Asked on Apr 14, 2016

Can this falling apart water fountain be saved?

Laurie Harry
by Laurie Harry
I have an old, three-tiered concrete water fountain that is deteriorating and have a three-tiered water fountain that is disintegrating. Is there anything I can do to save it? I thought about a sealant, but it is dirty and needs to be cleaned, and I'm afraid that as soon as I take a brush to it, it will fall apart.
In addition to several cracks across the lip of the middle bowl, it is crumbling along the edge.
  24 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 14, 2016
    Anything is possible and worth a try. See if this site will help you.
  • Liv Gutermuth Liv Gutermuth on Apr 14, 2016
    I had some concrete statuary that needed repairing but didn't require a lot of concrete. I bought a small tub of premixed cement at Home Depot and set to work on the repairs. The items needed a good cleaning, which I did. Once they were dry, I repaired the cracks and holes. I even repaired or remade pieces that broke off of the statuary. My gargoyles has a new wing tip, fangs and repaired mouth/spout for my fountain. The basin received some cosmetic work to make the two sides symmetrical. A small mouse has a new tail. A large mouse which I got super cheap at a garden store because its ear was broken off, has its ear repaired. Everything looks new. I'm now in the process of painting everything. Then I'll spray them with a sealant. It was easy and actually fun repairing everything. I suggest that you try doing what I did; get a small tub of premixed cement, clean your fountain of any dirt and mildew, and then have fun repairing it. You will have to sculpt some areas to blend in with the rest of the fountain. It's easier than it sounds. Good luck!
    • See 3 previous
    • Liv Gutermuth Liv Gutermuth on Apr 16, 2016
      I can take pictures of everything now, but you wouldn't be able to see what they looked like before I worked on them. I haven't finished painting them. They have a base coat of black right now.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 14, 2016
    I think Liv has the right idea. Give repairing it a try. Just go slow, and enjoy the detail work. Good luck!
  • Kha1055397 Kha1055397 on Apr 15, 2016
    My suggestion would be Damtite, get the powder version that you mix with water. (You can use like stucco) You can build up the missing areas with the damtite, just mix a more consenstrated batch to build up and fill holes. Then coat the entire fountain with the product to stop further damage. The product goes on white, so you may want to paint.
    • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on Apr 15, 2016
      @Kharper5346 Thanks. I will check into the Damtite. Never heard of it before. Does Home Depot sell it?
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Apr 15, 2016
    If all else fails, try and separate and save the fishboy and if nothing else use him as a garden sculpture.!
  • Sandie Sandie on Apr 15, 2016
    Hubby used liquid nails. Still not leaking.
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 15, 2016
    I think I'd try any of the afore mentioned products before giving it away. It's a lovely fountain. Silicone might keep it water tight after going over it with quikset to fill in the gaps.
  • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Apr 15, 2016
    Hydrolic cement is meant for wet areas. I used it to plug a leaky cinder block basement wall at my in laws house 30 years ago. It's still working. Wear thick rubber gloves when working with this. There are caustic elements in the mix that can burn your hands while the cement is malable. I also found I did a better job with my hands than with a trowel. Trowels can't feel what they are working with, but your hands can. It dries up fast so mix only a little at a time and keep plenty of clean water handy while you work.
  • P.chatty P.chatty on Apr 15, 2016
    Make it into a herb garden or other plants like strawberries
  • Richard Paul Theis Richard Paul Theis on Apr 15, 2016
    I have a suggestion and I am taking the time to write because I have the exact same fountain as yours. I rejuvenated my fountain with help from a company that specializes in decorative fountains: The company is Gardecor. Their website is The companies toll free phone number is 1-855-222-1001. You might have to replace the smaller of your two basins. Your damage is significant. Find a basin of that size is easy on the internet.
  • D.D. D.D. on Apr 15, 2016
    I had the same problem with a fountain cracking. The bottom level would hold water, but the top tier wouldn't. So, I put bird seed in the top tier and water in the bottom. We live in rural woods so lots of birds. They can eat and take a bath. When it needs cleaning, I just use a wet-dry shop vac to suck out any water or old seeds. The squirrels and chipmunks like it also.
  • Cur5181835 Cur5181835 on Apr 15, 2016
    The waterproof epoxy called E6000 can be used to glue back some pieces, and put into cracks...though all the little pieces may be impossible to reassemble. As someone else suggested, you could also coat the broken pieces with cement....though it will be very obvious that it is a repair job.
  • Linda Barrett Dirksen Linda Barrett Dirksen on Apr 15, 2016
    I made mine into a succulent garden....with the cascading plants..looks awesome
  • TipTopHouse TipTopHouse on Apr 15, 2016
    You can clean it carefully first. Then using fiberglass mat and fiberglass epoxy you can refinish the interior of the fountain. The glass will make it both water proof and strengthen the fountain at the same time. You can purchase this product at your local big box store in the paint department. There are hundreds of U-Tube videos on how to use fiberglass mat and epoxy.
  • Sandi Hopkins Sandi Hopkins on Apr 16, 2016
    I have heard of a product called dirt to repair concrete.......I have not tried it, but have heard it was a very good product.
  • Liv Gutermuth Liv Gutermuth on Apr 16, 2016
    I'm sorry, Valerie, but I didn't document my work. I really just wanted to fill an off-center hole in a gazing globe stand. I had a lot of the cement leftover, so I decided to see if I could do some cosmetic work on the other items. I put a glob of cement where it it needed to go and then shaped it with my fingers. If it needed lines carved into it, I used toothpicks ow wooden skewers, depending how wide the lines needed to be. The gargoyle and fountain basin needed repairs on one side, so I used the other side as my pattern. I made sure that the cements wasn't to thick when working with it. I had to build up a few areas a few days at a time. The longest part was waiting for it to dry between layers. It was similar to playing with play dough only messier. I never tried anything like this before, so I'm far from being an expert.
  • MARINA MARINA on Apr 16, 2016
    I had a two-tiered concrete fountain that was broken and crumbling, and I used Henry Feather Finish to hold it together and even to sculpt some shape that had been crumbled away. Then I used pool paint to coat it and sort of dabbed several colors to make it look old and distressed. Worked great, everyone was amazed including me.
    • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on Apr 21, 2016
      @MARINA - Do you have photos? I would love to see before and after pics. Thanks for the idea.
  • Sidney Sidney on Apr 17, 2016
    I'm going to pressure wash mine w/sidewalk cleaner. I have a small home pressure washer. Let dry thoroughly then spray w/water sealant.
  • Kari Roberts Kari Roberts on Apr 21, 2016
    I wouldn't use a pressure washer on this project though. The cement is crumbling. Marina has a good idea, for this particular fountain.
  • MARINA MARINA on Apr 23, 2016
    I have an "after" if you can imagine the top tier was broken into three parts with a lot of crumbling. The Henry Feather Finish is a powder that you mix with water to make a sort of mortar. I used it to stick the pieces back together and also to build up spots that had crumbled away.
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  • IFortuna IFortuna on Jul 15, 2016
    There are quik concrete products that you can use to repair this. You may need concrete adhesive. I used to do art work in concrete and I love it. It can be sanded too in order to smooth it out. I used a dremel because my projects were not huge so you could use a larger sander. However, I would trash the bowls, keep the cupid, and build a fountain out of to different size large flower pots. You can silicone large smooth stones over the holes. I did a two tiered one and it was fabulous. You could still use the little cupid as a decoration on top.
  • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on Jul 15, 2016
    Thanks to everyone who responded with ideas to save this fountain. I ended up giving it away. I just didn't have the time or energy to dedicate and hopefully it's new owners have been able to save it and will enjoy it.
  • Judi Torres Judi Torres on May 01, 2023

    Oh yes honey. Quickcrete or plaster of paris and your hand you can fix all of it.

  • Mogie Mogie on May 01, 2023

    I wouldn't feel good about this being able to hold water. Why not repurpose this into something else? Perhap a planter or even bird feeding station.