Pottery, Statuary, and Garden Ornaments
These tips, tricks, and suggestions will help maintain the integrity and longevity of your new Eye of the Day garden design merchandise.
Concrete is a porous material which absorbs and releases moisture. The minerals in your local water may cause a white residue to appear on the surface. If water is particularly hard, this reaction could, in time, cause the cement to deteriorate and crumble. It is possible to retard this damage by applying a sealer.
We carry the finest terracotta in the world. We recommend that terracotta is sealed in order to prevent expansion and contraction as a result of absorption and dehydration. These pots should not be placed on the ground or in saucers where moisture is trapped as this will cause discoloration and stain the surface. Use pot feet (even in saucers) to allow for evaporation and easier cleaning.
Reconstituted stone, crushed natural stone that has a surface texture similar to cut stone, requires careful handling. In very hot weather, a planted container should be watered only in the early morning or cool evening. When exposed to the elements, reconstituted stone will mature and age beautifully. When planters are used for interior spaces, a liner should be used as the material has a natural porosity. Efflorescence, also known as lime bloom, may appear as a white deposit on the surface of any product containing cement or limestone. This is temporary and will disappear as a result of normal weathering. Occasionally, hairline fissures may occur on the surface of the product, a characteristic of any material with a cement binder. This should have no effect on the structural integrity of the piece.
- Drain water from products in winter or when temperatures reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For any pot lacking drain holes: we recommend making a hole in the bottom or on any side close to the bottom in order to allow water to drain.
- Ensure that drain holes are always unobstructed by leaves or other objects. Use a planting cloth to prevent soil from draining out of the pot.
- Ensure that rain does not collect in previously emptied pots during cold weather, as freezing water can expand and break the pot.
- Do not use boiling water on pots to melt frost or snow. If necessary, salt can be used instead.
- Before the start of cold weather, ensure that pots are intact and do not have cracks or widespread fractures where water can collect.
Fountains & Fountain Conversions
Large fountains will be palletized for pick-up – strapped to a pallet with padding material – and loaded with a forklift into your vehicle by Eye of the Day. We charge a $25 fee per pallet to un-palletize an order. If you need your item loose packed, please inform us prior to pick up. The staff is happy to assist you in loading the loose-packed items into your vehicle, however they are unable to take responsibility for securing items in the vehicle. You must bring and use your own tie-down material.
When you sign the Custom Order Sheet, it becomes your responsibility to safely and securely fasten your purchased items in your vehicle. Be sure to use the packing materials provided by Eye of the Day at the time of pick-up to help you with the unloading, moving and installation of your items. Dropping any of the items or placing them down hard may cause damage. We appreciate the return of any pallets and packing material when possible.
Delivery by Eye of the Day
Your purchased items will be delivered to your driveway or where we can safely park our truck or van. In most cases, the EOD driver will not move your items any further than directly off the truck. Delivery means one driver will deliver your items strapped to a pallet by means of a lift gate and pallet jack. He will be unable to physically move any item by himself.
When you get your fountain home
- Be careful when you unload. Use the packing material provided or any soft materials to protect the finish of your fountain from chipping or scratching. Never stand on any of the pieces.
- Have plenty of help as concrete and stone are very heavy.
- Have some planned resting spots to allow you to change your grip as you lift any of the large pieces into place.
- Use the correct equipment! Piano dollies, hand-trucks, etc.
- Plan your route for placement. Be sure you have enough room in which to maneuver. Examine the type of surface you will be moving across and the widths of any passageways and gates. TIP: If the fountain bowl or pond is too wide to pass though your gate, it may be possible to turn it on edge and roll it on cardboard, carpeting or any other soft surface. (Remember that the edge of the bowl is fragile so roll with care!)
Care & Sealing
Fountains should be cleaned with a soft cloth. Change the water frequently, when possible. To further protect the finish from fading or the concrete from cracking, seal the surface of the fountain approximately every six months. If you notice the sealer wearing off or the color fading, it is time to reseal.
Depending on the temperature and evaporation rate, you may see a buildup of white residue on fountain surfaces from mineral content in the water supply. Fountains without a painted surface (including antique stains and washes) may also experience efflorescence as well as mineral deposits due to the minerals in the water. DO NOT use any abrasive cleaner or cleaning aid that could damage the finish. To prevent such buildup, we suggest using a product called Fountain Clear.
- Using Fountain Clear, especially in hot weather, will prevent algae growth and buildup from debris. Algae can damage the fountain surface and can clog the pump causing it to overheat and burn out. Cleaning will ensure longer life and better flow for your pump. Never use chlorine or bleach as an algaecide or cleaner. These products can damage your pump and fountain surfaces. White vinegar can be used to help control and clean algae.
- Never let the fountain run dry. Lack of water will burn out the pump. (NOTE: This is not covered by the pump’s warranty.)
- Read all the information supplied with your pump regarding its proper care and cleaning.
- Plug the pump into a properly grounded junction box with a GFI receptacle only.
- Protect your fountain from freezing. It is best to store concrete items indoors. Do not allow water to collect and freeze in the bowls. Cracking will occur.
- Small hairline surface stress cracks are common to all concrete products due to the natural weathering and outdoor temperature changes. There are NO manufacturer warranties against these occurrences.
- A fountain assembly sheet, fittings as well as tubing are included for each fountain type. Please contact us if you do not receive all necessary pieces for setup.
- All fountains have some amount of over splash regardless of style or design. Placement location of any fountain is the sole responsibility and liability of the purchaser.
- Fountains with ponds: If the fountain is to be installed on a hard surface, such as concrete, tile, etc., a thin layer of sand (on half inch to one inch) should be placed between the pond and the surface where the fountain will rest. This will reduce the risks of stress cracks to the basin and help with leveling. Sand is not required on a soil surface although it does help to level the basin when installing.
- Fountains without ponds: Place pedestal/base style fountains on a firm level foundation. If the fountain or statue is to be placed on soil, a 24″ concrete stepping stone is recommended to avoid erosion. Most pedestal are hollow inside so splash, rain, and/or sprinkles may wash away dirt and cause your fountain or statue to fall over.
- Excessive heat or pressure on any of the fountain bowls or other sections may cause it to fall. Most fountains have no interlocking parts; they are held together by gravity only. Gluing or cementing parts together is not recommended, especially as you may wish to dismantle the parts to service the fountain’s pump, clean the fountain, or move the fountain to a new location.
- Please keep people and pets from sitting, leaning, standing, or climbing on any part of the fountain.
Instructions for Minor Repairs
If repairs must be made, they must be done prior to the paint process. Clean and prepare the damaged area by removing any paint that is loose and sand the area lightly to a smooth finish. Any auto body type filler may be used to repair damaged areas. Generally this is two-component cement that can be used to make minor repairs. After the filler is applied it can be sanded to a smooth finish. If a piece has broken away, use a cement epoxy glue to affix the pieces together. Once dry use the auto body filler to cover the seams and sand to a smooth finish. Please refer to the instructions on the auto body filler packaging for proper use.
Touch-Up Paint Application Instructions
All touch-up color that you receive will be water based. You will have one or more paints to work with. Shake paints thoroughly prior to use. DO NOT mix the paints together. For a finish with antiquing, apply base color at full strength with a brush (do not dilute with water) and let it dry completely. Apply the antique color and wipe off the excess with a clean cloth and let dry. A second application of the antique color may be applied if desired. Seal all finishes with a concrete sealer. (Decide whether you want a shiny sealer or one that disappears into the surface.) Make sure to read all sealer instructions completely. Allow newly painted and sealed areas to dry completely before re-assembling and refilling with water. This will take approximately two days depending on weather conditions.
- The number one problem when installing a fountain is that the plastic tubing is kinked, blocking the water flow.
- Is there enough water in the fountain? Many fountains require a full water level to operate. Pumps should be covered with water in order function properly.
- Is electricity available? Did the circuit breaker go off?
- Is there any debris blocking the intake to the pump?
- Is there an “air lock” in the pump? Plug and unplug the pump several times to clear.
- Is the propeller in the pump turning? See the manufacturer’s directions supplied with your pump for any servicing issues.
- Keep fountain bowls filled to the proper level to maintain proper operation. It is NOT recommended that fountains be left running over night or when you are not at home as water levels cannot be monitored.
- Do not fill your fountain with cold water when the fountain is hot to the touch as it may crack. We refer to this as “water shock” – when heated concrete quickly absorbs cold water it cracks. On warm days, fill your fountain in the morning when the fountain is cool. If it freezes in your area, be sure to drain the fountain and cover it with a waterproof tarp, or dismantle and move it inside.
- Check for cracks. First, fill your fountain to the brim. Do not operate the fountain. If your fountain is leaking, the water level in the fountain will be lower and the ground around the fountain will be wet. Before you perform this test, you should turn off any sprinklers around the fountain. If there is no indication of a leak, check with your pets. You could very well be losing water because they are thirsty.
FAQs for Fountains
1) Why isn’t my pump working?
- Check for a kink in the tubing
- Try turning up the pump
- Clean the pump
- Check for an electrical issue
2) My fountain is leaking.
- Check for cracks
- Splashing and evaporation can lead to loss of water
- Try filling the fountain, marking the water level, and then check every 4 hours or so, keeping track of any change in water level.
- Wall Fountains: Check to see if there is a leak in the back wall (need permagum)
- Check the plug
3) Should I seal my fountain?
- If you want the fountain to remain as close to the original color as possible, seal it regularly
- If you want your fountain to age nicely, don’t seal it as often
4) What should I seal my fountain with?
- External concrete penetrating sealer (from hardware store); Example = Sinak
5) My fountain has a crack.
- Use bondo or epoxy that’s sandable, and paintable
6) My fountain is changing color.
- Mineral deposits, and algae will occur over time
- Regular cleaning and sealing will help prevent or minimize change in color (see question 6 and 7)
- Use an algaecide product regularly
7) How do I get rid of the white water stain?
- Use a soft brush and a small amount of white vinegar
- OR allow your fountain to dry out completely for several days and then brush off dead algae
- Maintain fountain with the use of a small shop vac to remove debris and buildup