Whether you have floating fountains or concrete fountains, these make a beautiful centerpiece in a landscape. No matter if your concrete fountain is little more than a shallow basin or an ornate multi-tiered affair, you want to make sure the fountain is well cared for so it lasts many years. Knowing some of the mistakes that can damage your fountain can help you avoid problems.
#1: Skipping winterization procedures
Most concrete fountains that suffer damage do so in winter. This is because cold temperatures can be hard on a fountain that isn't properly winterized. The fountain should be thoroughly drained prior to the temperatures dropping below freezing. Then, the pump should be removed and dried out, before it is stored in a dry area like a garage. Finally, cover the fountain with a fountain cover or a tarp so snow and water doesn't collect in the basins. Water that collects in winter can freeze and expand, which will crack the concrete fountain. Smaller fountains can be moved under cover, such as into a shed, to protect them from winter moisture.
#2: Ignoring mildew buildup
Mildew, algae, and moss will leave greenish-black stains on the concrete. Although harmless, these stains can prove unattractive. Scrub the fountain down with a dilute bleach solution and a stiff brush at least once a season to cut down on mildew growth. Just make sure to do this in an area where the runoff won't enter the garden or yard, since bleach can kill plants. You can also have the fountain professionally cleaned and pressure washed if you would like it to look like new again. Removing leaves and other foreign objects from the fountain can also cut down on mildew and mold growth, since the organic matter can feed the fungus.
#3:Not understanding proper fill procedures
Keeping a fountain properly filled with water is vital. The water level should never drop lower than the pump, since overly low water can burn out a pump motor. Monitor the water level daily, since it can drop significantly during hot weather due to evaporation. When filling the fountain, do so in the morning or evening. You don't want to put cold water into a hot fountain, since this can cause it to crack. Even small cracks can eventually lead to a major leak. You avoid this problem by filling early or late in the day when temperatures are lower.
For more help in maintaining your fountain or to have a damaged one repaired, contact a fountain specialist in your area.