How to Keep Decorative Fountains From Freezing

Decorative fountains are made of a variety of materials, ranging from fiberglass and concrete to metal.

Freezing water can crack or otherwise damage decorative fountains.Freezing water can crack or otherwise damage decorative fountains.
If water freezes in a fountain, some fountain materials can crack or break. If water freezes inside a fountain's pump it can cause even more damage, breaking the pump so that it must be replaced before the fountain can be used again. Keeping decorative fountains from freezing is largely a matter of winterizing the fountain before freezing temperatures occur, preventing the potential damage that ice can cause.

Drain the water from the fountain. Water left in a fountain can enter cracks and small gaps in the fountain's construction, causing deeper cracking or other damage when the water freezes and expands.

Remove the pump and if possible remove portions of the fountain, such as statues, that contain pipe. Store the pump and any removed features indoors where the temperature will remain above freezing during the winter. Place the pump in a bucket of water to prevent seals from drying out while the pump is in storage.

Place absorbent materials such as burlap bags or old blankets in the bowls of the fountain. This allows any moisture that gets into the bowls to be absorbed instead of soaking into the bowl material and possibly damaging it when the temperature drops below freezing. Check these occasionally, replacing saturated ones with dry ones.

Place a fountain cover over the fountain, covering the fountain and any absorbent materials you placed in it. The cover will prevent precipitation and other moisture from collecting in the fountain or penetrating pores in the fountain's surface. Secure the cover with twine or other material so that it isn't blown free by the wind.


  • Clean the fountain and pump when draining them to remove dirt and debris. This will save you from having to clean the fountain before refilling it when spring comes.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.