This is a product that has been developed by taking the best aspects of the best products and combining them into one product that yields superior performance. Polyurea is very expensive (15.00 / sqft applied) and most coatings for waterproofing fail because they crack when the underlying concrete cracks (which it almost always does).
Seal-Tite is a membrane coating that seals and has high adhesion and elongation properties. This is possible through the combination of elastomeric coating with poly solids that exhibits superior resistance against puncture, abrasion and corrosion.
View the Pond Coatings Chart
What is Seal Tite?
Seal-Tite Coating for ponds and cement waterproofing is a polyhybrid coating that has been developed to provide the characteristics of polyurea without the price-heavy hardware requirements or dangerous chemicals required to spray.
This technology was spawned from the obvious lack of attention paid towards the DIY/Professional cement waterproofing business. There are some great professional solutions, but they are very expensive. The less expensive DIY solutions are not designed to handle the environmental impact on concrete surfaces that need to remain waterproof through many seasons.
The name gives it away. It’s rubber. It’s also a water based 100% solids no VOC protective coating. This product seems to show a lot of promise based on the information that’s found on the website and in some forums like koi-bito, koiphen, etc. There are some excellent reviews on this product that are promoted by people closely related to it. However, upon close investigation it seems that the application process is not so consistent if not using the optional spray system. This increases the price tag quite a bit and makes it not so simple for the DIY consumer.
Online RubberizeIt ReviewsGood Reviews
This set of reviews show it’s an outstanding product.
This details how multiple aspects of this product are not working as the consumer seems to believe. Pinholes are never a good thing.
This details how multiple aspects of this product are not working as the consumer seems to believe. Pinholes are never a good thing.
Review on cichlid.com
Advises against this product for long term waterproofing
SummaryThough this product sounds like the ultimate product for waterproofing for just about anything, it seems there are enough nuances to make it “not so easy” to use. Not to say that it doesn’t work. There is obviously a steep learning curve if this product does work for long term protection. This appears to be a product that is good for many uses, but perhaps not cement pond waterproofing.
- Used in industrial applications, so probably can trust long term performance
- Simple to mix and apply (spray or trowel)
- Low VOC and 100% solids available
- Bonding agent is very sensitive to use but required in many cases which also adds to cost
- Not much in DIY applications available
- Hard to get support
- Difficult to buy
Links to CIM 1000 ReviewsPositive Reviews of CIM 1000 Review of CIM and other coatings This is a pretty comprehensive review of other coatings as well Negative Reviews of CIM 1000 We believe that this product has very little negative feedback because it is a great product. However, it has a hefty price tag that makes it more of an industrial solution.
SummaryThis product is intended for large jobs that have deep pockets. This asphault based elastomeric coating is great, but the drawbacks make one consider when it comes to DIY projects. At over $4.40 / sq ft, this is a product you do not want to mess up. This should probably be left to the professionals.
Herco Pond Coating is designed to be applied with brush or roller. It is a liquid neoprene rubber, so you would think it should be applied fairly thick. The recommended coating is supposed to be about 30 mils (80 sq ft per gallon). The company has been making and distributing this product since 1945 (based on their website). Having been around for the long, I might expect a larger presence on the web and more reviews.
The idea of being able to roll a rubber coating that acts as a membrane liner is tempting for many. This would keep you from having to deal with folds and seams which is involved with drop in liners. But, again, with any coating preparation is paramount to success.
View the Pond Coatings Chart
- Neoprene Rubber Coating acts like a drop in liner
- Can adhere to other coatings if they are locked on tight to substrate
- Adheres to rock, concrete, gunite or any other structural building material
- Fish Safe
- Should not be applied when rainy
- Needs a thicker coat than suggested
- Bubbling seems to be common downfall
- Customer Service appears to be lacking
Reviews of Herco Pond CoatingGood Reviews
Can’t find many good reviews. Not to say that there are not any.
Amazon Reviews of Hecht Rubber
A few people seem to have problems with bubbling and poor customer service
Thickness versus coverage area
This customer had a problem with using the right amount per square foot causing added cost
It sounds like improper prep causes bubbling of the Hecht product. If this is avoided, this product may hold its own as a good pond coating. Long term wear? There are not any real examples that can be found on the web. So, that question goes unanswered. We have reviews of most the top products for DIY Pond Coatings. So, keep reading!
Pond Armor Review
Pond Armor Pond Shield is a popular product. If you search for “koi pond” or “cement pond coatings” through your web browser, you’ll see that Pond Armor is in many results. The manufacturer has targeted this niche of pond builders looking for good waterproofing solutions. However, with a price tag of over $180 per gallon, this is one of the most expensive products on the market.
Read about the benefits and drawbacks of this product belowOr view the Pond Coatings Chart
- seals cement to eliminate leaching
- Non Toxic
- Safe for fish
- Available at retail outlets
- It only resists hairline fractures (< ½ mm in width). There is no information about larger cracks.
- A lot of negative reviews online
- Not really a membrane. It dries fairly hard.
- $70 for 1.5 quarts = almost $186 / gallon
Following are links to good and bad reviews of Pond Armor Pond Shield. Just remember, sometimes it is the competition providing negative reviews and sometimes it’s the manufacturer submitting positive reviews so take them with a grain of salt.
Koi Bito Review of Pond Armor
Product is good, and if preparation is done correctly then there is a high rate of success.
davesgarden.com review of Pond Armor
Mentioned as a great product for waterproofing.
Cracking seams when tank is pushed or stepped into. Indicates low resistance to cracking
Amazon Customer Reviews of Pond Armor
Mixed reviews. About 50/50 good/bad. Main points seem to be price, working time and cracking.
thepondguy.com Pond Armor Review
A lot of negative statements
SummaryPond Armor seems to be popular and used by many, even though the support (lacking from many reviews) and the price seems non-optimal. However, their rank in Google puts them in a top spot. So, be careful and do your research before purchasing a waterproof coating for your pond/koi project.
|Product||Mil Height||Rating||Kit Amt||Kit Cost||$/sq ft|
|Adhesion Promoter?||Is a Sealer||DIY||Membrane||% Solids||Tensile||Elongation|
|N||Y||Y||N||100%||< 2000 psi||50%-300%|
|Pond Armor||20-30||1.5 Gallon||$319.80||$2.65|
|Hecht Rubber||30||1 gallon||$215.00||$4.00|
|Seal Tite||30-120||1 gallon||$139.28||$2.60|
|N||Y||Y||Y||100%||< 2200 psi||80%|
|CIM 1000||60-120||5 gallon||$500.00||$3.74|
Defining the VariablesThe following factors are all used in determining the number of stars a product receives. This was based on a few application factors as follows:
- overall cost
- ease of use
- strength of coating
- Is the coating a membrane?
Some coatings require a sealer PRIOR to application because chemicals can leach out of the substrate and cause delamination and cracking. EPDM/neoprene rubber coatings and some polyurethanes require a separate sealer to keep this from happening. The problem is that these sealer/primers add a significant amount of cost to the product. So, it’s easy to see that coatings that act as a sealer/primer will be more affordable without sacrificing quality.
If you read about rubberized coatings that are used in coating concrete or metal you’ll see that it is highly recommended to use an appropriate adhesion promoter to resist bubbling and peeling after the application. Again this adds significantly to the labor and product cost. So, even though these rubber-type coatings are very attractive, there are drawbacks that make these coatings problematic.
If you are looking to handle a coating job yourself and you are not a contractor, this is an important factor. Polyurea requires expensive equipment as well as proper training and licensing to apply in most areas. That makes DIY impossible.
The advantage of a membrane coating is that it stretches enough to not crack when the underlying substrate moves, expands or cracks itself (within certain constraints). These types of coatings are superior to others in regards to long term function and performance when strained by environmental factors (freezing, thawing, high water table, etc).
The solids percentage is literally the amount of solids to VOC’s / solvents / water. So, when the chemical reaction that makes a coating harden or cure is complete, there is a loss of volume/weight of materials. Therefore, if you have a gallon of material that is 40% solids, you can calculate the coverage of that material with the formula :(Total Liquid (in gallons) * %solids * 1604) / mil height = total sq footage at the mil height So, let’s compare a high solvent content coating and a no solvent coating:
As you can see, this is more than double the coverage rate which significantly decreases the cost / sq ft of a no solids coating to the original price. So, if you want to use money to understand it we can take the cost of the 2 items per gallon and use this formula:
This makes the rubber type solutions here very expensive compared to 100% solids coatings. Seal Tite Membrane Coating = 100% SOLIDS.
Tensile strength measures the force required to pull something such as rope, wire, or a structural beam to the point where it breaks. The tensile strength of a material is the maximum amount of tensile stress that it can take before failure, for example breaking. Seal Tite = 3,800 tensile average (range is 2060 to 6,500 PSI dependent on mix ratio)
Elongation is the measurement of how far a sample of material can be stretched and still return to it’s original form. This can be technically described by : “the increase in the gauge-length of a test specimen after fracture divided by its original gauge-length. Higher elongation mean higher ductility.”For example : specimen length = 1 cm specimen length with tension applied breaks at 3 cm elongation = 3/1 = 300% elongation. Seal Tite = 218% elongation average with proportionate range as it’s tensile PSI.
VOCs are carbon based molecules that create ground level ozone (tropospheric ozone) when exposed to sunlight
The US Government (and world govs) have decided to regulate these materials due to long term side effects of overuse.
VOCs are heavily used in coatings because they allow a coating that has been spread out to dry quickly
There are no VOC’s in a majority of our coatings
|Compound||CAS#||MW||USEPA TO-15||NJDEP LLTO-15|
|Target List||RL (ppbv)||RL (ug/m3)||Target List||RL (ppbv)||RL (ug/m3)|
|3-Chloropropene (Allyl chloride)||107-05-1||76.53||X||0.5||1.6||X||0.2||0.6|
|Bromoethane (Ethyl bromide)||74-96-4||108.0||X||0.5||2.2|
|Freon 12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane)||75-71-8||120.9||X||0.5||2.5||X||0.2||1.0|
|Freon 114 (1,2-Dichlorotetrafluoroethane)||76-14-2||170.9||X||0.5||3.5||X||0.2||1.4|
|Isopropyl alcohol (2-Propanol)||67-30-0||60.10||X||0.5||1.2||X||0.2||0.5|
|Methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE)||1634-04-4||88.15||X||0.5||1.8||X||0.2||0.7|
|Tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA)||75-65-0||74.12||X||0.5||1.5||X||0.2||0.6|
|Freon 11 (Trichlorofluoromethane)||75-69-4||137.4||X||0.5||2.8||X||0.2||1.1|
|Freon 113 (1,1,2-Trichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane)||76-13-1||187.4||X||0.5||3.8||X||0.2||1.5|
|Bromoethene (Vinyl bromide)||593-60-2||106.9||X||0.5||2.2||X||0.2||0.9|
|Xylene (para & meta)||1330-20-7||106.2||X||1.0||4.3||X||0.4||1.7|
|74||TO-15 Targets||64||LLTO-15 Targets|
Concrete as a Building Material for PondsIt is important that concrete material used in construction of water systems of any sort is able to cure properly for the type of application or be prepared for a waterproof coating. Aside from increasing strength the cure process also allows for the removal of Lyme when done a certain way. If the pond is filled with water, leeching will occur naturally and the Lyme will be removed each time you empty the water until there are insignificant amount (refer to “the long way” below). The other way to remove Lyme is to acid etch the surface after 7 days of moisture curing.
Leeching side effectsWater gardens with concrete that has not cured properly can have extremely alkaline water which will negatively affect certain water animals and fauna. Therefore, make sure any cement/gunite structure cures properly PRIOR to application of any liner or coating, especially if you plan on having fish/turtles/koi etc. The leeching process can have an effect on the ability of a coating to adhere to a surface. Meaning, a coating could delaminate from the surface concrete because of the chemicals leeching from the concrete causing separation of the coating from the substrate.
How to cure concrete for a pondIf the pond is to be used for koi specifically you will want to go the long way and NEVER take a short cut… For the long way, you need:
- Plastic sheeting enough to cover your pond surface with overlap
- 2 x 4 boards
- pH test kit
Place the 2 x 4’s over the pond evenly about 18” apart. Cover the pond entirely with plastic sheeting and place weight on edges. Fill pond to top and let sit for 1 week. Drain and fill again. Let it sit for 2 weeks. Drain and fill again. Let it sit for 3 weeks. Drain and fill again. Let water sit for one week. Drain, fill and test pH. pH should be tested multiple times and remain between 5.8 and 6.8 pH for the next two weeks.
Do you have to cure concrete when using a sealer?
Yes, you do not want to rush the curing process. The strength of the concrete is compromised. Moist curing is recommended when using a penetrating sealer. Moist curing allows the concrete to cure at ultimately a lower temperature which is important because the slower the cure, the stronger the concrete.
Professional Product for Home Use – Fish and Plant Safe
Best Materials to Use for Different Ponds
Water GardensWater gardens will ultimately have life in them. Whether you put it there or not, any healthy water source will support life of some sort. Whether it’s some water plants that are brought in by way of migration, or frogs finding your habitat ideal for laying eggs, you will have life.
These ponds can be < 4’ deep and optimally between 1’ and 3’ deep. Therefore, EPDM liners are a better solution for non-koi ponds.
However, EPDM liners are not permanent structures. If you have a great stake in your property and know what you want, you may want to think about using a permanent solution like concrete. In addition, a concrete pond can increase the value of your home. Just make sure that permitting practices are followed.
Koi pondsSince the depth requirement is greater creating a need for a much larger liner and possibly breaking the constraints that liners work well within, concrete/gunite + polyurea solution is the optimal solution for koi ponds. In earthquake prone areas, EPDM or geotextile + polyurea solution is suggested.
However, there is still a need for a structural component with geotextile + polyurea in certain conditions or building designs. Geotextile + polyurea itself does not maintain rigidity when unexpected pressure is applied to the surface. This is why any pond that is deep or has vertical surfaces to be coated is suggested to be constructed from concrete + polyurea .
Concrete + polyurea creates an extremely durable and tough system that can undergo extreme conditions without endangering the integrity of the surface.
- Bed liner is mixed from 1:1 to 3:1 as solids: liquid. For standard adhesion and thickness, use 1.5:1 as liquids to powders.
- .75 gallons of liquids mixed with 1.5 part solids will = 1.875 gallons * 1.23 (expansion) = 2.32 gallons fully cured
- Liquids for layer 1 is .75 gallons/2 = .375 gallons
- Solids for layer 1 is .375 gallons of polymers
- Total for layer 1 = .75 * expansion rate of .18 = .885 gallons
- Liquids for layer 2 is .375 gallons
- Solids for layer 2 is .75 gallons
- Total for layer 2 = 1.125 * 1.25 (expansion) = 1.4 gallons
- Total Sprayable gallons = 2.29 gallons