I need to make a lid for my Cistern. I plan on using some 2x4s and perhaps
3/4" plywood. I am wondering if I paint this, will it take on any measure
If not, how do i make wood weatherproof. Also, without handling too many
nasty chemicals. I'm not interested in the treated wood, but I can use it
if necessary. Can't afford cedar.
The water in the Cistern is not for drinking.
Nothing makes wood "waterproof" if exposed to serious
rain when horizontal. Your best bet would be to design
a sloping roof (for rapid runoff) and emulate either a
house roof (shingled) or a ship's hatch (treated tarpaulin
tight over a wood frame, exposing no wood to the weather.)
Exterior plywood maybe. I never had any luck with non treated boards on
my deck no matter what I put on them. Newer pressure treated lumber
contains somewhat less toxic chemicals. Access to my septic tank is
about 2 ft round concrete ring.
Seems that exterior house paint, properly primed and applied, would do
as well on a cistern cover
as on a house. End grain requires particular attention, extra coats, as
that is generally where paint
fails on exterior wood. I would paint all parts before assembling, and
put on another coat after.
I was thinking of cladding it in metal, e.g. flashing or similar. I
assume only the top needs to be waterproof.
If you do go with fiberglass, you could use balsa or other similarly
light material, as at that point it's simply part of the matrix. (I
believe that some sports cars actually used a balsa/glass sandwich for
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I'd use some of that plastic-skinned stuff sold as cheap sheet siding,
or maybe the stuff they sell for skinning trailers. Or even a sheet of
corrogated roofing material, either fiberglass or metal. I'd also make
the frame for the lid out of metal or PVC pipe. There is a reason few
docks are made out of wood anymore. I assume this lid doesn't have to be
human-safe to walk on?
I want it to be safe to walk on. Not that its in a walking area, but
because someone may stumble on it and I don't want it to collapse. The
area is about 64"x96". I'm thinking of semi-permanently covering it, then
having 8-12" of dirt on top then planting a flower garden. Ill still
border off the area. And leave a small observer hole in the center.
My water has lots of red mud that will make its way into the tank. I will
likely have to clean it once per year. Planning to use the shop vac for
Paint will be fine. Use an exterior paint. A primer wouldn't hurt, but
you can also put on extra coats of the regular paint.
Use a wood filler to fill any voids in the edge of the plywood before
In time anything you use will fail, but marine grade woods will
last far longer than most. Even those must be protected by a marine
I suggest you also consider fiber glassing whatever you use.
Regular outdoor paints are not water proof, but rather water
resistant. They will not stop water vapor only liquid water.
Wood is a material that usually does best when allowed to breath,
so completely sealing it can actually cause problems.
Few wood products or finishes available at the local lumber yard
and suitable for that kind of use.
Round here well covers for what are often called 'surface wells', that
is 12 to say 25 feet deep have often been made of galvanized sheet
Typically circular because most wells have a vertical pipe down to a
'rocked in' water chamber below ground big enough to allow a person to
go down if required.
Typically the covers made by a local 'tinsmith' are slightly conical,
ours is about 30 inches in diameter and still unpainted but not rusted
after some 20+ years.
We don't use the well now since municipal water was provided but
there's a couple of feet of water in the well, the cover etc is in
good shape and the well could be used if necessary.
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