Things To Avoid When Using Fish Pond Sealer

Things to Avoid When Using Fish Pond SealerIf you have a new fish pond, have some leaks in an older pond or you are having problems maintaining the proper PH in your pond water, you may be contemplating a Do It Yourself weekend of applying fish pond sealer. There are several steps involved, even after first choosing the best sealer for the job; from preparing the pond for the sealer to applying the sealer and then curing it properly after it has been applied. Once you have the pond sealer, make certain that you understand all of the directions, asking questions if needed and also take the time to consider a few things to avoid when using fish pond sealer. This is actually a fairly involved project and understanding all of the dos and don’ts involved will help your project proceed smoothly.

  • Avoid applying sealant to new concrete until it has properly cured. You should plan on waiting at least 28 days for the concrete to hydrate and cure. This can be a very difficult task because you have been waiting for either the pond or the repair to be finished and now you must add almost an entire month to the wait. Concrete takes time to hydrate and you do not want to seal in any residual moisture. Cracking could occur if this process is hurried. The only sure way to speed the process is to add an accelerator to the concrete when it is mixed. Then this process is cut down to 7 days.
  • Avoid applying the sealer on cold days. Carefully read the instructions on the product. Pond Armor recommends that you do not apply the sealer in less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit even though it will still cure in lower temperatures. Check the local temperature for optimum results.
  • Avoid applying sealer in rainy, wet or overly damp conditions. It may not cure properly and if your concrete is wet, the moisture is liable to be trapped under the sealer and this can cause the sealer to improperly bond which can also cause crack issues due to expansion and contraction in freezing temperatures.
  • Avoid missing any areas that need to be sealed. Just as a chain is said to be only as strong as its weakest link, so too, a seal is only as good as its thinnest application. Any leak or exposure due to a missed or improperly covered area can allow water to leak out or the PH to fluctuate. Do not hurry or attempt any shortcuts. Take your time and carefully follow all directions.

Sealing your own pond will save you money as long as you use the correct products and follow all directions. As long as you do not attempt to hurry or to skimp on the amount of product required to do the job correctly and allow both the concrete and the sealer to properly cure, you will have a great fish pond that will prove entertaining and easy to maintain. Fish ponds are once again gaining in popularity and can be fun and educational for the entire family.

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Applying a Concrete Sealer

There are many things you should keeping mind when applying a concrete sealer. Generally these can be categorized into surface preparation, sealer application and inspection. This way it is easier to follow along because you will know what phase you ought to be in regarding any specific topic. The assumption is made that you already have your materials in hand and are ready to go.

Following that line of thought, the first thing you need to consider before applying a concrete pond sealer is how the surface ought to be prepared. Concrete, like many other surfaces has its own unique properties that need to be examined before applying anything to it. First and foremost is the type of concrete that is being sealed. There is some confusion at times in regards to what concrete is. Concrete is a mixture of sand, rock, cement, lime and water. The sand and rock components can actually vary in size some which will eventually determine the over-all strength of the concrete in the end.

Mortar is not concrete nor is cement concrete although these terms are by and large used synonymously to describe concrete. The fact is that mortar for example, is use mainly for adjoining brick or block but should not be used where concrete should be. Mortar has no rock and if used like concrete, will end up being too weak to perform properly.

With that said, it will now be assumed that you are working with concrete. The surface preparation for new concrete dictates that the concrete cure at least 28 days before preparing (7 days for accelerated concrete). Once cured properly, the concrete is cleaned using a mixture of one part muriatic acid and three parts water to clean the calcium sulphate from the surface. It is rinsed off and left to dry. Older concrete should be cleaned the same way.

Now you are ready to begin applying a concrete pond sealer. There are four types of tools that can be used to accomplish this:

Tool Pros Cons
Paint Brush Good for tight areas and cutting in Difficult to control sealer thickness
Paint Roller Excellent for moving material over
larger areas
Sealer applied thinner so multiple coats may be necessary to build up to the minimum thickness
Squeegee Great for smooth surfaces, coating can be applied in one coat Poor for uneven surfaces, can be tough to learn for new users
Spray Gun Perfect for larger areas both smooth and uneven especially when larger amounts of material need to be applied Not ideal for small jobs

While each of these methods is equally as effective if done properly, it is important that all instructions are followed.  In the case of Pond Shield epoxy, there are very specific recipes for mixing the sealer that should be used.

With that said it is best to take you time and really make sure that you have covered the surface well. After applying the concrete sealer, you need to inspect the surface. Most people tend to think that if the sealer looks good from afar that it must be completely intact. This is not true. The concrete surface may have small flaw that will allow a sealer to settle down into leaving very small areas that are not entirely coated anymore.

Because of this it is recommended that each square foot of surface be inspected for flaws and touched up as necessary. All it takes is one flaw to become a leak that will more than likely cause you more grief than it could have if the small amount of time was spent inspecting the surface before the sealer was put into service.

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