Odd drainage issue needing creative help
Hello - I am a falconer and I am looking for some help in creating a system to keep water from accumulating on the floor of the chambers that my hawks live in (called Mews). I have an 50+ year-old 19 x 19' wooden building with a flat concrete slab base that I have converted into two hawk houses that are seperated from each other with a plywood wall.
I would like to have a pea-gravel floor for the mews because it is good for the feet of the birds and won't damage their talons however there is no drain in the concrete and if the water sits it can form bacteria which is deadly for the birds as it causes aspergilliosis. Gravel is also easy to clean and disenfect with a hose sprayer when there is a way for the water to drain out. Currently I have astroturf over the bottom of the mews which is hard to clean and after a while not very sanitary and expensive to replace.
There are two very large open-air windows so slight moisture or temporary dampness is not a worry (I live in a dry area), however, I would like to have some way to channel water off of the surface of the concrete under the gravel when it is hosed off 2 times a month.
And to make things more complicated -
I know very little about concrete or installing drains - I'll probably do more damage with a jackhammer than help.
I would like to find something cheaper than 200 bucks.
I had thought about just drilling some holes where the concrete meets the wood along the sides but I have a felling there is a better solution out there. I found this site when I was googling trying to find an answer. Any good ideas out there?
Slope your floor. Plan your slope.
assuming you are handy with tools.
use a level to find where the floor is flat, where sloped. Draw a scale drawing, showing your current drainage "pattern", and then plan how you would wish a perfect setup would be for your situation. Post these two, along with enough information so people here can get an idea of whether an alternative route for water to flow would be easier to build.
assuming you know water only flows downhill.
things to do to help decisions be made
find out what cement products are available to you in your area. Go see them in a big store. Then, call the cement manufacturer for a recommendation. One option is a sand pile with the least possible amount of cement in it. Another option is the thinnest layer of concrete (i.e. "sand+cement+water"), so thin that is only feather thin at the low wall side, and still only X inches at the high side. Ask them how many bags will make 30, 40 or 50 cubic feet of volume. Find out whether the result you want can only be achieved by mixing it all in one go, or whether you can layer it, mixing small batches every so often. I have done this, troweling out several layers to build up a high end of a sloped floor, and I got the cement manufacturer's blessing first. Tell the cement company what your options or ideas are. All the options presented above are good options to consider.
In a dry climate, hosing down a floor 20 - 30 times a year means your floor will dry out a lot between hosings. It is reasonable to say it will completely dry out between hosings. Keep that in mind when you decide what to implement. If a friend were to offer you oil paint for free and tell you it is practically as good as a waterproofing membrane for this application, s/he is not wrong. Since this slab is not subject to constant humidity or moisture, and probably not even any significant ground water either. (?).
edit: P.S. All concrete is porous and bacteria reside in these pores. Larges scale pig farms lose a lot of young animals to concrete-residing disease which cannot be removed or disinfected. The pores of concrete have to be sealed with something, not left open. Perhaps it'll never happen to your birds, but this is the primary reason to ensure the concrete doesn't soak up water and organic crud. Recurring diseases.