I have quite an old house that was built in the 40s. During the heavy rain and winter seasons, I typically get large puddles of water in-front of my garage that seeps slowly through the weather strip. As you can imagine this is quite problematic due to water being a very destructive force.

I've isolated the problem to be an unlevel driveway slope where water will collect in-front of the garage. This is due to the frankenstein concrete slabs that are not level with each other from the driveway to the garage.

I'm wondering what my best options are for leveling this driveway to correct the slope so water will runoff towards the street gutters and grass. It seems that if I leveled the slope from the garage towards the street, the water would naturally run-off to the gutter.

I've been reading up on trench drains, self-leveler concrete, and much more to which I believe leveling the concrete would be my best bet. However I'm fairly new to most concrete work, so I'd like to make sure I'm going down the right path first.

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  • 3
    Not a DYI option, but you can look into mud jacking. Using a pressurized cement slurry to jack up and direct the slabs one way or the other.
    – Gary Bak
    Oct 3, 2018 at 10:53
  • Why do you feel leveling is a better option than a trench drain?
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 3, 2018 at 16:50
  • Added some pictures to help explain. I have no preference of what to do to solve this problem. I'm honestly looking for the most cost effective DIY approach. I am a novice at concrete work. Oct 3, 2018 at 18:54
  • Self leveling compounds are usually to soft even though they say cement. Several times, we have installed a trench like the accepted answer then cut tapered slots that were deeper on the trench end. we made the tapered slots by adding a 3/4" block under 2 planks on the garrage side ran the saw on the planks. I think we put about a dozen evenly spaced slots in on the garage side. we also cut a 1/8" line across the opening connecting the slots so any water collecting in between the tapered slots were channeled to the tapered slots. This worked well in a track the aprons angled into the garage.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 3, 2018 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Faced with the same dilemma I went with French/trench drain in front of the garage. It fixed the water issue and really wasn’t hard to do with a diamond blade, skillsaw and pick. The sections of drain were $40 each and the blade was $15. It would have taken several bags of leveling/topping cement at $15 each plus renting a float and I don’t have the same finesse that it takes to have a good looking finished product, plus I feared it would crack or look bad after all that.

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  • I have the same problem, and I am planning this exact solution. It is way easier than trying to fix the concrete itself.
    – Moshe Katz
    Oct 3, 2018 at 19:49
  • I agree with this answer because of the flat nature of the entire area. Raising concrete in one spot is just going to push water elsewhere, such as against the very low siding nearby. The best bet is to move the water out altogether.
    – isherwood
    Oct 3, 2018 at 20:29
  • Thank you so much for this solution. What time of the year did you do this? I'm thinking I might need a temporary solution for Fall and Winter. Oct 3, 2018 at 20:38
  • I ended up with a couple "Quick Dam" solutions for this rain / snow season until I can get around next Summer to doing this. So far, they have been working in heavy rain situations! Oct 5, 2018 at 17:18

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