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Old 07-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Garage wall repair options

So this summer's big project is saving the garage. Working top-down, I just finished the re-roofing portion, and now need to fix the walls and waterproofing. The concrete slab has dropped on the right side over the years causing a crack, the top of which prevents the garage door from forming a seal on the right side. I tried a band-aid approach with the tapered piece of trim between the door and the rubber seal, but there is, of course, no stopping water and gravity.

Once inside, the water wicks up the wood sill plates (conveniently placed directly on the concrete slab) and into the walls. The previous owners did a great job 'fixing' this problem, they simply covered it with more worthless OSB. Here is the inside of that same corner of the garage.

And on down the line...

At its worst, you can see the outside...the rodents LOVED this feature last winter!

The exterior is wood siding.

The positives...

-The wood sill plates are all still solid.
-The roof leaked along the fascia at numerous spots, problem solved
-The addition of gutters will (should) also help get some of that water away from the garage door.

Looking to keep this as cheap as possible, I could just rip pieces of plywood and toenail them into the studs. At least the critters would be kept out...but how long will this 'fix' last? I could also tear off all of the exterior siding to fix it the 'right' way, but what are the chances I would be able to do so without considerable damage/loss of the siding? Any chance I could set a circular saw to the correct depth and just cut along the seam of the third and fourth row of siding to replace just the bottom few feet of sheathing along the foundation? With any luck you wouldn't even notice the cut after replacing and least I wouldn't have to remove all the siding above.

My main concern is keeping the mice and voles out as they like to leave a real mess in those hard to reach parts of everywhere.

Any ideas?

As for the concrete...mudjacking for the sinking side? Could I instead just cut out a 1 or 2 foot wide channel along the length of the garage door and repour just to flatten out the surface so the door lays flat? The right front will still be lower and might still take on water, yes?

The budget for this is pretty tight, but it has to be done. Any and all advice is welcome and greatly appreciated, thanks!


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Old 07-21-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club, our summer project is also saving the garage. Got a few questions: What's the condition of the exterior siding at ground level? Is there dirt up on the siding and/or does water pool at the exterior? I'd be concerned about the garage slab being at grade and water getting in that way too. That's actually where our water was coming in. What's the grade of your driveway to cause water to come in at the garage door? Our's gapped equally bad, and yet no water came in that way.

I'm not sure if the mudjacking would work or not. I'd be concerned if you were trying to mudjack the slab also serving as the foundation of the garage wall. Someone more knowledgeable in that area would have to chime in there.

Our garage had sunk and cracked in the corner also, along with several other places. They had to jack up the corner when they put in the footings. They did a nice job raising that corner and leveling out the garage as much as possible. We still have our crappy slab, but at least the foundation is good now, so we've got something to build upon, and I believe we will no longer have any water problems.

Our Before pic with sill plate missing. Wall was pretty much hanging from the rafters.

We also have a new roof and gutters. We finally went ahead and poured 42" footings for the garage last month (raising 4" above grade) so we could side the garage the same time as the house. The footings were much less than we expected. Might be worth getting a free estimate just to find out. By installing the footings, the contractor also cut off all the water damage we had in the studs and installed a new sill plate (our's was rotted out). This saved us from having to replace the water damaged studs. All we had to do sheath/wrap and we're ready for our new siding.

Our next step will be pouring a new slab and driveway at the same time (by the same contractor). I don't think that'll happen until next year though. Unfortunately, anything you do will probably still be a bandaid until you can poor a new slab and footings above grade for the foundation. Then you could rebuild the garage rodent and water tight. It's been my experience that anything else is a temporary fix, we patched and great stuffed for 14 years because that's all we could afford to do as we fixed up other parts of the house first. So, I wouldn't sink too much money into temporary fixes.

More Before/After Garage Photos

As far as siding goes, do you have old cedar siding? We removed windows on the south side of our house, and found matching siding was very expensive and difficult to find (DIY at least). We found just enough to patch it. Now we're just covering it all up with vinyl siding due to the cost of having to replace the entire south side's siding just to make it look good again (aka fixing the window outline of siding & split pieces). Make sure you've found your siding before you cut anything out.


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Old 07-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and the invite to the club

The exterior siding at ground level is fair, but the back wall is the one with daylight shining through, along with a spot on the front left corner. So at least two areas of siding are damaged. There must have been dirt against the garage in the past, hard to imagine where all that moisture came from.

Here are two more pics that might help give some perspective to the grade. That entire slab has sunk so far that the right side is below the grade of the driveway. Without gutters the water runs off into that low spot and pools up in the corner of the garage.

As for the siding, I'm not sure if it's cedar. Regardless, good call on finding a match before cutting.

Last edited by MrPlow; 07-21-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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