Archives for January 2011

3 Things to Look for In a Quality Epoxy Sealer

I get a lot of calls each day from people asking me about Pond Shield epoxy.  I get questions that are about almost anything but the one thing the majority of them have in common is whether or not Pond Shield epoxy is the right product for the project in question.  So I will try and clear some of that up for you here by giving you three things to look for in a quality epoxy sealer.

As long as your project is sturdy in construction there is no reason why an epoxy sealer will not work for you.  The biggest problem though is that most people do not understand what makes a good, quality sealer.  Knowing that puts a pond builder that much closer to finishing a successful pond.

The first thing you need to find out is whether the sealer is designed for under water use.  This is probably the most important thing to find out.  An epoxy sealer that is meant to just provide nominal sealing to the surface applied does not mean that the epoxy or the bond will not break down after being subjected to an under water environment.  You would be surprised how many epoxies there are on the market today that cannot stand up to the punishment of an underwater service environment.

The second thing to consider is how much of the epoxy is made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  For lack of a better analogy, these are the amounts and types of solvents that are present in the epoxy sealer.  What happens with these volatile organic compounds is they will evaporate from the epoxy as the sealer cures.  Guess what happens when that evaporation takes place?  The coating looses some of its body and can shrink.  The problem with shrinking is that if you are counting on the sealer to waterproof the surface applied, there can be repercussions if that coating surface diminishes after it has cured, especially in joint areas.

Finally, you have to consider how a sealer works.  A proper coating is not just applied like paint.  What I mean by that is when you apply a coating you are not just putting whatever color you chose onto the pond surface.  Because of this, you have to consider the minimum application thickness of the coating after it has been applied.  The reason there is a minimum thickness is because the sealer is going to be put under very specific stresses and has to be thick enough to take the punishment.  A mere 2 mil thick sealer, just is not going to withstand the forces placed against it and the pond will have problems.  Sometimes I have customers ask me if they can stretch a kit that covers 60 square feet to 65 square feet.  I tell them no because if they do, then somewhere the coating is not going to be at the recommended minimum thickness and that will cause problems later.

So keep these basics in mind when you are getting ready to coat your pond or water feature.  You will find that following the basic rules of coating will give you a much better outcome and greater chances of a successful project.

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