I have an area of my garage that is lower and sloping towards the house. When the car is wet or covered in snow, it melts and runs down into this area in front of the stairs and makes a mess. Ripping out and replacing the slab is not possible right now. Is there a product I can apply directly over this concrete to prevent this from happening? I would need to raise it quite a bit on that side. Thank you.

Garage pooling water

  • Is your slab reinforced with rebar or is it post-tension (i.e., tensioned cables)? Feb 15, 2019 at 14:40
  • Not sure, it's the original garage floor and the house was built in 1958.
    – Vincent
    Feb 15, 2019 at 14:41
  • I think it is surely rebar. You could drill a 1/2" dia hole through the slab in the middle of the puddle. I am unfamiliar with the techniques of drilling through concrete, but just by chance you would probably not hit rebar and if you did this would probably not significantly weaken the slab. Personally, I would just accept this puddling as a minor deviation from ideal. Feb 15, 2019 at 14:47
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    You may be able to have that area mud jacked, a hole is drilled and a concrete slurry is pumped under the slab raising it. Judging by the crack it looks like that area of the floor may have settled. Another option is If the slope isn't that great you may be able to cut a groove in the concrete with a concrete saw so the water drains through the groove to a lower area. Feb 15, 2019 at 16:08
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    i have the same problem in my garage and i just use a rubber mat like the type you would find in the kitchen of a restaurant.
    – C Fella
    Feb 15, 2019 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


I have the identical problem. It wouldn't be practical to try and alter the slope. You'd need a significant quantity of material, it would need to be expertly applied, and it will have a tendency to pop loose over time.

I plan on cutting in several trough drains in strategic locations. They'll be something like this:

enter image description here

I'll rent a concrete saw, make the cuts, dig down 6" or so below the slab and install pea gravel (to slightly increase drainage capacity), then set and anchor the drain kit. This will allow small amounts of water to collect and percolate into the soil inside the garage, which should mostly remain thawed.

I plan on oversizing the cutouts a bit so I can anchor the drains in new concrete. I'll then epoxy the entire floor.

In your case, I'd probably install the drain crossways right through that deeper puddle. This will serve to intercept flowing water as well as drain any that manages to get around to the back side. It'll also keep the drain away from vehicle traffic. They're designed for it, but your anchoring would have to be done very well.

  • This situation is not ideal, but I would never diminish the integrity of the slab by installing a large, deep drain to alleviate the problem. If pooling makes a significant, credible slipping hazard, then I would place a metal mesh mat on the slab in front of the stairs and see how that would work. Feb 15, 2019 at 14:37
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    Drains like that are commonly installed during construction in my area (where winter is real). There's no structural concern in most cases.
    – isherwood
    Feb 15, 2019 at 14:41

Agreed that leveling the floor is very hard, and doesn't even address the water issue (if the floor is level, then the water will just pool around your car? you would actually need to slop the whole floor to drain out the garage to solve the problem).

To directly address the water: if you have to move gallons of water each day, then your only option is some kind of drain (i upvoted the other answer).
However, if we're only talking about 8oz of water each day, then we want to solve this problem CHEAPLY: I would put some rugs or rubber mats down around this area. You can get cheap ugly rugs secondhand, consider them disposable (in terms of car oil or whatever), if they last a year or two then they have done their job.
Additionally, if you have a box fan laying around, buy a $15 dollar timer and position the fan next to the stairs. Then you can schedule the fan to run an hour or two each night to speed up evaporation in the area.

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