If you added a garden water fountain to your yard during the previous spring or summer months, you will need to consider taking the proper steps to ensure that this wonderful feature makes it through colder weather without harm or damage.
While the autumn months may bring leaves and debris into garden fountains and present some risks for damage due to clogged pumps and algae growth, it is the winter weather that brings the dangerous ice and below-zero temperatures. This means that the material from which the garden water fountain is made must be taken into consideration as well as the design and the many tubes or devices that move the water too. While pumping out all standing water and ensuring that not a drop remains is a standard practice, there are other steps that can be taken to ensure the fountain is kept in top-notch condition throughout the winter months.
Consider that your fountain may have more than a single piece into which small amounts of moisture and water can leach or become trapped. When temperatures drop, this dampness will freeze and then expand, causing the fountain to become cracked or damaged. While some mild cracks upon the surface of the fountain will develop as it ages, rapidly forming ice can cause an actual fracture. This is the sort of thing that will not become noticeable until the fountain is turned on in the spring and the major leaks appear. This sort of ice formation might also cause tiered fountains to come apart, or it can cause the bowls to break apart permanently.
Garden fountains can be made from stone, concrete or more durable materials like acrylic, but each variety will need to have the potential from ice damage managed properly. One of the best approaches to this is to install some sort of cover over the fountain. This might be a formally designed and manufactured fountain cover provided through the supplier, but it could also be more of a “handmade” item too. A gardener might position a large, water-proof tarp over the entire fountain in order to eliminate chances for ice, water or snow accumulation, but this is not usually the end of the story.
For example, many gardeners will also use old burlap sacks or discarded towels to line the inside of their fountains which have been placed under cover. This works to absorb the moisture that would have otherwise been captured by the fountain itself. Be sure to to check these items on a weekly basis and change when needed.
If a garden water fountain can be partially disassembled, it is always a good idea to simply bring the various pieces into an area where they will not be exposed to seasonal extremes. A dry barn or garden shed is a great place to keep fountain tiers or bowls throughout the worst weather.