Are You Protecting Your Outdoor Sculpture?

by Walter Smith

Having a sculpture in your garden adds a unique touch to your home’s value. However, you also need to learn how to maintain it since exposure to the elements can do damage to them.

If you do not know how to start, here are some tips to help you out:

Get the proper documents

When you purchase a custom sculpture, you have to ensure that you collect and maintain its documents. This will be useful when you need an expert conservator to look at your art piece. You should know the materials used to produce the sculpture, the name of the artist or the manufacturer, what kind of surface coating was used, and pictures of when you first got it.

Position properly

Where you place your sculpture outdoors says a lot about how much maintenance you need to do. It should be installed in a spot where its surroundings will not contribute to any future damage or deterioration. For instance, a sculpture installed near a swimming pool will be more prone to corrosion because of the chlorinated water that can be splashed on it. Thinking of details such as this can help reduce the chances of your sculpture getting damaged in the future.

Iron sculptures

Most custom sculptures are made out of iron and iron-alloy materials. You can clean them by rinsing with tap water to avoid organic materials from clinging to the surface. Then, deliver a final misting rinse using deionized water or distilled water to prevent water spots and mineral deposits.

Bronze sculptures

Sculptures made out of bronze should be washed with clear and unscented dish detergent. Make sure that you rinse it properly to avoid water spots. You can use paste wax to buff the surface. Wax coating must be renewed every year as part of your maintenance routine.

Stone, concrete, and ceramic sculptures

Sculptures made out of stone, concrete, and ceramic materials usually get damaged during freeze/thaw cycles. They also are vulnerable to soluble salts and impact. You can rinse them with tap water. If there are algae films or soil stuck on the surface, you can use a soft brush and unscented detergent to get rid of them. Make sure you rinse properly after with tap water – distilled and deionized water can cause etching in the surface of stone and concrete sculptures.

Clear out the weep holes

Most outdoor sculptures come with weep holes that are placed in different places of the sculpture to drain small pools of water. Since they are outdoors, dirt and leaves often clog them. So, before you start cleaning, make sure you clear out the weep holes so that water can be drained out again.

Consult an expert

Of course, there are some situations that call for the work of an expert. When you notice cracks, scratches, loose parts, damaged paint, corrosion, or discoloration, it is best to let an expert conservator handle this to avoid further damages.

As you can see, you do not have to worry about maintenance. You can do this once a year! With these tips in mind, your outdoor sculptures will last for a long time.

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