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Old 08-18-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Floor rot repair with epoxy

I started adding on to a prior post if mine, about belly wrap, ( here> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f476...ml#post1342188) but decided to start a new thread and document the repair so others might gain knowledge from my problem.

I found moisture beneath my bed when I removed a portion of the bed during a water heater replacement. Today I removed more of the bed so I could remove the plastic covering, carpet, and carpet pad to dry out the wood and discover how much damage there is. I found the foam carpet pad was absorbing the water to the point of saturation and then wicking back onto the wood. When I lifted and removed the pad water literally ran out of it.

This first photo shows the worse part. There is a soft spot directly in front of the light and access door about the size of a pie plate. The rest of the dark colored floor is solid, just wet and stained. The wetness extends from the edge of the shower to the rear curb side then around the corner about 3'. I think I have water from coming from above as well as water coming in from the lid on the bumper storage at the belt line.
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To the right side of the first photo is the edge of the bed frame then the wall that separates the bed from the shower. The carpet extends beneath that wall about 3-4" then there is bare wood beneath the shower. I could not get my eye into a position to see beneath the shower, but I was able to get a camera into the space and take two pictures. Both photos show there is very little wetness beneath the shower. I dodged a bullet here, since it would be very difficult to remove the shower.

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I have started running a fan to circulate the air and a dehumidifier to get it dried out. I'll get the leaks under control then repair the floor.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I started adding on to a prior post if mine, about belly wrap, ( here> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f476...ml#post1342188) but decided to start a new thread and document the repair so others might gain knowledge from my problem.

I found moisture beneath my bed when I removed a portion of the bed during a water heater replacement. Today I removed more of the bed so I could remove the plastic covering, carpet, and carpet pad to dry out the wood and discover how much damage there is. I found the foam carpet pad was absorbing the water to the point of saturation and then wicking back onto the wood. When I lifted and removed the pad water literally ran out of it.

This first photo shows the worse part. There is a soft spot directly in front of the light and access door about the size of a pie plate. The rest of the dark colored floor is solid, just wet and stained. The wetness extends from the edge of the shower to the rear curb side then around the corner about 3'. I think I have water from coming from above as well as water coming in from the lid on the bumper storage at the belt line.
Attachment 193537
To the right side of the first photo is the edge of the bed frame then the wall that separates the bed from the shower. The carpet extends beneath that wall about 3-4" then there is bare wood beneath the shower. I could not get my eye into a position to see beneath the shower, but I was able to get a camera into the space and take two pictures. Both photos show there is very little wetness beneath the shower. I dodged a bullet here, since it would be very difficult to remove the shower.

Attachment 193538

Attachment 193539
I have started running a fan to circulate the air and a dehumidifier to get it dried out. I'll get the leaks under control then repair the floor.
The decks of military ships such as battle ships and aircraft carriers are repaired with epoxy, until the wooden floor must be replaced.

I have a section of the Missouri that was repaired that way.

And
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I started adding on to a prior post if mine, about belly wrap, ( here> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f476...ml#post1342188) but decided to start a new thread and document the repair so others might gain knowledge from my problem.

I found moisture beneath my bed when I removed a portion of the bed during a water heater replacement. Today I removed more of the bed so I could remove the plastic covering, carpet, and carpet pad to dry out the wood and discover how much damage there is. I found the foam carpet pad was absorbing the water to the point of saturation and then wicking back onto the wood. When I lifted and removed the pad water literally ran out of it.

This first photo shows the worse part. There is a soft spot directly in front of the light and access door about the size of a pie plate. The rest of the dark colored floor is solid, just wet and stained. The wetness extends from the edge of the shower to the rear curb side then around the corner about 3'. I think I have water from coming from above as well as water coming in from the lid on the bumper storage at the belt line.
Attachment 193537
To the right side of the first photo is the edge of the bed frame then the wall that separates the bed from the shower. The carpet extends beneath that wall about 3-4" then there is bare wood beneath the shower. I could not get my eye into a position to see beneath the shower, but I was able to get a camera into the space and take two pictures. Both photos show there is very little wetness beneath the shower. I dodged a bullet here, since it would be very difficult to remove the shower.

Attachment 193538

Attachment 193539
I have started running a fan to circulate the air and a dehumidifier to get it dried out. I'll get the leaks under control then repair the floor.
AW,

I used a heat lamp to speed the process...


A handy addition for the AS tool kit....


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Old 08-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for that advice. I have an infrared heat lamp I will use.

We have had 3-4" of rain over the weekend and showers early today, so the drying out is slow. Inside the trailer the humidity is down to 30% and the temperature is 86F with a dehumidifier and 2 fans running. The dehumidifier has been removing a steady drip for two days. Where I live, on a normal summer day the air has a relative humidity of 80 to 100%, so getting the wood dry will take a while.

I've have to get the leaks fixed and use a preservative treat the wood to kill any mold spores before starting to get the moisture in the wood subfloor down to 20% or less. The epoxy specifications say the wood needs to be at least that dry before using the epoxy. One wood treatment I have been reading about is boron.

Has anyone used boron to surface treat plywood? I am wandering if it might create a corrosion problem? (boric acid)
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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Alan

Sorry about your leak. I will watch this thread closely as I have a similar problem in my Excella 500, 1984.

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Old 08-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #6
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Fixed our leak which was combo of window gaskets, aluminum seams and wind.

Final leak was top seam above curbside front curved window where it transitions to roof.

Used Git-Rot after proper seal then drying. All nice and tight.


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Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Moisture issues.

I have several moisture issues to address:
  1. Last winter while I was in Florida I was sleeping in bed when water dripped onto my face. I got up and looked outside expecting rain had leaked in, but the moon and stars were out. Condensation had collected around the windows to the point of dripping. The outside temperature got down into the low 40's while there was high relative humidity inside the trailer. Where I store my trailer right beside my house, I almost always have high humidity. I have ordered a dehumidifier that will be dedicated to the trailer and plugged in any time I have shore power. I plan to put it under the dinette table and install a drain through the floor at that point.
  2. My trailer has had some of the curved panels at the rear curb corner replaced by a prior owner. I was able to see this prior to purchasing the trailer 3 years ago, since the seams are not perfect and some of the Olympic rivets show their center holes. I re-caulked all those seams after I purchased. I suspect these seams and rivets are leaking where the rear panels merge with the roof. I will scrape these joints and re-seal the joints and rivets.
  3. A couple weeks ago I found some loose screws where the awning arms are attached. This is right where the water dumps off the roof at the rear. I will remove the screws, clean the area, the re-seal.
  4. I suspect the fan curb above the bed may be letting water get in between the skins. A prior owner put about a 1/2" thick bed of caulk around it that is about 3 to 4" wide. I had to repair at the front fan that was the same and leaking when I got the trailer. I will remove all this mess around the rear fan and reseal.
  5. This trailer is one that has the slinky storage between the frame at the rear. The lid for the storage box extends through the exterior skin into the interior of the wall. My trailer is definitely leaking water at this point at the curb rear corner. I will remove the rub rail at this point so that I can seal this intersection.
It is still to wet to work on it today. At least the sun is peaking out a little this morning.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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This morning the breaker started tripping on the circuit where I have the trailer plugged in. I do not have enough electric power to run everything, using the 15 amp plug at the garage door. Looks like it's time to add a 30 amp RV circuit! If I do this I can run the AC and the dehumidifier at the same time, both removing moisture.

DW is not going to be happy when I tell her that this will cost a few hundred $ in addition to the trailer repair!
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #9
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I ran a second drop chord on a separate circuit to run the dehumidifier, so now I can run the air conditioner along with the dehumidifier. The breakers are holding now. The wood tests below 20% moisture content, using a digital moisture tester.

After several days of rain last week and visitors who stayed for a long weekend until yesterday, I finally have had time today to start repairing the leaks. The major leak was at the junction of the walls and floor where the rear bumper storage. There was absolutely no caulking at this joint. Thinking I should keep this thread strictly about the repair of the rotted wood, I started a different thread to show how I repaired this leak. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ml#post1347375

I will seal the other leaks tomorrow, weather permitting, then proceed with the wood rot repair.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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During the last several days I removed the bed frame and the rest of the carpet.
I found 4 separate leaks:
1. The lid where the lid on the slinky storage extends through the wall was the main leak.
2. The beltline joins just below the rear window. There was a leak right where there was a rivet missing and an open screw hole which were barely hidden by the vinyl insert.
3. The seam was leaking where the awning arm attaches closest to the rear, right where the gutter ends. There was a pin size hole. Also the caulking looked good, but the bond was broken.
4. The screws that hold the awning arm bracket were loose, and the caulking had failed.

The lower rear corner of the water heater opening for the gas line had leaked in the past. Since I had just replaced the water heater, that was no longer leaking.

I started to prep the wood by drilling holes into the plywood floor. These will be used to inject the epoxy.
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After drilling the holes I decided to remove the loose wood. The instructions from the epoxy manufacturer said this wood could be left in place, but I did not feel good leaving it.

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #11
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Just my 2 cents worth, you are wasting your time and money. Tear out the rotted wood and do the repair right. Not that you asked for my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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Where the soft loose wood was removed I had planned on filling it with the epoxy manufacturer's filler. Once I opened the filler material and saw what it was, I decided to I would use three layers of fiberglass matt sandwiched between layers of the epoxy filler. This material will be held in place until it cures by the metal slinky storage lid.
I pre-cut the fiberglass mat to fit.
Later, I laid it so that there are 3 plies of epoxy saturated glass matt and 3 plies of filler.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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Just my 2 cents worth, you are wasting your time and money. Tear out the rotted wood and do the repair right. Not that you asked for my 2 cents worth.
Just wondering, have you personally had a bad experience using epoxy in this type of repair?
Everything I have read has reported excellent results when installed correctly.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #14
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This is the material I used. The kit I purchased consisted of one pint each of the penetrating epoxy, one pint each of the 2 part filler, one pint of cleaner/solvent, gloves, a putty knife, and a wood paddle.

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I did not use the cleaner/solvent after I read the MSDS sheet, since it required breathing equipment I do not own. The other materials only required ventilation. There was hardly any odor. I use the FantasticVent fans 1 blowing in on low and one out on high. I also left the AC running while I worked. It stayed between 75 and 78 degrees while I worked.
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