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Old 01-13-2014, 10:41 AM   #1
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Garage door water barrier

The photo is of my garage door threshold. The problem is water coming in. The black seal you see along the inside is a garage door seal I put down to try to keep some of the water out. It helps a little, but here is the real issue:

The house and property including the garage are over 100 years old. Over the years the ground was built up with asphalt but nothing was done about the transition to the garage floor. Eventually the garage floor became the lowest plane in that area of the driveway by a couple inches. So my seal does a pretty good job of holding water out but it eventually gets overwhelmed, especially if we have to open the door for anything while it's raining. The water will flow in and cover the first few feet of the garage. My wife has noticed and was worried about it eventually flooding out.

Now I will say that the driveway is flat or slightly sloped leading away from the garage entrance so the problem isn't that the driveway itself is actually sloped towards this opening. Rather, it's that the asphalt is built up a few inches above the level of the floor so water sinks down into that area between the edge of the asphalt and the seal and pools there until it works its way inside. It's those last few inches of asphalt sloping down as it approaches the door that allows water to flow into that narrow strip of concrete and sit there until it trickles in. Even in heavy rains water doesn't really accumulate in front of the garage besides in that narrow strip right before the asphalt, leading me to believe that if I could just fill that in with something and then fill in the crevice between it and the asphalt I might be OK.

A new garage is a few years down the line, and re-paving the driveway is also. Right now what I want is a sturdy solution that will hold up for awhile without me constantly having to fuss with it, and I was looking for peoples' opinions on what I came up with. The asphalt sits about 2 inches above the level of the garage floor before it starts to slope in towards it. I have between 4 and 5 inches between the closed door and the the edge of the asphalt. I have a paving guy coming tomorrorw to see whether it's feasible to just rip that area up and make me a small apron to help with the water drainage. If he doesn't think that will work, or it is prohibitively expensive, I will get my hands on either aluminum flat stock or pressure treated lumber. Either way it will have to be a 7'6" strip that is about 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide. The 2 inch drop off into the garage would be no big deal since that's about what it is at the asphalt right now. I will use liquid nails and fasteners to attach it to the edge of the floor between the door and the asphalt, then build up the asphalt with cold patch to get it as level as I can with my makeshift threshold.

Looking for opinions on whether this makes sends or sounds terribly hackish, and whether anybody can think of a better option. Also, am I better off going with pressure treated wood or aluminum. The pressure treated wood is readily available and I could pick some up at the big box stores tomorrow if I wanted, but I would be worried about rot. I could do the aluminum, but it's a bit more expensive and I'd have to have a strip custom cut and shipped to me. There are a few different aluminum strip options at the local Home Depot and Lowes but the ones that are as thick as I need only seem to be available online. So it's a bit more of a pain to get a hold of exactly what I need.

But if people think it would be better to get the aluminum strip, I would buy it, drill through it, then fasten and glue it down.

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Last edited by eharri3; 01-13-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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A swale is common to solve water intrusion problems in those areas where re-grading isn't feasible.


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Old 01-13-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
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Make a 4/6 inch wide cut in the asphalt about 8/10 feet back from the garage,and dig out the dirt 4/5 inches deep line it with concrete and cover with an expanded metal grate.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:01 AM   #4
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Just had a paving guy over. He said there is a slope beyond that depression but an extremely mild one with two layers of asphalt under it so an apron probably wouldn't solve the problem. I am going to have him do a very gradually tapered speed bump at the garage door opening that starts a few inches into the asphalt and tapers down a few inches beyond the door. We both agreed that if the water can be shed from that strip immediately in front of the door that should resolve the water problems. If there were no slope at all or a depression there I would look into drainage but I will try this since it looks like the water will flow off naturally if I can just get it away from the threshold.
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