Looking for waterproofing advice


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Hopefully someone can help, I’m close to calling someone in for help...
As you can see in the photos I have a lower and upper pond built from blocks and mortar. I made a big mistake and did not do a scratch coat on the entire inside before applying a liquid rubber membrane. I used Liquid rubber sealant over top of the block. Ran i coat of the sticky primer they offfer and 4 coats of rubber. It did hold water but I have multiple leaks. My current plan is to allow it to leak to the lowest point and try to identify trouble spots. I plan on using more of the seam tape on any area that appears to Be compromised followed by a few more coats of liquid rubber. Obviously it has a window which there are some leaks below it but there are others on the sides. It’s 5 X 9x 5 on the bottom section and 4x4x3 on top. the top is a bog section and the equiptment area is behind the bog. If there are any other questions fire away. Thanks in advance for any guidance you might have. My temptation is to order supplies for redoing it in fiberglass although I have zero experience and concerned about making a major mess and the possibility of it not sticking to the liquid rubber. Ill be happy to post pics of the entire build process once I get it more functional!
 

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Wow! Gorgeous pond! I know nothing about leak proofing so I'll stay out of that conversation, but I wonder if you considered lining it with EPDM? I know you have a window, but Aquascape built one of these in their retail location and used rubber liner.
 

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@Prov1kanobi Beautiful pond!
I too know nothing about your issues but I'm sure someone who knows will eventually see your post and jump in to help you.
 

brokensword

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Hopefully someone can help, I’m close to calling someone in for help...
As you can see in the photos I have a lower and upper pond built from blocks and mortar. I made a big mistake and did not do a scratch coat on the entire inside before applying a liquid rubber membrane. I used Liquid rubber sealant over top of the block. Ran i coat of the sticky primer they offfer and 4 coats of rubber. It did hold water but I have multiple leaks. My current plan is to allow it to leak to the lowest point and try to identify trouble spots. I plan on using more of the seam tape on any area that appears to Be compromised followed by a few more coats of liquid rubber. Obviously it has a window which there are some leaks below it but there are others on the sides. It’s 5 X 9x 5 on the bottom section and 4x4x3 on top. the top is a bog section and the equiptment area is behind the bog. If there are any other questions fire away. Thanks in advance for any guidance you might have. My temptation is to order supplies for redoing it in fiberglass although I have zero experience and concerned about making a major mess and the possibility of it not sticking to the liquid rubber. Ill be happy to post pics of the entire build process once I get it more functional!
I'd want to know why you've got cracking going on; are your blocks backfilled with concrete and rebar? Does your pond sit on a footing/foundation? If not, you're going to have problems with cracking due to frost heaving.
 
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At the point you are at and a substandard base coat Meaning it has failed and theres nothing to say other areas aren't next. I would look at box weld they can come in and measure exactly the size walls you have make a skin tight membrane. and do so without a wrinkle . now the only tough spot is going to be around the glass but it you place a seal on top f a seal ontop of a seal you should be able to make it work . it's all in how bad those leaks are. the other issue is you'll have to either pop the top cap of the wall and slip the box weld under it or you could even do a epdm that you can seam yourself
 
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addy1

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Welcome to our forum!

Can't help with your problem but beautiful pond!
 
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At the point you are at and a substandard base coat Meaning it has failed and theres nothing to say other areas aren't next. I would look at box weld they can come in and measure exactly the size walls you have make a skin tight membrane. and do so without a wrinkle . now the only tough spot is going to be around the glass but it you place a seal on top f a seal ontop of a seal you should be able to make it work . it's all in how bad those leaks are. the other issue is you'll have to either pop the top cap of the wall and slip the box weld under it or you could even do a epdm that you can seam yourself
I’m thinking that making a custom liner might be the best bet. My guestimate to tape all the grout lines is about $360 at best. Ive done some inspection since the original post. I can clearly see some obvious spots where the liquid rubber did not fill enough. I’m thinking to to buy 2 rolls of tape and give it a last shot followed by using up the rest o the liquid rubber I have. That gives me 80 feet of 4“ tape to spot fix, and maybe 3.5 gallons which is about 2-3 coats if I keep it in the lower section. The upper is run independently so I can deal with it later, I haven’t filled it yet to test for leaks.
 
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I'd want to know why you've got cracking going on; are your blocks backfilled with concrete and rebar? Does your pond sit on a footing/foundation? If not, you're going to have problems with cracking due to frost heaving.
Not really cracking just really should have put a thin coat of concrete over the block first. I can’t go backwards without media blasting the whole thing at this point. I think the leaks are where the grout didn’t fill all the way when the block work was done. The blocks are mostly filled with conrete/rebar and it has a proper footing around 18” thick.
 
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yeah here's the big difference the box liner is one and done. bite the bullet and remove the glass and find out how to make that seal. Your tape is a potential issues as the tape is relying on sticking to the liquid rubber. I'm no expert on liquid rubbers but if the pond was filed the algae has started to grow and it will all need a real good cleaning.
 

brokensword

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Not really cracking just really should have put a thin coat of concrete over the block first. I can’t go backwards without media blasting the whole thing at this point. I think the leaks are where the grout didn’t fill all the way when the block work was done. The blocks are mostly filled with conrete/rebar and it has a proper footing around 18” thick.
so the block wall is letting water through it? I think your best bet would be to just get a liner in and figure out how to include your window. I know from my dad (he was a brick mason) when he built 4 large concrete aquariums, he painted on a powder-slurry coat of portland cement when done to make them waterproof. And he had windows in all of them. So I think you could also seal a liner if you framed it and sealed it against your window opening as you have it. EPDM liner would work in your favor as it's already rubber, much as your seal can be.

Maybe price out a liner vs more liquid rubber?
 
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if you can find the leaks remove the rubber from that spot then re coat. refill and see if it leaks. your pond looks good and you can always put a liner in there and fix it quickly.
 
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Hopefully someone can help, I’m close to calling someone in for help...
As you can see in the photos I have a lower and upper pond built from blocks and mortar. I made a big mistake and did not do a scratch coat on the entire inside before applying a liquid rubber membrane. I used Liquid rubber sealant over top of the block. Ran i coat of the sticky primer they offfer and 4 coats of rubber. It did hold water but I have multiple leaks. My current plan is to allow it to leak to the lowest point and try to identify trouble spots. I plan on using more of the seam tape on any area that appears to Be compromised followed by a few more coats of liquid rubber. Obviously it has a window which there are some leaks below it but there are others on the sides. It’s 5 X 9x 5 on the bottom section and 4x4x3 on top. the top is a bog section and the equiptment area is behind the bog. If there are any other questions fire away. Thanks in advance for any guidance you might have. My temptation is to order supplies for redoing it in fiberglass although I have zero experience and concerned about making a major mess and the possibility of it not sticking to the liquid rubber. Ill be happy to post pics of the entire build process once I get it more functional!
Tried this in the past with suitably sized patch of liner, bit pricey but fish safe and allegedly can also be applied underwater! (Not that I'd risk it ;)
 
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so the block wall is letting water through it? I think your best bet would be to just get a liner in and figure out how to include your window. I know from my dad (he was a brick mason) when he built 4 large concrete aquariums, he painted on a powder-slurry coat of portland cement when done to make them waterproof. And he had windows in all of them. So I think you could also seal a liner if you framed it and sealed it against your window opening as you have it. EPDM liner would work in your favor as it's already rubber, much as your seal can be.

Maybe price out a liner vs more liquid rubber?
I called a local pond company and they wouldn’t touch an EPDM liner it. My bottom drain has a pretty significant slope plus the window. I’m probably shot until spring anyway.
 

brokensword

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I called a local pond company and they wouldn’t touch an EPDM liner it. My bottom drain has a pretty significant slope plus the window. I’m probably shot until spring anyway.
from @Lisak1 link in another thread;


and


From your picture, it seems you might be able to pull this off re liner in AND window too. See if the link gives you another option.
 
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Thanks @brokensword !

If these guys will do it, it's definitely worth trying. This is inside their showroom/warehouse so I'm sure they wanted to make sure it was leakproof.
 
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EPDM LINER is the most common type used in ponds today. Not sure why your local feels that way but if i was to do a window a rubber liner would be far in the way of my choice as it is used as washers for many uses and thats what your trying to do create a seal
 
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I would treat it like a shower and cover it with Ditra, then cover it with a rubber membrane such as the stuff they sell at the Home Depot in the tile area. Tile can be applied to the rubber membrane with thinset and Ditra is meant to be applied with thinset I would guess that the thinset would stick to your existing rubber base. Look at Youtube on how Ditra fabric is applied.
 
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If your referring to a Mudd job thin set doesn't stick very well to the rubber its more a encapsulation layer that keeps water from getting to the substrate. generally a thicker layer is placed within the tub that just fills the area gets locked in more then it is stuck to the base/rubber. Does thin set grab to rubber yes but flex it and watch it pop off.
 
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