Ever wonder how to repair that old leaking birdbath in your back yard? I’m sure the birds would appreciate it if their bath actually held bathing water for more than an hour.
Or perhaps your favorite concrete garden gnome is missing his hat or even, heaven forbid, an arm? If you have any piece of concrete garden décor in dire need of repair, then read on.
Many things can bring damage to concrete birdbaths or garden statues. The most common perpetrator is weather. Water can work its way into small crevices and freeze, thus transforming the small crevice into a large crevice. Whether your concrete birdbath or concrete statue fell victim to ice or a croquet game gone wild, below are the answers you need for the repair process.
REPAIRING CONCRETE BIRDBATHS
Concrete repair is not as daunting a task as it might seem. In fact, it’s pretty easy. Here are the materials you will need to repair a birdbath:
- Silicone concrete sealant (For repairing leaky birdbaths)
- Epoxy glue for concrete (For repairing with birdbaths with serious damage.
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine the extent of the damage. If it’s just a leaky birdbath then the repair is simple. All you’ll need to do is give the birdbath a good cleaning. Then, when the birdbath is COMPLETELY DRY, apply the silicone concrete sealant to the cracks by forcing it into the cracks and creating a good seal. Let it dry completely – then it should be good to go.
If the birdbath is broken into several pieces, then it’s best to use epoxy glue. Do not try to use concrete to glue the pieces back together – it won’t work, so don’t waste your time.
Once the birdbath is thoroughly cleaned and COMPLETELY DRY, then mix the epoxy glue as indicated on the packaging. Once you have the epoxy glue correctly mixed, simply apply it to the damaged areas, clamping them together until the glue is completely dry. Remember; the more careful you are with the application, the less visible the glue will appear once it is dry.
REPAIRING CONCRETE STATUES
Garden statues can be a bit trickier to repair than birdbaths. However, they add such unique additions to any lawn or garden that they are definitely worth the attempt. Besides a little elbow grease and patience, here’s what you’ll need:
- Portland cement
- Scrub brush
- Hot water
- Palette knife
- 1 gallon container to mix the cement
- Spray bottle
- Plastic wrap
Step 1: Prepare the concrete statue
Mix a small amount of bleach with hot water and use the scrub brush to remove any dirt or grime. The bleach will kill any moss or algae that may be present. Let the statue DRY COMPLETELY before attempting the following steps. Note: This may take several days, so be patient!
Step 2: Mix the cement
First, mix the Portland cement with the appropriate amount of water as indicated on the packaging. Screen filter the cement, removing lumps to improve the consistency. The cement should have the consistency of grout.
Step 3: Repair
Dampen any cracks or blemishes with water and make sure to remove any loose bites of concrete or debris. Apply the cement/paint mixture with a palette knife, smoothing it with a wet finger. Let this dry for 2 hours, then moisten the area with a mist of water from a spray bottle and cover with plastic wrap. Remove wrap and re-mist once a day for 5 days. Keep the area covered in plastic wrap for the entire duration. Note: Use a thicker mix to repair chips and dings.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can mix the cement with exterior flat latex house paint and re-surface the entire statue to ensure an excellent, consistent finish. (1/3 part Portland cement/water, 2/3 part paint.
Remember, patience is the key to repairing delicate concrete lawn fixtures. Good luck!