You’ve spent all summer enjoying the splashing and bubbling sounds of your water feature, but winter is coming. While you’re thinking about breaking out the sweaters and putting away the shorts, a few preventative measures can help you maintain your pond or fountain to keep it ready for next year.
First – get it clean!
A bit of cleaning never hurts, and water features are no exception. Give it a quick scrubbing to remove any algae or gunk from the surface. If plants are part of the feature, pull them out and bring them inside if you’d like to protect them from frost. Leaves, rocks, and any other debris should also be removed.
Next – get rid of the water!
Freezing water is the main threat here, so getting the lines and basins dried out will help protect your fountain, pond, or birdbath. Don’t worry if you don’t get it 100% bone dry. Just get out as much water as you can. As long as the lines aren’t full of water, you should be fine, and a little bit of standing water will evaporate over time anyway. If it’s small enough, tip the fountain over to help the water run out. Freezing water can crack the lines or container, and these cracks are often hard to find and even harder to fix, so a few preventive measures can prevent costly replacements.
Save the hardware!
Saving the pump over the winter is priority, but luckily, it’s not too difficult. Unplug the power and disconnect the pump from the lines that come in and go out from the pump. Once you have the pump removed from the system, submerge it in a bucket of water and store it somewhere it won’t freeze, like in the basement or in a semi-heated garage. Keeping the pump wet will ensure that the gaskets don’t dry out before spring.
H2: Cool weather doesn’t have to be drab
You’ve done all this work, but don’t give up on your outdoor space just yet! You can add some mums for the fall or faux greenery for the holidays. Maybe you can get a jump on the neighbors and start putting up your Christmas lights. We’ll leave this part up to you.
Do what’s right for your climate
Keep in mind that these aren’t hard-and-fast rules for winterizing your water feature. Depending on your climate, you may want to take a different approach to preparing your outdoor space. If you usually have harsh winters, making sure that all your fountain lines are dry is essential. If you live further south where hard freezes aren’t the norm, just removing the pump might be enough.
For water features with a lot of stonework, you’ll want to be extra careful about residual moisture. Freezing water is one of the most destructive elements your patio will encounter. It can shift stones, crack mortar, and set you up for some costly repairs in the spring.
If you don’t have a water feature to winterize, or if you’d like to upgrade your existing feature in the spring, Red Valley Landscaping is always ready to add a bit of life and motion to any outdoor space. We’ve got a team of experienced designers and engineers, so if you can dream it, we can make it a reality in any backyard.
Still have questions? Take a look at the Seasonal Services we provide.