In our years of experience, we have seen many problematic water features; from small leaks, to complete disasters. This is due to poor design and low-quality materials and workmanship. Some water features can be repaired, while others need to be completely remodeled. Whatever the case, we can analyze the situation, and provide solutions to remedy any problem you may have. All of our repairs come with a 3 month warranty, and while we have a very high success rate, we cannot guarantee repairs against future problems because of original structural problems or settling.
There are many different methods of designing and constructing a pond or waterfall in Arizona. A common method of construction is a plastic or rubber liner. This is a more inexpensive solution for building a pond and waterfall, but usually ends up causing problems and costing more money in the long run. If liner ponds are installed correctly with an underlayment and proper liner, they can last awhile, but more often than not we encounter ponds that have no underlayment and a very thin liner. These ponds are very susceptible to penetration from animals, rocks, and tree roots. Usually the solution to this problem is removal of the liner and rebuilding with concrete, but just because a pond or waterfall is built with concrete doesn’t automatically make it a better solution.
There are plenty of concrete ponds and waterfalls out there that have just as many problems as the liners. The reason concrete ponds last for a long time is because they are reinforced with rebar (metal rods) just like a swimming pool is constructed. In order to have a strong shell, the rebar should be spaced at a minimum of 12” on center, and be placed in the middle of the concrete. In other words, the rebar shouldn’t be laying on the ground before the concrete is poured. It should be raised up about an inch and a half, depending on how thick the concrete is poured. Generally for a pond you want a minimum of 3 to 4 inches of concrete. This creates a strong shell that will resist cracking for many years. If a pond has a thin shell of concrete and/or is not reinforced with rebar, it will experience larger and more frequent cracks.
In our years of experience, we have seen many problematic water features, from small leaks, to complete disasters. This is due to poor design and low-quality materials and workmanship. Some water features can be repaired, while others need to be completely remodeled. Whatever the case, we can analyze the situation, and provide solutions to remedy any problem you may have. All of our repairs come with a 3 month warranty, and while we have a very high success rate, we cannot guarantee repairs against future problems because of original structural problems or settling.
Cracking is the result of tree roots, settling, expansion and contraction, among other things. Roots from mature trees can damage any piece of concrete, no matter if it is reinforced or not, so this is something to take into consideration when building or repairing any water feature. Settling is something that is not in our control. Some areas are more susceptible to tremors and settling depending on ground faults, soil composition, and other variables. Concrete expands and contracts with the rise and decline of ambient temperatures. In Arizona we don’t really have to worry so much about expansion and contraction but it can affect structural integrity depending on the situation.
When repairing a concrete pond or waterfall, it is important to inspect the feature closely to identify any and all cracks, leaks, or weaknesses. Any repairs need to be on the front or the face of the area. Water flows to the path of least resistance, so this means if you repair a leak on the back of a waterfall, the water will find another path to leak out. Typically if we are repairing a waterfall, we do not have to drain the pond, but in certain situations it may be necessary. If we are repairing the pond itself, it will most definitely need to be drained and in most cases power washed to clean off any algae, calcium, or any other residue.
Natural rock waterfalls can be very beautiful if built correctly. Most are held together with a material called rock-crete. This is a mixture of crushed granite, mortar, and water. The crushed granite matches the natural stone of the area, typically called surface select. When building or repairing a waterfall the rock-crete is allowed to harden a little, then is sprayed off with a hose with a nozzle. This exposes the crushed granite and produces a natural look that matches the stone. When repairing a natural waterfall or pond, we will inspect the feature and determine the scope of the repairs. In most cases we apply two different coats of rock-crete, allowing the first coat to dry completely before applying the final coat. However, in some cases one coat is enough to repair the damaged areas.
If you have a problem with your pond, waterfall, or any water feature, we can assess the situation and provide you with the best solution to get you back in business. Water features can add much beauty and tranquility to any space, but if they’re not working properly, they can create an opposite affect and become a headache. Let us help you get back on track.
Artificial (faux) waterfalls are typically constructed using a technique of building a metal frame with rebar, covering the rebar in metal lathe, and spraying gunite or shotcrete over the entire structure to mold and form the shape of a rock waterfall. Although there are other ways (more expensive) of building artificial waterfalls, this technique is used in most of the artificial waterfalls repairs we work on.
Artificial Repair Process
We start by carefully inspecting the entire water feature and identifying all cracks and problem areas. Next we repair all the problem areas, and finally we refinish the entire surface with the color of your choice. We can even match your existing color. We can also repair any other artificial accent boulders around your pool or pond. We leave your waterfall leak free, and looking brand new!
Natural Rock Waterfalls
Natural rock waterfalls really blend into the surrounding Arizona landscape. Using concrete for support, boulders are stacked and arranged to look as natural as possible. A cement and crushed granite mixture is used to fill the joints and waterproof the waterfall. Cracking can occur naturally from settling or concrete expansion.