Water, water everywhere and not a drop… OH NO! There has in fact been way too much going on with water these past few weeks and unfortunately, many people are going home to find their homes, including their garages, severely damaged. Now, assuming you are not in a hurricane-affected area, it’s unlikely you will have such severe damage as two or three feet of floodwater can make, but even a little water in your garage could spell big trouble for you and your home.
Identify the source of the flooding first. Whether it’s a known cause (like tracking in snow through the garage) or an unexpected accident (like a gutter pipe draining the wrong way), it’s important to remember that prevention is key and if we can’t prevent the water’s return, there’s no point in drying it up initially. Once you are sure that your garage will not immediately flood again, you can concentrate on moving out as much water as possible. Use mops, towels, squeegees, or anything else to sweep or absorb puddles until the floor looks completely dry.
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Most garage floors are concrete, which seems like as solid a surface as any, but concrete is in fact porous. Around 12-18% of concrete’s volume is made of pores smaller than a human hair. In other words, it’s got more holes than Swiss cheese (literally), meaning that even if the floor looks dry after a flood, it really isn’t. Ventilation is the best thing for drying floors. Industrial fans are good choices for quick drying as are heaters and dehumidifiers, just be sure to use them properly because a heated space with no ventilation could leave your home open to mold.
Once the floor is properly dried, it’s time to take stock of other damages that could have occurred. Check along the edges of your walls where they meet the floor. If the garage was built using traditional wooden studs and drywall, you could be getting damage inside your walls and not know it. If you have the choice, pick building materials like metal studs and things that won’t be damaged by water in the future.
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Another hard-hit part of the home during a flood is our personal possessions. Many people use their garages for additional storage of everything from strings of holiday lights to high school yearbooks. Hopefully, you boxed these items up in plastic bins or had them well off the floor on shelves, but it’s a good idea to inspect these items for damage regardless of where or how they are stored in the garage.
Over the long term, it’s important to keep an eye out for any mold or mildew in your garage. Bacteria and fungi love water and won’t hesitate to stick around for a few months before appearing. Continually check near doorframes and in corners for discolorations and feel for soft spots in the walls. These can be indicators of a mold attack. Directly after your floodwaters are removed, you may consider spraying an antimicrobial spray along the walls and floors to reduce your chances of mold growth.
By far, the best thing you can do for your garage is help prevent moisture and water damage from occurring in the first place. Make sure the weather stripping on the bottom of your garage door is forming a proper seal, check for ceiling or window leaks when it rains, and be sure that all water drains and gutters are being diverted away from the garage. If you do have a flood, you suspect water damage from the past, or you just want someone to come check your water-preparedness, call Sears Garage for your needs. Our helpful team of experts offer affordable professional services that ensure drying out your garage doesn’t mean drying out your wallet too.