Classic Rock expects its statuary to age beautifully and to provide enjoyment for many years to come. Sometimes, though, newly cast concrete will crack in the first few weeks or months as it completes its curing. We work hard to minimize problems, but problems cannot be totally eradicated.Therefore, within one year of date of purchase by the retailer Classic Rock will replace any piece of statuary with a manufacturer’s defect. We have always and will always stand behind our product. Please note this warranty does not cover freezing and is void if the following protection and care is not provided by the end-user.
Sealing your statuary with “Sealox” will preserve the finish, stall the aging process and stop “spalding” (crumbling and flaking of the surface in freezing weather).
In cold climates all outdoor statuary must be sealed. Sealing will protect the surface of the concrete from freezing and flaking, but will not keep a bowl or pond from cracking when frozen. ANY ITEM THAT HOLDS WATER MUST BE PROTECTED FROM FREEZING. Bowls and ponds can be inverted or covered and fountain pumps removed. By following these simple recommendations purchasers can easily and inexpensively protect their Classic Rock statuary from winter weather.
Our recommended water sealer is “Sealox”, available from Classic Rock. All sealers are not created equal and some of the most advertised and best known are the least effective.
“Sealox” does not leave a sheen on the product and dries almost immediately. The sealer is invisible once it has dried. Packaged in a spray bottle, it can be applied easily and quickly.
Please note: water sealer keeps a product from crumbling or flaking during freeze/thaw cycles; it will NEVER keep a bowl from cracking, as that is caused by the expansion of ice within the bowl. Never allow water to collect in bowls during freezing weather. Classic Rock carries fountain covers for various sized fountains, which make winterizing much easier.
One litre of “Sealox” sealer is enough for a birdbath and several small pieces. For large fountains or for numerous pieces the four-litre size is far more cost-effective. The cost of the sealer is minimal when compared with the cost of replacing the statuary.
1. Make sure the concrete is absolutely dry. If it is damp inside the concrete piece, the sealer will “seal in” the moisture and a white milky film (called “blushing”) will develop on the surface of the piece. Place the piece of statuary inside a garage or away from rain, dew and damp ground for several days (longer if the piece is soaking wet). Every surface must be dry. Once sealed, the piece can be re-sealed on a dry day without disassembling. We recommend resealing annually.
2. Spray at least two coats on every surface initially, including the base. Succeeding applications can be sprayed to the exterior surfaces where the piece stands.
3. Any piece that holds water (e.g., fountain and birdbath bowls) must be kept empty of water. There are several ways bowls can be kept dry. Birdbath bowls can be removed and placed inside. Larger bowls must be drained completely, left to dry several days and then covered to keep rain/snow out of the bowl. Large bowls may have both a drain plug that must be unscrewed and left open, and/or a rubber plug in the centre that should be removed (through which the pump cord passes.) The bowl (fountain) can then be covered with a tarp or fountain cover. Please note that condensation will form under plastic, wet the concrete and freeze. Therefore, all statuary must be water-sealed, even if covered. Prior to covering place old towels in the bowls to absorb condensation.
4. Pumps in small fountains that are easily removed should be drained and placed inside during freezing weather. Pumps in large fountains should be drained (plastic hose unhooked and pump emptied of water) and then elevated to prevent any accidental water from touching it. Place the pump up on a brick, or something similar, to keep it dry during the winter (Remember to remove the brick when refilling the fountain in the spring.) Please note that running submersible pumps out of the water will destroy them.
Caution: when filling a fountain or birdbath with water, never add water that is hotter or colder than the concrete. If the concrete is cold, add cold water. If the concrete is hot (has been sitting in the hot sun or inside a warm area), add only warm water. Otherwise, the concrete can crack.
5. Prepare a proper base for your statuary. Because contact with the ground keeps statuary wet, fountains should be placed on a pad of concrete or brick to allow proper drainage and drying of the bottom of the piece. Otherwise, water will be “wicked” up from the ground into the concrete piece, even when there is no rain. Water-sealer liberally applied to the bottom of the piece also helps prevent this problem. Bench legs and bases of other pieces can be placed on stepping stones, crushed stone, gravel, brick, etc., to allow them to dry properly.
6. Proper preparation of planters is essential. Make sure the drain hole is open. After applying the water sealer to every surface, inside and out, put about an inch of gravel inside the planter. Then place a piece of landscape fabric (available from your local garden centre) over the gravel to keep the soil from eventually plugging the drain. The planter is now ready for the soil. If the drain hole gets blocked and the planter fills with water, freezing temperatures can cause it to crack.
When placing your planter in its final location, raise the legs or corners slightly to allow the drain hole to run freely. A piece of ceramic tile can be inserted and indented under each corner and side so that it is not visible, yet raises the concrete piece about 1/4 inch. After watering if you notice that water is standing on the surface of the planter for more than a minute or so, the drain hole is probably plugged and must be re-opened.
Classic Rock has been selling product successfully for years in the subzero winters of Edmonton, Alberta. With proper preparation and care, as outlined above, Classic Rock statuary stands up exceedingly well and will provide enjoyment for many years to come!