Water Pools In Garage: 6 Reasons & Fixes

Garages offer a dry and cool place for safely storing vehicles and other gear out of the elements. Whether a garage is attached to the home or not, these shelters can have water pooling in them. Why does this happen, and can you fix it?

Water pools in the garage for reasons such as precipitation run-off from your vehicle, an uneven garage floor, problems with the overhead door, drainage, foundation issues, and leaks. All these could cause mold and mildew or a slip hazard, as well as damage to the floors. Fortunately, you can fix most of these problems yourself.

6 Reasons Why Water Pools In The Garage

If you are wondering how water gets in your garage, you have come to the right place. This is a common issue that many homeowners experience. Read on to learn more about water pooling in your garage and how to address it.

1. Run-Off From Your Vehicle

You may have water pooling in the garage from the car. After driving in snow, slush, or rain, the water will drip from your car onto the garage floor. 

You will see puddles that form around the tires and drips coming down from the front and back of the vehicle.

2. Dips In The Garage Floor

The concrete floor of a garage can drop or settle with use. 

The movement of a heavy vehicle and the settling of the ground (subsoil) underneath can cause an uneven garage floor. This creates low or sloped spots for water to settle into. 

Water may also pool if the garage floor was not poured by a machine and at a graded slope.

Often, older garages will have a slightly uneven surface with dips and bumps that are small but will hold water in place.

3. Garage Door Entrance

In new builds, garage floors are sloped towards the overhead garage door to drain water out. 

As water or ice melts and drips inside the garage, it will move towards the closed bottom of the overhead door.

Water can pool or even refreeze here at the seam between the overhead door and the floor.

On the other hand, water can pool into the garage if the driveway slopes down towards it. 

Water could come in when you open the overhead door to move your car in and out. 

Additionally, the bottom and side seals of the overhead door can be misaligned or cracked due to use and wear and tear, allowing the water to leak in.      

4. Drainage Issues

The garage may have been built with a drain. If so, this drain can become clogged or backed up.

Water will continue to pool and have nowhere to go if this is not addressed.  

5. Foundation Problems

Homes have a flood risk rating for real estate purposes so that owners know the likelihood of the potential for floodwaters to affect their homes.

There is also pressure from the water table around structures. As a result, you may have water in your garage after heavy rain.  

If the land is saturated with water, it can seep into places such as basements and garages. Even waterproofed walls can leak over time.

6. A Leak

If your garage houses inlet pipes or a utility sink, these could burst, causing water to pool in the garage. 

Or, perhaps the roof is leaking, allowing water to drip in.

How Do I Stop Water From Pooling In My Garage?

If water is left in a garage, the moisture can cause mold or mildew damage to the walls. 

The floors can be slippery creating a fall hazard. Also, standing water can cause concrete floors to flake and degrade over time.

There are some solutions that you can try to improve the conditions and stop water from pooling in your garage. You will find some are easy or temporary, while other permanent solutions are costly. You will need to determine what works best for your particular situation and budget.

How Do I Get Water Out Of My Garage In The Winter? 

Before putting your vehicle into the garage, you should use a snowbrush to remove snow from it. Also, kick the snow off from underneath the vehicle, near the tires.

For rainy or snowy weather, you can use a squeegee to remove water from your vehicle. You may need to park it outside until the precipitation has stopped.

When clearing snow from the driveway, push it away from the overhead door so that melting snow cannot get in. 

Make sure your overhead door closes completely in the winter. Ensure that your doors and windows are sealed to keep snow out. 

If you need to eliminate water from the garage, you can use the strategies below.

Car Mat

Use a mat designed to catch oil and water from underneath your vehicle. Some of these mats have sides to prevent spills from leaking out on the concrete.

Use caution, however, as they can be slippery. You can then pull the mat out of the garage to sweep it or pour the water off.

Seal The Floor

Garage floors are made with exterior concrete for a more durable surface. You can seal the floor with a product made specifically for exterior concrete, such as epoxy paint or leveling epoxy

Focus the sealant on areas that are prone to pooling and the point where the overhead door comes down.

Use caution with sealers, as some products can make the surface slippery.

You also may try sealing the bottom of the garage walls, but it is recommended to contact a waterproofing expert first to see if this is best for your needs.

Repair The Overhead Door

If there are cracks in the seals or connection points, replace them. If the overhead door needs adjustment, call in professionals to get it aligned properly.

You can install a threshold seal at the bottom of the overhead door, where it meets the garage floor. This is typically made of aluminum, plastic, or rubber that can be attached to keep out water, bugs, and rodents.

Build A French Drain

If water is pooling or seeping in from the foundation, a French drain can be dug and built around the outside of your garage to divert water away.

A French drain is done by digging a trench filled with gravel around the foundation. A perforated pipe is contained within the trench to redirect water.

This video demonstrates how to install a French drain yourself:

Waterproof The Foundation

A garage foundation can be treated with liquid rubber and a basement sealant designed for use on concrete.

Both products need to be used to create a watertight barrier to keep water out of the garage. Often, this is done in conjunction with the French drain.

Fix Leaks

Burst pipes and leaky spots on the roofs must be addressed right away. If leaks are not fixed, your water problems are likely to get worse. Dealing with rot, mildew, and mold is going to be costly and frustrating.

Hydraulic cement is often used for repairing leaks through concrete and other masonry materials. It is easy to use and you can apply it in wet conditions. 

Repair The Slope & Install A Drain

This more costly fix offers a hopefully permanent solution to divert water from the garage door and floor. 

You can fix low spots in the concrete slab and level the garage floor slope. You do not want the garage floor to slope towards the house.

If water pools in front of the garage door, it is likely that your driveway needs a drain or slope fix.

You may want to hire a concrete slab professional to get the correct slope pitch and repair the garage floor. 

Install a drain to remove water that drips from your vehicle or comes in via another route. If you already have a drain, check that it is not clogged or malfunctioning.

To divert water in the garage, you can also install a garage floor water diverter. This can be put on the surface of the floor and angled out of the garage to get the water away from the floor.

Regular Water Cleanup

It may be difficult or costly to completely remove water. So there are some more affordable things you can try:

  • Vacuum: Use a wet-dry vacuum for sucking up water.
  • Squeegee: If you have a floor drain, use a large floor squeegee to pull water towards the drain.
  • Mop: Mop up the water into a bucket. Dump the water away from the foundation and walls of the garage. Towels can be used as well. However, you should not leave towels to dry in the garage, keeping the moisture in the space. You will need to hang them up outside or launder them.
  • Dehumidify: Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels down and speed up the drying process. Keeping moisture levels down is also better for any electrical wiring and tools in your garage. If a dehumidifier is running too often, you can also try a garage or shop fan to circulate air and quickly dry things up.

Final Thoughts

Water can pool in the garage from issues with precipitation, the overhead door, sloping of the garage floor, the foundation, and more. 

Thankfully, you can prevent water from pooling by identifying where the water is coming from.

Then you can take steps to rectify or improve the situation, cutting down on the risks of mold, mildew, structural issues, or fall hazards.

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