A liner is the most common form of protection for a water body that has no other natural means of containment. Pond liners can be made from various types of materials such as rubber or flexible PVC. While these substances are durable, over time they may break down requiring a new patch to be applied on the damaged surface area.
This blog post will provide tips for how you can successfully patch pond liners in order to maintain your pond with minimal work.
Causes of Leak in Pond Liner
Improper installment of skimmer boxes causes the leak in the pond liner. Many pond keepers don’t attach the skimmer box with the pond liner carefully. It causes water to leak into the surrounding sediment.
Rubber, PVC, etc. pond liners have great durability. But if you use them for so long, they can be leaked. Pond liners that are overexposed in the sun can also be cracked.
Flexible pond liners can be pierced by sharp objects like stone, sticks, or debris. Lack of proper maintenance and installation can also damage the pond liner.
Sometimes, the weight of water is responsible for the leaking of the pond liner. It scratches the surface of the rubber pond liner. Sometimes tree roots grow up throw the liner and make a hole on the surface of the liner.
Some harmful birds like heron also cause the leak of pond liners. They can easily tear the liner with their sharp beak while catching fish.
How to Find Leak in Pond Liner?
Before jumping into the repairing process you should learn how to find a leak or hole in your pond liner. In summer the water level automatically drops because of evaporation. In this time water level decreased 1-2 inches in a week which is normal.
After rainfall water level again increases. If there is any actual leak you will notice a significant water level drop.
The leak can be situated anywhere on the liner. There are several ways to find the leak. Firstly, turn off the water pump and observe the water level for 24-48 hours. If the water level is dropping continuously, there is a leak in the main basin of the pond liner.
In this situation allow the water to drop until its level stays stable. You may have to remove the water plants and fishes for doing this task. You can use the free-standing pond. It will help you to temporarily hold the fishes and plants.
If the water level is still the same, the leak is outside the pond. Check the plumbing joint. You can replace or tighten up the plumbing. Also check the pipes, waterfall, and stream. If any of them are broken, fix them.
This kind of leak is caused by stone and plant later. It causes a raising of water level and the liner moves from its place.
Another simple way applies to all kinds of pond liners. Let the water automatically drop, then you will find that it has dropped under the leaky area. Mark the leaky area with chalk.
Should You Repair or Replace the Pond Liner?
After finding the leak you should decide how to solve the problem. If the leak is so small, you can patch it simply.
You have several methods to solve the problem. So, you should pick the method according to the number of holes.
If you find the hole larger, replacement is the best option. Repairing the damages of a larger pond liner is difficult. So building a smaller pond is always a better option.
Things Needed to Repair Pond Liner
Here I would suggest you some pond liner repair tools which can be used for different purposes.
If the hole of the liner is small medium-sized, you can use an EPDM pond liner patch kit. It is not recommended for extensive damage. It comes with a patch, primer, and roller. Blend it with the original liner properly. You can use this kit for any kind of pond liner.
If the hole is very small you can use pond liner repair sealants. It is a very cheap solution that takes about eight hours to set with the original liner.
When you need an extra pond liner to repair the damage, you can use pond liner joining tape. It is used for resealing the pond skimmer boxes. The tape is sticky on both sides. It is also used for small holes or tears.
How to Patch Pond Liner
Repair Kit with Patch, Primer, and Roll
I have previously discussed that repair kits are used for small medium-sized tears or holes. It is mostly used for EPDM pond liners. But, how to repair pond liner using this kit? Follow the methods step by step.
At first, find the leak. Now determine the size of the patch according to the size of the leak. Generally, these repair patch size range varies from 2×2 inch to 30×30 inch. Now cut the patch in a circle shape.
Drain the water from the location of the leak. Dry and clean the area. Now apply the primer fluid to the clean area. It will make the surface soft. After preparing the surface, install the patch with the original liner.
Roll the patch on the liner with the help of a roller. The rolling process will help to remove the extra air underneath the patch. It will take a few minutes to set up. You can refill your pond after some time.
Repairing with Sealants
It is comparatively inexpensive and easy to apply. For using the sealant, drain the water from the small leaky area and dry the area. Now spray the sealant on the affected area.
The sealant is waterproof. It will expand in size. It takes about eight hours to become watertight. Always remember that sealant is only used for very small leaks. It has less durability than the patch.
The sealant does not harm the pond fishes and plants. After 8 hours add the water. The sealant can be used in any kind of liner. You can also use it to solve the leaky waterfall problem. The sealant will help you to prevent the re-direct flow of waterfall into your pond.
Using Joining Tape.
Sometimes lack of liner on the outer corner causes a leak of the liner. You can solve the problem by using joining tape. It is also called seaming tape. The steaming tape helps to attach two separate liners.
It is also used to reseal small size of pond liner holes and skimmer boxes with the liner. Before using the joining tape to attach the two liners, use primer fluid and a scrubbing brush. The tape is double-sided.
Prevention is better than cure. So I will also recommend some steps to prevent pond liner leaks.
Many pond owners keep rocks and pebbles to the bottom of the pond to decorate it. Always try to use smooth rocks and pebbles. Avoid sharp rocks.
Don’t forget to secure the edges of your pond liner. Secure the outer liner with heavy stone and slabs. It will provide support to the outer edges and prevent leaks.
Adding high-quality pond netting can help you to prevent the leak. It will not let the debris, sharp objects, and twigs entering into your pond. This process increases the durability of any pond liner. Netting can also help to prevent heron.