Water On Garage Floor In Winter
Water on a garage floor in winter can be a hazard. I'm sharing this email exchange as I feel it provides a valuable teaching moment for all of us.
Civility is dynamic. Go back one hundred or even two hundred years ago and courtesy, respect, and good manners were ingrained in just about everyone. Let me know in the comments below how you feel about the state of civility today. I'm very curious.
Water On Garage Floor In Winter - Yeah, It Can Happen
Gary emailed me with his garage-floor dilemma. I always reprint things exactly as I receive them. Any errors that follow are Gary's:
My wife is driving me crazy. You know how newer cars these days drip water from their tail pipes right? Well in winter that becomes a huge problem. Tail pipe drip freezes on the garage floor and becomes a hazard for a fall. So my wife puts down paper towels on the puddles then we have ice rinks with imbedded paper towels.
Which leads to another issue. We had our garage floor done last year with epoxy and looks great. The installer sealed the gap between the floor and driveway indicating water going in that crack could rise either concrete structure.
Prior to the new floor I would squeegee water from garage into that crack . We never had an issue. Now if I squeegee the water from garage it goes in the driveway creating icy conditions there as well. My wife wants me to remedy this and I thought you may have the answer. Thanks Gary from Roselle
My Initial Reaction Within Seconds
It's important to realize the instant I read Gary's email several thoughts popped into my head.
"My goodness, how long do they let the car idle in the garage? Once you start a car you'd back out within ten seconds. There's no way a puddle could develop in that short time."
"Did he actually start the car and watch the condensate from the tailpipe collect on the floor or did he assume it was happening?"
What's more, I couldn't get my head around why someone would use paper towels and just leave the soggy water-filled things on the floor. Wouldn't the person concerned with the water bend over, wipe up the water and throw away the paper towels? What did the person think would happen with the saturated paper towels?
Obviously, there was some data Gary had left out. I thought he overlooked the real source of the water. I had to find out what I was missing.
I have water on my garage floor all the time in the winter. It's caused by small amounts of snow and slush that melt once you pull the car into the garage. You may not see it on the sides of the car, but it's under the body and in the wheel wells.
Water also puddles under my car when you pull it into the garage if it's raining outdoors. Even a small amount of light rain on the roads allows quite a bit of water to collect in the tires and under the car body.
Is it possible Gary didn't connect these dots? No way, surely he'd think of that, right?
My First Reply to Gary
Trying to get a handle on the moment I sent the following reply to Gary. Realize I get many questions a day and I try to be pithy in the interest of saving time.
"Rhetorical questions: What am I missing? Why would anyone allow their car to idle in the garage? Enormous carbon monoxide poisoning possibility.
Solution: Start car. Within 10 seconds put it in reverse and back out of the garage.
Gary didn't like my reply. I think that's quite evident as he sent the following back to me within minutes:
As soon as you start your car water comes from exhaust. On flip side when you pull in garage water is dripping from the pipes neither my wife or I EVER let the car run in the garage. I’m not sure where you are coming from. Unless you are driving old model cars and are not familiar with newer cars tail pipes.
My Helpful Followup Suggestion
I knew Gary had first mentioned that he had used a squeegee in the past.
Since water evaporates pretty fast if you spread it out and he was forcing it outdoors where he noticed it was creating a fall hazard, I invested more time to help him get in good standing with his wife.
Here's what I sent:
Get this squeegee that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Now Gary's Really Mad
Not too long after sending the above helpful suggestion, Gary sent me this:
remove my email from this list immediately
I Had To Remind Him
As you might imagine, I was now really confused. Gary wasn't on a list. Heck, did he forget he had just emailed me? He started the exchange.
You are not on a list. "You" reached out to me for help.
Now I Understand Road Rage
My last response to Gary sent him over the edge. Here's his blistering flame response. I've copied it exactly as he sent it with all the typos, grammar and punctuation errors:
Remove my name from your website notifications . I reached out to you with a legitimate question and you responded in a demeaning disrespectful manner. Is that how you deal with the public? You don’t seem to know anything like you claim to know. I won’t let this incident go unreported. Trust me , you reacted unprofessional to the wrong guy
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
I feel sorry for Gary. While I'm no licensed psychological professional, I think it's safe to say he's dealing with both insecurity and anger issues. Add to that he's not the least bit appreciative of the help I tried to offer.
I was honestly concerned that carbon monoxide could be an issue. You can no longer assume people are aware of common dangers. The more emails I get each week, the more I see common sense as being quite uncommon.
Just think about it. How long would you need to allow a car to idle in one spot that you'd have so much condensate dripping from the exhaust pipe that it would create a puddle big enough to be an issue?
Gary, tape a video buddy! Show us how long it takes to make a 6-inch-diameter puddle!