Repairing concrete holding rocks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Repairing concrete holding rocks

I bought this house a year ago and it has a really nice pond out front. The concrete is cracking between the rocks and I would like to fix it. Whats the best way to approach this?

Also it looks like there use to be moss on the concrete but its all dead and frankly from what I understand having moss requires low light and high moisture. Is this even possible?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:42 PM
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For fixing the concrete I would call your local hardware store and ask them about pathcing masonry. IF the rocks come out then you can re-cement them. You can also use different kinds of fillers to patch some of the cracks.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:47 PM
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If the concrete is just cracked I would leave it alone. All concrete cracks eventually. If it's loose or falling apart, then you need to remove the bad stuff. A power washer, hammer, chisel, wire brush will all come in handy to do this. Remove anything that's loose, clean what remains so you have a good surface to bond the new stuff to. Buy some premixed type S or type M cement. A grout bag will make filling the new joints easier, but isn't necessary. Wet the existing rock work then let the water absorb until it's still saturated but the surface is dry to the touch. Mix the mud to a mayonnaise or cool whip like consistency. It's very important not to make your mix too wet, it's harder to work with and you'll dirty up the stone work. You can always add more water if you need to, you can't take it out. Fill the joints with the grout bag or a trowel and slicker, a bent butter knife will work also. Now walk away until the new mud takes the initial setup, when it will leave a print from your finger in the cement but won't leave cement on your finger it's ready. Take your jointing tool or butter knife and compress the mud into the joints to ensure a good bond. Now to give it a nice clean finished appearance, I use a 1 1/2" paint brush. Brush the joints to remove any tool marks and loose bits of mud, being careful not to get the stones dirty. The handle can also be used to compress any spots you missed. A dust pan brush will also work but won't look as nice. Hope my post makes sense, it's easier to show someone than to explain it.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Think the cement is there just to fill the gaps and not for actual support.

Thanks for the tips monkeyfish
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 06:18 PM
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There are also many other types of plants other than mosses that can fit between the cracks in the rocks and cover up the concrete cosmetically. Thyme, Chamomile, Mint, to name a few. Check out your local garden center to ask them about plants that will fit your needs and like to be near flowing water. You should be able to have your pick for what your eye likes them most.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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unfortunately the gaps in the large rocks are not near water and would require manual water if I did place a plant there, not to mention no substrate there for the plant.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 01:42 AM
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Set up a drip system, or even an irrigation system. City water (Chloramines) landing in the pond are not significant in this small quantity. If there is no soil for a plant to grow in, then no plant will grow there. Over many years moss or lichen may grow with no irrigation. Moss in more shade, lichen in the sun. Lichen will die in chlorinated water.
If there is soil nearby a low spreading plant might be planted nearby that will trail into the area. There are some that would need careful attention to water the first summer or two, then could get by with once a month water when it does not rain, say June, July, August and September. Perhaps Arctostaphyllos 'Emerald Carpet'. Asparagus sprengeri is another possibility, but would need more than once a month water in the summer.

To fix the concrete: There is a Brickyard Masonry store in Sacramento, out Jackson Road/16, then south on South Watt to Elder Creek. Also, Silverado is also out that way, on Jackson Road/16. Ask for a type of mortar like product that is not the same mortar as is used for brick or stone work, but is a stronger one. Heavy Duty Masonry Coating, by Quikrete. There are instructions on the package (40 lb bag) for adding an acrylic additive and water. Then paint it on with a very coarse brush. (Ask for one of these brushes when you buy the product). You can add color to the material. It comes in grey or white. You can reseal the whole pond, if you want. 1 bag will cover about 90-100 square feet with 2 coats. The bag is not labeled for under water use, but there is a catalog that these stores use to order these products. In that catalog this product is listed for ponds and swimming pools.
http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines...nryCoating.asp

If the cracks are much smaller, then perhaps something in a caulking tube would do the job. Look for something that might be labeled as 'below grade', though that is not the same as a pond or underwater. At least it is OK in a wetter location than 'interior or exterior use'.
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