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Garage floor & water.. Need suggestions.

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WesPete66

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#1
I have a problem with water getting into my garage/shop floor and need help finding a suitable repair..
My garage is about 28' x 28'. The ground soil level on 3 sides is higher than the floor level. I have a recurring problem of water entering around the walls, and in a wet spring through a crack in the floor.. I now know that it was built with a slab type construction, they poured a full concrete slab & then built up the concrete block on top for the walls. (footings etc is a mystery) And now of course water enters under/around the concrete block....
What can I do to remedy this? Here are some things I'm considering, what would you do??
1. Remove the soil against the block & apply a tar sealant?
2. Remove the soil against the block & install styrofoam panel material?
3. Remove the soil against the block & pour a thin (3-4" thick ?) concrete barrier?
I'm hoping you will have suggestions for me. Thanks for the help!
 

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MozamPete

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#2
I would go with option 1, but then add a French drain (basically shingle inside an water permible Geotech fabric sock) around the perimeter on a 2% gradient to drain any ground water away.
Yes, concrete is not waterproof and will absorb/pass water through - but only if the water is standing there with nowhere else to go. If there is a drain to alow it to flow away the water will take the path of least resistance and problem solved. At least that has been my experience.
Trying to seal the concrete and leaving the ground water there will always eventually fail.
 
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Bob Korves

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#3
Every example is different, but basically you need a way for the water to drain by gravity to daylight without passing through your shop along the way.
 

David S

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#4
Is the ground graded away from the wall? You mention water coming up through a crack in the floor. Are you sure it is not a water table issue, i.e. water level rising in the spring?

David
 

tweinke

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#5
I would go with option 1, but then add a French drain (basically shingle inside an water permible Geotech fabric sock) around the perimeter on a 2% gradient to drain any ground water away.
Yes, concrete is not waterproof and will absorb/pass water through - but only if the water is standing there with nowhere else to go. If there is a drain to alow it to flow away the water will take the path of least resistance and problem solved. At least that has been my experience.
Trying to seal the concrete and leaving the ground water there will always eventually fail.
I would think this would be the best approach, sealing the wall only may help for awhile but the water needs a place to get away from the wall.
 

brino

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#6
How far below ground level is the floor? Are we talking inches or feet?

Start with the easy stuff first:
Is there eaves-trough on the roof with intact downspouts that empty many feet away and downhill from the outside wall?
Does the surrounding terrain drain towards the building?

The full best solution is likely removing any surrounding soil that is higher than the slab _and_ putting in a drainage tile around the outside.

Another (though maybe costly) idea is to pour another layer of floor slab on top the one that's there. You do have to empty the space, but if you only need a couple inches it could help and would get rid of that crack too. The exiting block walls could act as forms for the new slab.

-brino
 

Cheeseking

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#7
Well I would definitely do #1 & 2 plus a gravel base with french drain tile (the corrugated black plastic tube) around perimeter or offending wall. Pitch to somewhere away from wall where it can drain. Silt screen on top and backfill. Make sure downspouts are directed away from the foundation as well. Yep its going to be a big project and likely expensive unless you have a lot of free weekends and can tackle yourself. Sounds like a summer or fall project. If you do it in spring I'd hire it out, or get some help so it can be banged out quickly in a spell of favorable weather. My garage floor slab also has sunk 3" in the center and collects water. It drains within a day but kinda stinks in winter with salt and slush. Im considering having it "mud jacked". Would love to have it all ripped out and fix the problematic sub base areas and redo the slab but at $10-12/sq my wife probably wont buy in
 

juiceclone

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#8
from your pdf. file I see outside soil is almost 3 course of blocks high....that ain't a garage, it's a basement. Yes on the drainage pipes and seal around the bldg, and probably a sump and pump to get the water someplace else! At first I thought just pour more concrete raising the floor level, but that's out...too much.
 
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RJSakowski

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#9
The foundation of our 100+ year old house is made from porous limestone and sandstone and I had a wet basement. Heavy downpours would result in water running down the inside walls. Here is what I did to eliminate it.
1. I poured additional concrete leaving a 3" x 3" moat around the perimeter leading to a drain to the outside. This prevented water from accumulating in the floor.
2. I landscaped the area around the foundation so it sloped away from the foundation. This directed most water away from the foundation.
3. I installed new guttering on the roof. This directed the water from the roof away from the house.

This has resulted in a dry basement

On another building, the seepage under and through a block wall was so bad that the wall failed. I rebuilt the block wall but filled all the cavities with concrete, resulting in a dry building.

There are coatings available which are guaranteed to seal a foundation wall against seepage. In your case, it may be a part of the solution. If the conditions permit, laying drain tile to drain away any accumulated water will help as well.

Finally, I watched an episode of "This Old House" where they had a severe problem with water ingress and I believe that they used hydraulic cement as a barrier. I think this was the episode: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/hydraulic-cement-leaky-basements
 

FOMOGO

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#10
Drainage is king regarding these kind of issues. I owned an excavating co. and dealt with these issues on a regular basis. Most problems are due to poor site planning, but once the building is there, you have to deal with what you have. If as in your case you have ground above the floor on one or more sides, the best, and often most cost effective cure is to create swale's (a low area created out beyond the drip edge of the roof that create a path for drainage away from the building). Trying to seal out water is generally a stop gap measure that meets with marginal success, but used in conjunction with good drainage can certainly help. As RJ said above, gutters and extended down spouts will also help. Like most problems you have to look at the big picture. Mike
 

WesPete66

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#11
Thanks for all the great responses!
I agree with the point of drainage first. But I don't see how to do it on our property. On the east side, ground slopes gently uphill, with the property line 3' from the wall.On the south side, ground level is at the top of the block wall and slopes steeply uphill away from the garage wall. On the west side the ground is generally flat and tends to already hold water. Towards north the driveway is level with the garage floor, the drive having a very slight slope to north allowing it to drain to street.
I did direct the downspouts into a drain tile, which was placed under the driveway when it was poured, the tile routed to the street 85' away.
Any type of drainage would have to carry that water all the way to the street, as in a buried tile.
As I sit here I'm wondering about raising the garage structure, busting up the existing concrete, and repouring the floor at some 6" higher with poured concrete walls. hmmm Any thoughts?

Edit; Geez, what am I thinking. I need to tackle the drainage regardless...
 
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RJSakowski

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#12
Before getting into demolition,

In my barn foundation, the west side is at the top of the foundation with a downwards slope to the foundation. Due to a 4' buildup of the public road, surface water all drained towards the foundation causing an eventual failure of the foundation. I had the foundation rebuilt, partially with a poured wall and partially with block., filling the block with concrete.
To reduce surface water impact, I sloped the soil away from the wall creating a ditch about three feet out which drained water around the building to a lower elevation. To prevent erosion of the soil near the wall, it is covered with concrete slabs. You could do the same for your situation with the ditch starting on the south side sloping down to the east side and north to street level. Laying a plastic liner several inches below the surface and covering with course gravel will help to prevent water from diffusing down and weed growth. You could also lay drainage tile near the bottom of the wall to pick up any water which seeped through and direct it towards the street.
 

pdentrem

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#13
Drainage, drainage and more drainage is the only way to control the water heading down the hill. Rent a trencher, cut a trench away a couple feet or more from the wall as your FIRST line of defense and lay in some big O as we call it around here. Back fill with coarse gravel completely wrapped with silt/soil barrier cloth. Lay cloth in the bottom of the trench with enough cloth to wrap the gravel, put in the tile, gravel almost to the top, cover the gravel with the cloth and a light covering of gravel to the top of the trench. This will capture the majority of the water headed your way. The next step is to install drainage board on the walls and drainage tile at the base, just like a basement and either use gravity or a sump pump to pull the water away. We live on the side of a hill and this is what solved our problem with water entering the basement.
Pierre
 

tweinke

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#14
I'm also at the bottom of a hill and when I wanted an extra garage in the back yard I asked the cement guy if we could do a block wall up about three feet and back fill to eliminate excavating so much soil to build on. He wasn't too keen on that plan due to drainage and possible water on the floor etc. I took his advise and had a nice flat spot dug out and built a retaining wall about 4 feet back from the garage with enough width extra to park our camper beside the garage. Behind the retaining wall is fabric gravel and a 4 inch perforated tile that runs to my front yard. Believe it or not at times that tile runs full like someone has a faucet turned on. I personally never expected that, more like a trickle. I now do not under estimate the way water moves.
 

pdentrem

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#15
Smart to have that break with the retaining wall where you can park!

I always tell people, that water is the GREAT EQUALIZER. It erodes mountains down to level, corrodes everything that man can make to nothing, drowns everything that lives on dry land and the list goes on!
Pierre
 
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#16
As many have mentioned, ground must slope away from any building and starting ground elevation should never be higher than slab elevation. Dirt work is needed to remedy your situation along with excellent drainage.
 

WesPete66

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#17
Well I started looking into the details of draining my property, and good news/bad news.. The good news is that the property line is actually right against neighbor's garage wall, which means I have space to work with in getting the surface contoured for drainage! The bad news is.. the property line is right against neighbor's garage wall, which means he's been making use of that extra space all these years! :confused 3: I'da done some things different had I known that!
Anyway, looking at digging in several drain tiles, with fabric and gravel. But are these tiles at all effective while the ground is frozen? These tiles will be anywhere from 12-24" deep in the drain field area, and as little as several inches where it transports to the curb. (I am in NW Iowa, where I believe the frost line is ~ 30" deep.) Should I also incorporate surface drains in the mix?
 

tq60

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#18
Before you dig anything....

Any change of water flow could damage neighbor's place so you could get into some trouble.

Also of concern is most zoning require setbacks meaning nothing can be built on the line but some places have built houses right on the line one side to make it wider on other side...stupid.

So first action is visit the building department to get crystal clear understanding of where property lines are and to seek remedy if neighbor is using yours.

Confirm if his building is legal because if not then less worry about flooding it.

Discuss process with the engineers as it is their job to help you.

Sounds like your building is at the bottom of a hill so you will need to get very creative to make it look like an island and it will not be cheap of labor but there could be some easier to do options to lesson it for now to allow use and time to determine better options.

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WesPete66

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#19
I agree with your good pointers TQ, thank you! And yes, the neighbor's garage is built right up to the property line. And yes I plan to have the boundary professionally located before I start doing anything.
But my question now is: How effective are the drainage tiles (french/curtain drains) while the ground is frozen, when placed relatively near the surface? Can anybody comment on that angle? And, should I consider surface drains as well?
 
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tq60

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#20
If the ground is frozen then noting is going to flow through the ice.

Any type of piping that is above the frost line must slope such that it does not have standing water.

No clue what your structure looks like or the amount of water that flows buy as mentioned by others look at DIVERSION as getting water to flow past and not allow to stand helps greatly.

Look above the building and create culverts or small rises to cause water to go away from the building.

If ground is wet it is easier to dig so plan on digging it out.

Our suggestion would be to consider building same as retaining wall and it will need a drainage system but that is engineering specific to your place.

Google is your friend so search and read up on retaining wall drainage for ideas to discuss with the building department.

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woodchucker

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#21
I had to seal my basement wall. I had a crack from hydraulic pressure. I ordered epoxy that seals the wall https://www.polygem.com/products/lc...air-basement-foundation-crack-repair-products I also regraded the outside and built up the soil so that it drains away from the wall. I created a swayl to move water even further away.
The epoxy is doing well. I finally trusted enough to reseal (close up the wall) my wall this past summer.
Hope you find a solution.
 
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