Garage Pooling

With the especially snowy season we’ve had this year, water in garages had become increasingly common.  This is generally due to the snow and road slush brought into the garage from your car.  Once the snow and ice melts the water is free to run wherever it wants in your garage which can cause a few different issues.

Older garages especially end up having water pooling in dips and along the walls where the concrete has dropped.  This is because movement over time can cause low spots.  Also older garage floors were generally poured flat or with very little slope.  It is almost impossible to create a laser flat concrete floor if not done by machines so this creates little dips and humps that are considered normal but can hold water.  

Newer garages floors are generally poured with slope so that water will flow toward the garage door.  This can help reduce the amount of pooling water in garages, but just like order garages, if it is not poured by a machine it can have some slight dips and humps that are still considered normal.  (Please see the Alberta Government Performance Guideline 2.13 about water pooling in garages for within the first year after possession) 

Slope in garage floors is beneficial but it can create other issues like pooling or ice dams at the overhead door.  By the time snow and road slush melts off the vehicles in your garage the overhead door is usually closed so the water cannot escape.  Because of freezing temperatures water can begin to freeze along the overhead door and create an ice dam.  This in turn will hold more water in the garage as more snow and road slush melt. 

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself what can be done to prevent this issue.  First of all, it’s best to try to remove as much snow/road slush from the car before driving into the garage.  Secondly making sure to squeegee out the garage or remove any ice/snow/water as often as possible.

If the ice/snow/water is not removed a few issues can arise. 

  1. Ice build-up can cause the floor to be slippery which can lead to injury.
  2. Sitting water can cause further damage to the concrete leading to flaking especially at the overhead door.  This is caused by the continual freezing and thawing of the water which can get into the concrete and pop the top.  The use of any de-icing products can worsen the situation and cause more damage.

Garage concrete is considered to be exterior concrete due to the wear and tear put on it.  It is best to seal your garage concrete, especially the most sensitive areas, like under the overhead door, every other year.  This will help protect the concrete from damage.  Note that sealer can make concrete slippery so use a product with grip when sealing smooth surfaces.  Also make sure to use the correct type of sealer for your concrete project.