Tips & Maintenance For Concrete Statuary Care
By: Sculpture by Design Inc
Pine River, MN 218-963-1313
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 siliconed 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. Avoid setting directly in dirt.
Cleaning: With the sealers we use, you should clean with mild dish soap such as ivory or dawn and use a soft brush, if needed, to avoid abrasion to the finish. Most often we find the garden hose and sprayer 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 cold water on hot days as you may cause the bowls to stress out from the temperature change and possibly crack the bowl. Add warm 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: 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 using white cover to deflect the sun, 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: First clean statuary before you reseal, follow cleaning instructions above. Reseal your statuary every 2-3 years or when surface becomes dull looking. 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 or your investment. Use a good quality exterior clear concrete sealer. For fountains, birdbaths or other water contained bowls use a heavier sealer made to withstand constant water holding.
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.