As well know, last winter was a little bit of a disaster weather wise. Here in the UK we tend to have some bitterly cold winters that will not only affect your daily commute to and from work every day but the harsh temperatures will take a tole on your lovely garden water features should they be left unprotected throughout the winter season. Your outdoor water features will be in harms way throughout the season if they are left outside in the freezing temperatures. In order for you to avoid expensive repairs when it comes round to spring there are several very important steps that need to be taken in order to prevent any damage to your features. Of course, it isn't always necessary to shut down your water features for winter, as they often compliment a snowy backyard like no other. However, please not that if your water feature is a habitat to fish, you will want to invest in a pond de-icer. Pond de-icers not only keep your fish warm and alive, but also ensure your water does not freeze. Frozen water inside of water feature is something that needs to be avoided at all costs. Frozen water may lead to cracks in the feature as once the water has frozen it will expand. Due to the limited room inside the feature including pumps and pipes the frozen and expanding water will need to escape from somewhere, creating a crack.
Remember, most pond fish won't be able to digest their food past 12.8 degrees Celsius. If you live in an area that experiences hard freezes, you should definitely consider moving your water features indoors. Sometimes this option is a little too drastic, or is simply just too much trouble. If that is the case then I would suggest that you drain the water feature completely and store it in a dry place over the winter period. A good storage spot would be in a shed or garage. Of course, some things are just too large and bulky to manoeuvre inside a home, so if you have no other options and are concerned your water will experience a hard freeze, you should drain the water from your fountain, ensuring the pipes do not freeze. If you feel it's necessary, purchase a large, durable blanket to protect your investment or better still a fountain water protection cover from the harsh weather.
With the horrible weather we had last winter, it may be a good idea to invest early in some rock salt to grit your pathways and driveways with. By investing early you will be prepared and avoid the troubles of shortages that were evident last winter. Amongst the shortages last winter was snow shovels and sledges.
Just remember, you have invested a significant amount of money in your garden features so why not take the little extra time to protect them over the winter. Come spring, the last thing that you want is to turn your water features back on in excitement only to find that there is a crack and water is now leaking and is essentially un-usable till fixed.