It doesn’t matter what you call it, “Wicked-Bond,” “Cure Magic,” “Crack Spackle,” – it comes down to the same situation, underwater epoxy does nothing to stop structural cracks, and what water loss it does stop will FAIL in the first year after application. Guaranteed? Yes!
First, for the consumer, I want to share some information from the US Government on their study performed using multiple “underwater sealants” on structural crack repair. After that we’ll talk common sense.
These are some of the statements shared by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Materials Engineering Branch.
1. “Joint sealants are normally applied to dry concrete and states that concrete must be clean, dry and fully cured.”
This makes sense, but “underwater epoxy” has one big red flag that works against that statement. It isn’t dry.
2. For remedial or maintenance work, the normal procedure is to drain the canal (or otherconcrete structure), dry-out the joints, sandblast, airblast, apply sealant, cure 1 to 7 days, and return to service.
So the best application for “underwater epoxy” has been described as to drain, dry, sandblast and prepare the surface for epoxy application. This isn’t underwater.
3. Chemical grouts are known to be effective in sealing leaks in wet conditions (not even underwater, just wet); however, they are quite expensive and require specialized application equipment. Rapid-set concretes can be effective and economical, but cannot accommodate continued joint movement.
If a crack isn’t secured, it will continue to have “joint movement.”
4. Two-part sealants were mixed in the dry, and then loaded into a caulking gun or syringe for application. The sealants did not readily bond to the concrete, and extensive tooling (working with a putty knife) was required to remove trapped water and ensure intimate contact with the concrete.
It’s further information of how and why underwater epoxy doesn’t work.
5. Ultimately, of the dozen epoxies tested (no specific names here), all failed within the first 26 weeks of application due to movement of concrete, lack of adhesion or ill prepared surfaces that required draining the pool, sandblasting, grinding and air blasting to remove surface particles.
What we read in this study is that applying “underwater epoxy” by diving into a pool and trying to get it into a crack simply does nothing more than fill a crack for a short period of time, provided the crack has been drained and cleaned … which means diving in the pool won’t work.