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Question DetailsAsked on 3/19/2018

How do I stop snow melt from getting through garage walls?

When snow piles up against the garage walls and starts to melt, it causes ice to form on the garage floor. I can see that the drywall under the vinyl siding is wet along the base. I tried caulk and that just peeled up. Is there a waterproof AND weatherproof caulk that is good for below zero? Or is there something I can do on the outside of the garage?

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1 Answer


Note that "negative side" caulking - on the inside to stop an exterior leak source - is not going to work, because that will just ensure watewr sits in the base ofthe wall. You need to stop the water outside the house - removing or keep snow from accumulating around the foundation, and provide drainage outside the house to keep the water from piling up against the foundation (if it is leaking) or from overtopping it (if foundation is waterproofed.

This overtopping of the foundation problem is usually more common in unheated garages, because heated garages tend to have a thaw zone right salong them which keep the snow off the outside of the wall itself, and provides a thawed ground zone for water to seep into (though sometimes it will then pop up through foundation, holes or at the joint between foundation and slab, especially if combined with rain water. Snow melt itself rarely pops up at the slab joint - usually emlts slow enough it just soaks down into the ground.

In unheated garage cases sometimes putting a highly reflective surface on the garage wall (like a bright white paint) can reflect enough sunlight that it melts the snow enough it does not become a problem.

Putting black plastic sheeting or black landscape fabric or ashes over the snow can also melt it before it builds up thick enough to cause a problem. Or shovelthe snow away as it builds up.

Here are a bunch of links to previous questions about that sort of issue, with answers, FYI:

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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