Q: Every time it rains, water settles in a shallow spot in our concrete driveway and forms a puddle that sometimes takes quite a while to evaporate. Is there anything I can do about this?

— Richard, Sterling, OH

A: Tom Silva replies: Yes, but there's no perfect solution. The simplest, least time-consuming repair would be to spread a concrete patching compound over the area. You want a bagged mix that can be troweled to a feather edge. Following the instructions on the package, clean the driveway, stir the recommended liquid into the compound, and pour it in place. Then run a straightedge over it to level it with the surrounding surface. The downside of this approach is that there will always be a color difference between the patch and the surrounding concrete. There's no way to say for sure how much of a difference there will be; it will tend to even out somewhat over time.

Another, more difficult approach would be to use a diamond-edged saw blade to cut a 2-foot-square hole through the concrete at the center of the low area and then to dig a dry well at least 3 feet deep beneath it. (The deeper it is, the better.) Line the well with landscape fabric to keep the silt out, then fill with ¾-inch crushed stone. Place a small metal grate over the well, and fill around the grate with new concrete. Just make sure you can remove the grate so you can clean out any debris that might clog up the stone.
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