unsolvable garage flooding?

DbermplsAugust 5, 2013

I really appreciate any advice and expertise.

I have an older garage that has undoubtedly settled a little bit with time. In heavy rain I get a little water in the garage but it's not a big deal. However in the winter when the ground is frozen it turns into an ice lake. What happens is that in Minneapolis the sun will get warm enough to melt some snow during the day and then it will run down the driveway and sit as liquid during the day and freeze at night. The next day it doesn't fully thaw but more water gets added and then frozen until it's a pretty big puddle up to 3 inches deep. The water accumulates pretty slowly It's never a river of water running down my driveway just a little bit each day adding to the glacier.

I've had four contractors look at it and say that it needs to be tore down and replaced for $15-20k for my little one car garage.

I've read a lot about dry wells, but i'm not confident if they will work in the winter. My idea is that if I dig down 6ft (frostline is 3'6'') and put in a plastic catch basin and then run a pvc pipe up to ground level with a drain I might be able to keep the the catch basin from freezing when it gets cold at night.

I don't need to dissipate a ton of water every day just enough to keep up with the snow melt that ends up running on the driveway.

Thanks for looking

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Had to think about this dilemma which is common in snow country.

Being 150 miles north of you - and getting in excess of 127" of snow this season - we luckily had consistently cold enough temps so there was little to no daytime melting and refreezing. In the spring, the huge snow piles just evaporated without much puddling and running water.

But I've experienced it before and it can be solved without building a new garage... if you have the Minnesotan's required long handled "ice chopper" (they're a common implement and sold everywhere from Menard's to Walmart) and are willing to do a bit of work when the sun gets low, temps are dropping, and any new melt is starting to freeze over.

I don't know how high your threshold is underneath the garage door, but make certain any new accumulated snow is cleared away. Chop back the forward softer or crackly edge of the ice and throw the chunks on the lawn - the next day's new water should then hit a fairly solid ice wall. Keep working at chopping the front edge back.

Then work on chunking out a channel somewhere between the forward ice edge and garage threshold. That's what takes the diligence, but it will direct water to a low spot on the outside of the garage - which I assume is the right side by the chain link gate in your picture.

If you start this early and keep at it, you should be okay.

The only time I had a real problem was a few years ago when the floor drain and pipe to the outside froze; when we did get a melt, it overtook my threshold and I had a skating rink for a while until the pipe thawed. That's never happened before or since.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:38PM
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