Protecting Outdoor Water Fountain From Freezing
When water freezes it expands! This means that water which is left inside the water fountain may expand at a cold night or when day time temperatures sink below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This shrink and expansion of water will eventually crack the pump or the pipes inside.
But there is another issue most homeowners overlook, this is that concrete and stone are porous by nature. Their surface is not 100% smooth the beauty of a stone surface is that it is not even. Even marble has tiny porous and natural veins running inside the stone.
The same effect of water freezing happens in the stone pores too. Water and humidity freeze inside these pores and when temperature rise they turn to water again. During winter this can happen hundreds of times and the effect soon widen and cracks the stone surface. At the beginning tiny even microscopic cracks, but nature which knows how to dig in mountains, will eventually crack the water fountain stone.
How To Protect Your Water Fountain At Winter
There are two things you need to do in order to protect your water fountain from this freezing side effect. The first thing is to prepare your fountain at fall to stand winter elements.
Tip # 1 – Drain the fountain completely. You can do it in many ways. Like closing the water and allowing a few weeks for all the water to evaporate. Take the pump off and allow all water to drain down. Tilt it in a few directions to allow all the water in the pipes to run down.
Tip # 2 – Cover the fountain with a waterproof sealer. These come in aerosol spray cans. They will seal the tiny cracks and pores, make the surface smooth and all the humidity and water which may reach the concrete or stone surface will slide off. They are easy to use, and can protect your fountain outer surface and design from rain. Once the stone water fountain is protected there is less chance water will freeze in the inner pores.
Tip # 3 – If you live in areas with harsh winter weather, snow, blizzards and lots of below freezing nights. You may want to protect your outdoor water fountain with a special weather cover. The cover will eliminate the rain and snow to stick to the stone and begin the natural degrading of he surface.
For medium size fountains the cover can be in a sharp cone shape (like the image at the top of the page) which will cause all snow to slide off, or for larger fountains be like a canopy cover (above), which will protect the water fountain until spring arrive.
For those in northern states sealing the stone and covering the fountain is recommended as humidity caught inside the cover can still freeze and create the same effect.