Installing a water feature is one way landscape design can transform your backyard and add value to your home. Whether you want zen landscaping for a backyard oasis or you want to create a cool backyard gathering space, making sure you know how to maintain a water feature is key to keeping it looking (and functioning) its best.
We’re giving you our guide for how to maintain a water feature after installation!
General Water Feature Maintenance Guidance
You spent time looking at water feature ideas and using a landscape planner online to plan and budget your dream water feature project, now you need to learn how to take care of it! Learning how to maintain a water feature after installation doesn’t require a large time commitment but you’ll want to stay on top of things.
Before we get into how to maintain a water feature each season, we’re giving you a few tips for water feature maintenance that will keep your installation looking and running its best including:
- Checking the water feature skimmer
- Monitoring algae growth in your backyard water feature
- Testing the water for chemical balance
- Maintaining proper water levels
Clear Out Your Water Feature Skimmer
First, don’t neglect the skimmer! Every week or so, take a few minutes to empty the skimmer on your water feature installation to keep it nice and clear. The skimmer is there to collect leaves and other small debris that may fall or blow into your water feature installation. It helps prevent clogging from happening and keeps your water feature operating smoothly. If you ever notice your garden water fountain isn’t producing as much water as it should be, chances are the skimmer is full and there’s a blockage.
In addition to cleaning the skimmer, take a minute each day to skim any debris off the water to stay on top of your water feature maintenance. This small act can make a huge difference when it comes to learning how to maintain a water feature after installation!
Regulate Algae Growth in Your Water Feature Installation
Whether you’ve got fish in your garden pond or have a pondless water feature with landscaping, you need to stay on top of algae growth to prevent damage to your plants and your water feature system. You can easily take care of this by adding in beneficial bacteria to manage algae growth and eliminate toxins that may develop in the water.
Another way to manage this is by carefully choosing where you install a water feature in your landscaping (which is something NVS Landscapes can help with!). Too much direct sunlight during the heat of the day can promote excess algae growth. No matter what, however, you’ll need to occasionally do a deep clean of your water feature to rid it of algae and other contaminants.
Testing the Water in Your Backyard Water Feature
This step is especially important if you have fish in your garden pond water feature, but no matter what you’ll want to test the water once a week to check the chemical balance. An excess of chemicals from city tap water can kill your koi fish if you don’t monitor it!
Keeping Your Water Feature Filled
Even if you don’t see it, each day your water feature installation loses some of its water. This can happen from evaporation, splashing, or any number of variables. When you’re learning how to maintain a water feature after installation, make sure you’re checking to ensure your water levels are at appropriate amounts. Pumps in a backyard water feature need to stay submerged so if enough water is lost it could cause damage to your water feature. We don’t want that!
In addition to paying attention to natural drops in water level from evaporation or splashing, you’ll need to check your water feature for leaks and have them repaired right away. Checking for wet spots around the perimeter can be a sign of water feature leakage outside of the liner.
Ground settling may also cause leaks along the edges of waterfalls. If you notice a wet spot beyond the liner or hear the water valve hissing constantly, that’s a sign of a leak there. These leaks are very easily fixed, so don’t be worried!
How to Maintain a Water Feature Each Season
Learning how to maintain a water feature after installation also means knowing how to take care of it each season. Water features are great landscaping ideas to boost curb appeal but only if you keep them looking their best!
Spring and Summer Water Feature Maintenance
Spring and summer are the best times to enjoy your backyard water feature installation! In the spring you’ll want to do a deep clean of your water feature once it’s over 55 degrees outside. Just consider it part of your spring yard clean up routine! You can drain it into nearby landscaping and use a garden hose to clean off any algae that may have accumulated. Remember to drain the water from spraying the rocks and landscaping before refilling your water feature for the final time.
Fall and Winter Water Feature Maintenance
When you’re learning how to maintain a water feature after installation, don’t forget you’ll need to clear the debris from your water feature most in fall. As the leaves fall they can clog up your skimmer more quickly and cause an unwanted blockage in your water feature. Late fall is another time to do a deep clean of your water feature to prepare for the upcoming winter months. Adding it to your fall landscaping cleanup routine makes it an easy task to remember.
If you live in a place where it gets really cold (like here in the Capital Region!) you need to make sure you winterize your water feature properly. If you’re unsure where to begin, talk to a landscape professional and they’ll know for sure!
After dreaming up your perfect water feature installation and working with a professional landscaper to bring your vision to life, don’t let it be for nothing by forgetting to take care of it. Learning how to maintain a water feature after installation is a necessary part of aquascaping. Don’t have your water feature just yet? We know the best landscapers in Albany and the Capital Region for the job! Check us out or use our Project Planner to submit your plans and let’s bring your vision to life.
Check out more reasons to add a water feature to your landscaping as we answer the question, “Do water features add value to a home?” (spoiler alert: they do!)