How Do You Remove Mold from an Outdoor Fountain?

stone fountainWith the gentle, relaxing sound of cascading water, your outdoor water feature provides you with a natural sanctuary from the everyday stresses of the world. There’s no denying the fact that most living creatures have a natural response to the sounds and look of moving water.

 

Now that we’re in the warmer months and temperatures are beginning to rise, the threat of mold growing inside and on your outdoor water fountain is very real. 

 

That’s because mold naturally grows faster and easier in areas that are constantly moist and warm. Since outdoor water fountains typically get more than their fair share of direct sunlight, it’s often the perfect breeding ground for mold and algae. 

 

If that happens, the sense of awe you experienced when the fountain was first installed could be replaced with a feeling of disgust.

 

How can mold grow on an outdoor fountain?


It’s true that mold and algae will grow faster in water that’s standing still. However, both can still grow in the bowl, base, and filtration system of your fountain. If left untreated, the algae and mold can literally take over your fountain and turn it into a big, slimy, and smelly mess.

 

What’s the difference between mold and algae?


While the two terms are often thought to mean the same thing, they are entirely different. 

 

Algae is a naturally growing plant that appears “mossy.” While it looks repellent, algae will not eat away at your fountain or cause you harm.

 

Mold, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. If you or your guests ingest the water from your mold-infected fountain, you could experience a host of health problems, from an irritated throat and eyes, to asthma attacks and breathing problems.

 

How can I clean and maintain my outdoor water fountain?


There are several relatively easy ways to maintain your outdoor water fountain. The key is to make it part of your regular home maintenance schedule.

 

To clean your fountain of mold, you can mix together a mold-busting concoction made from several everyday items. This is not as difficult as you may think. 

 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • One large sponge
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • A scrub brush, similar to what you would use on metal pots and pans
  • Bleach
  • A small container
  • A large bucket
  • A hose

 

Step 1: In the small container, mix warm water with a couple of drops of the dishwashing detergent. You should see suds gather in the water.

 

Step 2: Dip the scrub brush into the cleaning solution you just made, and scrub away all visible signs of the mold. Then, rinse the entire fountain with the hose.

 

Step 3: Pour a gallon of water into the large bucket with one (1) cup of bleach. Put on your rubber gloves and goggles, and add the sponge to the water-bleach mixture.

 

Step 4: After the sponge has been saturated, wipe down the whole water fountain structure. Then, let the bleach solution stay on the fountain for five (5) minutes so that all the remaining mold spores can be killed. 

 

Step 5: Use the hose to rinse the fountain. Take your time with this step to ensure that all of the bleach solution is removed. 

 

Step 6: Fill your fountain with fresh or even distilled water to work on the filtration system. Distilled water can be especially helpful as the impurities have already been removed. 

 

How often should I clean my outdoor fountain?


This procedure should be repeated at least once every six (6) months to make sure mold and algae don’t gain a foothold on your fountain. 

 

Does the installation impact the health of the fountain?


It sure does. Because the base of the fountain must have a tight seal, it’s recommended you hire a professional to do the job. One tiny, little crevice is more than enough room to let mold spores and algae in.

 

Today, most fountains are made with a sealant. However, this sealant tends to wear off over the course of time. If you have a stone fountain, you’ll probably need to replace the sealant once every 2-3 years. In most cases, a sealant rated for outdoor use will do the trick. Simply use a brush to apply the sealant over the entire fountain.

 

The key to doing this is to apply a thin layer with wide back-and-forth movements.

 

To learn more about water fountains and other water features, our team of creative landscaping professionals at Hidden Creek Landscaping are here to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. 

 

If you’d like for us to go ahead and begin gathering information about your needs, check out our online Dream Builder page.

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What Are the Benefits of a Saltwater Pool?

Pool stepsIf you’re looking to add a bit of fun and luxury to your home, a swimming pool can easily fit the bill. Beyond the obvious need for taking a cool dip as the temperatures steadily creep up, a swimming pool provides you with a host of benefits. 

From adding real value to your home, instilling a sense of calm, and giving you instant access to one of the best forms of physical exercise, hardly anything else comes close to touching the positive impact made by a pool.

While you have a variety of choices in terms of the physical layout of your pool, let’s talk about what goes into the pool. In other words, do you want a saltwater pool or a chlorinated pool? 

 

What are the advantages of a saltwater pool?


Many people immediately associate a saltwater pool with swimming in the ocean. However, saltwater pools have about a tenth of the salinity as water in the ocean. There really is no comparison between the two. 

 

Another commonly held misconception is that there’s no chlorine in a saltwater pool. Actually, your saltwater pool will make its own chlorine through electrolysis. The amount of chlorine is significantly lower than a traditional chlorinated pool because it’s produced at a slower, steadier pace.

 

Here are some of the benefits associated with saltwater pools:

 

  • They’re low maintenance. One of the most popular sayings among owners of chlorinated pools is they are the last person who gets to enjoy it because of all the maintenance. Owning a saltwater pool is a completely different experience altogether. While you’ll need to keep an eye on the chlorine levels, most saltwater pools can go weeks at a time without maintenance.

 

  • Saltwater doesn’t irritate your skin or eyes. Since the chlorine levels in saltwater pools are significantly lower, you and your guests will experience far fewer irritations. For example, with a saltwater pool, there’ll be no more itchy skin and red eyes. In fact, the sensation from saltwater pools is similar to that of water softeners; your skin will feel silky and smooth, not abrasive, as it would after a dip in a chlorinated pool.

 

  • In the long run, you’ll save money. While the saltwater generator can make the installation costs seem a bit higher, a saltwater pool is actually far more cost-effective since you’ll be using fewer pool chemicals each week.

 

What are the disadvantages of a saltwater pool?


As with just about everything in life, there are some disadvantages to installing a saltwater pool.

 

  • The initial investment is larger. Again, this is mainly because of the need for the saltwater generator. While this preliminary requirement can lead to a bit of “sticker shock,” the money you’re saving by not having weekly chemical purchases makes up for it.
  • Experienced technicians are required when problems arise. Because they are more complex than a chlorinated pool, it’s best to have an experienced technician look after even minor issues.
  • You may be limited with accessories. Because salt can damage certain surfaces, a saltwater pool may limit your choices in terms of underwater lighting, pool lining, etc.

 

What are the advantages of a chlorinated pool?


A chlorinated pool is definitely an investment worthy of your consideration. It’s an easy and affordable way to enjoy the warmer months.

 

  • They’re initially less expensive to install. Because there’s no need for a saltwater generator, the initial costs of a chlorinated pool are usually significantly less than a saltwater version.

 

  • It’s easier to find technical help. Since chlorinated pools are so well understood, you should have very little difficulty in finding a qualified professional to correct any issues.

 

  • A chlorinated pool can be less corrosive. With a chlorinated pool, you should be able to add just about any pool accessory you want. This includes having far more selection with underwater lighting and pool lining materials. 

What are the disadvantages of a chlorinated pool?

Yes, there are some cons to owning a chlorinated pool. Here are a few:

 

  • Your money can literally disappear in the air. While you’ll save on the initial investment, the savings will be eaten away by weekly chemical purchases. With a chlorinated pool, you’ll most likely be required to test and adjust your pool’s chemical balance throughout the week, and definitely after every storm. Without the addition of a chlorine stabilizer, all of your expensive chemicals will simply evaporate. 
  • You’ll likely notice a strong odor. You know the smell of chlorine when it’s in the air. That smell is actually the result of the chlorine interacting with bacteria to produce chloramine. It also leads to itchy skin and eye irritation. 
  • You need to become accustomed to handling chlorine and other chemicals. We’re not saying you need a science degree to own a chlorinated swimming pool, but you need to realize the required chemicals are hazardous to store and handle. 

As you can see, if you’re in the market for a swimming pool, you’ve certainly got options. If you’d like more information about saltwater and chlorinated pools, we’d be happy to speak with you.

Visit our online Dream Builder page so that we can begin gathering information for you. 

You can also contact us at your earliest convenience. 

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