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Pretty New Pond

New Pondless Waterfall

Double Waterfall on a Big Hill

Double Pond and Waterfall

A Pretty Pond With a Bridge

Fresh spring clean out

Brand new pond, waterfall, bridge, slab stone patio and steps

A gentle forest stream

A Fresh Clean Pond

Hurth Waterscapes Spring Pond Clean Out

Patching Your Pond

Every year we are called upon to find and patch holes in our customer’s pond liners.  Finding the holes is the toughest part of this job and I’ll be posting more info on that subject at a later date, but for now we’re going to teach you how to patch the holes once you find them.

Pond liner holes are most often caused by animals.  We see a handful of mouse holes every spring.  The mice like to crawl in between the rocks in our streams, wetlands, ponds and waterfalls.  They often make nests and chew holes.  Most of the mouse holes that I find are on the folds of the rubber, this seems to be the easiest place for the mice to chew.  We have also seen holes caused by muskrats, but these are much less common and much worse.  Most of you will likely come across a mouse-hole or two in your time as a pond owner.  We usually find them first thing in spring.  If you start your pond for the first time in spring and it starts losing water, it is probably a mouse-hole.

Mice don’t like to swim, so the holes are in areas where the water is not.  The vertical areas of waterfalls and streams, the edges of wetlands above the water line and the vertical edges of ponds are the most common areas.  Your best defense against mouse holes is to keep your pond and wetland as full of water as possible over the winter.

Most of the pond owners that I know have ponds that are lined with rubber, so this article will be all about how to patch holes in a rubber liner.  The rubber in your pond is just like the rubber in your bicycle tires and patching it requires some of the same tools and techniques.

The first step is to find the hole.  It can be small and very hard to find, so you’ll need to really take your time and search carefully.  Once you’ve found the hole, you’ll need to clear away enough rocks to allow you to straighten out the folds of the rubber, clean it effectively and patch it.  For most small holes this will require an area of approximately 1′ x 1′ minimum.

We use our pond seeming tape to patch holes, but there are pond patch kits on the market or you can use any sort inner tube patch kit that you might use for car, equipment or bicycle tube patching.  Always clean the area very well; this is the most important step.  Always make sure that your patch is much larger than your hole to ensure a good seal.

#1 Check the vertical surfaces such as below your waterfall.

1 Waterfall Hole

Inspect vertical surfaces for a hole.

#2 Find the hole.  Look carefully they are often hard to find.

2 Find the Hole

Find the hole.

#3 Flatten out the area with the hole.

3 Flatten out the Rubber

Flatten the rubber.

#4 Clean the area with the hole.  Use a wire brush and clean and area at least 2 inches wider than your patch.

Clean the hole with a wire brush

Clean it with a wire brush

#5 Make sure that it is nice and clean.  No rust, no lime scale.

Nice and clean.

Nice and clean.

#6 Dry the area with a clean dry rag.

Dry it with a rag

Dry it with a rag

#7 We often make sure it is good and dry by using a hand-held torch.  This is especially important on cool, humid days.

Dry it with a torch

Dry it with a torch

#8 Make sure it is clean and dry.

Clean and Dry

Clean and Dry

#9 Apply the primer or whatever adhesive is used with your patching system.  Usually it is very much like the old rubber cement you’d use to patch a bike tire.

Apply the Primer (adhesive)

Apply the Primer (adhesive)

#10 Prepare your patch while the primer starts to dry to a light tack.

Prepare your patch

Prepare your patch

#11 Apply your patch carefully avoiding any folds or wrinkles.

Apply the patch

Apply the patch

#12 Press the patch firmly in place using great pressure to ensure full adhesion with no air bubbles.

Press the patch well.

Press the patch down well.

#13 All done, time to re-stack all of your rock.

All Done

All done

 

 

 

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