How do I fix an ice hazard in the backyard?


There is a valley between the garage and a mound of rock that creates a skating rink in the winter when the snow melts and re-freezes. This is where I have to walk to take the trash bins out to the alley every week. I was going to try to move the mound of rock, but it's solid rock.

q how do i fix an ice hazard in the backyard

Rock mound on left. Garage on right.

  14 answers
  • Normally, I would say build up the valley, but you don't want to have water back-up into your garage. Could you make the rock mound your new path?

    • Shelley Shelley on Aug 06, 2020

      Thanks. I've been using those removable rubber treads on the bottom of my boots. One broke so maybe I'll get another pair.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 05, 2020

    Hi Shelly: I'm confused. Is the garage on the left? What's that on the right? Could you please provide a couple more pictures so we can see where you go to the alley and where the garage and valley are? I'm not seeing the whole picture :( Thanks

    • See 3 previous
    • Betsy Betsy on Aug 06, 2020

      Do you come out of the back yard to get to the bins? Can you move the bins closer to your back door? In the winter, you don't have to worry about flies. Where is the alley? If you can take several pictures of the area, we can give you better help and ideas.

  • Deb K Deb K on Aug 06, 2020

    Hi Shelley, you need to build that low spot up with black dirt to level with the rock mound, once it is level you can reseed the grass or put sod down.

    getting rid of the low spot is all that help

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 06, 2020


    Raise the level of the ground, so all is level with no dips, to prevent water going to the low point and then turning to ice. Best wishes

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 06, 2020

    The low spot is a gravity fed area for water to flow to, fill it in and build it up so water does not go there.

  • Can you not put down grit in the winter months to solve this issue.

    • Shelley Shelley on Aug 06, 2020

      I do, but when it melts and re-freezes it turns back into ice.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Aug 06, 2020

    You will need to add dirt and regrade the property so the water flows away from your house. Raking that dirt to slope downwards away from the house. OR...with a large problem, needing to re-grade your property. You can re-grade your yard using a bobcat if it is very large. I would first check all gutters to make sure water isn't coming off the roof and pooling in different areas towards the house as well. Once the gutters have been cleaned and checked and you still have a problem there, then that little valley is the problem. You will also want to figure out the best placement for adding some drainage perforated pipes so that the water has some assistence flowing away from the house. This might be the type of drain pipe that you will need to insert into the dirt around the house or areas you are getting too much water: ;

    The above link seems to have some videos next to the product. Watch them if you can! Good luck!

  • William William on Aug 06, 2020

    Build up the valley with dirt and regrade the ground so it's level with the surrounding ground

  • Dee Dee on Aug 06, 2020

    I would build up the valley with top soil. Or you can try putting mulch on your mound so that it does not freeze into an ice skating rink.

  • Happy Days Hometalker Happy Days Hometalker on Aug 06, 2020

    Cement it in?

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 07, 2020

    One alternative to regrading the property is to have a narrow raised walkway/deck built running alongside the house just short of where the trash bins are now. If you wanted to continue storing them in the same corner, the decking would run just up to this spot, with a couple of steps to access the gate.

  • Ideally you would regrade this, making sure water drains away from your house and any other foundation. If this is not possible you might consider building a raised walk though with water melting and refreezing there, it might uproot the path. Try researching how to drain or redirect the water.

  • Rymea Rymea on Aug 08, 2020

    Figure out where you want the water which drains into that grassy area and then turns to ice to go. Then slant the grassy area in that direction. Or dig a trench right beside the mound slanted to where you want the water to drain.

    If that won't work then the high walkway next to the garage is the best idea, unless you want to hire some heavy equipment to get rid of the rock.