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Old Thursday 30th December 2010, 12:47   #1
grobble
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Leaky (concrete) Bird Bath

I thought a lot of enthusiastic bathing was rapidly emptying my (25yo) concrete bird bath, but it appears to be leaking.

Any suggestions for materials to repair?

As far as I can see, the base of the bowl has first been covered with some fine white mix (a bit like masonry paint) which has then been covered with a blue paint of some description.

How concrete leaks is quite beyond me!

Updated to say that I have found a hairline crack running from the inside to the outside (about 2" in length) must be ice damage to an open area! No wonder pipes burst.

Last edited by grobble : Thursday 30th December 2010 at 18:37.
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Old Friday 31st December 2010, 00:54   #2
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My favorite bowl cracked last year due to ice also. I replaced it, but it was a great bowl...very wide and shallow, so I kept it. It has the same type of cracks in it, only three of them. Structurally, its rock solid with the concrete built on some kind of wire mesh skeleton.

I tried a few hardware stores looking for some kind of thick paint-goop which I think would do the job in resealing it, but I couldn't find anything they would guarantee as safe for bird drinking and bathing water.

Will stay tuned to this thread...
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Old Friday 31st December 2010, 01:20   #3
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I don't know where exactly to send you, but I know backyard ponds made of concrete have to be sealed somehow to hold water. What is safe for the koi and goldfish I imagine would be OK for the birds too. Maybe searching on a pond site would give you the answer.

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Old Friday 31st December 2010, 09:45   #4
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You can get pond sealant, which you paint on, for concrete ponds at most pond/fish stockists. I think its main use is to stop concrete and stones leaching chemicals into the water but it may also seal hairline cracks if you use lots of coats. Worth a try I guess!
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Old Friday 31st December 2010, 23:52   #5
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Thanks Helen and Bartolli...Koi ponds!!! Never crossed my mind, but great idea. I'm heading out to surf the net for koi pond sealant
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Old Saturday 1st January 2011, 14:41   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm also wondering about Plumber's Mait (yes, it is spelled that way!). If you're not familiar with it, it's a thick creamy goo used to seal leaky pipes. It dries to a rubbery solid, so I would guess if applied into the crack with a blade it will do a decent job.

I think pond sealant was used by the manufacturer and I've worn some away using a plastic brush to clean the bath occasionally, leading to a path for the ice to do the damage.
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Old Sunday 2nd January 2011, 20:36   #7
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A silicon sealant from a motor shop might do it. http://rambleswithacamera.blogspot.com/
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Old Monday 3rd January 2011, 09:01   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theconstantwalker View Post
A silicon sealant from a motor shop might do it. http://rambleswithacamera.blogspot.com/
Yep I have repaired a couple of them using silicone sealant and they held water all last year, I just made sure they were bone dry cleaned out the cracks with a wire brush and forced some silicone sealer into the cracks with my finger and left it to dry for 24 hours and they have not leaked since....( i think doing it this way the main thing is to get the crack clean and very dry before trying to repair them )
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Old Saturday 12th March 2011, 14:44   #9
grobble
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Finally got round to making a proper job of fixing it (I hope!).

A 2kg bag of rapid drying mortar from Wickes did the trick. It states 'only mix as much as you can use in 10 minutes' on the packet but I found 5 minutes would have been better.
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Old Saturday 12th March 2011, 15:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grobble View Post
Finally got round to making a proper job of fixing it (I hope!).

A 2kg bag of rapid drying mortar from Wickes did the trick. It states 'only mix as much as you can use in 10 minutes' on the packet but I found 5 minutes would have been better.
If it happens again try using a building product called Acropol, this is a product that you paint on using a normal paint brush (use an old one as you wont be able to use it again). I have used it hundreds of times on roof jobs at work both for gutters, lead and felt and it is brilliant stuff. Although it is around 20 for a 5ltr tin you can buy smaller ones also, it comes in either grey or black. Once dry it is similar to glass fibre.

I painted a concrete bird bath with it last year and it worked a treat, although you will need to let the stuff dry though before letting it loose on the birds as it will stick to their feathers.
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