THAT ONE BEST WATERSCAPE LINING SOLUTION FINALLY ANSWERED:
It all depends …
Waterscapes with or without life develop leaks for various reasons. Preventing or repairing leaks can be accomplished several ways. Professionals, if available should know more than one alternative and more than a few DIY kits or solutions exist. But those in the business of selling a precaution or resolution to leaks are usually one-dimensional, as if their key is the best or only correct choice to lock your water in.
Yet I get calls from pond, fountain and waterscape builders looking for a flexible sheet solution or some spray-on lining alternative. Owners who’ve invested big dollars along with so-called, “Landscape or Waterscape Artists” feel their vendor of lining equipment or product misrepresented them. These experts and intelligent clientele usually feel ripped off or scammed. Some review their solid or spray-on lining disappointment as a learning experience. Pointing fingers or not, this matter usually occurs with state-of-the-art, specialized or even less complex waterscape builds because of the same disenchantment: “It’s leaking”, and mostly, “I’m not sure where”, as if a single cause or location is the problem. I reply the same, “Even if you isolated an exact, single leak or cause for leaks, it’s repair won’t necessarily prevent future leaks for other reasons”… You may decide on:
1- Patching a specific, definite leak,
2- A homemade leak-proofing alternative,
3- Installing lower cost, “sheet-lining” made of plastic, in the leak zone only or re-lining 100% throughout,
4- Rubber / EPDM sheets; same as #2,
5- Sprayed lining and coating product or system; truck bed liner or otherwise same as #2,
6- Higher priced Geo-Textile impregnated with polyurea applied with specialized equipment,
7- Completely rebuilding it.
Weather attempting homespun waterproofing ideas to trusting high-end, high-priced, reputable professionals with references or going DIY you & I know nothing here is guaranteed. Why? Because holding water below and/or above the ground means retaining a heavy dynamic substance (water) within dynamic conditions (the atmosphere), i.e. life, nature and Earth are not static. While it’s true that thicker cement has less chance of cracking is also true that California has fault lines or slip planes within its foundation. We still have no proof of just when this biggest United State may fall into our Earth either. Opinions exist though, statistics by experts notwithstanding.
Opinion and experience will always exist with us humans, seemingly.
Within the, “Spray-Lining Review” is a flexible lining solution; within a one product system. Flexibility vs Stiffness adjust to work over concrete, with EPDM sheets, pre-existing polyurea, urethane, epoxy or rubber coatings as long as it’s a clean, solid surface. In technical terms the product ratio varies adjusting to surface and atmospheric conditions. Actually elasticity, elongation, hardness and tensile strength requirement determine how to mix, how thick and apply Seal Tite (SLPV-114). Retaining any/all water at low to high pressure, temperature on major waterscape substrates is the goal.
For practical purposes SLPV-114 provides a most variable solution.
Spray-Lining Dealers utilize the same polyureas and hybrid coatings available under DIY. Spray-on lining “dealers” under the name Rhino or Franchises like Line-X are reviewed mainly as truck bed spray-on lining, not general coatings professionals and rarely with specific waterscape experience, especially for koi ponds. Others named Scorpion or Vortex are similarly used mostly by automotive body shops. SLPV polyurea or Seal Tite hybrid variations are used by dealers or franchises of competing bedliner brands as well as handy people that take matters into their own hands.
Comparing Concrete vs. Liner, complaints vs viable alternatives – See GardenWeb: forums2.gardenweb.com › Garden Forums › Ponds & Aquatic Plants you can study, from a Feb 22, 2012 post- “Concrete ponds are built all the time and should last more than 50 years”. Sure but to, “last” meaning remain in eyesight or to function perfectly over 50 years are quite different issues. Other posts like “Waterproof concrete sealers are too expensive” on Jan 4, 2008, “Leaking pond – help! on Aug 8, 2006, or under, “More results from forums2.gardenweb.com” exist with other blogs and forums. Over the long haul to say, “thicker is better”, “soft and rubbery is better”, “harder is better”, “my polyurea is best brand”, EPDM always works or this or that franchise, or name applies the “only real” lining that’s not FAKE are opinions based on limited facts.
It might be best to decide that the better solution is variable; dependant on few to several factors.
By Kevin Root, Vancouver Lining & Coating, Zone 2 Spray-Lining distributor