Central Pennsylvania is no stranger to rainy conditions, as the wet season has the potential to last from April all the way through November.
Adams and Cumberland counties do suffer from occasional flooding, as well, and weak points in your home can cause problems if you ever find yourself in such circumstances. Your garage door can be a said weak point if it’s not properly maintained and prepared.
Here are some tips on how to prevent water from entering the garage after heavy rain and flooding.
1. Inspect the Garage Door Closely
Take a few minutes to scan over the exterior and interior of your garage door cracks, holes, dents, warping and other defects that might prove problematic — especially toward the bottom of the door where water is more likely to collect. Check the bottom for gaps between the door and the ground, and you should also inspect the stripping to see if it’s suffering from wear and tear.
2. Replace Weather Stripping
Weatherstripping keeps all kinds of weather conditions out of your garage, from blustery snow to raging downpours. The stripping creates that tight seal between your door’s bottom and the ground that can even resist minor flooding, but repeated use and friction will degrade it after a few years.
If you notice cracks, rips or failing adhesive, check your door’s model or call a local expert to get viable replacement parts.
3. Test the Garage Door
If you’re expecting a severe rainstorm, you can perform a quick check to ensure the door is opening and closing correctly. While door openers and the associated components usually run smoothly, they can stick and jam after repeated uses.
Objects can also get into the way of sensors, which can throw the door off, too. Organize your garage, so all items are a reasonable distance away from the door, then clean up the sensors and lubricate the moving parts — as well as the track. You might also need to adjust the tracks or rebalance the door.
Trained technicians can diagnose issues that might evade you or lay outside of your area of expertise.
4. Install a Trench Drain
If your home has an orientation that makes it more susceptible to increased water flow, your door can become quickly overwhelmed in more severe situations.
You can counteract unfavorable angles by cutting a trench drain in front of the door to divert rain and floodwater. Cut a channel from one side of the driveway to the other, lay a U-shaped pipe made of steel or PVC and then lay a steel grate overtop of it.
If you already have a trench drain, be sure to clean it of debris and other grime regularly.
5. Install a Garage Flood Barrier
Residents living in the following areas in central Pennsylvania are prone to floods:
- Mt. Holly
- Boiling Springs
Your garage can be especially vulnerable, given the ground-level position of the door. An effective flood barrier can reduce water damage in your garage. Beyond using sandbags as barriers to divert water during heavy rains, you can:
- Preserve weatherstripping around the garage door: Weatherstripping is an essential defense against water, but it can deteriorate over time. Inspect it regularly for signs of wear and replace it as necessary.
- Check your foundation: Any cracks can be entry points for water. You can seal small cracks with waterproof paint, but larger ones may need professional attention.
- Ease drainage: French drains redirect water away from your garage and foundation.
- Install flood vents: They allow water to pass through, reducing the risk of damage to the central part of your home.
6. Add Overhead Storage Racks to Protect Possessions
Overhead storage racks can be a game-changer. They offer an organized space and protect your belongings from potential water damage. Heavy rains and melting snow can catch you off guard, so it’s essential to have a proactive approach to safeguarding your items. Overhead storage racks can help you:
- Protect possessions: Raise items off the ground to ensure they remain untouched and safe from water damage, mold and mildew.
- Maximize your floor space: Storing items overhead leaves you with more room to park in your garage.
- Stay organized: Elevated storage solutions offer a tidier garage space and easy access to your belongings.
- Save costs: Water damage can be expensive. Save yourself and your belongings from high replacement expenses.
- Enhance property value: Maintain your garage to impress prospective buyers or tenants and make your property look good.
How to Dry out a Flooded Garage
Drying out your garage becomes critical after flooding. You can keep the following steps in mind:
- Keep the air moving: Open doors, windows and closets to promote natural circulation. You can also rent or buy high-powered fans.
- Reduce the moisture in the air: Use a portable dehumidifier to extract any excess moisture lingering in the air.
- Pump water up: Consider investing in a wet-dry shop vac if standing water exists. You can use it to suck water from carpets and surfaces.
- Remove damp objects: Take rugs and furniture outdoors to dry in the sun and reduce indoor moisture.
- Absorb excess moisture: Use desiccants like silica gel to wick away residual moisture.
Here are more tips and tricks you can use to limit flooding damage:
- Freeze important papers: Store wet books and photos in a frost-free freezer to curb mold.
- Disinfect sticky floors: Flood water may infect your living space with roaming contaminants. Ensure you disinfect your floors after drying them.
- Ventilate the garage: Fresh air can significantly speed up the drying process, so aim to ventilate the garage as much as possible.
- Check electric wiring: Safely manage cables and tuck away wiring higher up from the floor to prevent injuries.
Contact Jarusewski’s to Prepare Your Door for All Scenarios
If you’re concerned about your garage flooding in heavy rain, Jarusewski’s maintains a team of confident, experienced employees who will help to secure your garage door in the face of threatening weather.