• Protecting Your Garage from Flooding

    August 20, 2018 | Blog
  • As hurricane season once again looms before us, flooding is a real concern for every homeowner. Last season’s massive storms and the damage left in their wake make it more important than ever to be prepared. And with flooding accounting for nearly half of natural disasters, followed by major storms (at more than a quarter), securing your safety and your home before the weather turns dangerous are top priorities.

    While Florida is well-known for sunshine, the tradeoff of a tropical climate is periodic heavy rain, even outside of hurricane season. During high-wind events, the garage door is the most vulnerable entrance to your home, and it is usually the first thing to fail in a massive storm—especially if it is old and hasn’t been well maintained. But there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of catastrophic damage.

    Seal openings

    Investigate your garage for any unwanted openings, including cracks, leaks, or even old seals that have failed. Caulk gaps in the walls and around windows or even plumbing. Replace old caulk or weatherstripping. Patch drywall cracks with joint compound. Patch and seal cracks in the concrete floor.

    Inspect and repair (or replace) your garage door

    What is the condition of your existing garage door? Is it in good repair? Check the panels for cracks or other damage, including holes. Note if there is a gap at the bottom of the door where it should meet the garage floor and if the weatherstripping is in good shape or needs to be replaced. Also inspect the track system, the automatic opener, and the torsion spring. Now is the time to repair any issues in the garage door system, or to determine that a new door is needed. New door installation and many garage door repairs are best left to professional garage door installers, so give us a call to stay safe.

    Review your home’s rain management and drainage

    Vulnerabilities in your home’s drainage systems can be magnified in a powerful storm. Inspect gutters, downspouts, the home’s foundation, and landscaping and groundcover. Identify any potential problems and make any needed repairs.

    Store tools and equipment wisely

    In case a storm does breach the threshold of your garage, it’s wise to carefully organize tools, equipment, and anything else you store in your garage. As appropriate, use shelving systems, wall storage, and air-tight containers. Keep items susceptible to water damage elevated and properly stowed.

    Prepare for emergencies

    Some storms are stronger than any preparations that could be made, so be ready with tarps, sandbags, and an emergency plan when a storm is on the way. Keep your emergency kit stocked in case you need to evacuate, and make sure everyone in the family knows when it’s safe (or not) to re-enter your home.

    Each year, we weather numerous storms and it’s possible to stay safe and suffer little or no damage with some preparation. Take these steps to prepare for flooding, and your home will thank you for helping it do its job—keeping you comfortable and secure.