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Guide to finding & buying low-toxicity building caulk or sealant products: this article describes non-toxic caulks & sealants used in buildings, aquariums, water cisterns or springs and similar applications. We answer a reader question about how to seal a leaky water container for a spring, and we list several low-toxicity caulk brands for which we include key properties (and in some cases warnings) from the caulk MSDS data.
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Question: what to use to patch a leaky springwater container
I have a hand dug and stone and cement spring at my camp which isn't holding water very well.
I want to patch the inside with something that can stay wet and won't be toxic, any ideas?
- D.H. 4/3/2013
Reply: approaches to sealing a spring or other container intended to contain potable water
Below we describe several products that may be suitable and successful in making a patch to a leak for a concrete (or other) container that is used to hold drinking water.
But before advising patching I'd need to understand how your water system is constructed. When I was a kid our spring-fed water supply entered up through sandy soil in the bottom of a spring-fed springhouse that was surrounded by concrete and covered with a roof. We tossed our watermelons in there to stay cold during the summer. But if the spring water level in that design dropped it wasn't a leak in the springhouse it was a drop in the groundwater levels.
Watch out: at SPRINGS as WATER SUPPLY we describe other more broad concerns with the safety of cisterns and springs as drinking water sources.
Silicone or acrylic compounds in caulks and sealants are key ingredients in forming their waterproof properties when cured.
Watch out: the Mother Earth Living website contributor Debra Lynn Dodd (author of Home Safe Home ) recommended three caulks as "non toxic" that I list below.
However a look at the product MSDS sheets is further informative so I include some excerpts, noting that the possible toxicity of caulks, sealants, and coatings may be quite different between when the product is opened and applied and when it has cured, as VOCs and other products diminish during the curing and drying process. Certainly in the various caulk & sealant MSDS data sheets it is apparent that the risks discussed focus on exposure to the product "out of the box" or container, that is, before it has been applied, cured, diluted, etc.
List of Non-Toxic or Low-toxicity Caulks & Sealants
Other Caulks or Sealants for Pools & Water-Containers
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about non-toxic caulks & sealants
Questions & answers or comments about non toxic or low-toxicity caulks & sealants.
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