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Paint, Waterproofing & Ponds

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  • Paint, Waterproofing & Ponds

    I will be building a shade structure over my pond in the next month or two. I had planned on it being raw wood. It would be made of western cedar to reduce rot in Florida's hot & humid climate, but I know it will rot in time. Typical paints used outdoors have anti-mold ingredients, such as copper, etc., added. These can leach into the pond when it rains or from dew. But, it sure would be nice if there was a paint or sealant that could be used to extend the life of the wood, without risking contamination of the pond. Ideas? Thoughts?
  • #2


    Not sure what your structure will look like but if you allow air circulation around the posts, beams & vertical lumber, you should be able to let the cedar and/or red wood weather on their own with out sealing...

    I have red wood fences around our yard, which are 38 years old, very little deterioration... Generally, I secure a 2x4 top rails onto 4x4 posts, this protects the posts…Then nail a ¾" sq. nailer to the bottom side of the rail to nail the vertical boards to.. I cut grooves into the sides of the 4.4 posts 3" from bottom, split a 2x4 and insert half into the groove the toe nail…then nail vertical board in place and sandwich with other half of 2x4 (don’t forget to allow for width of vertical board…this allows water to drain off fence with out puddling…

    Built the walls of our new pond the same way, replacing the 4x4 posts with 8x8 cinder blocks for pillars, sheathed in red wood…

    There’s a new lumber from Brazil which I saw being used on the H&G channel, is a little more expensive than redwood or cedar but is supposed to last 10 times longer…Only problem, so dense you have to drill and use screws to secure pieces…The were using a nail gun on the project and the nails just bent after entering only 1/8" of an inch…. If I had to do the new pond over again, I’d use this new lumber…

    Aloha! Mike


    • #3

      The pond with those fry discussed in the 'early development' thread has a boardwalk running over it.
      The boardwalk was build several months ago out of normal Hi-bor Brand, Borate Pressure Treated Lumber (treated Douglas Fir here, same as your treated Southern Yellow Pine). We have had at least 3-4 inches of rain since the fry hatched. When I started the boardwalk project at the other end of a line of ponds, they were still selling the CCA pressure treated wood. Everyone that sees this set-up says that's a no-no because the wood treatment washes off into the water. However, I decided not to worry about it, have never had a problem, and think the fry are a good testiment to the fact that toxicity fears from using pressure treated wood are grossly over-stated. If using a trickle of water exchnge, the chances of a toxic reaction are even smaller.

      Nonetheless, I do not want to battle the age-old dogma about fish toxicities or be responsible for someone's prized koi. So, I will suggets that you use one of the new plastic lumbers to support your plastic shade cloth :>) Thompsons Water Seal is also safe once it dries although you would not want to spill much of it directly into the pond.

      -steve hopkins


      • #4

        Just as an aside regarding sealants for the ponds themselves. I have seen them used to get the koi in immediately without curing the pond. Trouble is with settling,cracking, earthquakes trouble can occur instanteously with any kind of event
        Dick Benbow


        • #5

          Good topic Mike. Especially for this one guy who hasn't built his pond yet. With all the products out in the marketplace today, is there one proven waterproofing coating system that will withstand the test of time. I'm guessing, just like a swimming pool, the surfaces should be maintained at some year interval. Any advice or suggestions?


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