Wizard Fibre and Concrete Ponds
Traditionally, garden ponds are made from various materials using different construction methods and there are advantages and disadvantages whichever you chose. Liners are relatively cheap but tend to wrinkle badly when used in an intricately shaped pond. Puncture resistance and life expectancy can be of concern too. Pre-formed ponds don’t have these problems but you are restricted to the shapes and sizes that are offered. Concrete ponds, if properly built, will last a lifetime and are much more durable than any other kind. They do, however, require care in their construction if you are to reap all the benefits that this material can offer. A little knowledge of construction techniques will be useful but this is also available in the many pond-building books.
A sample of Wizard Fibre.
A 5mm thick section of render has been torn apart to show the eveness of the fibre matrix.
Applying the scratch coat (when it has started to dry, the surface can be roughened to provide a key).
Applying the final render should be done systematically. Here, the scratch coat is being dampened prior to rendering.
The key point to remember is that the actual concrete or concrete blocks do not make up a very large proportion of the total project cost and it is therefore false economy to skimp on their use in order to save a few pounds. If the structure is sound you will never have any worries. If you cut corners you may regret it later. If the budget is tight it might be worth scaling down the project just a little to ensure that it is done properly.
When the concrete or block shell of the pond has been completed, the process of sealing the inside should begin. First, the walls and floor need to be smoothed using a sand and cement render and the surface of this should be scratched lightly to give the next coat a key. The final coat should be about 5-6mm thick and should contain the appropriate quantity of fibres (see instructions for use). This mix will have a very high cement content which, when combined with the fibres, will give a very tough, crack-resistant finish. This type of mix would be impossible without the fibres because the render would crack very badly as it dries. The shrinkage is quite considerable and the coating has no significant tensile strength.
The addition of Wizard Fibre has several long-lasting benefits, with the bonus that it is very easy to use. The fibre matrix and the fact that there is a high cement content means that the mix is very sticky but creamy in texture. It flows and adheres to the wall much more easily than a traditional mix. This brings the practice of concrete pond-building within the scope of the average hobbyist, thus saving a considerable amount of money.
When the final Wizard render has set and dried it can be painted with a proprietary pond paint (see instructions for use). The special characteristics of Wizard ensure that it disperses evenly in the mixer. The product appears to be in flat strips but when water is added and it is subjected to the action of the mixer, all of these strips break into much finer strands. As these are so fine they do not present any kind of hazard if some of them are protruding from the final finish and therefore they do not require any further attention.
A well constructed pond with a Wizard Fibre render and a good quality pond paint could last a lifetime.