How Do You Protect Concrete Statues and Art In the Winter?

Our concrete art and ornaments need the same care as the plants in the garden. There has been a misconception that cement statues and bird basins are hardy to survive the harsh winter without any human intervention.

 We mainly choose cement to make statues because of its strength and rigidity. However, sculptures made of cement can have beautiful elements that we would like to retain and nurture—preserving and protecting these beautiful aspects requires the careful preservation of the concrete artwork over winter.

Taking care of your garden concrete is an ongoing process that begins in the sunny summer months and into the bitter winter months. Taking care of the statues and figurines will reward you with the beauty and longevity of your garden art pieces.

The detailed instruction provided below is meant to identify the common areas of concern affecting cement creations in the winter and how to overcome the pitfalls. 

What happens when water gets on concrete?

Water is a significant component when making concrete. The chemical reaction between cement, water, and aggregate strengthens the curing process. 

The absorption of water in concrete leads to cracks and corrosion. In the winter months, the infiltrated water in the cracks experiences expansion and contraction. The free-thaw process reduces the structural integrity of the concrete art.

Excess water in the concrete art can also lead to problems when applying a protective seal and coating. The wet surface prevents the adhesive from adhering to the surface resulting in discoloration and mildew build-up.

How to Protect Concrete Statues and Figurines in the Winter

  1. Make sure to Cover and Store your Statue in Winter Months.

Extreme temperatures tend to affect the structure adversely. Concrete can expand and contract with environmental changes. Each climatic conditions have its way of reducing the adverse effect of the weather.

In the winter, consider covering up your statuses and garden art that tend to collect or retain water. For statues and art pieces that are too heavy or secured in place, the only option is to cover them with a waterproof tarp or cover. 

For statues that can be relocated, move the art pieces to a dry indoor away from the harsh winter weather. The indoor area conditions can be controlled, reducing the possibility of your concrete figures being adversely affected.

Be careful during the relocation process from damaging or dropping your concrete art. You don’t want to end up with a more significant problem fixing damages that require extensive repairs. 

The process of moving your statues needs to be planned out carefully. Pay special attention to intricate and delicate parts that may come off during the statue’s movement.

2 . Repair any Cracks on the Concrete Art.

  The changing temperature in the winter does cause water to change state from solid to liquid. The presence of water on cracks on statues and birdbaths in the winter experiences contractions and expansion. The freeze and thaw process causes pressure causing the cracks to expand.

The cracks can lead to significant fragments of the art piece falling off. Prolonged exposure to the harsh winter and negligence from the owner can lead to the loss of beautiful concrete art.  

Cracks can be identified during the warm summer months. Inspect the surface for any small cracks and fractures. You can fill the cracks with epoxy. 

Epoxy concrete is a flexible material for filling cracks and restoring surface durability. The application of epoxy can be made by both experienced and newbies. Following the manufacturer’s instructions is the best practice before your first application.

Fix the epoxy as soon as the crack appears. Applying the epoxy when it’s smaller is recommended; once it becomes larger, you can use mortar.

3.  Avoid Placing Concrete Artwork in Area Prone to Water Pooling.

Having the statue directly touching the ground will allow water to wick up the structure. Water from the ground is known to penetrate through cement statues

If left for a period of time, the moisture will remain in the statues over the winter, causing the figure to form cracks over time, having the statue or birdbath set on gravel or having a solid base that prevents them from being in direct contact with the ground.

4. Apply Concrete Sealer.

Continuous application of waterproof sealer is needed to preserve and protect the concrete art. Before applying the sealer, ensure the surface is free from dirt and debris. In the early formation stages of the concrete art, you’ll need at least 30 days before applying the sealer on the surface.

It is recommended to apply the waterproof sealer every 1- 2 years. The application of sealer needs to cover the entire surface. Ensure that the sealer is evenly and thoroughly covering the concrete surface. 

It is important to remember to leave the bottom part of the concrete state and birdbaths unsealed. This will allow for the statues and birdbath to breathe.

5. Improve the drainage around your garden.

The pooling of water can identify poor drainage in your garden. A typical example of your garden having poor drainage is during heavy rainy periods; your garden can become waterlogged. 

The presence of excess water in your garden in the winter months can lead to water collecting around your garden statues. The frozen water can lead to cracking and damaging your concrete artwork.

Preventing the accumulation of excess water requires early intervention in the summer months. Identify the common areas in your garden that experience severe pooling of water. Digging trenches to drain the excess water would be the first step. The trench can be directed from your garden to your city drainage system. 

Mulching is a simple way to maintain the soil structure and water penetration. The mulch improves soil aeration and drainage over time. 

Concrete art’s continued care in the winter is essential to preserve and protect concrete art. 

The steps above are meant to guide you in identifying the right ways to look after your art in the winter period and enjoy your art in the long run. 

Check out these related posts:

How to winterize resin art and statues in the winter?

How long do concrete statues and sculptures last?

How to spray concrete statues and sculptures?

Ginny Orenge

Hi, my name is Ginny, home and garden decor ideas is a family business specializing in inspiring you in getting in making your own craft at home. I have also loved creating my own art at home. I hope to share my tips in creating both home and garden decorations that you can be proud off.

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