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Amending my original question... The edge of slab is only a couple feet from Low area and it would pour into gravel theoretically if not for the low point. would it make more sense to try to grind down that portion ...?

ORIGINAL QUESTION-- whats best way to even out areas of concrete patio where rain water collects into 2 large puddles and it also sits right up against pool decking

A crack has also formed which I tried to patch with concrete caulking

Please help I have been trying to find the right solution and dont really understand if I should use self leveling or if it needs to be done in thin layersenter image description here

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Grinding down concrete in a wide area (enough area to fix your problem) takes special equipment (a large concrete surface grinder) and is usually not aesthetically pleasing. It will change the texture and appearance and often exposes the aggregate (think pebbles, rocks, gravel) which lies under the surface. It would work but you would have to hire it done, and live with the new look.

You might consider cutting narrow drain slots from the low area/depression out to the edge, at just enough depth to facilitate drainage. With a bit of creativity this can be done in a way that may not be altogether hideous. You would start shallow and go progress slightly deeper to provide just enough slope for water to drain down. It is a fairly common method, and you can do it yourself with a circular saw and masonry blade:

enter image description here

P.S.- trying to resurface/level it by troweling products on top of the existing slab usually results, over time, with you apologizing to yourself and anyone else who sees it.

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