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Older Homes, Attached Garages, and When Historic Charm isn’t so Charming


Any city with a history dating back more than a century has an array of homes with (what we now consider) strange garage configurations. Maybe it’s a totally different building behind the house, or a two-story building with a separate drive (both of which are usually converted carriage houses), or maybe it’s a little 1-car situation that sits beneath your house at the bottom of a short and steep drive. These lowered garages are characteristic of Victorian-style homes, which you can find all over the country, and which people love the historic charm of. And, yeah, those turrets and stained-glass windows are beautiful. But that tiny garage that constantly has water running down into it? Not so charming.

Ways to Help Your “Basement” Garage Stay Dry

While you may not be able to stop all the water from coming into your lowered garage, there are some things you can do help it to get out. These types of garages should have been installed with floors that slope towards a central drain. But if the water isn’t draining through it, chances are you need to snake the drain and find out if it’s a little issue like a simple clog, or a bigger issue like tree roots invading and compromising the structure of the pipe. Old drainage pipes are typically made of a stoneware material that is basically heavy-duty ceramic. And while they hold up well to time, they don’t hold up well to tree roots trying to creep in to get at the water running through the pipes. Another option you have which can help divert water to the side and away from the opening of the garage is to add what’s basically a speed bump right where your driveway slab meets your garage slab. 

The Way Things Should Have Been Done

However, ideally your home would have been built with a drain at the end of the driveway before it meets the garage. This is honestly the best solution for these homes, and if yours doesn’t already have it, it’s worth talking to a contractor to see if the fix is worth the cost. Anyone who loves old homes wants them to stay beautiful (and structurally sound) as long as possible, and dealing with the water issues in your lowered garage are a great way to do just that, not to mention keeping the value of the home up even as it ages more.

How to Spot a Shoddy Garage Door Repair Company in Sacramento

There are plenty of garage door repair companies in the Sacramento area, but not all of them produce high-quality work. The first red flag that a company is untrustworthy is an outdated website with no indication the company is committed to the area or cares about its reputation. Next, you should check if they are licensed, insured and adhere to city code. Do they offer a guarantee? Google and Yelp reviews can be helpful, but be aware of fake reviews paid for by the company. Trust your gut instinct during your first conversation, and make sure the garage repair technician is more interested in fixing your problem than taking your money.