Flood warnings are common during storms and heavy rainfall, and while streets, buildings, and homes can flood, parking garages are also susceptible to flooding. Flooding and ponding in your parking garage is not only an inconvenience, but it can also potentially cause some serious and costly issues with the structure. When standing flood water is left in a parking garage:
- Water infiltrates the porous concrete surface and causes quick deterioration
- Erosion can lead to potholes, ruts, and sinkholes
- Cracks on the surface of the concrete can expand and widen if exposed to freeze/thaw cycles
Parking garages are faced with two challenges: backflow from rising water coming through the drains and excessive water from the streets. In this article, we take a look at some of the most effective ways to prevent parking garage flooding.
Effective ways to flood proof your parking garage
A good flood prevention strategy combines strong floodproofing products that are quick and simple to deploy along with proactive repairs and improvements to the building or structure. Be sure to follow these steps to protect your parking garage from flooding and ponding:
Keep the roof gutters clean - Leaves and other debris can cause water to back up and flow over the sides of the roof. The parking garage gutters help divert water into downspouts and intended drainage pathways. When runoff water spills into unintended streams and seeps into the surrounding foundation, it can erode the substructure and cause foundational damage. Furthermore, if the parking garage roof is flat, clogged gutters can cause pooling, leading to a potential collapse or leak.
Inspect and replace garage door seals - Weather seals on garage doors deteriorate over time, especially on the bottom of the door and around the door. Be sure to replace any damaged weather seals to keep the door rainwater-tight. Replacing broken weather seals is relatively cheap - much cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of flooding.
Use a water diverter or garage apron drain - A water diverter or garage apron drain protects the garage from flooding by diverting water away from the garage and onto the ground.
Waterproof the foundation wall - Over time, structures “settle” and create cracks in the walls. Water can seep through these cracks and cause pooling or even flooding during extreme storms and heavy rainfall. If left unchecked, water coming through the walls can result in mold and mildew growth. Contact a foundation contractor or a flood prevention expert about waterproofing the foundation wall to prevent water infiltration.
Hire professional landscaping - Landscaping is not only for aesthetic purposes. Professional landscapers know how to keep floodwaters away, including sloping the ground away from the foundation of the parking garage, installing hard surfaces like patio stones to prevent floodwaters from permeating the soil and causing foundational damage, strategically planting certain trees and bushes that can handle heavy rainstorms, and creating a rain garden to collect and absorb water. These are just a few techniques that professional landscapers use for floodproofing a property!
Install flood vents and floor drains - During the construction of parking garages, flood vents and floor drains are typically installed to prevent flooding. You can choose to install additional flood vents and floor drains as needed. However, keep in mind that when drains are overwhelmed, water can still channel back out - this takes us to our next recommendation.
Install effective floodproofing products - During a flood warning, floodproofing products are simple and quick to deploy to keep floodwaters out. Parking garages in particular can benefit from two flood protection products, specified below.
Use garage floor drain protection to prevent backflow
Flooding can happen in many different ways, one of the most common being backup water coming from the floor and flood drains. While rising water and wind-driven rain are certainly issues, what can you do to keep backflow from causing flooding?
Backflow drain covers and flood boxes prevent backflow by keeping water from flowing backwards into your parking garage or ground floor. Protect your building and avoid backflow flooding with FRA Floor Drain Protection.
The FRA Floor Drain Protection has been scientifically developed to withstand harsh saltwater environments with technology utilized in both aerospace and vessels from the United States Navy and Air Force. The FRA Floor Drain Protection will work on any drain shape and size, including circular, rectangular, and irregularly shaped.
FRA Floor Drain Protection uses a simple process for quick deployment:
- FRA Floor Drain Protection is lined up with the pre-existing holes to the anchors
- Easy-Turn knob, gasket, and dock washer are inserted into the opening on the ground
- Easy-Turn Knob creates a tool-less system to tighten FRA Floor Drain protection in place
- Gasketing system seals against uneven surfaces
The FRA Flood Drain Protection is specifically designed with the client’s needs in mind. The technology was developed to be impact resistant so that vehicles can drive over the protected area without damage while continuing to provide flood protection to the area and keep rising water from storm surges, king tides, and heavy rainfall at bay.
Install flood panels to prevent flooding in the garage
With backflow prevention in place, parking garages also need a floodproofing product that can keep water out from the streets and torrential rainfall. Customized flood panels create a sealed water-tight barrier around any opening, preventing water from flowing in.
FRA’s Custom Flood Panels are quick and easy to setup and teardown with no tools needed. Made from marine-grade material with a corrosion-resistant gel coat that can withstand harsh elements and CCN seal technology with an airtight sealant. Flood panels can be used for virtually any opening, including but not limited to:
- Exterior & interior doors
- Mechanical rooms
- Control rooms
- Loading docks
- Essential equipment
- New or existing structures
Typically used as a door barrier during hurricanes, FRA flood panels are an ideal defence against flooding and water damage.. FRA’s Flood Panels come with a Lifetime Warranty.
If you want to learn more about how you can prevent parking garage flooding, contact Flood Risk America - we are experts at floodproofing commercial and residential properties.