Garage door has dropped 3" over the winter

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Posted by: from Barrie
3/25/2014 at 9:13:01 PM

In January I started to notice the left hand side of my garage door dropping. I also noticed the bricks to the left of the garage are cracking. Inside my garage about 5ft in is a window and the cement beneath the edge of the window is cracked. There was water running down along the front of the garage over the winter from a hole in an eavestrough on the right side of the garage. I have stopped the water from flowing towards that area.

Any idea how to fix the problem or who I should contact?


Garage door has dropped 3" over the winter
Garage door has dropped 3" over the winter
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Date/Time3/26/2014 at 8:54:18 PM

It's frost heave. It probably happened with your entire house and you didn't notice. Look at your interior door jams, how's the spacing?

Don't know about Barrie but in Calgary we had one of the hardest winters in recorded history. More snow before Christmas than we had the entire winter the year before. And of course a lot of water that didn't get a chance to drain or be absorbed that froze at night.

I'd wait until the summer to fix the eves troughs first than if the problem persists next winter, call a concrete/foundations contractor.

Not an easy fix and I'd need a visual inspection to give a more accurate answer.

Alex M.

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Date/Time3/27/2014 at 2:06:49 PM

Thank for the pictures, they help.

It's definitely frost heave, caused by the water from the damaged eavestrough.

The damage it's already done so wait for warmer weather, fix the eavestrough then if/when the garage settles as the ground dries, you'll need to fix the garage door and patch up the mortar lines on the garage brickwork.

Best of luck!

Alex M.

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Date/Time3/27/2014 at 7:44:06 PM

Hi Brian,

The comments you have received are correct. But to be sure I would need to do a visual inspection.

If I may make note of one other thing I see in the photo's, it appears you have a poured concrete walkway with stone cemented on top.

I also assume from the photo's the downspout has been buried and a 90 was added as well as an extension was added to carry the water out the other side of the walkway.

Assuming I am right, the water froze in that line, and removed the ability to drain from the eves. That is why the water has been running down and frost heave has occurred.

Next winter disconnect the long downspout from the eve and hook up a winter line that runs the water through to the lip of your walkway where it meets the driveway. That way the sun can melt the ice build up inside and water will run away from the house. For looks, just hook up the existing again in the spring.

When we pour walkways and construct with stone, we always leave a connection about ten inches above the finished surface of the walk. That way every winter it takes five minutes to hook up the secondary run. And I leave that with the client as well.

Hope this helps,

James Fram

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Date/Time3/27/2014 at 8:28:35 PM

All the replies are correct, For the most cost effective way to handle this I recommend first letting the frost come out of the ground, once this has occurred and the ground has dried up chink and mortar all the bricks and foundation. Chink and mortar just means to clean out the damaged mortar lines with either a chisel and hammer and also a diamond blade side grinder than fill all line right in with new mortar which closely matches the existing color.

The downspout and eaves both need to be addressed and repaired. the water needs to be redirected away from the bricks and foundation of the house.

Also the garage needs to be readjusted now that the damage has occurred.

Keep an eye on this next winter and if it happens again than you need to look further into the problem and possibly excavate down to the foundation.

Good luck.

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Date/Time3/30/2014 at 1:39:20 AM

No other possibilities?

How old is the home?

How long have you lived there?

Are there other drainage issues?

Is it possible that the water has eroded some of the front corners, bearing soil, and the entire structure is compromised?

or that possibly the footing there was inadequate to start with?

Would frost heave not case the corner to lift, as opposed to "droop"?

But Yes, all are correct.... would need to see it closer to say for sure!

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Date/Time4/11/2014 at 6:16:21 PM


The corner did lift. The garage door, by comparison dropped ;)

The possibilities are many and so are the solutions, from nuking the garage than building a new one(not cheap) to what was suggested, fixing the eaves, readjusting the door than chinking the mortar(not fast).

And of course there could be a sink hole under the garage but I wouldn't begin digging the foundation just yet unless I must keep in that particular garage and no place else my antique car collection.

The consensus seems to be everyone would need a visual to know exactly what's to be done.

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