Frank Domanico

Help…I had a house built a house a few years ago with a cold storage area underneath the basement. I wanted a basement under my garage, so I researched it and I found a pre-cast concrete contractor for my builder should to work with. I had also consulted a construction engineer friend and he had told me to make sure the wall in front of the garage door had some type of flashing to prevent any water leaks. The builder suggested putting a rubber flashing sections between all the pre-cast joints all the way past the garage doors. These were rolls of rubber membrane 4 ‘ wide which ran past the garage doors. This was not a complete membrane! The builder had cement pored over the pre-cast concrete and the rubber membrane. I trusted my builder as he had 30 years experience in building. He was great guy. He built a high quality house and had no problems with the rest of the house.

While the rest of the house under construction, we were getting a lot of water coming in the basement underneath the garage. The builder told me that once I had a driveway built, my water problems would go away. When the house was completed, I could not afford the driveway so he put a gravel driveway with some pitch. When it rained outside we would occasionally have some rain coming in. I called my builder, the nice guy he was, and he came back and dug out driveway near the garage door and re-tarred the side of the front of the garage. He said I should not have any problems for long time. After a big rain, it leaked again. He told me the water was not coming from outside but from the cement control joint near the garage door. So we cleaned all the cement control joints in the garage and put an epoxy between all the joints… 98 % of the leaks went away, but we had big rains a small amount of water came in through some of the corners by the garage door and the basement ceiling. My builder offered to dig out the gravel again and re-tar the side underneath the garage doors, but he said most of the problem was that I did not have a driveway. This time I took advice from my cement friend who told me the same thing that I needed a driveway. He poured my driveway. Then we put epoxy between the garage floors and then new cement driveway to make sure water in the garage or hitting the garage door would run onto the driveway. Summer went past and no water came in, fall, and has soon as winter started, woops we got a little bit of water seeping in when the snow melted… Now I was a little upset, it was minor…

Well now, winter is ending and I am getting a lot more water coming in near one corner of the wall and corner pre-cast ceiling is always wet… I had the builder come by and he told me it was because my driveway had move up this winter and the frozen ground has pushed the driveway up. The epoxy had separated from the garage floor, and a gap appeared. If there was any water from the snow or the cars in the garage, it ran straight in the gap between the driveway and garage cement joint, which we had sealed…

Since I cannot get anyone to help me, this is how I am thinking to solve the problem:

– Remove 4 feet of driveway removed in front of the garage

– Have someone seal the side of the pre-cast and garage corner where they sat the pre-cast with flashing that works or some basement leaking material.


– Have someone from underneath the garage door in the basement seal the gaps from the inside. I am not sure if it will work since the pre-cast are tubular openings on the ends, and in order to seal you can’t have any dead spaces.

I think breaking the cement driveway near the garage door is a lot work but I do not think it would be too costly

I am not sure if sealing from the inside of the garage basement would work since the sealer would be able to be stop running into the ground spaces… I am not sure how much it would cost, but I have seen basement cracks leak repairs, and they put a paste in front of the crack, it looks pretty ugly and then eject epoxy in the pre-drilled holes.

I just cannot get anyone to give me a solution… I also had a basement and leaks company come out to look at the situation, and they told me I didn’t have to break the cement… they would clean and re-cut the control joints on the garage floor and the joint between the garage floor and the driveway where I think the water is coming in. Insert the joints with a stronger epoxy, and then seal the garage floor with a complete floor stain and sealer. The price was $5,000 dollars… I was shocked… There has to be an easier way to fix this leak! This is overkill…

I have exhausted my resources… I like both my builder and my cement friend… They do not seem to want to help anymore. They give a lot of lip service… I told them I would pay for the fix if it was reasonable and not $5000. My cement friend told me it was the builder’s fault for not putting a complete membrane between the pre-cast and the driveway floor… I just want this thing fix, and agree to incur some cost, but I feel abandoned by my builder and friend.

Please feel free to make any suggestions and advice.

– Frank