Outdoor Water Features: 101
Outdoor Water Features: 101
As we all know, an outdoor water fountain can add a touch of luxury and serenity to the yard of a home or business. A beautiful fountain, waterfall, or bird bath can be the perfect centerpiece for your landscaping.
While they can add beauty and relaxation to any setting, there are some things to consider before you decide to install one. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the considerations you should take into account when planning to install a water feature.
Seasonal Considerations for Installing a Water Feature
As you plan to install an outdoor fountain in your garden, there are several things you need to take into account including the climate, seasons, and your budget. For example, if you live in an area with four distinct seasons, you’ll want to factor in things like the freezing temperatures of winter when choosing materials and planning installation.
But when is the best time to install a water feature? For those in colder climates, we say fall and here’s why:
Milder Weather Makes for Easier Installation
One of the benefits of installing outdoor water fountains in the fall is that the weather is usually milder than in spring or summer. This can make the installation process more comfortable for everyone involved, and help reduce the amount of time it takes to get the job done. Warmer weather can sometimes mean people are working in uncomfortable conditions, which can lead to mistakes being made. By installing your water feature in cooler weather, you can avoid this issue altogether.
There’s Less Foot Traffic
Installing water features in the fall is easier when there’s less foot traffic. This can be especially beneficial if you’re planning on having work done on your property during business hours. Having less foot traffic means fewer people who need to be avoided while work is being done. This ultimately helps in speeding up the process. Additionally, it can also help reduce the amount of disruption caused to your business or home life.
Better Deals on Materials
If you’re looking to find deals on materials and labor, fall may be your best bet. Shop around for end-of-season bargains, checking big box stores and boutique nurseries for stone fountains and natural hardscapes. You may be surprised at the money you can save.
There are typically fewer mosquitoes and other bugs to contend with in the fall than in the spring or summer. This means you can enjoy building, maintaining, and viewing your outdoor fountain without worrying about being bitten by mosquitoes.
Before determining if a water feature is a good idea for your yard or if you need help choosing where it should go, here are 8 things you need to consider before adding it to your yard.
Caring For Your Water Feature
Once your outdoor fountain is installed, it’s important to regularly maintain it. However, keeping it clean and functioning properly can take a bit of work. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Here are seven key tips to keep your water feature running smoothly and looking great all season long.
- Keep the area around your water fountain clean. Dirt and algae can clog pumps and filters and may also encourage algae growth. Be sure to remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris from the area around your water feature on a regular basis.
- Test the pH levels of your water feature regularly. You can purchase a test kit at your local home improvement store. The ideal pH level for most water features is between 7 and 8.5. If the pH level of your water is too high or too low, it can create an imbalance that could jeopardize the health of your plants and fish.
- Keep an eye on the filter. Most water features come equipped with a filter that helps to keep the water clean. Depending on the size of your filter and the amount of debris in the water, you may need to clean or replace the filter regularly. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often to clean or replace your filter.
- Don’t forget about the plants or fish! If you have live plants or other living organisms in your water feature, they will need regular care just like any other plants on your property. Be sure to feed or fertilize them regularly and check for pests that could damage their health. You may also want to consider bringing your fish indoors before the first snow or before the first big freeze.
- Clean the pump. The pump is responsible for circulating the water flow in your water feature, so it’s important to keep it clean. Every few weeks, disassemble the pump and wipe down all of the parts with a soft cloth. If you notice any buildup of algae or dirt, use a small brush to remove it. then reassemble the pump and return it to the water feature.
- Change the water. Over time, dissolved minerals and other impurities will build up in the water, making it cloudy and unhealthy for plants and animals. To prevent this, be sure to change out at least half of the water level in your water feature every month. You can do this by siphoning out the old water with a hose or by using a small submersible pump.
- Inspect the liner. If you have a liner-based water feature (i.e., one that doesn’t use concrete), it’s important to inspect it regularly for leaks or damage. Look for cracks, holes, or any other signs of wear and tear. If you find any damage, patch it up with a repair kit made specifically for liner-based water features.
There are many articles and videos on maintaining your water feature. If you’re looking for a quick and easy video on how to clean and maintain your fountain this is one you may way to have on standby.
Winterizing Your Water Feature
While autumn mentioned may be the best time of year to install water features it is also when you need to start thinking about winterizing your water feature. For those in colder climates, winterizing is an important part of maintaining your water feature. This means protecting it from the winter freeze and keeping it in good condition.
Whether you have a simple fountain in your front yard, a large koi pond in your backyard, or quaint garden fountains there are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure your water feature is ready for the colder months ahead.
Here are six valuable tips on how to winterize your water feature so it’s ready for the cold weather.
- Pump out the water. The first step is to drain features by pumping out all of the water from your pond or fountain. For smaller water features it can be as simple as removing a drain plug. Others may require more work. This will help to prevent any damage that could be caused by freezing water. Make sure to disconnect all hoses and electrical cords before you start pumping out the water.
- Clean the feature. Once all of the water has been pumped out and there’s no water left, it’s time to clean your fountain. This includes scrubbing down stone, plastic or sides of the feature, removing any debris from the bottom, and cleaning out the pump housing. Doing a thorough cleaning now will help make installation in spring a breeze.
- Add antifreeze to the pump housing. Once your feature is clean and dry, add antifreeze to the pump housing. This will help protect your pump from freezing and cracking in the cold weather. Be sure to follow the instructions on the antifreeze container so that you add the right amount and remember to keep the chemicals away from children and pets.
- Trim back plants. Most ponds have some plants growing around or in them. As weather gets colder, these plants will die back. To keep them from becoming overgrown and messy, trim them back before winter sets in. You can either cut them back completely or simply remove any dead leaves and stems.
- Inspect your water feature. Inspecting water features for any damage that may have occurred over the summer is an important step. Look at the surface for cracks, leaks, or other damage that may have arisen due to weather conditions or normal wear and tear. If you find any damage on the fountain basin, fountain or pond liner, be sure to repair it before winter.
- Cover your feature. The last step is to cover your feature with a tarp or other type of protective cover. This helps keep debris and animals out of your feature and protect it from the winter elements. Be sure to secure the cover so that it doesn’t blow away in strong winds.
Here’s a video to guide your through the winterizarion of your fountain.
Caring For and Winterizing Your Water Features
An outdoor water fountain can improve curb appeal and enjoyability of your outdoor space. If you’re thinking about installing a water feature, consider doing so in autum. After installing your fountain or pond, caring for it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With just a little bit of regular maintenance, you can keep your water feature looking great all season long.
That said, one of the most important maintenance steps is winterizing your feature. By following the tips above you can rest assured knowing your investment is well-protected against the winter elements and your foutain is able to be enjoyed for years to come.
For more tips on installing or caring for anything from smaller water features in your garden to large, ornate fountains contact the pros at All Metro Service Companies. We’re happy to help with any yard and landscaping maintenance. From aeration to water features give us a call today for a free consultation.
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