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How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Bluetooth
Junior Contributor

How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

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This week I got this great set of cabinets off Gumtree to help organise my workbench. Unfortunately a few times per year my garage floods with about an inch of water, and I want to protect these cabinets. My initial plan was to build a timber frame for underneath and attach casters to give it to height to keep out of any potential flooding. But I'm open to any other suggestions!

What wood and what casters would.you recommend?

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hello @Bluetooth

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your question about how to protect your cabinets from floodwater.

 

Your idea of creating a frame with castors is the best one. You could create a sloped cement dam to divert the water coming into the garage. Unless the water is coming in from someplace else? I suggest using Treated Pine Outdoor Timber Framing 70 x 35mm in conjunction with Zenith 10 - 8 x 75mm Galvanised Countersunk Rib Head Timber Screws - 50 Pack.

 

I recommend using Project Panel 1200 x 1198 x 12mm Premium Plywood. This will protect the bottom of your cabinets from accidental splashes from the bottom. I propose using Syneco 100mm Blue Rubber Castor Set - 4 Pack. These castors will add an extra 100mm to the height of your mobile frame giving you extra flood safety. For the final touch, I suggest painting it with Taubmans Low Sheen White Sunproof Exterior Paint - 1L White.

 

Please keep us updated with your progress, we look forward to seeing your rolling frame built and in use.

 

Let me tag our experienced members @TedBear and @JoeAzza for their recommendations.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hi @Bluetooth,

 

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community.

 

Just wondering if we might be able to assist with the flooding problem? If you shared some more details and photos of how the water gets in, I'm sure the community would be happy to help.

 

Jason

 

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JoeAzza
Super Contributor

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hi @Bluetooth , 

@EricL great suggestion, this would  keep your cupboards off the concrete, also as @Jason  suggested you need to find where the water is coming in from and seal the ingress area if possible.

Another quick fix is to install plastic adjustable legs to the shelving/cupboards, install them behind the kick rails, front and back of each unit, then adjust the height as required.

JoeAzza_0-1636759504117.png

 

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Bluetooth
Junior Contributor

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

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Hi @Jason,

Thanks for the response. Ah, the flooding issue. This has been an issue since moving into this home. The driveway slopes down from the street to my garage - there is a pit with a sump pump which pumps water up and onto the street. Additionally, about half of the house's roof drains into rainwater tanks which overflow to the same pit. When it rains a lot, there is a large volume of water that comes into that pit. The sump pump works most of the time, but occasionally it just doesn't turn on - possibly because the water is flowing onto the float at too rapid a pace. Also, sometimes the pump doesn't work, just because the float doesn't trigger. In those cases if i come out and jiggle the float, the pump will usually start up. However, I'm usually not in the garage watching the pit, and when it does overflow, it will fill 3/4 of the garage with an inch or two of water. I have replaced the existing sump pump with a Ryobi from Bunnings, but I still have the issue. I have considered getting a more substantial more expensive pump as a solution, but have not followed through.

 

@EricL's suggestion of a cement barrier to divert the water is very interesting. I believe that a barrier with height of about 80-120mm across the front of the garage would be high enough to divert the water to the side past the heat pump (in the photo), and under the fence away from my house. You can see there is around 20 cm of space between the drainage trench, and the spot where my garage door meets the floor. Of course, the garage door could also be adjusted to land on a barrier as well. Maybe I could build a 'speed hump' out of cement in that section that is 200mmw x 100mmh x 2000mml. Of course I would still use the sump pump 99% of the time, but on those 2 days a year when the pump fails, I will not have to dry out all the items on my garage floor.

 

Maybe I should start a new topic for this question, since I already marked the topic as 'solved'?

 

Thanks so much for your help. Its great to bounce ideas off people with expertise and interest!

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Thanks for the photos and detail. No need to create a new topic @Bluetooth.

 

Let me tag @MitchellMc for his thoughts.

 

Jason

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hi @Bluetooth,

 

I have a similar pump, and the float switch can be a bit finicky. It likes to turn completely vertical before it activates. Make sure you have the floats lead shortened to the correct length for the pit. You'd want it nice and short, but not so short that the float valve can't float up into a vertical position.

 

How often are your rainwater tanks full? Could you consider irrigating your plants more often to keep the tanks 1/2-3/4 full most of the time? That way, if you have a torrential downpour, the bulk of the water should hopefully end up in the tanks before the pit. 

 

Instead of building the cement barrier, you could potentially cut a channel in the concrete as an emergency overflow. Once the water reaches the brim of the pit, it could follow the channel past the heat pump and under the fence. If you did build a cement barrier, will your vehicle easily get over it? I've found some concrete edging that looks like it would be pretty good. I suspect it won't hold up to a car driving over it constantly, though.

 

If your gutters are higher than the street level, have you considered moving to a charged system? I suspect the road is relatively high, as a pump system usually would not be the first choice, mainly due to them failing or not operating during a power outage.

 

I'll be looking forward to seeing how you solve this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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TedBear
Valued Contributor

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hi @Bluetooth , this is a challenging issue. I look forward to seeing how it gets resolved. 

The drain at the entrance to the garage is very much an "ambulance at the bottom of the cliff" approach.

I had a similar one across the back area of my house, inviting all the water from the sloping back yard to the arrive at the back door. I was able to change things by replacing much of the hard surfaces with absorbent ones and also collect and divert water before it gets there, so those drains are now gone. But with a driveway, you have less options.  My suggestion would be to put a channel drain across the driveway further up and divert the water into a soakwell, assuming that your soil type will soak up some water.  Is there a garden area where any excess could be diverted to? (Anything to keep water away from the garage door.) That way the current system will have less water to deal with and will hopefully cope in a storm.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

Hello @Bluetooth 

 

Would it be possible for you to post a few photos of how the water flows towards your pump and how your tank overflows are arranged? Once we see the path of the water we should be able to give you a more comprehensive recommendation of how to divert the flood.

 

Eric

 

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Bluetooth
Junior Contributor

Re: How can I protect my garage cabinets from floodwater

@MitchellMcfunny you should ask about a charged system. About 2 months ago I had to get the concrete pad for the rainwater tanks replaced as the original one had shifted. A plumber quoted to replace the whole system with a charged system, but it was for $9k and I couldn't afford that. The driveway is upward sloped but the rise is not that high. The gutters on the roof are above the street.

 

Instead I had the slab replaced but now I'm wondering if I made the wrong decision. I wonder if I could DIY it so that some of the water is diverted to the street. Sounds like a big project.

 

Your concrete edging ideas sounds interesting as I don't actually park the car in the Garage and they are not permanent which MAY be a plus.

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