Rubber and Plastic Liners

Pond Liner Glue – Does it Really Work?

By Rubber and Plastic Liners

I am always asked if Pond Shield epoxy can be used as a pond liner glue.  The short answer is no.  I hate to disappoint, but while there are times Pond Shield epoxy can be used in the same manner as a glue, it can not be used as a pond liner glue.

The real issue here is not that Pond Shield is not sticky enough.  It really is.  The issue is that the epoxy and the liner are from two very different families of materials, in the case of a rubber liner.

While Pond Shield sticks to PVC and ABS pipes, this does not mean that it will stick to PVC liners either.  The problem here is the difference in material flexibility.  All flexible liners are going to be on the furthest edges of the scale with is comes to flexibility.

So in essence, it amounts to two major issues, the family of materials and the flexibility.  If you want to use a pond liner glue that will have any success of working, the pond liner glue needs to cover both of those issues, being of the same family of materials and at least as flexible.

The down side of pond liner glue is that they can be tricky to get to work properly.  If you read my article Patching a Pond Liner,  you will get a better understanding of how this process works.

You should be aware that pond liner glue and patches do have their issues even if you follow the rules with repairs, so you will want to take care of them and treat them with extra care so that the patch lasts as long as possible.

Pond Liner Replacement – 5 Tips to Make Replacing a Pond Liner A Breeze

By Rubber and Plastic Liners

Removing An Old Rubber Pond LinerWell the time has come to look at replacing your pond liner.  It has been in there almost a decade and is really starting to show its age.

You probably have a few patches that you’ve put on it.  Some may have worked, while others only sort of did their job.

So what are you going to do in order to replace this beast without having to break your neck doing it?  Without the right forethought, you might find yourself in the middle of a great big mess.  Certainly you have better things to do with your time.  I know I would!

Ok, let’s evaluate this.  How many fish do you have in your pond?  Do you have a place to put them while you replace your pond liner?  Keep in mind this might take longer than a day to complete.  In fact, you may expect items you need to arrive on time and they might not.

Then you will find yourself storing all of your Koi a lot longer than they should be stored.  This can effect their health so you have to be on your toes.  So let’s talk about storage.

Number one, storing your Koi can be tricky, but as long as you follow some simple rules for doing so, they should survive the temporary time they are in a holding tank.  Aerate the water.  You need to supply them with air.  This is essential!  Filter the water.  This is also essential.  Just because they are in a holding tank does not mean they do not need filtration.

Change a portion of the water regularly to assist in filtration.  Cut down on feeding your fish.  A few days without food will be ok for the fish.  They will survive.  The extra waste they would create in a smaller environment would only serve to over work the filtration system.

If the tank you are holding the fish in is shallow, put a net over it.  This will keep stressed out fish from jumping as well as keep predators out of the water in search of a free meal.

Secondly, take pictures of your pond before you start disassembling anything.  You probably have a lot of rocks and plants all around the pond that give it that natural look.  The last thing you want to do is try and remember what it looked like before.  You know how it goes right?  You take something apart and put it back together again, only to have a handful of extra parts.  That is no fun.

Third, now is the time to evaluate any plumbing issues you might have.  Remember when you first put the pond in?  You got everything done, filled it with water, put your fish in and you saw that one darned pipe!  Yep, that one darned pipe that should have been there instead of here.  Now is the time to do something about that.

You will also want to inspect all of the plumbing for any sort of wear and tear.  It is amazing what freeze/thaw cycles can do to plastic pipes.  Check all of the visible joints and repair if necessary.

Number four, check that underlayment.  You may find that you not only need a new liner, but the underlayment is deteriorated as well.  Since you’re replacing the pond liner, you might as well replace the underlayment too.  Avoid using old carpet as u8nderlayment.  Not only is it not the right product for the job, but it’s messy and unprofessional.

Finally number five, do not shortcut anything.  For instance, the rock that holds the outer edge of the liner in place should be removed so that the new liner can be installed properly.  A task like this is not done all that often, but if you cheat yourself and the pond by shortcutting or skipping steps, you will soon find yourself back out in the yard fixing what you should have done properly in the first place.

Take pride in your work and know that it will be something that you enjoy day to day.  Doing it right now will keep you in that lawn chair longer, instead of toting a shovel later.

I would also advise that you enlist the help of a friend or two.  Any time you need to haul liner material around, it’s always much easier to do with help.  Not to mention friends are just fun to have around.

Patching a Pond Liner

By Rubber and Plastic Liners

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.