Garden fountains need certain levels of care and maintenance to stay functioning and beautiful for years to come. Most stone and concrete fountains are able to withstand winter conditions, but if not properly taken care of can be damaged in harsh weather conditions. Typically, it is a sudden drastic change in temperatures that can cause fountains to crack.
As the weather turns cold, if a cast stone fountain cannot be moved to an indoor location, there are steps to protect it from the freezing wintery conditions. The first step is to remove any water, if water is left in the fountain to freeze, it will expand, which can cause the fountain to crack and even break. It is best to remove all the water before the onset of cold weather so the fountain has time to dry out as well. This is often best done in the early fall to ensure that no water has already frozen and collected in the fountain. Your Outdoor Fountain can actually obtain small hairline cracks that you will not see until the following spring when you begin to set up your outdoor space again. You should always make sure to remove the pump from the fountain, bring it inside for the winter as the pump cannot withstand harsh weather conditions. During regular using seasons, draining the water from a fountain can be a good ideas as, the water in the fountain should be changed periodically to removes debris and buildup that can damage the pump.
Although you may think that covering your fountain will create an eyesore, there are many manufacturers that actually offer Fountain Covers that are specific for Winter Care. These covers are designed to work to protect your fountain. If you are not looking to purchase a cover, you can create your very own cover. You must first start with wrapping the fountain in an absorbent material like an old towel or a blanket, take special care to make sure this material gets inside any areas that can collection water, think the tiers of bowls. Once this is done, you can then cover the fountain with a tarp to protect the absorbent material. The tarp should then be secured to ensure it will now blow away during harsh conditions such as a blizzard. You may want to purchase a fountain cover or tarp to cover your water fountain that matches the siding of your home or maybe even a green one to make it blend in with the trees. Covering the fountain adds a more certain level of protection that the snow and water will not get into your fountain and damage it.
For others the idea of disassembling the fountain and storing it for the winter is the best option, because they can be sure it will not be out in the elements at all. Many fountains are easy to disassemble, simply taking some time to carefully take apart and properly store. If you have purchased the fountain from us, we can often obtain proper installation instructions from the manufacturer that you can store along with your fountain to make assembly much easier when the warmer months arrive. TheProper storage locations should be somewhere that cannot get wet, such as a shed or garage. It is best to do this carefully, and never alone, pieces can be heavy, and you do not want to run the risk of dropping and damaging a piece!
Be sure not to uncover, set up, or fill your fountain until you are sure the freezing weather is done for the season. It is also important to remember to never fill the fountain in direct sunlight, and when possible, fill in the morning or evening, so the cold water does not shock the warm concrete, as this can cause fissures, which leads to cracking as well. Fountains, especially stone, are built to absorb heat, so fountains in direct sunlight will be warm, and adding cold water can potentially have negative effects on the fountain.
Outdoor Fountains are made to be outdoors, and although they can withstand a lot, there is also an element of care that need to be employed in harsh weather conditions especially if you live in an area whether temperatures dip far down during the winter season. Consider all of these aspects when it comes to protecting your fountain. As your are outdoors enjoying the fall wheather, cleaning up your outdoor leaves and placing mums, don’t forget to take care of your cast stone fountain as the freezing temperatures approach. As always, we are more than happy to help you understand how to winterize your purchase, feel free to contact us with any questions!
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team