Application FAQ

Please read all instructions provided with the kit(s). Surface preparation will vary depending on the surface that Pond Shield is to be applied. The following includes more detailed information that can be used in conjunction with the included instructions.

Concrete

Etching – Concrete surfaces whether newly poured or older need to be etched prior to coating. Etching will remove any residual calcium sulphate that can be found on the surface of the concrete. If it is not removed, it will likely fall off later with the new coating attached.

Surface Tooth – A properly prepared concrete surface will feel like 60-grit sandpaper. Concrete that has been etched properly will feel this way because the calcium sulphate has been removed from the surface pores.

Uneven Surface – In some cases the surface of the concrete may be uneven. A grinder with a coarse, flexible disk can be used to smooth the surface out prior to etching. In worse case scenarios, a thin rendering can be applied to the concrete prior to coating. A good render consists of a proper mix of concrete applied at least ¾ inch thick. It is also recommended that a bonding agent be used on the concrete surface before the render is applied.  This will ensure that the new concrete render adheres to the old concrete surface.

Holes or Pits – Materials like plastic fillers or cementitious fillers can be used to fill imperfections in the surface of the concrete prior to coating.

Contamination – Depending on the method of installation, it may be necessary to degrease the concrete prior to etching. If you think the surface houses some sort of contaminant like silicone based water sealers or the like, it is recommended that a strong concrete degreaser be used to remove the contaminant.

Wood

Wood Choice – Almost any type of wood can be used in a waterproof containment unit. The best type would be a close grain type of wood.  Wood with close grain will not swell as much when a coating is applied.

Surface Tooth – A properly prepared wood surface will feel like 60-grit sandpaper. Initial sanding can be done with a power sander but it is recommended that the surface is sanded by hand to leave some grooves to aid in the bond of the coating to the wood.

Coating Application – Because wood will tend to soak up liquid materials, it is recommended that the first coat be applied and allowed to cure 24 hours before subsequent coats area applied. The initial coat must then be sanded with 60-grit sandpaper to give the surface tooth. Each coat thereafter only needs to tack up before subsequent coats are applied.  The final coating thickness should be a minimum of 10 mils regardless of the number of coats it took to get there.

Joints – Joints where walls meet walls and floors meet walls may need additional strengthening. Using fiberglass 1.5 ounce mat is recommended in these areas. Should the condition of the joint still be in question, an aquarium safe silicone can be applied over the coating as needed.  Lightly abrade the coating with 60-grit sandpaper prior to applying the silicone. This same method can also be used on any plumbing that enters or exits the unit, though bulkhead fittings are recommended for this purpose.

Structure – Wood is very flexible and it is that flexibility that will work against the over-all unit remaining water tight. It is important to ensure that the structure built is solid. Proper ribbing techniques and other support systems are recommended.

Stone and Rock

Etching – stone or rock is equally as important as etching concrete. You must ensure that any contaminants are removed from the surface prior to coating.

Surface Tooth – Some stone and rocks are very smooth. River rock for example has no surface tension for the coating to hang on to. It is recommended that the rock be surfaced by grinding with a flexible abrasive disk or sandblasting. The finished surface should feel like 60-grit sandpaper.

Loose Rocks – Those rocks that have become loose should be anchored back in place either by mortaring or using the coating as glue.

Metal

Bare Steel/Stainless Steel – It is recommended that steel be abraded with 60-grit sandpaper and be free of rust or other corrosion. Once the surface is cleaned, a self etching primer should be used before the coating is applied.

Aluminum – It is recommended that aluminum be abraded with 60-grit sandpaper and be free of aluminum oxide or other corrosion. Once the surface is cleaned, a self etching primer should be used before the coating is applied.

Galvanized Steel – It is recommended that galvanized steel be abraded with 60-grit sandpaper and be free of rust or other corrosion. Once complete, the surface should be etched with white vinegar at 100% strength. Once the surface is cleaned, a self etching primer should be used before the coating is applied.

Brick/Block

Etching – Brick and block surfaces need to be etched prior to coating. Etching will remove any residual calcium sulphate that can be found on or form on the surface. If it is not removed, it will likely fall off later with the new coating attached.

Surface Tooth – A properly prepared brick or block surface will feel like 60-grit sandpaper. In some cases the concrete block chosen will have a surface texture that is rougher than 60-grit sandpaper. In this instance, it is recommended that the total material needed for the job be slightly over estimated to compensate.

Mortar Joints – In most cases mortar joints will be found to have been finished much like a mortar joint in a typical wall. If the situation presents itself, the mortar joints should be flush finished for easier coating application later. If the mortar joints were left rough finished, a grinder with a flexible disk can be used to smooth the surface.

Preformed Plastic

Polyethylene/Polypropylene – Most preformed plastic pond units will be made of this type of material. Unfortunately there is no real way to get any coating to stick to them for very long.  This type of plastic was designed specifically to repel other materials. It is recommended that the manufacturer of the unit be contacted for the specifics in regards to the unit in question.

Other Types of Plastic – Usually sanding and cleaning the plastic so that the finished surface feels like 60-grit sandpaper is enough to get Pond Shield to adhere.

Fiberglass

Surface Tooth – Thoroughly sand fiberglass with 60-grit sandpaper.

Cleaning – It is recommended that the finished surface be cleaned with wax and grease remover prior to coating. Use one lint free cloth to apply the wax and grease remover and another separate cloth to remove it. Use gloves to keep from contaminating the surface as you clean it.

Application – Gloves should be worn during the application process as the oil in your fingertips could be enough to contaminate the surface of the fiberglass.

PVC/ABS Plastic Pipe

Preparation – Thoroughly sand the plastic pipe with 60-grit sandpaper prior to coating. Wipe the surface clean. It is recommended that PVC primer be used on the surface about 1-2 minutes prior to coating with Pond Shield.

Unglazed Tile

Preparation – The finished surface should feel like 60-grit sandpaper. If need be, the surface should be abraded with a flexible disk.

Glazed Tile

Preparation – The only way to get a coating to stick to glazed tile is to remove the glaze. If this is not possible, then the coating must be applied under the tile. Use Pond Shield to completely seal the surface under the tile. After 24 hours, sand the coating with 60-grit sandpaper. Then attach the tile with a very sticky acrylic thinset or polyurethane adhesive.

Mixing Pond Shield

Preparing to Mix – The best way to mix Pond Shield really depend on how much material you are mixing. We recommend that you start with the smallest recipe in the instructions regardless of the kit size. This means that you’d probably start out mixing one half of a 1.5 quart kit worth of material. There are a couple of reasons for this. First the outside temperature, the humidity, the surface type, the tools and even your skillset will play a big part in how easy it is to get the material on in 30 minutes. Mixing a small batch allows you to judge that and then decide how much is an appropriate amount of material to mix during the job for that particular day. Repeat this process for each day you are working on the project.

Mixing Tools – In regards to the physical mixing process, if you are mixing less than a 1.5 quart kit worth of material, use a stick to mix with. otherwise use a mixer on the end of a drill in reverse using a slow speed. Once the material is mixed REMOVE it from the container it was mixed in and pour it either into a large plastic paint pan or directly onto the floor where you will coat. Leaving it in the container you mixed in will ultimately equate to a very short pot life for the material.

General FAQ

Pond Shield epoxy works in a very unique way, underwater.  It can be used on a variety of surface types and can be applied in a variety of ways.  If any of the topics below do not answer your questions, please contact us so that we can help you find a solution.

What can Pond Shield be applied to?

Pond Shield can be applied to concrete, cement, shotcrete, gunnite, stone, tile wood, metals like steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, brass, etc., rock, some plastics, old coatings (as long as the surfaces are prepared properly first) fiberglass, and many more surfaces.

Can I coat my rubber or plastic pond liner with Pond Shield?

No. The reality is that there is not anything on the market that will properly stick to a rubber or plastic liner with any real longevity. The problem is directly related to the process used to make these liners. The only real way to get anything to stick properly would be through a vulcanization process where both heat and pressure are applied to the liner and patch material in order to fuse them together.

Is Pond Shield fish and plant safe?

Absolutely! We actually send Pond Shield samples out to be tested in the mixed, uncured state to be sure no harm will come to your aquatic life.

Is there an odor with Pond Shield?

Not really. In fact it is so faint that most people think latex paint smells worse.

Is Pond Shield a HAZMAT material?

No, Pond Shield is not a HAZMAT material and can be shipped by ground, expedited air or sea freight. There are no special handling charges to ship our epoxy coating.

Do I need to prime the surface before I apply Pond Shield?

No, Pond Shield is a stand alone type of product for most applications. Unlike other coatings that consist of primers, base coats and top coats, you only need Pond Shield epoxy to do the job. The only instance where a primer is useful is when you plan to coat steel. See the Application FAQ for details.

I am a home owner. Where can I purchase Pond Shield?

Pond Shield can be purchased directly through us by clicking the Store link above or if you prefer to call us at 800-716-1545, we can take your order over the phone. If you want to purchase from a local retailer, ask us and we’ll let you know who is in your area.

What do I do if my retailer doesn’t carry Pond Shield yet?

Ask them to contact us at 800-716-1545 and we’ll speak with them. In the mean time, if you need Pond Shield, you can order from us either by phone or through our secure online Store link above.

How long before I can put water an fish in my pond?

24 hours is usually good enough, though in colder seasons, you might wait an additional 12 hours. However, you might make sure that there are no tacky spots anywhere on the surface of the coating before adding water. If everything is dry, then you can add water and fish.

The finished surface is slippery. Can I do something to make it easier to walk on?

You can apply one last very thin coat to the surface and while the coating is still wet, sprinkle sand onto it. Let the coating cure and then vacuum off any residual sand. The sand will act as a non skid where ever you plan to walk.

I’m a retailer. How do I purchase your product?

Give a call at 800-716-1545 and we’ll talk to you about our vendor packages or click the Vendors link above and submit your information to us.

I’m a contractor/installer. How do I purchase your product?

Give a call at 800-716-1545 and we’ll talk to you about our installer packages or click the Vendors link above and submit your information to us.

How does Pond Shield compare to other products available to me?

Pond Shield was specifically designed around the flaws of virtually every other coating available in the pond industry. It is competitively priced and costs not much more than a rubber liner per square foot but offers much more stability. Pond Shield can be applied by you, the home owner and does not require a specialized crew for installation. Pond Shield has been referred to as “bullet proof”, “tough as nails” and “strongest coating ever used” to quote a few. While these are figurative forms of speech, Pond Shield has been designed strong and flexible to provide you with many years of virtually maintenance free service.

Can Pond Shield be applied over other old coatings?

Yes. However, care should be taken to properly prepare the surface prior to applying Pond Shield. Be sure to remove any old coating that is coming off. The best case scenario is to remove all of the old coating prior to application. It is best not to rely on the failing bond of the old coating. If some of the old coating is found to still be bonding sufficiently, then sand the remainder with at least 60-grit sandpaper to give the material tooth.

How many coats do I have to apply?

Well that depends. Pond Shield is thick like grease and can be applied in one 10mil coat on smooth surfaces. According to the instructions provided, thin Pond Shield with Denatured Alcohol or 99% Isopropyl Alcohol ONLY. The instructions will walk you through the mixing procedures and include specific recipes for both smooth surfaces and rough surfaces as well as the application tools you plan to use.

Can I apply a second coat of Pond Shield over the first?

Yes, but it is not necessary if the coating is already at the minimum thickness of 10 mils or your are correcting flaws in the surface of the coating. Pond Shield is designed to perform properly at a finished thickness of 10mils. Applying it thicker will not hurt, but will cost more in regards to materials. The coating can be touched up over the top of itself with no extra surface preparation within 10-12 hours of the original application. After that 10-12 hour period, you should scuff the area with 60-grit sandpaper to give the surface tooth.

I applied Pond Shield and my pond still leaks. What is wrong?

Simply put, something was missed. After the initial coating is applied, the entire surface needs to be inspected for flaws in the application. Areas like cracks, crevices, voids, concrete showing through and any similar areas need to be corrected before the job is finished. Once the coating has been applied to 100% of the interior surface of the containment unit, There will be no leaks.

The best way to inspect the coating for flaws is to view the surface from an angle. Using a good light source like the sun, small flaws in the surface can be seen if there are any. A properly coated surface will appear smooth. Bear in mind that the underlying surface may make the coating look uneven as in a brick and mortar surface, but the coating itself will appear smooth if it is flawless. Should any imperfection like those mentioned above, simply scuff the spot with 60-grit sandpaper and touch up using a small dab of Pond Shield on a brush. Be methodical in your surface inspection. Look at every single square foot of the surface. In doing so, the chances of the coating failing are greatly decreased.

Can I use Pond Shield to waterproof my garden planters?

Yes. Pond Shield has been designed specifically for ponds and water gardens, but does have a great deal of other uses as well. Planters, aquariums (both fresh and salt water), grow beds, bird baths, and anything that would be used to hold water are perfect projects for Pond Shield.

Can I get Pond Shield in a color other than the ones you currently have?

Yes. We can match any solid color you choose. All wee need is a paint chip to match from. The color chosen needs to be a solid color only. The minimum purchase requirement for a custom color is twenty 1.5 quart kits (five 1.5 gallon kits).

Do I have to acid etch my concrete before I apply Pond Shield?

Absolutely. There are two very important reasons for acid etching. First, the muriatic acid will remove and calcium deposits that form as concrete cures. These calcium deposits will fall over time. The new coating will fall off attached to these deposits . Finally, acid etching will neutralize the alkaline properties in the surface of the concrete, creating a much better bond of the coating to the concrete.

Can I just spot coat a crack in my pond?

That is not advisable. The problem is that concrete is porous. Water will eventually leak out by finding a way around the repair. The crack should be repaired properly and then Pond Shield should be used over the entire submerged surface.

Do you have a catalog that can be sent to me?

No. We do not have a catalog. All of our products are here on the web site along the information needed to successfully coat a water feature.

I am not getting the square footage you advertise on the kit. What is wrong?

The square feet that a kit of Pond Shield is said to yield is based off of a mathematical calculation. This calculation is derived from knowing that 1 gallon of liquid material will spread out to 1604 square feet at 1mil thickness. If you calculate to any of the kits we offer and apply the coating at a thickness of 10mils on a smooth surface, the yield stated on the kit is what you can get. Rougher surfaces will yield less square footage because of all of the peak and valleys that the surface contains.
So when you experience not getting the square feet that you expect out of the coating, this can almost always be attributed to the surface condition of the concrete or other substrate that Pond Shield is being applied to. Rough, uneven areas use up material and cause the coverage to fall short. Other times it can be related to improper mixing which will result in the coating curing too quickly and becoming unworkable. Also not removing the coating from the container it was mixed in can cause it to cure quicker. It is best to pour the Pond Shield directly into the pond where work will begin or into a large, flat paint pan. Finally, the use of incorrect tools will make the application process difficult too. Please read through all of the instructions that came with the kit. Please contact us if you did not receive instructions.