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I have a low spot where rain/snow melt pools in a stamped concrete patio. There is a small crack that runs through the low spot.

I know it's not an ideal situation as I live in an area that has freeze thaw cycles. Skim coating the area doesn't seem practical because of trying to match the color/stamp pattern.

I caulk the crack each year and put patio sealer over the top.

Is it better to leave the low spot as is, drill a small drain hole through the crack, or to add a relief cut so that it will drain somewhere?

Thanks

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If I understand the situation, a hole wouldn't really do anything except let a bit more water get under the slab...where it will also be affected by freeze/thaw and cause more problems.

A cut could help, though I don't know how far that cut would have to be to get it sloped so the water leaves.

For now, caulking is probably your best bet in terms of simple solution.

A more complex solution would be mud jacking where they come in and drill a few holes, then pump in back-fill to raise the concrete back to the proper slope.

  • Thanks DA01. Unfortunately, it's a dip in the middle of the slab. I don't think mud jacking is going to help this one. A relief cut to the edge of the slab would be about 4 feet. A relief cut to get to another relief cut would be about 1 1/2 feet. Wouldn't a relief cut just let more water through, though? – thatguy Dec 12 '15 at 2:39
  • @thatguy that's usually exactly what mud jacking is for...leveling (or evenly sloping) slabs that have settled or shifted. As for a relief cut, if the slab cracks there, yes indeed, that would end up as a problem as well. Another option, BTW, is to do nothing...if the water isn't getting into the house, just live with it until you (or a future owner) decide to replace the patio. – DA01 Dec 12 '15 at 4:08
  • It sounds like resealing each year is my best option. Maybe I'll be able to find a urethane caulk that matches and then it will probably last longer than me. Thanks for your responses. – thatguy Dec 12 '15 at 4:16
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Both a small drain hole and a cut are likely to plug up and become useless in short order. Consider boring a 2-3" hole and installing a stainless drain grate. This would allow small amounts of water to percolate into the soil rather than sitting on your sealed slab.

Your local tool rental shop should have a core borer that would do nicely. Ideally you'd mortise the drain cover flush with the patio surface.

  • Wouldn't that only make sense if there was a drain pipe below? – DA01 Dec 11 '15 at 21:21
  • I'd assume that water would percolate through the soil and dry up much quicker than it is now. – isherwood Dec 11 '15 at 21:22
  • That might work, but would depend heavily on the base and the soil underneath. I'd be more worried that you'd just be saturating the base with water which would make the freeze/thaw situation that much worse. – DA01 Dec 11 '15 at 21:26
  • OP hasn't indicated an issue with settling or frost-jacking. Most of the water from the patio should drain elsewhere. – isherwood Dec 11 '15 at 21:27
  • OP stated "I live in an area that has freeze thaw cycles". If there's both a crack and a low spot in the same spot, that's likely partly due to some sort of settling (not necessarily, but a likely cause). – DA01 Dec 11 '15 at 21:29

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