Winter is coming (hard to believe, I know) and forecasters predict it will be even harsher than last year. Therefore, before the first frost, you should winterize your concrete fountain so that you may fully enjoy it again next year. To help you out, I contacted the experts at Massarelli’s Fountains & Statuary concerning the proper way to winterize a fountain. Here is a brief summary of their recommendations.
PROTECT THE COPPER RING
If your fountain has a copper ring, disconnect the copper ring and store it indoors (there is water in the copper ring, so be careful not to get wet when you remove it). These copper rings are highly sensitive to winter weather and the elements; the spray heads are very fragile. So, always handle a copper fountain ring with extreme care.
DRAIN YOUR FOUNTAIN
Before you cover your fountain for the winter, be sure to remove all of the water from the shells and any parts of the fountain that hold water (a wet-vac works well for this). If your fountain has drain plugs, remove them in order to drain. Collect the drain plugs and place in a plastic bag. Leave the bag in the fountain so you can find them next spring. You will need to insert the drain plugs when you start up your fountain next year. Though many fountain owners prefer to bring the fountain pump indoors for the winter, it is not absolutely necessary.
CLEAN YOUR FOUNTAIN
Now that it is emptied of water, now is a perfect time to clean your fountain. After draining the fountain, remove the leaves and any other debris by hand. Most times all you need to do is squirt the muck that accumulates in the shells of the fountain with your garden hose. Never use harsh cleaners or stiff brushes; this will harm the finish. While the shells of the fountain are still damp, use mild dish soap and a sponge to clean any dirt that may have built up over the summer. A fountain cleaner may also be used (we recommend Sparkle Fountain Cleanse). Rinse with clean water and wipe-up the remaining water with a sponge until all the water is removed.
COVER YOUR FOUNTAIN
In order to prevent your fountain from filling with snow, or ice, it needs to be covered. You can use a waterproof tarp or a lined fountain cover from a fountain manufacturer. In our store, we stock Massarelli’s fountain covers in four different sizes. These cone-shaped, lined covers have a draw string at the bottom that can be pulled tight to keep them snug. If you use one of these covers, center the cover on the fountain and carefully tighten the drawstring so that the cover opening is smaller than the bottom shell of the fountain. Be sure not to over-tighten. Grab the cover from the top and lift the cover up until the cover opening touches the bottom of the shell. While holding the cover above the fountain with one hand, grab the cover with your other hand just above the top piece of the fountain. At this point, you will tie off the cover with a piece of rope; doing this “custom fits” the cover to your fountain’s size. Once your fountain is covered, do not allow any water to re-enter the fountain and do not allow snow or ice to collect on top of the cover. Periodically, throughout winter, check your fountain to make sure the cover is secure and water and ice have not collected on the fountain cover.
Though we sell only high quality concrete fountains, no fountain manufacturer can be held responsible for damage to their products due to freezing temperatures or weather conditions. Therefore, we at Caan Floral & Greenhouse are here to help you protect your investment. We have the supplies you need. If you prefer to have one of our staff come to your house to winterize your fountain for you, please call me (Paul) at the store (452-4111) or send me an email at PaulT@caanfloral.com.