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.
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 contaminants like silicone based water sealers or the like, it is recommended that a strong concrete degreaser be used to remove the contaminant.
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 watertight. 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.
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.
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 overestimated 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.
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.
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.
Preparation – The finished surface should feel like 60-grit sandpaper. If need be, the surface should be abraded with a flexible disk.
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 thin-set 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 it. Leaving it in the container you mixed in will ultimately equate to a very short pot life for the material.