Measures to Take When Caring for Your Garden Statues
Posted by kaviiks on August 16, 2008
Many of our customers come to us asking for help on the care and maintenance of their garden statuary. Some have the preconceived idea that concrete and cement garden statues are sturdy materials and designed for outdoor use all year round. Unfortunately, it does not work that way with areas where serious winter freezing conditions can occur not even with something as strong as marble. Garden statues need care and maintenance, regardless of their product make up. The sudden changes in temperature and humidity can affect the life of your garden statuary. Here are a few general steps we can suggest that would help lengthen the life and aesthetic look of your garden statuary.
1. Do Not Wash your Garden Statues with Strong Detergents
Using strong detergents and abrasives are not advisable. They cause damage to statues and can rapidly peel paint, causing intense flaking and bubbling of the outer finish. Instead, use a clean cloth and warm soap water; it goes a long way to keeping your statue clean.
2. Do not pressure wash any of your garden statuary including fountains and planters. These will destroy the finishes and may cause damage to your pieces. We recommend washing your pieces with your hands and if you are looking for protection, use gloves.
3. Unless advised, most concrete garden sculptures including planters, require care and maintenance throughout winter. Concrete items like birdbaths should be turned with bowl facing down on the pedestal. That way, water does not collect and freeze. Some customers may consider using a birdbath heater if they are looking to place the birdbaths all year round. This also applies to fountains. If the fountain is too large to move around, invert the bowls so that no water collects as that will destroy the bowl each time water solidifies and expands. Store the moveable pieces like the pump and statuary (if they are not too heavy) indoors. For those who are unable to invert the bowls, try using absorbent materials like burlap and place them in the bowl to absorb any condensation that could occur, then wrap the entire fountain with thick dark plastic that you could get at any hardware store. Some garden stores even offer fountain heaters to keep your water from freezing.
4. As a general rule, try to keep your concrete garden statuary and ornaments off the ground during the winter season as that could lead to damage when the product is subjected to water and freezing conditions. The basic thing to remember is that water should not be in contact with your garden statuary or the risk for damage and cracking is more eminent. Cover all your garden statuary with a plastic tarp.
5. Bronze statuary which are made of copper and tin, are beautiful and lasting sculptures that do well outdoors since bronze resists corrosion. Over time, bronze naturally weathers to a beautiful brown or green finish or patina. When the protective patina forms, bronze will corrode very gradually making it a lovely item for outdoor display. Other metals that do well outdoors are aluminum and brass.
Most garden statues designed for outdoor use, do well outdoors except when the freezing temperatures take over. We recommend care and maintenance exercised at all times with garden statuary and ornaments left outdoors. Marble for instance, can cause discoloration over time when left outdoors and can also crack during freezing conditions. Never leave water exposed to the statue at any time but to leave them covered and dry at all times during winter.
Written by Elaine T. for Kaviik’s Accents
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