I recently read a great article about Winter Care Tips for Garden Water Fountains and Water Features on the Gardens Fountains and Outdoor Decor website. As I have just bought a lovely cast stone water fountain for my garden I have found the tips and advice really excellent and I thought I would pass this on to all you budding water fountain and water features enthusiast and newbies. So please read on:
‘Winter care information for cast stone garden fountains, birdbaths, planters and more:
Protect your fountain, planter, bird bath or statue from freeze-thaw cycles. Cast Stone fountain bowls/tops and other cast stone outdoor decor, which collect water, should not be left outside when freezing temperatures may arise, since any component that can fill with water and freeze has the potential to crack. Likewise components such as pedestals, which remain in a basin, that can become filled with water, which can freeze at the right temperature, may also crack or crumble. Therefore, ideally a fountain should always be stored indoors or in a dry protected place such as a covered porch, garage, or shed away from the elements.
However, if a fountain must be left outside, we suggest you follow the following steps:
1. Remove pump, rubber stoppers, drainpipes, finials, and other small components for storage indoors. Note that stoppers or drainpipes are removed to allow drainage in the event water accumulates in any basin.
2. It is suggested that you raise the fountain base, planter, birdbath, or an any garden accent to be left outdoors, from ground with wood strips so that base cannot freeze to the ground surface.
3. We suggest covering your cast stone fountain with a Fountain Cover. In the event that you do not have a fountain cover, you can cover your fountain, birdbath, or planter with any other absorbent material (we suggest an old blanket or towel) and then cover securely with plastic, making sure that water will not accumulate in the basin or other fountain component and freeze.
4. You should then make sure that this plastic will stay onto the garden accents by securing it with rope or other material.
5. We suggest you check the fountain periodically to insure that plastic is secure and water is not accumulating in any fountain component.
All concrete, including cast stone concrete, is slightly porous, which allows small amounts of moisture to absorb into the fountain. If this moisture freezes, it can cause small cracks or chips. It is recommended that the pump be brought indoors during periods of freezing weather.
Winter care information for wall fountains and fiberglass fountains
Fiberglass itself is not harmed by freezing weather, however, you must insure the fountain is completely dry during freezes. Water remaining in the plumbing, basin, or pump can expand when frozen and damage the fountain. Bring the pump in for the winter, and consider covering the fountain with a non-porous material. The fiberglass wall fountains are light enough to be brought indoors for the winter as well.
Winter care for Glazed or Terra Cotta Pottery
The manufacturers of our glazed and terra cotta pottery offer products that are subjected to stringant testing in freeze and thaw conditions to ensure the best quality. Products that are composed of terra cotta or eathenware are naturally slightly porous. This allows plants that are placed inside of them to breathe, but this also poses a concern for your planters during the winter months. Any water left within the pots, whether planted or left empty can be exposed to the natural freeze and thaw cycle. When expanded, this can cause the walls of the pot to potentially crack. There is no guarantee that this will happen to each pot and can often depend on the weather conditions and quantitiy of water collected in the pot. These pots are frost-resistant but as with any product left out in the winter that can collect water, there is still a concern for the freeze and thaw cycle that may occur. We recommend that these planters be brought indoors whereever possible during the winter months, or cared for like a fountain if they must be left outdoors and covered properly. Please see the above section on caring for a cast stone fountain in winter months.
Maintaining your Fountain
Our cast stone water features are made from the highest quality cast stone concrete. They are engineered and designed for maximum beauty and utility. A small amount of regular maintenance will allow you to enjoy your fountain for many years. Primarily, keep your fountain free of debris, leaves, twigs, etc. which can clog the fountain pump and tubing. Simply remove the easily accessed pump, and flush with a garden hose. Frequency depends on your situation; if your fountain is beneath trees with frequently falling leaves, you may need to clean out your fountain more often.
The fiberglass wall fountains are maintained by using the same principals as above. Keep the basin free of debris, and rinse the pump as needed. To clean, simply spray down with a garden hose. Your fountain will provide years of enjoyment!’
More important tips, hints and advice.
This is a really helpful video with extremely useful information about the care of water features that is not included in the article above and I highly recommended listening and taking notes for future reference when viewing.
Water Fountain Care
I hope this information helps you maintain the beauty of your water fountains for many years. Water fountains and water featuresreally are a must for anyone with a busy stressful life. The soft musical trickle of water brings a ambiance of peace and tranquillity to any garden and personal experience that brings the trials of life to a much more ineffectual level. So please share with me as I sit in my garden this coming Spring, Summer and Autumn and maybe Winter the enjoyment and beauty of garden water fountains and features.