Patching a Pond Liner

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Ok, so you have a hole in your pond liner now.  That is just what you needed, something else to fix.  Not to mention, the hole is probably somewhere near the bottom of the liner.  And why should it not be?  It is a conspiracy you know.

Of course it is not a conspiracy.  But sometimes situations like this sure do feel like it, right?  Ok let’s get started and fix that leak.  Do you have fish in your pond?  If you do, you may have to remove them and put them in a holding tank while repairs are being made.

Housing your fish can be done in a variety of ways.  You can use anything from simple plastic tubs if the fish are small enough, but if they are larger, you will have to put them in something that can handle their size.  You might consider a small child’s pool to do the job.

The repair should not take too long so you should be able to house the fish in water that you have aerated.  Just drop an air stone in the water and maybe a net over the pool in case you have any jumpers.

You will have to expose the liner so that you can dry it in the area that needs repair work.  You might think that pulling that section of liner out of the water will do the trick, but that is a bad idea.  In doing so, you may inadvertently allow the soil underneath the liner to slip in its place which will cause a bump later.  The bump will look like a deformed shallow spot in your pond.

The best way is to drain the water down to expose the leak.  The liner is most likely going to have muck and algae on it which will have to be scrubbed off.  Use a small bristle brush to scrub the algae off and make the area nice and clean.

The area to be cleaned should extend several inches around the actual leak itself.  Once you have cleaned it, the repairs can begin.  You will need a primer used for activating the effected area.  You will also need the glue used for attaching the patch and the patch material itself.  A small brush for the primer and glue can be used as well as a small roller.

Have a couple of small blocks and a C-clamp handy for the job too.  You may or may not need them and I will explain that in a minute.  Assess the damage now.  Is the leak a rip?  A puncture? Is the liner wore through?

Each of these are essentially repaired the same way, but the preparation might be a little different.  For instance, a tear or rip would normally look like a slice in the pond liner.  A patch can easily be placed over this, where a puncture would have a dimple that might need to be cut out to ensure the repaired area is flat.

A worn area would need to have any deteriorated material cut away so that fresh or as close to fresh liner is what you are attaching the patch to.  With that said, prep the area and get it primed.  Make sure the patch material is cut slightly bigger than the area to be repaired.

Do you remember fix a bicycle tire when you were a kid?  You pull that inner tube out, scratch the damaged area up with that little metal scraper and pour copious amounts of glue all over everything and throw a patch on it.  Hopefully you read the directions to the patch kit.

Each patch kit should come with directions and you should read the prior to rendering the repair, just in case they include a step I have not covered here.  Now that you have the area cleaned and primed, apply the glue.  Make sure to extend the glue out a little further than the patch material will be.  Usually the glue needs to dry just a bit before the patch is applied.

Once the glue has dried, put the patch material in place, firmly press the material onto the liner to ensure a good seal.  Remember those blocks I talked about?  If you have the ability to fold the liner in order to sandwich the liner and patch area between the blocks do so.  Use the C-clamp to squeeze the patch to the liner and hold it there while it cures.

It is important to do that only if your liner allows you to.  If now, set the liner down and place a heavy object over it while the patch dries.  Just be sure that the blocks or heavy object you use does not have any sharp edges that will cause you more problems.

Typically, these patches are set up in about 6 hours.  At that point you should be able to fill the pond back up and acclimate your fish back into their original home.

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