In the previous article we discussed the main differences between a home made outdoor fountain, created by any individual private with good will and a healthy dose of manual skills, and a custom one, made by a professional company. This time we want to talk about those fountains present in the gardens of villas, residences, farmhouses or castles, long since disused and turned into flower boxes or simply abandoned to themselves and to a mere image of decadence. Observing these fountains is a sort of “amarcord”, with the mind that travels back to past decades when the jets colored the days and instilled well-being and happiness: now a layer of moss and soil lying on the limestone makes everything darker and sad, giving a sense of melancholy to the entire garden, although the colors of the flowers and the choice of essences do their utmost to arouse a bit of joy.
Here comes the need to clean up and restore the water features, to restore the fountain to its original splendour and consequently all the exteriors of the house: to do this it is necessary to foresee interventions that go far beyond normal maintenance, but completely restore the fountain, by restoring the structure and replacing the entire MEP part (mechanical, electrical and hydraulic).
At this point, the question is: what is the risk of wanting to do the work without fully knowing how a fountain works?
The first underestimation that a person can commit is not foreseeing the filtration system or underestimating its importance, relying on a common lapping chlorinator, which will prove to be ready to betray any expectation within a few months. The mechanical water filtration system and the automatic control of acid and chlorine are essential tools for obtaining always clean water, to guarantee a fountain free of limestone and dirt, synonymous with durability of its functionality and its beauty in the time. If you want to insert fish or aquatic plants in the fountain, the control unit for automatic acidification and chlorination is replaced by a system consisting of a set of high-resistance sponges to retain dirt and impurities and a UV lamp for water sterilization.
Another weak point to be taken into strong consideration is the waterproofing of the structure, which must be carried out with great care and experience: if you consider that the fountain being restored has been unused for years and exposed to numerous atmospheric and environmental stresses, they certainly go carefully reviewed all the parts, both structural and ornamental. Usually we intervene by replenish the appearance of the fountain (with the restoration of the damaged ornamental parts or the replacement of missing ones) and the functionality, redesigning the MEP part with a sustainable and performing one: with this kind of work you go to reinsert the fountain brought back to new in the context, which thus takes on a completely different aspect thanks to the vintage touch given by the water features.
Other times it happens to want to keep only the original imprint and to offer a completely new look to the fountain, through a real restyling of the design with the insertion of new elements (statues, decorations, nozzles with jets of different shapes) and the ” use of different coatings, such as marble, granite, natural stone or simpler waterproofing skims, of which any color can be chosen.
Intervening on the structural parts and waterproofing the fountain well therefore means making it healthy, beautiful and even more sustainable. Beware, however, that the fountain must also be seen and considered from the outside, therefore its structural stability, that of the ground or the mantle that surrounds it and the presence of large trees, as in the case of historic villas, where roots lift, move and split structures and tanks, whether they are made of stone or concrete.
“Last but not least”, the restoration cannot bind safety and derogate from the current safety regulations. These are real rules illustrated in the CEI 64-8 / 7: 2007-01 Standard, aimed at the safety of environments to safeguard the safety of people and animals from accidental electrical dispersions, which must be followed carefully, especially when it comes to to choose the electrical material to be used.
Restoring a fountain means getting involved and understanding how much value you want to give to your garden and to the entire home: an unused fountain offers and will always offer a neglected and sad image of the house, whatever its position and the condition it is in. , as well as leaving such an important piece of furniture in disuse reveals a sense of abandonment to the entire context. On the contrary, a functioning and tidy fountain completely transforms the mood of the environment by generating cheerfulness, freshness and a sense of novelty, enriches the home and the surrounding greenery and enhances the colors and shades of the essences, which are reflected on its surface. Working on the fountains is not easy, but there are those who have been committed for over two decades to revive them in a sustainable and efficient way, whatever their shape, their size and their age, because no fountain is ever too old to return to shine.