Harsh Winters and Garden Fountains

Many people use water features to accentuate their lawn, complement their patio space, and to serve as centerpieces in their gardens. They come in a wide range of impressive designs, and offer many benefits for your home. People who live in colder climates, or experience harsh winters weather are often very apprehensive when it comes to installing water features in their own home. But, there are actually plenty of options for people in cold areas. It is important to know how to which materials to choose and how to prepare them for harsh weather.

Choosing the Right Material

Outdoor fountains are made out of many different materials. Some fountains are made of natural stone, while others are made of concrete or metal. These materials range in durability and strength. The right material with the proper maintenance can last for years, even in rough climates. When choosing your fountain, avoid materials that could chip or break easily. It may be best for some areas to choose fountains made of iron. Many companies also offer maintenance and repair kits, and the way you care for your fountain will make all the difference.

Draining for Winter

Fountains come in a wide array of sizes and styles. Some can circulate a hundreds of gallons of water, while others operate on just a few. If you are installing a water feature in a location that experiences harsh winter conditions, you’ll definitely want to choose something that you can easily drain. Units that move less water are more easily drained, and you’ll need something like that. If you leave water sitting in a fountain through those winter months, it will freeze, and that can cause major, irreparable damage to your garden fountain. You don’t want to turn on your fountain in the spring to find that it is cracked and broken from ice damage.

Protect Them from the Elements

The cold temperatures aren’t the only ways that your water can be damaged by the elements. If you want to protect your fountain from some of the more brutal effects of nature, you’ll probably want to utilize a fountain cover. Covering your fountain will protect the materials and finish during the months when you do not have it operating.

If you live in a harsh climate with heavy precipitation in the winter time, a simple cover might not be enough. If you are still worried about what Mother Nature might do to your outdoor water feature, consider purchasing one that isn’t too hard to move. Sometimes the best way to avoid the elements is to escape them altogether. During those unforgiving months, you may consider placing your fountain in a garage or shed.


Don’t let the fear of cold weather stop you from having water features in your own garden. There are still options for those of us who sometimes get snow and ice. Draining during freezing weather, protecting the pieces from the elements, and choosing fountains made of durable materials will allow you to have water features like everyone else!

Bracing your Fountain for the Winter Months

Your outdoor water features will do little entertaining in the winter months. They also become highly susceptible to the cold elements. That is why it is essential to care for your fountain in the winter months. By taking your fountain out of the elements, or reducing the elements’ impact, you are keeping your pump and the structure itself from serious dilapidation.

What are the consequences?

The two negative consequences that can result involve the pump breaking and fixture cracking. Pumps that are dry will not be affected by the freezing cold. However, all of the moisture that is in a pump leads to freezing which can break the pump. This would require you to get a new pump, and there is no reason to do that each year. The fixture of the fountain, especially with cast stone features, will crack in the severe weather.

How to prevent it

The best option for preserving your fountain in the winter months is to completely bring it out of the elements. The best way to do this is to disassemble all the parts of the fountain, dry them, and store them in the garage, or any other dry and relatively warm space. A space somewhere between freezing and room temperature is ideal. We also recommend that you clean your pump at this time before you store it.

If there is no space indoors for your fountain then you will want to cover the fixture. Two methods need to be in play as you protect your fountain. Naturally, you will want to cover the fountain with a water proof tarp. Make sure that it is secure, covers all exposed areas and has relatively no spots for leakage. However, no matter what tarp you choose and how you secure it, you will need to add some absorbent material to your fountain. While your fountain is being protected by the water proof tarp, all moisture that does somehow get to your fountain will be absorbed instead of seeping straight into the stone fixture. Fill the basins and tiers (any spot moisture could accumulate) with an absorbent material. Burlap or hay will work for this. Make sure to switch it out periodically.

One last thing if you weren’t aware. Make sure to rid your fountain of any debris or unwanted vegetation. Naturally vegetation contains moisture which you do not want. Cleaning your fountain before and after the winter season is just route process for two water feature owners. Call Water Feature Pros if you are in the Louisville area, we can clean your fountain this spring.

Following these steps should ensure the safety of your water feature. If you already have some cracks in your fountain from weather damage then you can call us at Water Feature Pros. We may be able to restore your fountain. However, if you find hairline cracks in your fountain there is really no need to worry. That naturally happens in the cold.

Preparing your Garden Fountain and Pond for Winter

From the spring through the fall, having a fountain in your garden or a pond on your property adds a beautiful touch to your outdoor setting. Those warm days are always improved by spending relaxing hours next to fresh running water. While it is important to maintain your units and keep your fountains and ponds fresh and clean throughout the year, when the winter months are approaching, there are a few extra details of which you should be aware.


Whether you have a garden fountain or a small pond, one of the most important things you can do to prepare them for winter is cleaning them, and removing all organic debris. The decomposition process is slowed in colder temperatures, and the slowing of this process presents problems. During decomposition, organic materials will give off toxic gases, and slowing the process allows for a buildup of these toxic chemicals. If a layer of ice begins to form, the decomposition process is slowed down even more. This is especially harmful if you have a pond that contains fish or other wildlife.

Garden Fountains

If you are preparing a garden fountain for winter, you will want to drain all of the water, and turn the pump off before the first freeze. Frozen water expands quite a bit, and ice will ruin your pump and the pieces of your fountain. There are also fountain covers that can protect the materials your fountain is made of from Mother Nature. But, in some cases, it is sometimes best to remove your fountain from the elements completely. If you expect to experience harsh winter conditions, it may be best to move you fountain to a garage or shed during those months.

Preparing Your Pond

The options for maintaining your pond are a little different than a fountain. The pump in a pond for instance, can be left on throughout the year, so that it can continue to circulate the water. The pump will help to keep the water from freezing, but sometimes those temperatures just are too low. It is a big help to have a fountain thermometer to monitor these temperatures. There are also options for pond heaters for when the temperatures get too bad. If your pond begins to freeze, you can pour boiling water in the edge of it, allowing trapped gases to be released.

Cold weather is harsh, and it can bring a lot of issues to your water features. With the many methods and techniques that are available for maintaining your fountain or pond, there is no reason why the winter should ruin your pieces. If you keep your water clean, and act early enough, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Selecting a Fountain for Your Climate

Installing a fountain or pond in your garden serves a number of benefits. Your landscape will be improved visually and physically, and, with the constant flow of fresh water, the entire atmosphere of the area will be changed. If you are considering installing a new water feature in your garden, consider the climate and weather conditions in your area. Outdoor fountains are designed to be durable and built to last, but even the most durable pieces will need regular maintenance. Whether you live in a wet and humid climate, a hot and dry climate, or a location that experiences brutal winter weather, the fountain you choose should be able to withstand the weather conditions.

Wet and Humid

If you live in a tropical kind of climate that experiences a great deal of humidity and precipitation, maintenance is very important. In these warm and wet climates, algae thrives. You must be proactive about keeping its growth under control. This will require regular cleaning. There are several chemical cleaners to help, and options that are safe to animals. A humid climate will also take a toll on your metal pieces. If you decide on something made of metal, more attention must be paid to maintaining the finish.

Hot and Dry

In both tropical climates and hot, dry climates, the options for different types of fountains and materials are vast because there is no worry of the water freezing. In the hot, dry climates, you will find that there isn’t much to worry about at all. But, that doesn’t make maintenance any less important. Your fountain still needs to be cleaned regularly. And, if your climate is particularly dry, you will want to keep an eye on your water levels. Evaporation may require you to refill your fountain from time to time. It isn’t something that happens often, but it you will want to pay attention to it.

Frigid and Frozen

The fountains that will require the most attention and maintenance are the ones that are installed in colder climates. If your home experiences winter weather and temperatures, your options are slightly more restricted. One of the most crucial steps you must make when those colder temperatures come around is removing all of the water from your fountain. When water freezes, it expands, and that can lead to irreparable damage. Depending on the severity of your winter weather, and the material of your fountain, the best option may be moving your fountain altogether. Consider choosing something that doesn’t weight much so you can place it in a garage or shed during the winter months.

No matter what climate you live in, if you want a water feature, there is probably one out there for you. You just have to consider the restrictions that Mother Nature has placed on you. Be aware of what maintenance techniques and tools you need, and be prepared to protect your fountain from harsh weather.

Beat the Winter with These Tips

When the leaves fall, the skies turn gray, and the temperatures drop, life seems to get a little more difficult. During those winter months, a lot of people are dealing with the struggles of seasonal affective disorder. This occurs when the lack of sunlight and fresh air begins to take a toll on a person’s health, mood, and mental state. There are a few things you can do to avoid this, or at least soften the blow. With a regular boost of Vitamin D, a workout routine, and an indoor water feature, you’ll feel like you flew south for the winter.

Eat right

People often neglect the profound effect that their diet has on their mood and overall well-being. During the harsh winter days, when depression seems to creep up out of absolutely nowhere, it is very important to stay on top of what you take in. One of the main reasons people suffer from season affective disorder is the lack of vitamin D in their systems. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, and during the winter, your body thirsts for it. With a vitamin D supplement, or vitamin rich foods, you can keep this feeling at bay.

Stay active

A big mistake that a lot of people make is keeping their exercise exclusive to the time of year that invites it. That is a big problem when it comes to suffering from seasonal affective disorder. When you are regularly active, your body takes note of that. Sticking to a regular workout schedule, even if it’s just a small bedroom workout or brisk walk around the block, tells your body that there is reason to move. You will have more energy and motivation, which will increase your mood and soothe the effects of the hard, cold winter.

Create the scene

Even when it’s 10 degrees outside with a foot of snow on the ground, you can enjoy yourself indoors as if it were a spring day. Installing a well-placed water feature can bring a new sense of life and energy to your home. The dry air from your furnace will be combatted by its humidifying and air purification qualities. And, the steady flow of water is reminiscent of the spring, distracting you from the frozen world outside. You can build an entire indoor oasis that always serves as your private little getaway – all year.

The harshest time of the year doesn’t have to be so harsh if you prepare for it. Seasonal affective disorder is real, and it’s real bad. With some extra vitamin D and exercise, and an indoor waterfall to set the scene, you can ease the pain until the weather breaks.