A garage apron is a concrete slab in front of your garage door, it may extend to the driveway. Its surface is not the same level as the garage floor. Why do you need a concrete garage apron? Well, this article will describe for you the importance of the concrete garage apron.
Importance of Concrete Garage Apron
1. Provides Transition Between The Driveway And The Garage Floor
Your driveway surface and the garage floor are most likely not on the same level. In most cases, you will find holes/ditches between the driveway and the garage floor. These spaces and holes may constantly damage car tires or even the bumpers of your car.
The holes and spaces are mostly created by erosion. Concrete Apron is the solution to this problem. it will ensure a smooth transition from the driveway to the garage floor thereby preventing your car from going through the holes/ditches before getting into the garage.
2. Can Help In Snowmelt
During winter snow may pile just in front of your garage. Removing the accumulated snow will require to use of shovels, salt, or sprays which can be very tedious and time-consuming. Constructing a concrete garage could serve you as a permanent solution.
You only need to install radiant heating when constructing the concrete garage apron to solve the snow problem.
3. Used To Divert Water
A concrete Apron can be used to divert water. Concrete apron slopes gradually towards the garage floor and water/rainwater will also flow in following that path. Therefore, when constructing the concrete garage apron, you will need to construct a drain near the garage door so that all the water is diverted away from the garage floor.
Previously, we have talked about snowmelt. When the radiator melts the snow, water will flow towards the garage floor, the drain will trap this water and divert it to the destination that you want.
What is this water diverter? Well, it is a simple trench constructed parallel to the garage door. The width and depth of the trench will depend on the amount of water that you expect to divert/that flow down your garage apron.
It is advisable to cover the trench with some steel grates so that there is no ditch created.
You shall have evaded flooding in your garage by constructing a concrete apron with a drain trench.
Essential Guidelines To Constructing A Good Concrete Garage Apron
You don’t just construct a concrete apron in front of your garage without guidelines to follow. Here are some guidelines that will help you construct a good concrete garage apron:
- Width – you can create a construct a concrete apron that suits your preference but make it wide enough to fit in the water diverting drain and radiant heating.
- Length – make it equal to the width of the garage and the driveway for uniformity.
- Thickness – we recommend a 4-inch thick concrete so that the concrete is strong.
- Insulations panels are necessary if you are putting radiant heating. We recommend 2-inch Polystyrene Insulation Panels placed directly on the tamped grade.
- Use mesh to reinforce your concrete. This will ensure that you construct a stable/strong concrete apron. You can use fiber for the same purpose. The goal is to have strong and stable concrete that is durable.
- You can put a vapor barrier underneath the concrete slabs.
Constructing Concrete Garage Apron
If you have old concrete constructed before, the first step is to remove it completely. Do not leave debris on this old concrete. Here are the other steps:
1. Mark The Area
Use a white powder to mark the area you want to establish the concrete garage apron. This is done at the edges (the rectangle edges/frame). This is important for the next step.
2. Dig Up The Area
Remove the topsoil within the marked area. You can dig to a depth of 14 inches to accommodate all the contents for a complete concrete garage apron.
3. Prepare The Foundation/Base
This step may not be necessary if there was a concrete apron previously in the same area.
If you are constructing a new apron, then you will need to prepare a base. Use a tamper to level the base. Make the soli firm enough. Add gravel or crushed stones on the leveled base. Ensure that the crushed stones or gravel are very compact so that the base is firm.
4. Add The Insulation & Drain
This step is sensitive. You will have to constantly check the slope. You cannot add the water drain if the slope is not right. Ensure that the slope is gentle.
You can add the 2-inch polystyrene insulation panels on the surface that remains after establishing the water drain.
5. Add The Vapor Barrier & Mesh/Fiber
On top of the insulation panels, add a 10 mil vapor barrier. This vapor barrier should be well covered with tape.
Mesh or concrete with fiber will serve as reinforcement. Most people like the best result, therefore, you can use wire mesh or concrete with fiber.
6. Pour Concrete
This is a technical step. You may need an expert if you are do not know how to do it. Use 4000 psi.
Do not put too much water so that the concrete is strong.
Leave the concrete for 8 hours to dry. Note that it will not have dried completely but will at least allow you to use it as it is.