have nowhere to go but flow down from its starting location. When you own property on a lower incline than the nearest body of water or in a city with inadequate drainage, you need to be prepared to take mitigation measures and prevent water from getting into your garage.
When planning flood prevention, be sure to consider your downspouts. These installations are supposed to help divert water away from a building. If the gutter downspouts face the wrong direction or have leaks, they could unintentionally lead to water seeping into your foundation and the garage. If you notice constant flooding in your garage, you will want to identify any sources of leaks and close up any holes or open spaces that allow water inside.
How to Protect Your Garage From Flooding
If you live in an area prone to storms, it’s especially important that you know how to protect your garage from flooding. While flooding is one of the most common occurrences in all states, some regions are more prone to it than others. For that reason, everyone should know how to protect a garage from flooding.
The garage door is a great place to start, as it takes the most impact from storms. Since garage doors are made relatively light to allow them to open and close, they are subject to movement during intense storms, which may allow water to enter the garage.
Ways to Prevent Flooding at the Garage Door
To help stop water from entering your garage, you’ll want to start by ensuring all openings have proper seals and are in good repair, including any windows and the garage door itself. If the garage door is old or dented, it will do very little to protect your garage from water, which is why it’s essential to perform garage door maintenance to prevent flooding problems.
If you see any damage to your door, replacing it is the first step. There are many types of garage doors to choose from, with some offering greater levels of durability or insulation to withstand specific environmental conditions. You can even buy hurricane-ready garage doors if you live in a hurricane-prone area.
Weatherstripping and Foundations
At the bottom of any garage door is a weatherstrip. Weatherstrips are usually rubber or vinyl and are present to help prevent water from seeping in underneath the garage door. When they age, however, they can crack, which will allow water to seep through the gaps.
It is essential to check and replace your weatherstripping regularly, as these pieces help prevent water from entering your garage during minor flooding occasions and help your garage maintain its temperature.
If you bought your home or commercial facility many years ago, you might need to check your foundation for cracks, damage or even previous water-damaged areas. Since damage here will affect literally every other part of a building, it pays to be vigilant and ensure your foundation stays in good repair. Even if any cracks you see are minuscule, you need to address them. Water can seep into holes of any size and cause damage, especially during freezing weather.
If you see any cracks in your foundation, use waterproof paint or concrete patches to fix them as part of your flood-proofing regimen.
Improving Drainage Around Your Home
If your garage floods during heavy rain, there are a few vital steps you can take to improve the drainage around your home. If the city-provided drainage system is inadequate, you can install French drains either along your driveway or in front of your garage to help eliminate excess water when the street drains are overwhelmed. French drains are gravel-filled trenches the water can run into and pass through. Underneath the gravel is a perforated pipe that collects the water and draws it away.
If you have the time to prepare them, flood barriers for your garage door can be beneficial in the case of severe rainfall like that associated with hurricanes. Sandbags are popular for this purpose, as they act as an inexpensive makeshift dam. Put towels behind them to help soak up any water that may leak past. Along with using sandbags to direct water away from your property, you can also dig trenches and erect other barriers if you believe the previous prevention methods will be insufficient.
If you live in an area prone to these tropical storms or severe rainstorms, you may want to look into flood vents. Flood vents allow the floodwater to enter your garage freely rather than building up and exerting pressure against the garage door. Though it may seem counterintuitive, deciding to let the garage accommodate the excess water during severe weather will help save the rest of the property from suffering flooding and water damage.
Professional Garage Door Flood Prevention
If you’re not sure how to best flood-proof your Portland-area garage, Oregon City Garage Door is here for you. Whether you want to protect a commercial building or a residence, you can rest assured that our expert team will be there to evaluate your needs and help you decide on the best flood-mitigation measures for your property.
When you need maintenance or a tuneup done on your garage, Oregon City Garage Door is for you. With services ranging from garage door installation to flooding prevention, we cover all the bases to help you keep your garage in peak condition. We can even provide guidance on how to dry out a flooded garage if the damage is already done, and we’ll do everything we can to prevent it from happening again in the future. Contact us today to learn more about our garage door services for the Portland area.