One of the greatest thrills is to find an outdoor fountain at an antique dealer, or on a property you are going to buy. When you buy an antique outdoor fountain, or find one that has been covered over with overgrown weeds and vines, it will need some renovating. Chances are it has been out in the weather and will need to be cleaned at the very least. However, there could be some other problems that need to be addressed, such as chips in the ceramic, cracks in the water basin or even missing pieces. Here is a guide to help you revamp your old outdoor fountain.
Check Out Overall Condition
The condition of your outdoor fountain will dictate what you need to do. Check the bottom water basin for signs of cracking, or for water stains from leaks. Check to see if there is a place for the water pump to be placed, or if you need to drill a hole. Some of the older water fountains were not built with a dedicated area for a pump.
Fix Any Cracks or Leaks
For small cracks in a ceramic or concrete fountain, you can use some commercial products to help fill in the cracks and seal them. Liquid Concrete is a product in a tube that is ready-made to apply through a caulking gun. You can smooth it out with a small plastic scraper. All cracks up to 1 1/2 inches can be repaired this way. Larger cracks will require the use of fiberglass board and mortar.
Replace Any Broken Components
If there is a pump with the fountain, it will probably have to be replaced. Remove it and the water tube from the inside of the fountain. Thread a new water tube down through the inside of the fountain to the bottom where the pump is.
Regular soap and water will go along way to cleaning up an old outdoor fountain. The years of dirt, grime, debris, and bird droppings can come off just by letting the fountain soak in soapy water. Fill the basin with a warm water and soap solution so it can work at the caked on dirt. Use a sponge and scrub at the surface until it begins to loosen and come off. Drain out the basin of the dirty water and rinse with clean water.
Apply a Sealer
To help protect your outdoor fountain in the future, you should add a few coats of sealant to it. Apply at least two coats and let it completely dry before doing anything else to it.
Install Pump and Add Water
After the leaks are fixed, the cracks are repaired, any broken components are repaired and the fountain is sealed, you can then connect the pump to the electrical connections and the water tube. Begin filling the water basin with water and let the pump begin circulating the water.