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A couple of years ago I bought a house that was built around 1960. It is a brick ranch house with a 1 car garage built in to the house.

The problem is that the garage floor does not have a drain. This means that when I park a wet car in the garage (snow or rain) the water drips on the floor and it will puddle in low spots against the walls. I wouldn't say that the floor is badly sloped, but the water has to go somewhere and it does have a few places in particular that it pools. Because of this there is some water damage against my wall. The concrete floor is also slightly cracked which may or may not be related.

I know the right way to fix this is to bust up the floor and install a new concrete floor with a drain. However, I'm finding it difficult to swallow that cost considering the garage has been this way for 60 years. I realize that is a bad reason for not changing something, so I'd like some second opinions.

Is this a big problem or an inconvenience? It's been like this for 60 years so what is the harm in letting it continue? Are there other ways to solve this problem that would be more cost effective?

A couple notes...

  • The garage is underground and the driveway has 4 foot retaining walls all the way to the street. To properly install a drain I believe I would need to bust up a lot of concrete.
  • My only concern is from a safety perspective. I can live with water if it isn't going to affect the structural integrity of my house.
  • I am 100% positive that this water only comes in on the car and not through the walls. I parked outside for months and lined the walls with newspaper while my area got a lot of rain. There was no moisture at all when I tested it. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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  • You could add a sump like you would in a basement. This would preclude you from busting up the concrete drive, but you'd still have to do some concrete remodeling inside the garage. You'd just have to run a dump up the side of the garage and out tow wherever it would drain to. What I'd be most afraid of is if there was a large rain storm and the garage getting flooded from the driveway. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 17 '15 at 15:11
  • Thanks for the suggestion. That would keep water away from the walls but the floor is not sloped perfectly towards the wall. The low point in the floor may be 1 foot from the wall. So when a lot of water gets in on the car it would still pool in the garage. Is that something I can live with? As for the garage getting flooded I don't have any issues with that. I've lived through a lot of rain and the water has never come close to the garage from the driveway. – bMcNees Mar 17 '15 at 15:16
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You can use a diamond blade to cut drainage channels. Noisy and messy, but it works. You can (for reasonable sums) either rent a concrete saw or purchase a diamond blade for an angle grinder, as you prefer. You can purchase a concrete saw, of course, but the sums appear unreasonable to me for a one-time project.

With such a limited amount of water (no wetness entering other than on the car) you could probably just cut a grid and leave it at that, with the water collecting in the channels and evaporating. An approach with a bit more finesse would cut the channels a bit deeper under the middle of where the car sits so the water would tend to drain away from where you are walking.

If you wanted to put in a sump (seems over the top for this garage) you would carefully slope the channels to it. While the floor does not have a proper slope, if the channels do, the water moves off the "islands" of floor between the channels, and then flows to the sump. That is typically done with a guide rail that you support at the desired slope above the floor to run the saw on.

I don't think the water in any way affects the structural integrity of your house.

If you have adequate headroom you could also add a new layer on top of the existing slab, without breaking it up, though I don't think there's any real need for that.

The cracks are probably not related and not of any real concern.

  • This is a great idea. I had a similar idea to create a small bump around where I park the car. Cutting a trench into the concrete makes a lot more sense than creating a tripping hazard like I was going to. Thanks! – bMcNees Mar 17 '15 at 16:48
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I swear you took pictures of my house, and my problem.

The only idea I have ever thought about seriously was to remove about an inch of floor under the most wet spot from the car, a couple of square feet.

Paint it with epoxy paint, and put some egg crate metal grille in the space. The type that looks like covers used on 2x4 lay-in flourescent fixtures in office environments.

It would leave standing water,and take a while to dry, but it is doing the same on the floor right now.

I am looking forward to others answers for this one.

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