I want to pour a concrete basin for a bird bath. First I thought to use hydraulic cement so it is waterproof. But this stuff sets really fast and seems to be only for patching. So I bought a concrete sealer from Home depot: Silkagard ProSelect Natural Look Clear Sealer. Is it safe to use for drinking water or will it outgas or release otherwise some toxic substances? I don't want to harm the birds.

  • You can look at pool cement or plaster products as your final top coat. These can even be colorized. Anything from concrete to sealers will take a few days to a few weeks to age. – spicetraders Sep 18 '16 at 19:31
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    Well, I mean, hydraulic cement is also for building things like boat piers and shipping ports. The Romans used hydraulic concrete to build ports, etc. It's for more than just patching. ;-) – Craig Sep 18 '16 at 20:29
  • @spicetraders: Coatings for fish ponds seem to be the way to go. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. – user20404 Sep 19 '16 at 14:47
  • @Craig: Yes, you are right. It's just that the store just sold it in a bucket and it was rather expensive compared to regular concrete. Also I understand now, that hydraulic cement is portland with additives that make it able to cure (fast) under wet conditions. It is not actually waterproof. – user20404 Sep 19 '16 at 14:52

If you're worried about the toxicity of the sealer, there are numerous options that are food-grade (for humans, no clue about how that applies to birds). These are primarily used for sealing poured concrete counter-tops. A quick Google search should turn up some options, or you can just ask at your local big-box for a food-grade concrete counter-top sealer.

  • Thank you for the tip. But they are pretty expensive. I will continue my google search. There are a lot of garden and DIY sites that discuss this problem. I already found some options, but haven't decided yet. – user20404 Sep 19 '16 at 14:57

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