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Practical Hacks for Your Outdoor Fountain During Colder Months

Who does not love fountains? We know we do. There's something enthralling with the way the water splashes down in layers, or jets down from a tall height. The designs are also stunning; it could be a lovely Roman fountain or something more modern and contemporary. Whatever the case, it surely adds an aesthetic value into your home. Gardens are made more alluring, and empty spaces become less boring with an outdoor fountain.

It's nice to see these water features working almost throughout the year, but what about winter? For certain, there are some drawbacks the extreme weather brings, especially when the temperature goes below freezing point. So how should you take care of your outdoor fountain during this season? Follow these hacks to help winterize your fountain.

The colder months bring a thick blanket of snow in many countries in America, and we can't hide from it. Here, streets are covered with annoying slush. The same goes with your outdoor fountain. During the low temperatures, water freezes, which means it is not a good idea to keep your water feature running during winter. We don't just worry about snow covering most parts of your fountain, but leaving it outdoors still filled with water might put the materials at risk. The water inside your fountain will freeze. Your fountain pump will find it hard to stream the cold, icy water and may be greatly damaged. Not only that; if your fountain is made of materials that don't work well with ice, there's a good chance it might cause permanent cracks to the basin and surface. And we all know that a broken fountain does not look good.

Most outdoor fountains are made of concrete and cast stone. Concrete, as we all know, expands and contracts in freezing weather. To avoid all types of damages the snow season might bring, it's best to move the fountain in an enclosed area—perhaps a garage—to prep it for winter. But before you do that, here is what you should do.

  • Check whether there's water in your fountain. Even if you have dried it up, there might be moisture collecting in it. You need to have it completely dry during the season.
  • Unplug it from the outlet and drain water out of your fountain. You also want to remove the pump and all the other electrical parts and store it indoors. Disassemble it for proper storage. This includes the decorative accents, small tiers and the basin.
  • If you cannot move the outdoor fountain indoors (a difficult fact for owners of larger fountains), you’ll need to protect the entire structure by covering it. Wrap your fountain with burlap, tarp, or other protective materials that will protect it from the extreme cold. Make sure that it is entirely covered for optimum protection. At best, you may want to fill the basin with the same protective material to shield it from any moisture that might damage the fountain.

With these tips, you can safely preserve your outdoor décor, enough for it to be taken out and used in working condition for the next season. For more of these tips, stay tuned to this blog.

Tips to Prevent Algae Growth in Your Outdoor Fountain

Everyone loves a beautiful and clean outdoor water fountain, and how we wish it would stay like that forever. Unfortunately, that is not so, for many external factors affect the appearance of the feature, and the purity of water. One of the most common and probably most disliked problems is algae formation.

Algae covers a large family of different microorganisms that are capable of harvesting light energy from the sun to create carbohydrates. You could see them where there is water: in the pond, in the lakes, in the oceans, or even in your fountains. These blue green colored creatures can endure different ranges of temperatures, acidity, turbidity and carbon dioxide concentrations. This means to say that they could thrive easily over time.

While a part of the natural eco-system, this doesn't mean that you can keep them. In fact, most forms of algae are actually toxic; the rampant growth of these organisms can lead into a large production of toxins, especially on water. When it comes to your fountain, having it filled with a skin of algae buildup will not only threaten the quality of water that passes through the pump, but it will also cause problems in the air which you and your family breathes. This is something you would not want. And thankfully, there are ways to solve algae problems and prevent them from occurring easily.

What you need to do

First, you must clean your fountain. It should be cleansed at least every couple of months, depending on the size. What you want is to keep the water clear and the pump clean from any buildups. Not only does algae create an unsightly appearance over your water feature, but this may also cause some damage in your pump and later on, might even ruin your fountain. Take the basic steps in cleaning your water feature: turn it off, remove the parts, empty the water and clean your fountain inside out. Don't forget to clean the fountain pump as well!

After cleaning you can add special solutions on the water to keep algae from growing. A water clarifying product is used to prevent algae growth. The elements it contains are safe for pets, making it a great product for outdoor water fountains. Another item you'll probably need? Vinegar. Use vinegar as your DIY, home-ready solution in preventing algae from coming back.

fountec algae cleaner fountains

Fountec is our preferred solution to prevent and eliminate Algae.  You can purchase it here

While these solutions offer ways to cleanse the water and prevent algae from building up too quickly, you can't be 100% that these tiny organisms won't come back. However, you can take things further and make it harder for them to invade your beloved water fountain.

  • Since the algae thrives on sunlight, place your fountain in a shady location. No light to take energy from, no algae growth!
  • Use fresh distilled water for your water feature. Tap water contains debris and minerals which algae may also feed upon. This gives your fountain an extra edge in algae prevention.
  • Always check your fountain and remove the algae buildup once spotted. Place a few drops of cleansers to keep the water clear.

With these tips, there’ll be less algae problems for your fountain. Stay tuned to this blog to discover how to keep your outdoor fountain in its best shape!

A Contemporary Water Cascade: The New York City Waterfalls

Creating an astounding view beneath the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York's prime landmarks, the New York City Waterfalls. Erected as a public art project in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, artist Olafur Eliasson has designed this amazing water feature with four different aspects. The first one, in lower Manhattan, is probably the most famous part of the project. It is perhaps the most expensive public art, costing about $15.5 million, ever since the installation of The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Central Park.

The spectacular water feature began its showcase in June 2008 and ran from 7 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock in the evening until October of the same year. Such a short lifespan for such an expensive project, right?

Work for the said water feature began sometime in March, 2008. The Governors Island construction teams have employed pile driving in order to use the scaffolding in place, particularly in the Manhattan area. Once completed, the structure would be as tall as 64,000 sq ft and would weigh more than 250 tons. Eliasson has disclosed that these scaffolds were made to harmoniously blend with the urban setting without concealing their unique architecture.

108 people, including environmental advisers, were staffed for the entire project. It was made to be eco-friendly; the lights that illuminated the fountain were made out of LEDs and the energy was purchased from renewable sources. There were filters to keep fish and other marine life away from the waterfall. Eliasson intended that the materials used for the project will be made available for another use later on.

It could be surprising that this $15 million dollar actually had no city funding; that whopping amount was entirely sponsored by different businesses, organizations and donors. The biggest sponsor might be Bloomberg LP, which donated $13.5 million. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has given $2 million.

What makes New York City the present cultural center of the world is its large scale public art and mural. This is akin to what Mayor Bloomberg, the biggest supporter of the project, has revealed. He says that this excites the locals and encourages visitors from another state, or even country, to visit this once-in-a-lifetime art piece. Despite of its costly exhibition, the waterfalls open a new chapter in the city's cultural legacy.

The four water features are installed in New York's famous commercial and industrial places. Through this project, Eliasson hopes that the audience will truly ponder about the relationship of water and structures to the spectacular metropolitan surroundings. The aim is to boost a sense of collectivity throughout the duration of the show.

A fountain can truly unify the art piece to its surroundings. You too, can have your very own modern outdoor fountain, without the hefty price, and the short duration. Make it last forever by installing it in the best areas of your garden so you can enjoy the sights and sound of the water lapping into the sculpture. Visit our store and discover a range of modern, contemporary water features that will fit your property. Shop now!

Spruce Up Your Backyard with an Outdoor Fountain

 

Have you been re-thinking your backyard design lately because it just seems to be missing that one special something? It may be difficult to put your finger on what is missing, but I have an idea that might work for you. Why not try adding an outdoor fountain to your yard? Let me give you the scoop on them!

Running Water Keeps You Calm

Forget having to go to the massage parlour every time you’re stressed out about something! Outdoor fountains provide the soothing sound of running water. This natural stress reliever has the ability to mentally and physically relax you. This is shown by the fact that we tend to come up with our most brilliant ideas when we are in the shower. The running water opens our mind and calms us down.

They Look Great

Outdoor fountains have the added bonus of improving the landscape design of our backyards. They become a centerpiece and focal point for people to see. They can turn simple backyards into elegant statements that represent more of who you are. As well, it creates an interesting spectacle to view when the water catches the light, whether it be sunlight or moonlight. Another idea would be to add some lighting to the fountain, so that it is more visible at night. Multi-coloured lights might make a relaxing environment around your fountain.

Variety of Choices

The great thing about outdoor fountains is the amount of choice you have when it comes to deciding on one. Among other materials, you could buy one that is made from concrete, plastic, or foam. If you are more environmentally conscious, you may prefer to look at fountains that are made from natural stone. Solar outdoor fountains are good, because they only need energy that is provided from the sun to operate. As well, you can add a heater to a fountain to keep the water from freezing during colder temperatures. Overall, there are a ton of different options that you can choose to personalize your fountain to your liking. 

Water Source

Typically, an outdoor fountain will be connected to the water supply in the house. This is the easiest method because you don’t need to worry about whether or not there is enough water in the fountain. It will have a steady supply as long as the water is turned on. If you purchase a smaller fountain that needs to be filled with a hose, you should be checking the water level fairly frequently.

Outdoor fountains can be fantastic additions to any backyard space. They make the area look more inviting and interesting. The fact that they can be practically customized to suit your exact needs is an extra bonus. If you decide to add a fountain to your yard, make sure that you understand everything that is involved in the process. Speak to a local specialist about proper care and maintenance, so that your fountain can continue improving the look of your yard. 

 

Getting Your Outdoor Fountain Ready for Winter

 

With winter fast approaching, it is time to think about those jobs around the garden that need doing before the cold weather really sets in.

Winterising your fountain is an important way to make sure it is protected from bad weather and can be safely stored away so it is ready for next year.

Without proper care and maintenance, your fountain could be damaged or even broken through winter which means you could end up facing costly repair bills or even having to buy an entirely new unit.

Even if you don’t live in an extremely cold area, and rarely have snow, it is important to take steps to get your outdoor fountain ready for winter.

Although these fountains are built to work outdoors, extremes of weather can still affect them and the pumps and moving parts do need to be protected.

So we’ve put together a simple step by step guide to make sure your outdoor fountain is ready for the winter and when spring comes once more all you have to do is plug it in. Fill it up and enjoy!

1.       Unplug the fountain

Whether your fountain is powered through an electrical socket in your home or a nearby outbuilding, you need to switch it off and then disconnect it from the power source completely.

 

2.       Drain the fountain

Remove all the water from the fountain and pay close attention to any pipes or tubes where there might be areas for water to gather. If left, they could ice up and the expanding water could easily crack plastic tubing or damage pump parts. This should be done before the frost really sets in so aim to do this around the end of October or early November.

 

3.       Take your fountain apart for storage

Fountains can have several small and moving parts. It is important to take these delicate pieces off so they aren’t damaged in strong winds or storms. Remove tubes, platforms or basins and dry them thoroughly with a dry, soft cloth or kitchen towel. If you have a permanent outdoor fountain, made from stone for example, it won’t come apart so you will have to dry it out as thoroughly as you can where it stands.

 

4.       Remove the pump

Take out your fountain’s pump and put it into a shed, garage or other dry secure place for the winter months. Clean your pump and flush any debris out of it before you dry it and store it. You can take the pump and other removable parts and store them in a sealed box in newspaper.

 

5.       Protect what is left

Any parts of the fountain which can’t be moved indoors should be protected from the elements where it stands. You can get specialist covers for your fountain base or even just a plastic sheet tied tightly around the fountain will help protect it from frost and harsh weather. Make sure the part of the fountain that will be staying outside is completely covered.

The Oldest Outdoor Fountains in the World

 

Outdoor fountains are a stunning piece of engineering that can be enjoyed by millions of people. Some are purely tourist attractions while others served a purpose for filtering water or even as a memorial.

While you might think fountains are a relatively modern invention, with fantastic displays in Las Vegas and Singapore immediately springing to mind, mankind has been building and admiring fountains for centuries.

Some of the world’s oldest fountains are still working as well as they did when they were first built proving that if something is designed and built well, it can stand the test of time.

Versailles Fountain, France

The fountains at the Palace of Versailles is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Sat within 800 hectares of pristine grounds, there are 50 fountains which have 620 water jets.

While the garden itself was created in 1632 after Louis XIII bought the land, it was some years later, in 1664, that the fountains began to be built.

There are several ornate fountains around the gardens all named – some after Greek gods. Bacchus, Latona, Saturn, Apollo, Flora, Ceres, Neptune, Mirror, Dragon and the Nymphs bath are all dotted around this huge garden.

 

Samson and the Lion Fountain, Russia

Louis XIV also inspired this incredible fountain sitting at the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, Russia. This fountain really tells a story. The centre of the water jets tells a story moulded out of stone.

There are 64 fountains which fall into the pool and has been in place since 1730. The Samson Fountain shows the moment Samson defeats the lion which is meant to symbolise Russia’s victory over Sweden during the Great Northern War.

A lion was chosen as it appears on the Swedish coat of arms and what some would say was the turning point of the war was St Samson’s Day.

This impressive fountain shoots water 20 metres in the air from the lion’s mouth. Incredibly, this is achieved without modern technology. Water fills reservoirs around the fountain at an elevated height. It’s this height that uses gravity to create pressure and then power the fountains.

 

The Hundred Fountains, Italy

This incredible water feature combines water jets and planting to create a leafy, lush wall with a beautiful sound of its own.

Located in Tivoli, these fountains are part of the Villa D’Esta and are a must see attraction if you ever find yourself in that part of the world.

Carved animal heads and ornate figures pour water from their mouths into two running troughs which sit one on top of the other. Atop that is a selection of water jets spraying different patterns into the air. The effect is wonderful and the noise of rushing water can be heard from the moment you arrive at the villa.

In the central square, a huge fountain sits in the centre of a pool surrounded by a curved wall climbing with ivy and other rambling plants.

The villa itself is one of the best Renaissance residences in existence and definitely one of the more luxurious.