I live in a city where every time a heavy downpour lasts for more than 15 minutes there is flooding everywhere. When the water in the street have no more place to go, it then enters my driveway/patio. When it is around one foot deep, the water plus minute sewage seeps in under the door. Is there something I can put under the door to prevent the water from seeping in? I put towels or socks under the door but once they are saturated with water, I have to start mopping the water that seeps in. Last night after more than an hour of heavy downpour, I had to mop up 4 buckets of water that came inside the house.

If anyone has any ideas on how to solve my problem I would be very grateful. This is the second flooding this week. With the approaching year end, we are expecting more heavy rains. We thought of buying a pump to drain the water but the problem is there is nowhere for the pumped water to go. The earth here is saturated already and will no longer soak in water that is why we have the whole area around the house cemented and tiled. I hope I have given complete details to my problem.

  • 7
    unfortunately, if the water is at your door, you've somewhat lost the battle already. If that is the ONLY point of water entry, and you can prep ahead of time, I'd suggest a rubber pond liner laid up against the outside of the door with sand bags stacked on top.
    – DA01
    Aug 29, 2014 at 4:53

3 Answers 3


DA's comment is correct. If water has gotten to your house all you can hope to do is minimize the damage...water WILL get in if it is up against the door.

The best bet (a picture of the area in question would be useful) would be to build up the ground around the house to add a barrier to keep water off the house in the first place. That may or may not be feasible in your situation, this is where the picture would be handy.

  • 1
    And once water is getting in, the only thing you can do is pump it out as quickly as possible and minimize the damage. As long as the pump moves water faster than leakage does, you're ahead of the game even if you're just pumping back into the flood. Even if the pump can't keep up with infiltration, it will at least slow the rate at which water rises and may reduce damage. ... Or you could have the house raised on pilings (which is becoming a common fix for beachfront properties as sea level rises). Or give up and move to higher ground.
    – keshlam
    Aug 29, 2014 at 13:55
  • (I'm in a 100-year flood plain myself. I've had to run the pump once, when water level in the nearby stream peaked at 5' above normal. But that was just waterlogged ground; the surface water didn't reach my foundation.)
    – keshlam
    Aug 29, 2014 at 13:57
  • 2
    +1 for 'use of terrain' answer. I would advise some kind of drain or covered trench around the house. Also, water from the roof needs to be delivered farther from the house (longer gutters/drain pipes - not sure about vocabulary here). Jul 23, 2015 at 11:29

Since you aren't going to be using that door, I would recommend getting a section of EPDM fish pond liner and some bagged sand.

Without pictures, it's kind of hard to give advice on how to get this to seal the best, so the following is just to give an idea of what you're trying to accomplish.

The pond liner comes in 8', 12' or wider by whatever the roll length is. Get an 8' x 3' section. Cut off a section to give plenty of overlap on either side of the door. With 3' folded in half, you will have protection for up to 18" of water. Push it as tightly against the door frame trim and threshold plate as you can get it and hold in place with the sand bags. You might need to stuff the cracks, I'd use plastic grocery bags twisted up into rope stuffed as tightly into where you were using the socks and towels.


See if your door's threshold is adjustable. If it is you may be able to simply raise it for a water-tight seal. Of course, you want to caulk the threshold to the concrete & have no open cracks anywhere...the door threshold won't do anything if water's coming in under the threshold.

Or, replace the door's threshold with a Stop Threshold, where the door actually closes against a seamless lip that has a rubber seal. These are very water-tight & the rubber seal is easily replaceable once it starts to fail from age.

Or, remove the door threshold & cut the door shorter...or raise the whole door in the wall, if building framing & interior ceiling height can accommodate. To then, install a caulked concrete threshold base or step, so the street would have to exceed its 1-foot depth in order to enter the house.

Presumably, the street's maximum flooding depth is the 1-foot before it finds drainage from the entire block's area. The step under your door would mean the street would then have to rise to 14, 16 or 18-inches to ever be a threat again. Flash Flooding could reach a 13 to 15-inch depth, so however much door shortening or raising you can accomplish the better.

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