Sign In to join the community | Help
Building Materials

Leveling Existing Concrete Patio for Drainage

Hello - I am planning a DIY project to screen in my existing and covered concrete patio. During rainstorms the patio collects some water thereby forming  puddles since there is not a good slope to allow for drainage. I thought it would be a good idea to remedy this issue before screening in the patio to prevent moisture problems. My patio would be screened in along the already existing 6 x 6 wood columns. 

Looking ahead once the water drainage issue is fixed I am also considering installing tile over the concrete to make the flooring appealing in appearance. I'm not committed to doing tile and would consider other suggestions based off the level of effort as a DIYer. 

So for my water drainage issue I have looked around on the web and come across a few different solutions I think might fix the issue. However I am no expert and was looking for suggestions on what and how to best fix this.

I have provided a simple drawing showing the scale of the area. Also attached a few pictures of the area after a heavy rainfall a few months back so you can visualize. 

Looking forward to any assistance that can be provided. Thanks.

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2015-01-08T18:54:18+0000  by jlde2001 jlde2001
Hey jlde2001!

Thanks for the images ... very helpful!

The simple way to improve drainage would be to rent a diamond-blade etcher from your local Tool Rental and lower the outside lip off your concrete patio to promote outflow.

This would be even easier if you use a laser level to check your progress.

The diamond-blade etcher looks like a lawn mower with a shop vac piggy backed to collect dust and debris.

As you move across the surface, it cuts a relatively even layer from the surface of the cement.

Use your laser level to check and mark high spots and then recheck regularly to prevent removing too much surface.

You'll only want a one-quarter inch drop every two-to-three feet.

This slight slope will encourage water to seek the lower, outer lip without feeling awkward under your feet.

Although the etcher will cut the surface and leave it slightly rough, this will be a perfect base for your new flooring.

Tile mastic will grip this surface ... giving you a great anchor for your tile.

Not every Tool Rental has a diamond-blade etcher, so be prepared to check several local stores for this resource.
Posted 2015-01-08T20:20:08+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I must admit the diamond-blade etcher is a recommendation I had not come across yet. Is there another name it goes by? I'm not finding much on the Home Depot rental site nor in my Google searches.


Based off your recommendation I have a few more questions to better understand...


Question 1

In the pictures I posted you can see water from this rainstorm managed to go all the way back near the door that enters my home. Once I have the patio screened in I do not imagine the water making it this far into the patio (nearly 10-11 feet). However with a recommended .25" drop every 2-3 feet for water drainage. I am needing to trim about .75" off the outside perimeter to provide adequate water flow from that distance within the patio. Any concerns with structural integrity to the concrete etching off this amount? Not visible within my pictures the home builder did not add joints to my concrete patio when installed so I do have a hairline crack that runs a 5-6 feet across the patio. 


Question 2

In trying to visualize what the blade etcher will look like I imagine there will be some narrow spaces that cannot be etched. So my surface will not be entirely patio will not be level. Will this present any problems with uneven surfaces while installing the tile mastic and subsequently laying tile?


Question 3

When I install the wood framing for my screened in porch I will need to consider any water that enters the patio will need to exit the patio by flowing past the framing into the lawn. Besides pressure treated lumber do you have any suggestions on how to minimize wood rot due to the water?


Question 4

Also just to get your thoughts...another recommendation I had seen for the water drainage was to install fresh concrete over the existing. I would install at the appropriate drops every few feet to provide the necessary drainage. I also read up on installing a concrete overlay. I don't know much about the overlay option but wasn't sure if it made sense for my issue. Do you have any thoughts on these approaches.


I really appreciate your insight. Thanks!

Posted 2015-01-08T21:03:02+0000  by jlde2001
Posted 2015-01-10T16:47:35+0000  by jlde2001
Hello again jide2001,

Personally, I like the idea of solving the existing problem instead of creating thin layers of VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set.

Solid concrete will be much more stable.

Thin layers of mortar will crack and create an unstable substrate for your tile floor.

The mortar used to attach your tile will buffer the uneven floor ... allowing you to install tile with a slight slope away from the building.

Finally, you don't really want a "level" floor ... water will continue to come into that space and spread around.

What you really want is a slightly sloping floor ... constantly directing water toward the yard and away from the building.

Use a long level while setting your tile and keep the bubble slightly off-center toward the house.

The bubble should just touch the level-line on the house side.

If the bubble passes the level-line on the house side, you'll be applying too much outward slope.

Along with the larger diamond blade etcher (lawn mower size), we also rent a hand-held version that will work great on those smaller, tight areas.

Again, not every store has a rental department.

You may have to search your local area.
Posted 2015-08-27T18:38:59+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Hello again, jld2001,

More recently, I published a thread and video that demonstrate the diamond blade etcher.

Click the link to view the video and see a photo of the cutting blades.

How To Remove Floor Adhesive
Posted 2015-09-24T18:41:25+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question