Concrete is one of the most widely used materials in the construction of homes and business complexes. Concrete is known for its durability and sturdiness. Not only can concrete be used for construction, but can also be utilized in creating beautiful sculptures.
On average concrete sculptures can last for years with little to no maintenance. However, concrete can be affected by temperatures and water. Extreme variations in temperature can affect the concrete surface when water is present.
Nowhere is this more evident that in the winter months. The extremely cold temperature can lead to the deterioration of the concrete structure. The contraction and expansion of water can lead to the growth of cracks and breaks as the water penetrates the surface.
Is concrete good for sculptures?
Concrete is a great option for creating sculptures as the material can be molded to fit the desired end result. The are different ways of creating sculptures with concrete. Casting concrete is one of the simplest ways of creating concrete sculptures Having a casting mold is the first step before the mixing of concrete. The most common mold material is silicone which is ideal for making small to medium-sized sculptures and statues.
The other 2 ways of creating concrete sculptures are craving and using wire mesh. This process requires a lot of practice and experience. Craving requires specialized tools that require years to master.
Can concrete Sculptures survive the winter?
Extreme temperatures have a tendency to affect the structure adversely. Concrete has the ability to expand and contract with environmental changes. Each climatic conditions have its own way of reducing the adverse effect on the concrete surface.
The mechanical expansion and contraction in the winter months can lead to cracks and breaks forming on the concrete sculptures. The pooling of water on the surface of the sculpture can lead to the expansion of preexisting cracks.
In the winter months, consider covering up your statuses and garden art that have the tendency to collect or retain water. For statues and art pieces that are too heavy or secured in place, the only opinion would be to cover them with a waterproof tarp or cover.
For statues that can be relocated, move the art pieces to a dry indoors away from the harsh winter weather. The indoor 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 bigger 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 movement of the statue.
How to preserve concrete statues?
1. Repair and fix issues as Soon as Possible.
One of the major reasons for going for concrete statues and sculptures is the low maintenance and sturdy material. Neglecting the sculptures for a long period of time can lead to the formation of small issues that can lead to the loss of your art piece.
Cracks can lead to major 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 used for filling cracks and restoring surface durability. The application of epoxy can be done by both experienced and newbies. Following the manufacturer, instruction 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.
2. Avoid placing the statues in pools of water.
The sculptures directly touching the ground will allow water to wick up the structure. Water from the ground is known to penetrate through cement statues.
Polling of water in your garden can be attributed to poor drainage in your garden or lawn.
A typical example of your garden having poor drainage is during the 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 one of the simple ways of controlling soil structure and water penetration,
If left for a period of time the moisture will remain in the statues over the winter causing the statue to form cracks over time. Having the statue set on gravel or having a solid base that prevents them from being in direct contact with the ground.
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