I had an above ground pool installed and a deck built around it early last fall. The way the builder built the deck footings was to pour 4' of concrete 12" in diameter, then attach metal post brackets to the concrete where the 4x4s sit. This would be fine if the concrete came up to grade (grass level) but the builder poured the concrete so it comes up to about 6" below grade. So, when it rains, the footings fill up with rain. Right now, about half my footings are filled with ice from pooled water that never drained (so the bottom 6" of the 4x4 is in ice). There is also a drainage problem in the area. Anytime we have a torrential rainfall, the ground does not drain fast enough, and I have a pool of water surrounding all my deck footings.

I need to do something in the spring when the ground thaws, but I'm not sure what. I think i need to regrade the whole area under the deck (about 350 sq ft) with a small shovel since the deck is only 4' tall, and bring "grade" level down to the height of the concrete. That way water won't pool in the area around the wood 4x4s. But, that is a huge amount of dirt to move by hand... maybe i could dig trenches under the deck to guide water away from the footings to another area?

I've attached some photos for reference. This winter I've just been shoveling snow away from the deck, and using a submersible pump to evacuate water on warm days when the ice melts a bit. It's a mess.

Any advice would be great! enter image description here

  • 1
    Is that the low spot of the yard? I think you need to raise the grade not lower it. Basically, you want to raise that part of the ground to make the water flow elsewhere.
    – gnicko
    Feb 22, 2019 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


You need lots of fill dirt. Put about 3-4" or more right underneath the deck. Than add lots of dirt to the area outside the deck. Grade down away from the deck and divert the water toward that area of your yard that almost looks like a ditch. Once you get your grade set, throw out some tall fescue grass seed (or whatever you like) and cover it with straw. Water it every day until the grass gets about an inch high. Keep watering it often until it is about 3" high and then you can begin mowing it.

enter image description here

  • Thank you! Yes, this is the low spot of the yard. So, if I add more dirt, my 4x4 posts will be even further below grade. I am worries they will rot? Do I want to put dirt in the footing holes? Or should I use gravel or some other type of rock? Right now, the holes just fill up with water.
    – Mainer
    Feb 22, 2019 at 19:52
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    Your pressure treated posts should last about 25 years of so even if the ends are below grade some. There are of course always some posts that may degrade before that time frame and you may have to deal with replacement accordingly.
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 23, 2019 at 5:37

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