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Thread: What is the best "stuff" to seal mortar/concrete with to avoid lime seeping into H2O

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    What is the best "stuff" to seal mortar/concrete with to avoid lime seeping into H2O

    What's the best stuff out right now?
    Would be for sealing rock work mortared in around a pond

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    davidjensen's Avatar
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    needs a bigger pond.
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    I too want to know. A friend who has a large waterfalls pool found several leaks in it and he has just finished remortering it. I told him to use a conc sealer but I don't know what is good either.
    Need more Koi

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    Is this in a pond or filter pit? Herco pond coating is basically liquid neoprene rubber paint & can do the job. But depending on your application, there might be cheaper options out there.

    1gallon covers 80-100 square foot range.

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    Assuming you don't need to waterproof it against leaks but just to keep the lime from leeching... I have about 6 inches of rockwork under the waterline completely surrounding my pond (lots of square feet and many pounds of mortar) and used nothing to seal it. I just let it dry for a couple weeks and gave it a good cleaning with Muriatic acid. PH has always been stable at 8.2 to 8.4.

    I used a rubberized clear coating on a small section that was out of the water as a test and after 1 year it turned yellow and makes the stonework look dirty. Still trying to find a good way to remove it.
    Farmer Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by WAC View Post
    Is this in a pond or filter pit? Herco pond coating is basically liquid neoprene rubber paint & can do the job. But depending on your application, there might be cheaper options out there.

    1gallon covers 80-100 square foot range.

    Some of it may come in contact with the water but basically what I'm doing is mortaring in the rocks and having a concrete base for the outside collar around my turtle pond. My concern is rain water causing the PH to be really high although with turtles I don't expect that to be a big problem. Is Herco more for leaks or sealing mortar to prevent lime leeching into the water?

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    Quote Originally Posted by avorancher View Post
    lots of square feet and many pounds of mortar) and used nothing to seal it. I just let it dry for a couple weeks and gave it a good cleaning with Muriatic acid. PH has always been stable at 8.2 to 8.4.
    So your saying a sealer wasn't needed just a good cleaning with muriatic acid? Is that sold at Home Depot and how do you clean it a brush?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcopeland View Post
    Is Herco more for leaks or sealing mortar to prevent lime leeching into the water?
    Herco is more for sealing up a concrete pond/fountain -- much like Pond Armor but instead of a 2-part epoxy mix -- it's just a liquid neoprene rubber.

    It'd be equivalent to painting on your pond liner instead of laying a sheet w/creases & folds.

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    Concrete, mortar and grout, provided it is the dry mix with water added, gets stronger and more watertight with moist curing. The cure is said to be complete at 28 days, though it will go forever. Keeping it moist for at least a couple of weeks and then allowing surface drying for a few days allows carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to react with the lime water in the hardened concrete. This reaction creates calcium carbonate, ie limestone, in the pores, further closing off the pores, and allows an air bubble to form to separate the pond water from the lime water, further inhibiting any migration of the lime to the pond. The pond has some capacity to handle the lime without changing the pH, depending on volume of Portland and volume of pond. Small amounts of mix in a large pond is like putting in one grain of PP. Further if there is adequate KH, the bicarb will react with the lime to form calcium carbonate in the water, which will precipitate out.

    A lot of people use muratic acid, but I think it is counter productive. It reacts with the surface, opening up the concrete so the lime water can get out easier. The opening up is great if you are trying to get a coating to bond. Muratic acid requires special protection in the form of rubber gloves, and you don't want it splashing on you.
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    Or sniff it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcopeland View Post
    So your saying a sealer wasn't needed just a good cleaning with muriatic acid? Is that sold at Home Depot and how do you clean it a brush?
    Richard said it a lot better than I could have. I used muriatic acid to clean off the white film left behind due to my inexperienced method of mortaring the rockwork. Basically, no sealer should be needed unless you are trying to waterproof the mortar. It would be hard for me to imagine anyone having more mortar in the water or surrounding the pond as I do and I've never had a pH problem.

    And yes... gloves, safety glasses, and ventilation are a must if you use it. It can be purchased at Home Depot in the pool supply section. Stronger solutions are available at masonry stores.
    Farmer Steve

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    Wink How to seal mortar in glass block pond? It is leaking/white substance all over glass

    Quote Originally Posted by RichToyBox View Post
    Concrete, mortar and grout, provided it is the dry mix with water added, gets stronger and more watertight with moist curing. The cure is said to be complete at 28 days, though it will go forever. Keeping it moist for at least a couple of weeks and then allowing surface drying for a few days allows carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to react with the lime water in the hardened concrete. This reaction creates calcium carbonate, ie limestone, in the pores, further closing off the pores, and allows an air bubble to form to separate the pond water from the lime water, further inhibiting any migration of the lime to the pond. The pond has some capacity to handle the lime without changing the pH, depending on volume of Portland and volume of pond. Small amounts of mix in a large pond is like putting in one grain of PP. Further if there is adequate KH, the bicarb will react with the lime to form calcium carbonate in the water, which will precipitate out.

    A lot of people use muratic acid, but I think it is counter productive. It reacts with the surface, opening up the concrete so the lime water can get out easier. The opening up is great if you are trying to get a coating to bond. Muratic acid requires special protection in the form of rubber gloves, and you don't want it splashing on you.

    this is thedebradawn = do you know what product I should use to seal mortar in a glass block constructed pond? It is concrete bottom - no problem there..but the sides are glass block and the white mortar sometimes seeps water. It has stained the glass block a milky white - which I can scrub off, but I want to avoid the whole leaking issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedebradawn View Post


    this is thedebradawn = do you know what product I should use to seal mortar in a glass block constructed pond? It is concrete bottom - no problem there..but the sides are glass block and the white mortar sometimes seeps water. It has stained the glass block a milky white - which I can scrub off, but I want to avoid the whole leaking issue.
    The best ones that I know for adding to already cured mortar are the https://www.google.com/search?q=sila...x-a&channel=sb type agents. They will not affect the glass. They would need to have the wet side dry and clean prior to application plus several days for curing following application, and I can find no info about it being submerged. It does say it allows moisture vapor transmission, but stops water liquid, so I think it would work, but can't be sure.
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