Stone Care Archives | Estate Fountains

A yard water fountain can add appeal and value to any home when it looks pristine. 

With busy schedules and tight budgets, it can become less of a priority to care for the fountain. In fact, the average homeowner spends an average of $1,204 a month on home costs. If you’re looking for ways to make your fountain maintenance quick and easy, check out these tips.

Take Care of the Pump

In order to prevent serious problems with your fountain, make sure you take care of the pump.

Most people notice their pump is the first thing that accumulates buildup and debris. Since the water flows through the filter via the pump, it can accumulate the most buildup. Making it a habit to clean the pump will prevent you from having to deal with excess buildup. To tend to the pump, all you have to do is remove it from the fountain and wipe it down with a clean sponge.

If the pump has small and tough to reach areas, you might need to use a toothbrush to ensure you take care of all the buildup. Keep in mind the pump also has to be completely submerged in water. Depending on the climate and region, your fountain might drain of water faster than expected.

Make sure you pay attention to how often your fountain runs out of water, so the pump always stays submerged.

Distilled water prevents excess algae buildup and gives you more time in between cleanings. Using distilled water might not be a problem for those with small fountains, however, large fountains might not be as easy.

If you have a large fountain, and distilled water is not an option, you can use other solutions to control the algae buildup. Using Chlorine tablets, bromine, salt or algaecide will control algae in large fountains.

The Type of Water You Use

Some fountain owners notice no matter how many times they clean their fountain, it’s always covered in algae. If you’re having this problem with your fountain, start using distilled water, or water that’s been “filtered” through your homes water softener system instead.

Distilled water prevents excess algae buildup and gives you more time in between cleanings. Using distilled water might not be a problem for those with small fountains, however, large fountains might not be as easy.

If you have a large fountain, and distilled water is not an option, you can use other solutions to control the algae buildup. Using a birdbath cleanser or fountain cleanser will control algae in large fountains.

Fountain Maintenance Tips: The Bottom Line

If you follow these tips, you will never feel burdened by fountain maintenance. Remember to keep in mind the material, the water, and the pump.

Looking for a new fountain for your home? Check out our complete fountain inventory.

How to Maintain, Care for, and Clean Your Outdoor Fountain

December 17, 2018

An outdoor fountain is a great centerpiece for any yard or garden. Water fountains also attract birds just by the sound of running water. It’s important to properly maintain your fountain for both aesthetics and health issues.

Cleaning garden fountains must be done with care and cover all aspects of the fountain. If you only clean off the surface, you’ll likely be cleaning again soon. To help get your fountain cleaned right, follow these steps outlined in our guide.

Scrubbing it Clean

The first thing you’ll want to do is go over your fountain with a textured cloth, a toothbrush, and some dish detergent. This should be routine maintenance done at least every other month, depending on surrounding trees. Tree pollen, dirt, and leaves can do a number on your fountain.

Depending on what your fountain is made out of (for example marble, travertine, limestone, Cantera, or concrete fountains), you may need to purchase special cleaner to avoid staining or damaging the surface.  (And with those porous stones, more consistent cleaning is needed, as it’ll require a lot of elbow grease to take off any milky white calcium scale or iron stains.)

On the other hand, if you have a granite fountain, cleaning/maintenance is a much easier affair, as there isn’t much that can hurt granite.  Using a solution of 50/50 muriatic acid/water will very quickly take off calcium scale, and 50/50 ferrous acid/water will take off iron stains without scrubbing.   (Or, there is a product called RidORust that does a really great job as well, if you can’t find ferrous acid.)  As long as the acid is bubbling, that means it’s still working.  If it stops bubbling but the stain is still there, spray some more acid on until the stain is gone.  Then, rinse liberally with water and your fountain will be sparkling clean again.  (Whatever you do, please make sure you wear eye protection, protect your skin, and only spray acids on your fountain on a non-windy day!)

More modern fountain designs can reduce the amount of cleaning necessary, too. Please note, sealing your fountain with a quality sealer like Miracle 511 products will make it much harder for dirt/algae to stick to your stone, which will make cleaning much easier as well.  Typically for our granite fountains we recommend Miracle 511 Impregnator Sealer, or for our marble fountains MIracle 511 Porous Plus Sealer or if you want to bring out the color in your stone the Miracle 511 Seal / Enhance sealer will really make the colors / veins much more visible.  (Essentially, the same colors that the stone turns when it’s wet, but unsealed.)

Pump Maintenance and Water Levels

Keeping a consistent water level can go a long way in maintaining your pump. The water level of your fountain should be noted every day. You will need to keep adding water to your fountain if you live in a hot and dry climate, or if your fountain pool surround does not have an autofill in it to automatically re-fill the pool.

Every month, replace all of the water with fresh water, alternating with algae cleaner (more on that below). While replacing your water, you should be cleaning the pump. Carefully remove your pump and submerge it in a vinegar solution.

Mix roughly one-part vinegar with two parts water and run it for at least 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush if needed to take off calcium scale. (Take the pump impeller out, making sure not to lose small parts, and clean out that chamber as well.)

Cleaning and Preventing Algae

Algae will ruin a fountain’s water pump and cause your water to smell, as well as clogging your auto-fill, which causes it to stay in the open position and results in your fountain pool flooding over the top of the wall. It’s important to proactively clean your water to prevent algae every month. You can buy/make a special anti-algae cleaner that will kill off all living organisms on the surface of your fountain.

Another big contributor to algae growth is location. Direct sunlight allows algae to grow faster, which could allow it to outpace your cleaning efforts. Partial or full shade is best for fountains. This will also keep water from evaporating fast.

Also, if you keep as much water in your fountain pool as possible, it keeps the water colder which inhibits the growth of algae even more.

Outdoor Fountain Maintenance

We hope this guide helps save you some time and reveals the inner beauty of your outdoor fountain. We know it can be a lot of work maintaining a garden and all of the fixtures therein. If you would like some additional help caring for your garden fountain, we have experts that can tell you what to do.

We also offer replacement parts on our website. If you forget to drain your fountain during a freeze, the pump will need to be replaced. And your fountain will likely crack, and start leaking. On our site, you’ll find pumps to keep the water clear and the fountain clean.

If you have any special requests or don’t see the part you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us.  (What

Natural Stone Facts

October 29, 2014

Natural stone is an ideal choice for many fine home finishes.  There are several types of natural stone out there; each gives a different look and has different properties. This article highlights a few of the most popular natural stone types and facts about each type.


Granite is one of the most popular natural stone types. Many people choose this stone because it is very durable. Granite is one of the hardest, densest natural stones making it the best choice for outdoor fountains in freezing climates.  It is also very resistant to scratches and staining and can withstand high heats; making this stone ideal for use in the kitchen. Granite also comes in many different colors, from light to dark, with unique variations in each variety. Check out some beautiful granite samples below.

Gaillo Fantaisa Y Granite – Its warm golden/tan earth tones work well in many landscaping applications.

Golden Cypress Granite – Closely resembles the fine-grained texture and color tones of a buff limestone but with the durable characteristics of granite.

Louise Blue Granite – Considered a premium exotic stone, showcases the wild variation in colors and texture available to those seeking something truly unique.


Marble is a crystallized limestone. This beautiful stone has been popular in homes for centuries because of its elegance. Unlike granite, marble is softer and more porous. This allows for a greater level of detail in the carving.  It tends to stain and scratch easier than other natural stone types, so it is best used in an area in your home with less traffic. Some of the most popular places to use marble are for statuary or columns, or in guest bathrooms and fireplace surrounds. Like granite, marble comes in a variety of colors, each with distinct veining. Below are some marble examples.

Crema Marfil Marble Fireplace


Cumulus White Marble Contoured Oval Bath Tub



In its natural state, travertine is a porous stone with holes running through it.  On floor tiles and countertops, holes are often filled and the stone is honed to the state you see in homes. Like marble, travertine is soft, so some preventative maintenance is needed for this type of stone to keep it looking nice. Travertine works great for many uses in the home as long as it is properly maintained. Below are some popular travertine colors.

Scabos Travertine flooring in a Versailles pattern

Travertine Fireplace with polished marble inlays


Limestone is a unique natural stone. It is a sedimentary stone formed from the accumulation of organic materials like shells and coral at the bottoms of ancient sea floors.  Like marble, this stone is very porous and will require some preventative maintenance. Also like marble, this stone is susceptible to staining and scratching, so it is not suitable for all areas of the home.  Check out a beautiful limestone sample below.

Limestone Kitchen Hood

Limestone Stair Treads and Curved Balustrade

These are just a few of the different types of natural stone available. For more stone samples, click here

Interested in learning more about using natural stone in your home? Contact us

5 Stone Care Tips

August 5, 2014

When you invest in something beautiful made out of natural stone, of course you want it to stay looking beautiful for years to come. Read the top five stone care tips below to learn what you can do to keep your stone investment looking great.

1.Know your stone

Before you can even think of cleaning or caring for your stone you need to know what type of stone it is. Natural stone can be classified into two different categories. It is important to know what type of stone you have, so you can use the proper cleaning products. The two categories are:

•Siliceous Stone: This stone is made up of silica or quartz like particles. Some examples of siliceous stones are granite, slate, sandstone, brownstone, bluestone, and quartzite. This type of stone is typically quite durable and easy to clean.
•Calcarous Stone: This stone is made up of calcium carbonate. Some types of calcareous stones are marble, travertine, onyx, and limestone. Calcarous stone is typically less durable and requires special cleaning products.

2.Use Coasters & Trivets

Think twice before setting your drink down without a coaster underneath it. Citrus juice and alcohol can specifically be quite abrasive on your stone. If some spills out from your cup, the coaster will protect the stone. Also, before you set a hot pot or pan down on the stone think about using a trivet. Although most stones can handle the high heat, the use of a trivet will help to keep the stone looking beautiful for longer. 

3.Use Proper Cleaning Products

Now that you know what type of stone you have, you should be able to determine a type of cleaner that should be used. Make sure to use the proper cleaner on your stone type to keep it looking beautiful.


Sealing is done on some types of stones to help repel stains. Remember that sealing doesn’t make a surface “stain proof” but it can help to make the surface resistant to stains. Some stones don’t require sealing, but if your stone does require some sort of sealant it is best to apply one to keep the stone looking great for years to come.

5.Care for Stains Promptly

If you spill something or notice a stain on your stone, the best thing to do is care for it as soon as possible. The longer it sits on the stone the harder it will be to get out. Depending on the type of stain or spill, you will have to care for it differently. Identify the type of stain and care for it using the proper cleaning method. 

By caring for your stone properly, you will help it to stay beautiful for years to come. 

Download this handy stain removal guide for more information. 

Have a question about caring for your stone investment? Contact us

Why should you use Granite Fountains rather than cast stone or other types?

February 2, 2014

Why Should you use Granite Fountains?

If you live in the northern climates or an area with a freeze/thaw cycle, there is one large reason to use granite fountains or natural stone fountains. It’s a lot easier on you over the years, not having to disassemble your fountain to store it indoors over the winter, or worry about covering it so water doesn’t sit in the basin, or trying to fill/fix cracks that occur as you do with a concrete/cast stone or limestone fountain like this one.

DrawBacks of Limestone 

In warmer locations, limestone fountains like that shown above can be used with no appreciable ill effects for a fairly long time. That being said, granite still may be a better choice for you, as stones like limestone and sandstone inherently do not last as long as granite. It will also be based on the porosity of the stone itself, and how it will eventually wear away with the damage from the elements.

Our granite fountains can remain outdoors year-round to give you the inherent beauty of your fountain, even if it’s not actually running during the really cold part of the year.

As you can see, we keep our fountains running deep into the Wisconsin winters, and it results in some spectacular ice formations with no harm to the fountain itself!

Winter Weatherizing your Natural Stone Fountain is easy!

1. Just take the pump out of it, and drain/clean it so it’s ready for next years to use.
2. Drain your basin(s) and take the plugs out of them.
3. Depending on the kind of stone you have, you can either seal it whenever it needs it (typically once every year or two) or, you can just let it remain natural. (Sealing helps keep stains from occurring if you are in an area with high chemical concentrations in your water or natural elements like clay that could stain the stone.)

It’s that easy for you to have an object of beauty that will last for generations!

The only hard part will be deciding who to “will” your fountain to when the time comes…

So please contact us, so we can help you design a fountain to fit your budget, your decor, your style, and your life!

Stain Removal for Stone – Video

November 2, 2009

Stain Removal Guide The following video guide is from the Marble Institute of America. It discusses a guidelines for stone care and cleaning including stain removal for stone with poultice:

As it was mentioned in the video, tough stains may require a Liquid Poultice for removal. The PDF below is from The National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades and outlines how to apply poultice to stains. Click here to download the step-by-step stain removal guide (PDF). Poultice Plus – Stain Removing Absorbent Powder from Miracle Sealants is available through Carved Stone Creations in 1 LB and 5 LB containers.