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Adding a Drain to Your Garage Floor

Car parked on a sealed concrete floor, adding a drain to your garage floor

Does Your Garage Need A Drain?

You may not have really thought about adding a drain to your garage floor before. We park our cars and trucks in our garage during Minnesota’s winter months. They go out on the road and then return with snow on their tires each day. The snow, mixed with salt and sand, melts all over the garage floor. If your garage floor isn’t sloped to allow the water to run outside of the garage, it will become a pool of dirty liquid on the floor.

Consider adding a floor drain to your existing garage floor to solve this problem. Read on to find out some helpful ideas before digging into this project.

Learn What is Required

Let’s cut through the red tape first to ensure you can install a drain and what requirements the city might have for you when you do. Then, give your local building inspector a call to request a permit and determine the inspection requirements.

For example, will your drain flow to the sewer line? This often isn’t allowed, and if it is, it is for water only. If you decide to drain to the sewer line, installing equipment to protect the water supply from hazardous materials like oil and gasoline is a common requirement. In some cities, this is required in all drains.

Call Before You Dig

Some people think this is only important when digging in the yard, but there could be utility piped under your garage slab. So, call each utility company to ensure it is safe to dig your trench. They will visit your home and mark the locations of existing underground lines.

Once you are told it’s okay to proceed, you should draw up a plan. For example, your drain should be located at the lowest point in your garage so the water can naturally flow toward it.

Digging the Drain Trench

The trench for the drain will have to be twice as wide as the drain pipe and deep enough for the line and the drain fixture. You will also want to add extra room to allow a downward slope. And if you are connecting to a sewer, you will need space for a p-trap as well. A p-trap holds enough water to seal the pipe and prevent sewage gas from backing up into your garage.

Use a concrete saw to make straight cuts through the flooring. Split the middle sections into manageable pieces and lift them out with a crowbar. If it is tough to break up, you may need to use a sledgehammer or a jackhammer to break up the concrete.

Next, make the trench outside the garage, connecting the garage floor drain to the final drainage point. You might want to install a clean-out pipe after it exits the slab if there is ever a problem with the line. Now, lay the pipe, shimming it up at the beginning point to slope downward to the main drain.

Make that Floor Beautiful!

Next, you are going to fill up the hole with self-leveling concrete. To cover the trench marks and make it easier for water to flow across the floor into the drain, consider having your concrete floor coated with polyurea or polyaspartic coating. It comes in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns.

Concrete Coatings of Minnesota can protect your floor, giving you a durable finish that you can be proud of for years to come. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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