For homeowners looking to give their garden a look of aged elegance, outdoor cast stone wall fountains are excellent options for dressing up an otherwise plain or common-looking outdoor area. That’s not to say that flowers and shrubbery needs dressing up – it’s just that for that little extra touch that will really make a difference, a cast stone wall fountain will do just that.
Cast stone wall fountains are created to age over time as they’re naturally exposed to the elements, and they’ll do so in a tasteful way that ensures your fountain always looks clean and unique. Naturally, the better care you take of your wall fountain, the longer it will last and keep looking good.
Basic Care of Cast Stone Wall Fountains
Although most cast stone wall fountains are durable products, it is recommended that you remove any fountains that might fill with water and freeze, as this could result in cracking. Wall fountains that double as birdbaths need this extra caution in particular, but it’s always a good idea to take your fountain indoors during the winter, just in case.
Each piece of stone will also age differently, as the chemical reaction between the salt of natural materials and water can take slightly varying forms. This ‘efflorescence’ will change according to weather, and may sometimes produce a chalky residue on the stone surface.
Don’t worry! This will disappear as the natural efflorescence cycle completes, and once it’s occurred the first time, it won’t happen again. At this point, don’t bother trying to clean the fountain or remove the chalky residue – simply allow the cycle to complete.
Otherwise, clean the fountain with a soft cloth, and change the water frequently. This will prevent buildup of scum or bacteria that could become a hazardous breeding ground. If you find that you’re changing the water too often, check for leaks by filling the fountain to the brim, turning it off, and waiting for an hour or so.
Check to see if the area around the fountain is wet – taking note of whether you might have had a thirsty pet come by and drink out of the fountain in the meantime – and fix any leaks accordingly.
Basic Installation of Cast Stone Wall Fountains
Most places where you can purchase a cast stone wall fountain will send someone to your house to help with the installation – especially if you’ve chosen a fountain that is particularly large or unwieldy – but it’s helpful to know what they’re going to do when they get there. You might also want to assist, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, install a smaller unit yourself.
Wall fountains will be configured either as basin units or pedestal units, and both need a very solid support wall. Brick or stucco works best, since drywall and plywood will not have enough strength, and most fountains come already supplied with the necessary brackets to mount the top pieces solidly to a wall structure.
As you plan out where to place the fountain, consider that most wall fountains let the power cord come from behind, between the fountains and the wall. If you’re working with a much smaller unit and plan on mounting it yourself, head to your local hardware store to find the correct attachments for the unit, as it will vary depending on the kind of stone and the strength of the mounting wall.
Wherever you choose to mount the fountain, place it in a location that you can check often. Wall fountains should not be left running overnight, or when you’re not at home, since the water level can’t be monitored when no one is around – and it’s extremely important that you do not let the fountain ever run dry. This will cause the pump to burn out, and you’ll be left with high bills to fix or replace it. A good rule is to check the fountain every eight hours, since after that time, you’ll probably need to add more water.