We all agree that having water on the garage floor can be a nuisance, and can bring about unprecedented costs. Concrete, which is the best garage flooring material, is usually damaged by deicing fluids and road salts. This means that you will have to repair or replace the garage floor often.
To protect the floor of your garage from such adverse weather effects, you need to have an appropriate floor mat. Besides shielding the concrete floor from getting damaged, the mat should also protect you from slipping and falling, as a result of the water or snow that found its way into the garage.
To prevent such accidents from happening, there are several ways in which you can contain water on the garage floor.
Use of Containment Mats
The type of containment mat that will be appropriate for your garage will depend on the intensity of snow in your area. Containment mats are the best for containing water on the garage floor because they can hold a lot of water.
When you get home on a snowy day, chances are your car will be carrying tons of snow at the bottom. Considering the garage is warmer than the outside, the snow will thaw slowly at night, and you will wake up to a pool of water on the garage floor.
If you put in place a containment mat, the water will be collected on it, and not on the concrete floor. The concrete floor would absorb the water and get stained as a result, while for the containment mat, the water will remain on the surface until you wipe it off.
There are four types of containment mats which are highly recommended and these are:
1. Auto Floor Guard Mat
This type of containment mats is made from a polyester scrim material and coated with PVC. The edges are made from high-density foam making it easier for you to drive over it without causing any damage.
The Auto floor guard mat is easy to install and remove since all you need to do is unroll it on the garage floor, and roll it up when the winter season is over.
2. Park Smart Mat
This mat is made of polyvinyl material and it comes in either standard thickness or heavy duty thickness.
The biggest advantage of the park smart containment mat is that it is strong enough to handle the studded snow tires. However, if you intend to use the mat for longer, you will need to place additional stripes to accommodate the studded tires.
3. TruContain mat
This is the most resilient version of the containment mats and is used in areas with extremely high snow cover. They are made from high-density polyester Scrim fabric and this makes them more durable.
Besides this, the TruContain mats are big enough to accommodate all types of vehicles.
4. Drymate Mat
The Drymate mat is made from a highly absorbent fabric. It absorbs water from the thawing ice and prevents the water from getting to the concrete floor.
Besides the water, it also prevents road salts and de-icing fluids from getting to the floor. The mat is then cleaned by vacuuming either with a dry or wet vacuum cleaner.
While the mats are the most appropriate when containing water on the garage floor, there are other means by which this can be achieved, and they include:
Use of Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes are a cheaper substitute for the containment mats. Since winter will come, you can form a habit of keeping the cardboard boxes that come with electronic appliances and other household items.
During winter, you can be spreading the cardboards on the garage floor before parking your vehicle therein. They will absorb the water from the melting snow, the salt, and the de-icing fluid, preventing them from getting to the concrete floor.
The only downside of using cardboard boxes is that they are not reusable. You will need to change them daily. This is, however, not so bad, since you can also get the boxes from the stores for free. Store owners mostly burn the boxes hence they will be more than willing to give them out.
Brush Out the Snow Before Parking
This is another inexpensive way of containing water on the garage floor. It is a preventive measure that requires you to use a snow brush and remove all or most of the snow from beneath the vehicle before parking it in the garage.
This, however, might not be practical especially in extreme winter when the snow underneath the vehicle is too much to be brushed away. You could also be tired and looking forward to a warm cup of coffee and not brushing snow from under the vehicle.
This means that there are days when you will compromise and just park the vehicle without removing the snow, and consequently damage the garage floor. While you will not have incurred any cost, with the time you will need to redo the entire garage floor.
Use a Squeegee
The only cost you will incur is for buying a good quality squeegee. That notwithstanding, it is cumbersome especially after a long day at work and you need to rest. This method requires you to go back to the garage after the snow has thawed so that you can clear the water.
If you let the water stay overnight, the road salts and deicing solutions will have corroded the floor already.
While all these are viable options for containing water on the garage floor, you should also consider a more permanent solution. The initial cost may be higher but it will save you a lifetime of detesting winter.
The most common options include:
Sealing The Garage Floor
You can use a silicone penetrating sealer to seal the concrete floor, and then finish it up with an acrylic sealer for a shiny finishing. Applying the sealers is a simple DIY process and at the end of the day, you will not need to worry about the effects of road salts and deicing fluids on your garage floor.
Besides, the glossy finishing will provide an additional aesthetic benefit.
Epoxy is a strong chemical that can withstand the de-icing solutions and salts while preventing water from seeping into the garage floor. Epoxy comes in different qualities and consequently different prices.
It is, however, important to note that epoxy cannot be applied during the cold weather. It needs some warmth for it to dry up properly.
This, therefore, means that if you have already been caught up with winter, you can use any other temporary method of containing garage water, while you wait for the cold to subside so that you can put up the epoxy floor.
While installing the sealers or epoxy, you should also consider the gradient of the garage floor. Remember the water collected on the floor will still need to be drained.
You can use a brush or squeegee to push the water outside. You could also opt to create a slanting gradient either towards the door or towards the center where you can have a drainage hole.
This means that once the snow thaws, the water will flow as directed and save you from the hustle of having to clean it out.