Building a Garage Safe From Water Damage
Storage spaces are prime targets for water damage, most of which may not be discovered until long term problems have already occurred. For many homes, the garage has become one of the prime storage spaces, and enough stored material may actually mask water problems, at least until you have issues that may already run into the thousands of dollars to repair.
The garage is also one of the last place to be considered when it comes to matters of water damage, at least as it pertains to making the area safe and protected against any such threat. The fact is that the steps taken to keep your garage dry are the same as they would be for the rest of your home.
The garage is most vulnerable area in the home when it comes to water coming in from the outside, simply because it has the single largest access point. We’re talking of course about the large garage door designed to permit access by automobiles. It is all but impossible to seal up such a large access point, since the door is commonly in use, and as a result, heavy rains or flooding may easily provide access to the garage by groundwater. A good way to avoid these problems is to replace weatherstripping under the door with newer pieces. The current seal should be in good shape and replaced if not. Ideally you should be able to turn a light on in the garage and not be able to see that light from the outside. If you can see the light through the bottom of the door, new sealing is required.
Once the door has been properly sealed, then the roof and gutter system should be examined. The garage roof is just as susceptible to the elements as the rest of the roof covering the home, and you need to make sure that any water drains away properly away from the garage. Leaky roofs, as well as clogged and damaged gutter systems, can send water draining in all the wrong directions, channeling excess water into the garage. If your downspouts do not provide proper drainage, then make sure the proper connections are available to channel the drainage in the right direction.
Even with all of these preventative measures in place, you should still prepare for the worst case scenario. If the garage is used for storage, then shelving should be utilized in order to raise stored items off the floor. This will provide a measure of protection in the event the garage gets flooded. Stored items will be kept dry and those most susceptible to water damage should be stored at the highest possible level.