Repairing pool leaks underwater is a challenging process, and AquaBond underwater adhesives and sealants are perfect for repairing swimming pool leaks and cracks, both large and spider cracks – all without draining the pool! To achieve the best results, we recommend applying them using our patented polyethylene film repair method.  For a clean, easy repair you can keep it under control by dispensing it firmly onto a polyethylene film above water. Then you can take the film underwater, place it on the leak exactly where you need it and spread it smoothly on and around contours.  Once the adhesive cures, the film can be easily peeled off, leaving behind a flawlessly smooth, invisible pool leak repair.

This article provides insights into the characteristics of polyethylene film, its suitability for underwater pool repairs, and outlines the AquaBond patent-pending polyethylene film adhesive application process in four simple steps.

 

Polyethylene Film for Underwater Pool Leak Repair

Aquabond’s Polyethylene film is a type of low energy plastic film made from polyethylene and treated with a mold release compound allowing for easy removal and a pristine surface once removed. Compared to traditional methods that may require draining the pool, excavating the area, and using invasive techniques, the polyethylene film method stands out for its non-intrusive approach. Polyethylene film is lightweight, flexible, and resistant to chemicals, making it an ideal material for applying sealants. In the context of applying two-part epoxies, a polyethylene film can serve several purposes:

Surface Protection
Polyethylene film can be used to protect surfaces from epoxy spills or drips during the application process. Since epoxy adhesives can be difficult to remove once cured, using a polyethylene film as a protective barrier can prevent unwanted adhesion to surfaces.

Mixing Surface
When preparing two-part epoxy adhesives, it’s essential to have a clean and non-reactive surface for mixing. Polyethylene is a suitable material for this purpose because it is chemically inert and won’t react with the epoxy components.

Disposable Workspace
Polyethylene film can be used as a disposable workspace or work surface. Once the epoxy application is complete and the film has served its purpose, it can be easily removed and discarded.

Cleanup Aid
If any epoxy accidentally spills or drips onto the polyethylene film, it can be peeled off once it cures. This makes cleanup easier and helps maintain a clean working environment.

AquaBond Underwater Curing Adhesive and Sealant

 

AquaBond underwater curing adhesive and sealant (UW-5000 and UW-5200) are professional grade, superior quality swimming pool leak adhesives and sealants that can be used to create a long-lasting, permanent, waterproof seals around returns, drains, skimmers, jets, gutters, grates, light niches, tiles, steps, coping, cracks, expansion joints and other trouble spots in swimming pools, spas, fountains and other water features. They are

  • Fast and easy to use, functional bonds in 2-4 hours and full properties in 24 hours
  • Viscous enough to hold its shape on a vertical surface but easily spreadable
  • Won’t break down in sunlight or chlorine underwater or extreme temperature changes
  • Seals and bonds to dissimilar materials – sticks to everything from grout to plastic.

Pool under water

AquaBond underwater adhesives and sealants (UW-5000 and UW-5200) are 2-part adhesives, designed to be dispensed using AquaBond dispensing guns and AquaBond Static Mixer tips, which automatically and precisely mix the adhesive for you. The static mixer nozzle may be trimmed for a wider bead if needed. Here are the steps for dispensing Aquabond underwater adhesives and sealants:

  • For optimum mix, purge some material through the mixer tip before dispensing onto film patch.
  • Apply and spread thin. Typically, UW-5000 and UW-5200 cover up to 2-3 times the area dispensed through the tip.
  • Avoid trapping air or water under the sealant.
  • Avoid turbulence which could dislodge material from film
  • If dispensing is interrupted for longer than 2 minutes, purge all material out of mixer tip before beginning again.
  • To prevent discoloration when applied above water, overcoat with epoxy paint or a bond coat & plaster finish.

 

How to Make the Perfect Permanent Underwater Pool Leak Repair

 

Using Polyethylene film to apply underwater sealants and adhesives

 

SAFETY FIRST: Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with AquaFlex underwater sealant or any adhesives!

  1. Cut a piece of the polyethylene (PE) film larger than the repair area. FIRMLY dispense the sealant, through the static mixer, onto your film piece. Do this out of the water – ideally in a 70° controlled environment Take care to avoid causing turbulence when submersing the sealant/patch.
  2. Take care to avoid causing turbulence when submersing the sealant/patch. Carefully apply the film patch evenly over the area to be repaired. Force water away as you press the sealant into the repair area.
  3. Use the plastic spreader to evenly spread the material along the repair area. THIN IS BETTER!! A thick coating offers no benefits. Feather the edges of the material a minimum of 1/2″ on each side of the repair area to increase the bonding surface. Also, feather the material beyond one edge of the film.
  4. After 24 hours, slowly and carefully peel away the polyethylene film. It should peel off leaving the adhesive in place. Alternatively, you can leave the film in place (this will be invisible underwater).

Working time is approximately 10 minutes above water at 70°F. Underwater working time is typically 20 minutes at 70°F, thanks to the heat-sinking effect of the water. Curing time varies depending on conditions. A warmer environment will decrease working time and shorten the cure time. A functional bond can be achieved in 2-4 hours, with the full properties of the repair realized within 24 hours.

When you have finished, leave the used static mixer on the adhesive cartridge or replace the original cap. Use a new static mixer for each use. Store the cartridge in a cool, dry place.

By adhering to these steps meticulously and exercising caution throughout the process, you can achieve a flawless, permanent underwater pool leak repair with AquaFlex underwater sealants and the polyethylene film adhesive application process.  Give these products a try today.  Questions? Call our tech support at 714-961-1420 Ext 1.