Seal a Leaking Garage Wall
LESLIE: Gail in Virginia, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we help you with?
GAIL: Yes, I have a home where the garage – it’s a rancher and the garage actually is below grade on the backside of the house.
GAIL: And when we have a situation where we have really heavy rainfall within a short period of time water actually comes through the back wall of the garage into the garage. So I’m trying to figure out the best way to – solution to fix the situation.
TOM: Is the exterior wall concrete block and it’s actually leaking itself?
GAIL: (INAUDIBLE) below grade is concrete block. Above grade is brick. It’s a brick veneer home.
TOM: OK. And so the water is sort of coming through the brick and getting into the garage wall. Is that correct?
GAIL: Yes, that’s correct.
TOM: Alright, well what you could do is try a masonry sealer. If you use a masonry sealer on that you want to make sure that it’s a vapor permeable sealer. In other words, it lets the brick breathe so that moisture can move in and move out of it.
TOM: It’s available at home centers, at hardware stores. I would also, obviously, look for any places where there could be voids that water is getting in. If there are any windows above that, make sure you don’t have any cracks in the window brick edging where water’s going to get in. So do all the basics. But what you could do is put a masonry sealer on that and that will probably slow the flow of water through that brick. Brick’s very absorbent. It’s very hydroscopic so it tends to suck a lot of water in and then that water will evaporate into the inside space; probably, you know, show up as puddles as well as like white, crusty mineral salt deposits inside the garage wall.
GAIL: Right, right. OK. Alright. So the best route then is to use a sealer of some sort.
TOM: A masonry sealer.
GAIL: Right. OK, well …
LESLIE: And make sure that you have enough gutters directing the water away from that wall itself to begin with as it’s coming off the roof.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, try to reduce the amount of water that’s getting there one way or the other. And if that’s still a problem then use a masonry sealer.
Gail, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.