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Thread: Sealing gunite - Rubberizeit - Ground water intrusion problems

  1. #1
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Sealing gunite - Rubberizeit - Ground water intrusion problems

    I need help in the worst way.

    I had someone spray an 11x26' pond, 5-7' deep. I used Rubberizeit https://www.rubberizeit.com/rubberiz...-rubber-store/ to seal the pond.

    The gunite person did not do a good job at all. He put gunite over the BD flanges, there are holes in the gunite on the bottom and around the TPR's where water is leaking in. It's not running in but it's enough to keep the concrete wet enough that the rubber will not stick to the bottom or around the TPR's.

    I used 1 heavy coat of IG, the primer then 3 coats of UG, the actual rubber. IG and UG are the exact same material, IG is just watered down as a primer.

    When I applied the coats, I made sure the concrete was dry. I had a fan blowing in the pond for days. Rubberizeit told me if duct tape sticks to the concrete it should be dry enough. Duct tape stuck.

    Today, I peeled 95% of the bottom rubber off and around the TPR's. They had "balloons" in the liner where water had collected under the liner. There were places where the liner had stretched and when the water came out of the liner, it was very thin and wrinkled.

    Rubberizeit has been working very closely with me to solve this but I need to figure out how to seal the concrete on the bottom and around the intrusions before putting the Rubberizeit.

    I'm thinking maybe some type of concrete sealer used on blocks or basements up North??? Something liquid that I can roll on that will soak into the crevices and stop the ground water from coming in.

    I've also thought maybe JB Weld Epoxy, ATV, 5200 Marine, etc. that I can put around the BD's and TPR's where they join the gunite. There are also areas in the solid bottom where water bubbles up through so that's why I was thinking some type of sealer that can be rolled on.

    Some of the spaces around the BD and TPR's especially, are large enough that clay particles seeped in with the water and were lodged between the gunite and Rubberizeit.

    I forced the gunite guy to come back and put some type of broom finish over the sprayed gunite. The contract said broom finish and he left me with just the sprayed shell. When he came back, I was not here so I have no idea what he used to cover the gunite. The pond does hold water, even without the rubber but if it's leaking water into the pond, it has to be leaking out to some degree.

    I hope this makes sense!
    The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
    SANDY

  2. #2
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Sandy, haven't seen this yet. I don't have a solution for you, I'll certainly look into what can be done to retro seal it. I sympathize, though, this one has been a long uphill battle.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Where did you get that Kujaku? She's gorgeous!

    I was pouring the footing for the filter pit yesterday when the gunite guy showed up out of the blue. He's supposed to grind the areas where water is coming through and put hydrostatic concrete. He's going to "chip out" the flanges on the bottom drains and TPR's and chip around the skimmers so I can put the face plates on them. He's going to spray a collar around the top, about 18" high, so the walls will be 8" thick instead of 4".

    This is all supposed to happen Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm not holding my breath or waiting for him.

    I've been playing around with things on my own and have found that JB Weld putty stops the water leak. If he doesn't show up, I'm going to take out stock in JB Weld and start fixing the problem myself. I don't know what else to do.

  4. #4
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Thanks for noticing the kujaku, Sandy. I've posted it before (not here), was a last second from the Atlanta show, a place I was determined to not purchase any fish, then I was ill enough on that day that I could barely speak or see the fish. I relied heavily on other's opinions after I had picked it out. Nice clean face, eh? The fish is just over 12", but is about double the mass it was in mid November when I got it. Big, fearless and eager eater. I have high hopes for it.

    JB Weld works great, but would be a rather expensive pond repair. I wish you luck on your contractor!
    Will Schultze
    (931) 338-6174



  5. #5
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I've already had to peel up about $400 of Rubberizeit. I think I know where most of the water is coming from. I can see it sitting on the slab every morning before the sun dries it up. The one hole I stopped up with JB Weld is not leaking anymore and that one has constant water coming up, not just moist.

    Wally World sells a foot long tube of JB Weld for about $5 in the RV dept. I could probably use 4-5 tubes. Still cheaper than having to use a liner.

  6. #6
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I have had concrete ponds for over 30 years.

    Concrete swimming pools, although painted with pool paint, have a smooth cement surface.

    My point is you can seal a concrete pond without a "rubber" coating. You can seal them with a cement coating.

    I understand the advantages to sealing a concrete ponds for Koi with a non-cement product to prevent alkaline leeching and speed up the time that a concrete pond is safe for fish.

    It is too late to make changes for Sandy's pond build, but her experiences should be a concern for other DIYers considering sealing a concrete Koi pond with products like Rubberise It.

    When I built my first pond I was told to seal it with two smooth stucco coats of 50/50 regular cement and fine silica sand. I used this method as part of the sealing process on all three of my concrete ponds. The 50/50 stucco coat will by itself seal the pond. It will not seal the pond if the concrete pond walls crack. My first pond eventually settled and developed a crack do to my lack of construction expertise. That is OK... I filled it in and it is a planter. My second pond, after over a decade of service, developed a crack around the time of the big Northridge earthquake in 1994. I patched the crack with an epoxy-like filler and the pond is still in use today.

  7. #7
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Rick, that's an idea! If this guy doesn't show up and fix the pond, I can put a coat of this on the floor. I'll still have to cover over it with Rubberizeit to seal it to the walls but if this would stop the water intrusion, the Rubberizeit will stick to it.

    When you said regular cement, do you mean Portland?

    Thank you so much! This would probably work for me.

    BTW, even though the Rubberizeit is so easy to work with and to fix a problem years down the line, I'm really sorry I used it instead of something like Xypex or what you're talking about.

    The gunite guy came back and put some type of "smooth" coat which I'm assuming is a type of stucco but the water is still coming through. DH said when he was putting it down, water water coming up so the guy kept sticking his finger in the hole and pushing material into it. I still haven't been able to find out what they put on it.

  8. #8
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntry View Post
    Rick, that's an idea! If this guy doesn't show up and fix the pond, I can put a coat of this on the floor. I'll still have to cover over it with Rubberizeit to seal it to the walls but if this would stop the water intrusion, the Rubberizeit will stick to it.

    When you said regular cement, do you mean Portland?

    Thank you so much! This would probably work for me.

    BTW, even though the Rubberizeit is so easy to work with and to fix a problem years down the line, I'm really sorry I used it instead of something like Xypex or what you're talking about.

    The gunite guy came back and put some type of "smooth" coat which I'm assuming is a type of stucco but the water is still coming through. DH said when he was putting it down, water water coming up so the guy kept sticking his finger in the hole and pushing material into it. I still haven't been able to find out what they put on it.
    Yes Portland cement.

    The only problem is it may not bond to the old concrete.

    This is something I did when the pond concrete walls were new, clean.

    For damp holes, I would use a quick setting expanding cement patch product. Maybe Duraplug.

  9. #9
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    When I built my first pond I was told to seal it with two smooth stucco coats of 50/50 regular cement and fine silica sand. I used this method as part of the sealing process on all three of my concrete ponds. The 50/50 stucco coat will by itself seal the pond.
    BTW: Buy a swimming pool trowel. It makes the job easier.


  10. #10
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I wonder if Duraplug is different than Hydrostatic concrete. That sounds like it would work. I'm going to check with Lowe's to see if they sell it. The entire bottom isn't leaking but if I have to, I'll use the stucco you're talking about on the entire bottom.

    I have a cement trowel but I can get a pool trowel, too.

    I just formed and poured the concrete for the pit walls Saturday. More concrete work. JOY!

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