From luxurious wall fountains to grand 3-tiered fountains, outdoor fountains can add an air of sophistication to any area. Whether you use it to amp up your flower garden or to provide a classic feel to your backyard or front door, outdoor water fountains are great investments that are a true feast for the eyes. With the proper care and attention, your outdoor water fountain can last you a long time. Read on to see how you can keep your fountain looking beautiful for years.
Placing your fountain in the proper area will ensure it maintains a steady stream of water flow, stays firm in its place, and, of course, has an aesthetically pleasing appeal. Where you place your outdoor water fountain depends on both the type of fountain as well as its surrounding elements. For example, wall fountains should be placed on a wall that will provide solid support, like a brick or stucco wall. Depending on the weight and material of the fountain, some wall fountains can be hung on drywall or plywood. Also, keep in mind the weight of the wall fountain, as you’ll need to hang it up using sturdy attachments that are able to adequately hold the fountain’s weight up.
Pedestal style fountains should be placed on a leveled surface, such as gravel or flagstone, to keep it from stumbling. When choosing a location for your fountain, bear in mind the surrounding area. Fallen leaves or branches from a nearby tree, debris, and splashing onto plants and grass caused by the fountain should all be taken into account when considering fountain placement. While undesired particles are inevitable to fall into your fountain, cleaning it periodically will ensure buildup of unpleasant smells and sights are minimal.
Stuck on how to care for your backyard’s most prized accessory? There are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind. For one, always make sure that you maintain a proper water level in your fountain. Low water levels can cause the fountain to dry up, thus damaging and potentially burning out the pump. As a general rule of thumb, fill the water up to an inch below the rim of the fountain to maintain proper water levels. Overfilling the fountain with water runs the risk of damaging surrounding surfaces.
Also, to avoid unsightly debris and residue, clean out the pump periodically. This will not only ensure a steady stream of water flow, but it will maintain the life of the pump as well. Finally, if you see algae forming on your fountain, use an algaecide to remove it, as failing to do so can clog up the pump and cause it to overheat. Avoid using bleach, sulfates, or chlorides to clean your fountain. These products can damage the binder that keeps the concrete together and cause your fountain to fall apart over time.
Nothing ruins the aesthetic of a backyard summer barbecue more than a fountain filled with old leaves, branches, dust, and other foul debris. Be sure to replace your fountain’s water with new water once a month to ensure cleanliness and freshness. Water treatments, which can be purchased at gardening supply stores, should be used to combat algae growth, prevent buildup, and overall extend the life of your fountain.
Winterizing Your Fountain
When the warm weather season comes to an end, it’s important to winterize your fountain for the cooler months. In freezing climates, the water your fountain collects in its bowl or top can freeze and cause the fountain to crack. Ideally, for maximum protection it’s best to store your fountain indoors in an area where it won’t be exposed to the cold temperatures (such as a garage); however, if the fountain is too large to move, as many of them are, there are still ways you can winterize it and keep it from crumbling. For one, use a fountain cover and stuff the bowls and tops of the fountain with blankets and towels to ensure that any excess water or condensation is absorbed. Also, place wood strips under the base of the fountain so that it doesn't freeze to the ground. Finally, check on the fountain occasionally to make sure everything is set in place and that nothing is frozen or cracked.
Water fountains are a beautiful addition to any outdoor area, and with the proper tender love and care it can continue to provide an aesthetic appeal for years to come.