Product Care & Information
Cast Stone Winter Care
All of our cast stone pieces are manufactured with a high density cast stone mix with a PSI (pounds per square inch) strength of approximately 7,500. While this high density mixture is designed to produce a strong and durable product, proper maintenance is recommended to protect your product from the freeze-thaw cycles that occur in winter. Any piece which can hold water, snow or ice, such as a planter, birdbath/fountain top or shell, and any piece which is placed directly on the ground surface, such as a statue, birdbath/fountain base, planter or bench leg, can be damaged by the winter freeze-thaw cycles. To minimize any possible winter damage, please follow the simple suggestions listed below.
Cast Stone Planters
If a planter is to be left planted over the winter, it should be raised up off the ground by placing two (2) pressure treated wood strips underneath the planter, making sure not to block the drainage hole. Attractive pot risers sold by Campania may also be used for this purpose. This will allow the soil to drain and will prevent the planter from freezing to the ground. If a planter is placed directly on the ground and goes through several freeze-thaw cycles, drainage may be blocked. This may cause an expansion of the soil inside the planter, which in turn may cause the planter to crack or crumble. We always recommend that drainage materials such as small stones or terra cotta chips be placed at the bottom of the planter before filling with soil to ensure proper drainage.
If a planter is not to remain planted over the winter, we suggest that it be stored in a covered area where it will be protected from the elements. If a planter must be left outside unplanted, we suggest that you empty the soil and turn the planter upside down onto wood strips. Cover or wrap the planter with burlap or any absorbent material (old blanket/towel) and then wrap with dark plastic. This will prevent moisture from accumulating in the planter. Please note that even if a cast stone container is raised off the ground, there is always the risk that the container will absorb water through its surface which, when frozen, can cause the planter to crack or break.
Birdbaths, Fountains, Benches & Statuary
We suggest that birdbath/fountain tops not be left outside in the winter. Once the top fills with water/snow and freezes, the top may crack. All birdbath/fountain bases, bench legs and statuary should be raised up off the ground in winter so they will not freeze to the ground surface.
Ideally, a fountain should be stored indoors in the winter away from the elements. However, if a fountain bowl must be left outside, remove all pumps, rubber stoppers, drain pipes, finials and small components, and cover the top in accordance with the planter instructions above, making sure that water does not accumulate in the basin and freeze. A Campania fountain cover may be used for this purpose (see page 75). Fountain pumps, finials, and other small components should be stored indoors. Check the fountain periodically to insure that the cover is secure and water is not accumulating in any fountain component.
Polyethylene planters are made of recycled raw materials which produce an environmentally friendly product that is resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations. Because our polyethylene planters are UV resistant, they will not become brittle and crack over time, nor will their color fade. They are designed with micropores which allow plant roots to breathe. While our polyethylene planters can be left outdoors in winter, we recommend that they be raised up off the ground surface to ensure proper drainage.
Glazed and Terra Cotta
Our glazed and terra cotta pottery is high fired between 990 (terra cotta) and 1000 (glazed) degrees centigrade to ensure frost resistance and durability. They are also subjected to rigorous testing in freeze-thaw conditions to ensure quality. Due to the processes used in the manufacturing of our hand-made and hand-glazed containers, all variations with respect to firing, color, size and crackling are not deemed to be defects but are natural occurrences in the manufacturing process. The glazes on our containers consist of natural, not chemical, components and therefore the final color of the product will vary. This process creates the unique beauty of each piece.
Terra cotta and earthenware are always slightly porous. Although this allows plant roots to breathe, it also consitutes a risk in winter. When the temperature drops below freezing, any water present in the pot walls will freeze and expand. This will cause the pot wall to spall and can ultimately destroy the pot.
Whether this actually happens or not, depends on the quantity of water that can be absorbed by the fired clay. This, in turn, depends on the quality of the clay and the way it has been processed.
Machine-made terra cotta planters can absorb a lot of water and are the most vulnerable to winter damage. Hand-made containers, like those offered by Campania, absorb far less water because the clay is processed differently. They are frost-resistant if handled correctly. However, because any water held in a pot from rain or melting snow will freeze and expand, any pot made of a non-elastic material is at risk if left outside unprotected in winter.
Accordingly while the high firing temperature and quality of our glazed and terra cotta containers results in a durable and frost-resistant product, we still recommend that they be stored in a frost-free covered area in winter. If left out, water may accumulate in the container and freeze, causing the planter to crack and break.
Cast Iron Collection
Our cast iron collection is offered in three colors: a rich dark brown/maroon finish, a matte black finish, and a lead finish. All cast iron pieces will rust over time, which is part of the inherent beauty of iron containers.The pieces finished in the dark brown/maroon color are treated with a wax-rust application to slow the natural rusting process of the cast iron. These pieces will rust more slowly than the matte black and lead finishes. If you wish to retain the finish as purchased, consult your local hardware store for clear sealant products which are commercially available to preserve the finish. While our cast iron containers are durable, we still recommend that proper winter care, as set forth above, is followed.
Fiberglass, Cotto-Lite and Lead-Lite containers
While they are considered frost-resistant, these lightweight containers should be brought in during the winter and stored in a covered, frost-free location away from the elements.
CAMPANIA WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS