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Question DetailsAsked on 7/14/2015

Can a detached garage that floods durring heavy rain be waterproofed ?

We have a garage that sits at the back of our lot. It gets water 2+ inches during heavy rains ( one or twice a year in Chicago) When I investigated while it was raining I could see the water coming in to the garage from the back wall and a little from the side walls as well. Looking outside it seems that we are low compared to our neighbors and all their water runs in to our yard, especially behind the garage, then down our driveway and the side of our house. We are planning on getting the garage resided and doing some fixing up to the inside as well but this flooding issue needs to be resolved. Is there some sort of exterior waterproofing that can be done around where the garage walls meet the slab?

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1 Answer


Likely not though would be easy to try some latex concrete caulk (comes in caulk tubes for easy use) put well down into a well-cleaned and washed out crack. But don't count on it working - that is "negative side" sealing, which rarely works well because the watear tends to try to push if out of the crack - also, any cracks in the slab or wall will still leak. The key is to first prevent the water from getting to the foundation wall in the first place, by surface drainage - or a french drain/buried perforated drain pipe if required by topography. Another alternative if this is surface rather than groundwater would be a packed semi-impervious berm or dike around the garage, say about 1 foot from the wall. Last alternative (effectiveness and cost-wise) would normally be exterior wall waterproofing - though this does nothing if the water table is rising also so it is coming up under the slab.

My recommendation - if at all possible, recontour your yard so there is a swale that drains the water around the garaqge and safely discharges it, without dumping a concentrated flow into your neighbor's yard.

Also look if roof runoff is backing up against the garage - could be part or most of the problem is you need gutters with downspouts leading the runoff well away from the house.

You can read other responses to this general issue (though usually referring to basement leakage of the same type) in the Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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