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drain channel in concrete driveway

my garage sits on a downhill slope. water would flood into the garage whenever there is a heavy rainstorm. the flooding does not occur often as i live in ca. i want to create a small drain channel about 1 1/2" wide and 3/4" in depth in the concrete driveway to divert the water away by sawing and chipping the concrete. my worry is creating a drain channel will create unwanted cracks in my concrete driveway. my driveway is in a very good condition. will i create unwanted cracks if i create a drain channel? what are your thoughts?

i do not want to create 4" wide drain channel with metal grate.

A. Spruce
Re: drain channel in concrete driveway

There is no telling how thick the concrete is. It should be at least 4" thick, which would hold up to what you propose. What will likely happen is the section you channel out will crack off from the main slab, no harm no foul.

The thing is, I've had instances where the area was not graded properly, allowing for dangerously thin concrete, conversely, within the same driveway, thicknesses over 12 inches. How do I know this? A tree root cracked and lifted the driveway, during the replacement process, the poorly graded area was discovered. This, unfortunately, is pretty typical of tract construction, so who knows how thick your driveway is, the thinner it is, the more likely it's going to crack. Now, one way you can prevent the rest of the slab from cracking is to make the primary scoring cut deeper than all the rest, this will give a stress relief point for the crack to follow, rather than having it spiderweb the rest of the slab.

Re: drain channel in concrete driveway

Thank you so much for the quick reply.

Re: drain channel in concrete driveway

"i do not want to create 4" wide drain channel with metal grate."

Actually what you don't want to do is the best and most effective solution for you. And why exactly you don't want it?

I've done this before with great results. It requires frequent cleanings (mostly leaves) to function properly.

Re: drain channel in concrete driveway

Moving the water doesn't require much depth so long as there's enough width. I wouldn't want to go deeper than about 1/2" for reasons of strength- you don't want to ruin the driveway in this process! Chipping away concrete cleanly is one heck of a lot of work- been there done that and I won't do it again if I have any other option. A possible alternative would be to create a threshold at the doorway but a channel drain (or both these) is what would work best.


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