How do you take care of your concrete sculpture items?
Tips for Concrete Statuary Care by Sculpture Gardens
Safety: Concrete is a very hard and durable material, it is also brittle and can be chipped or broken when moved, dropped or struck with a hard object. The use of proper padding and good judgment when handling and transporting is necessary, as well as a good safe and stable ultimate location for your statuary. It is also suggested with small children, pets or other concerns that some items such as benches, bench legs, multi- pieces structured on top of one another, items on pedestals, etc. may be glued or silicone together once in a permanent place for safety concerns. Our statuary is sold separately due to designing your own garden themes and for transportation purposes.
Placement: It is best to place your concrete statuary on crushed rock to allow drainage and air flow. This helps to avoid trapping excess moisture and reduces freeze / thaw damage. If crushed rock is not possible use sand, wood chips, bricks, stepping stones or other items. We sell small rubber bumper pads to put underneath statuary which can also be used to prevent scratching if placing one piece on top of another. When possible avoid sitting in the direct dirt.
Cleaning: With the sealers we use, you should clean statuary with mild liquid dish soap such as ivory or dawn and use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush so you do not eat into the sealer finish or scratch into your paints. Most often we find the garden hose with the spray nozzle attached will remove most dirt and stains, do not use power washers, they are too strong and could remove the finishes.
Hot Days: Do not fill fountains or birdbaths with really cold water on hot days as you may cause the bowls to stress out from the water temperature change and possibly crack the bowl. Add warmer water. Remember when filling the bowls using the garden hose, warm water usually lays in the hose but it can change to cold water sooner then you think, so check water temperature before filling.
Winterizing: In this business we can’t bring everything inside for the winter and if you think about it you do not bring your driveway or sidewalks inside in the winter either. There are a few tips. For fountains or other water contained bowls, drain and pull all plugs so water can not be retained inside bowl. For all birdbath bowls or other items of concern, tip them over or cover them when possible, this will help reduce the snow and water freeze & thaw inside the bowl. Remove your pumps. It doesn’t hurt to cover items when possible or bring small more fragile items in when possible. Remember anything you can do for preventive maintenance makes your investments last longer.
Resealing: Reseal your statuary every 2 – 3 years. This protects the stains, paints and other finishes used as well as the concrete. You may not see small chips or cracks that have happened from normal wear and tear and these allow the water to penetrate into the pores which can cause breakdown of the concrete starting from the inside. With a little routine maintenance sealing your concrete can prolong the life of your investment. We sell sealer, otherwise buy a good quality sealer for exterior concrete. For fountains, birdbaths or other water contained bowls use a heavier sealer made to hold up to the constant water that is inside the bowls. .
Statuary Repair: Pieces that have accidentally been broken or dropped may be repaired by using a good quality exterior concrete glue. If you chip or break a part of the statuary, apply some sealer to the area to seal up the open pores which will help prevent moisture build up inside. If sculptures have been painted touch up with a good quality exterior paint or patio paints. Most of the art work on our sculptures are done with Patio Paint which is made for concrete and found at Wal-Mart, Michaels or other finer craft stores. Depends on the size of area and the base color used, sometimes you can dab black onto the spot and dab off and you never know you had a problem, then seal. Some sculptures are made with solid colored concrete, in this case just seal open pores up.
Quality is the key word to making statuary last longer. Our concrete sculptures are made with Portland Cement. All raw materials used are purchased here in Minnesota or made to with stand cold climate weather. Certain additives are added which promote longevity and quality. All sculptures are sealed with a Clear Concrete Cure & Seal application after being removed from the mold. After final finishes are applied to sculpture an additional two coats of sealer is applied. Sealers are weather resistant and made here in Minnesota. Swimming pool paint is used on sculptures that will hold, retain or be affected by long term water ware. Quality and customer care are our main concerns. If you ever have a question or problem, please call and let us help. Thank you.