Q&A / 

Water in Garage After Rain

Gary Ennis Jr. lives in what appears to be suburban Woodhaven, Michigan. But when it rains, he's got water in his garage. Here's his story:

"I have a two-car detached garage that has water come in at the floor when it rains.

I have installed a drain system around the outside but still have water coming in. I removed the plywood over the walls and found that on top of the cement floor they have stacked red bricks around the perimeter one layer high.

On top of that is the sill plate. Water is coming into the garage between the bricks and under the bricks. I can actually remove the bricks from the center of the walls. How can I fix this problem?"

Here's the outside of Gary's garage:

Oh my, look at how high the soil and grass is against the garage. It should be at least 9 inches LOWER! Photo credit: Gary Ennis Jr.

Oh my, look at how high the soil and grass is against the garage. It should be at least 9 inches LOWER! Photo credit: Gary Ennis Jr.

Well Gary, I can sure see why you have a problem.

Whoever built your garage put it into the ground about one foot too deep. If I'm to assume the brick and siding I see in your photo starts on top of the garage slab, then I can see why the water seeps into your garage.

The building code, which is a set of MINIMUM standards, states that the ground around a structure should be 6 inches LOWER than the top of the foundation. Your slab is considered the foundation in this case.

I always wanted my foundations at least one foot higher than the surrounding grade.

Keep in mind that the ground around a structure is also supposed to slope down 6 inches in the first 10 feet away from the structure. That may be happening on the other side of the fence in the photo, but it's hard to say.

I don't see any roof downspouts in the photo. The first thing I'd do is install gutters and downspouts on the garage and pipe all roof water as far away as possible.

Then I'd install - at the same time as you are installing the downspout drain lines - one of my Linear French Drains.

Get my Linear French Drain DVD and you should be in great shape.

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One Response to Water in Garage After Rain

  1. I am having the same problem. Ours too was the mulch had been built up too high around the house by a previous owner. We have since dug this out and layed rock around the perimeter of the house and installed gutters and in ground drainage that takes it away from the house. But still when it rains the water seeps in and some mud at the edge of the garage at the corner of the wall and flooring. How do we dry this up to be able to do an epoxy garage flooring. We don't want to cover up a larger issue.

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