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Old 09-24-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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Clean the edges and seal the seams...

I keep reading....clean the edges and seal the seams....in one or a dozen variations as I sift my way through the various threads on leaks.

Great advice. And, I'm not being sarcastic - I've read about fixes that seem to work using this or that product.

That's not what I'm questioning....

Some of you may have noticed by now that I'm a very literal person. I can muddle my way through most things. I'm also very visual.

So, when it says - clean (up) the edges - exactly what does that mean?

Am I removing the old sealant? And, if so, how much?

Am I prepping the surface? And, if so, how? Or, is that dependent on the new product I'll be using?

I can just see me out there with my painters tool scraping the old sealant from the seam and wiping the aluminum down with isopropyl alcohol.....

Just saying.....

Julianne
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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It's always best to be specific, it helps avoid doing too much work and helps you to do the right work.

I prefer to remove as much of the old sealant as practical. This is one reason not to use Silicone, it's very hard to remove and nothing sticks to silicone. If possible I would remove all of the old sealant but that's really only possible if you remove all the rivets and separate the parts. That may be possible if you are sealing around a vent or a light, but not practical if sealing panel seams.

I have a variety of tools I use to remove old sealant - plastic scrapers, putty knives, dental picks, small brushes etc. The more old sealant you remove the better chance the new sealant has to adhere.

For raw aluminum you can wipe down with almost any solvent, for a coated trailer I would use wax and grease remover - available in the autobody section at any auto parts store.

Next use painters tape to cover anything you don't want sealer on, and to make nice clean lines and apply the new sealant. Pull the tape off right away and you should get a nice clean bead.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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You ask questions in a very clear way and we are learning together so first are you polishing the trailer at some point? If so do this first you can attempt to temp stop the leaks or cover til ready to polish. Doing it this way you prevent smearing the sealer. Next get a painters tool and make sure it's plastic and also a few plastic putty knives to remove the old caulk. Tempro 360 seems to be the caulk of choice which is available at home depot. With a ladder or scaffolding some music and a pitcher of refreshing beverage, scrape pick and cuss off as much of the old sealant as possible (does not have to be that picky just to satisfy you). Using a syringe or a never gonna use cake decorator bag and fine tip and caulk tool (my fingers did not work) to push, smooth and remove the excess. Where? Seams around vents or anywhere that water can penetrate. Make sure that you fill the seam just above the tool box where it goes under the shell. I am talking about the back bumper area and where the shell meets the frame this is a weak point.
Hope that this helps
Cliff
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #4
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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Those were both excellent responses and exactly the type of information I was seeking.

In response - no, I am not planning on polishing. My Streamline has an anodized exterior.

At this point I want to begin a preventive maintenance program and I'm presuming that includes regular seam inspection.

The sealant showing in the seams on my trailer falls into multiple categories: so cracked and weathered that it is gone, so minimal that it is hard to find, there but white, there but cracked and brittle or there and black but I wouldn't dare to touch it because it looks fragile.

Some seams look good but those are the exception.

Also, as I'm in the early stages of roof repair - tracking down two leaks - I want to do the repairs fairly permanently. Knowledge is power?

Julianne
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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Thumbs up

This is cleaning before sealing....
Mineral spirits, brakleen, plenty of rags, plastic putty knife, a good pair of sneakers, nitrile gloves and a six-pac waiting in the fridge.

Bob
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Brake cleaner? I'm learning the most interesting things today.

Okay, let's see if I can get any takers....anyone cleaned aluminum roof paint (yes, off the roof) prior to seam repair? Any words of wisdom?

Oh, and make my six-pack hard cider as I've got celiac disease (no wheat, rye or barley) and can't drink beer...

Julianne
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nolavalkyrie View Post
Brake cleaner? I'm learning the most interesting things today.

Okay, let's see if I can get any takers....anyone cleaned aluminum roof paint (yes, off the roof) prior to seam repair? Any words of wisdom?

Oh, and make my six-pack hard cider as I've got celiac disease (no wheat, rye or barley) and can't drink beer...

Julianne
The MS and brakleen will usually get it clean enough, (note pic), for the caulking to take a good hold.

No BEER...I can't imagine AS maintenance without it.

Hard cider it is...

Bob
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #8
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Okay, I mean ROOF paint.... Sorry I wasn't more specific.

Somewhere, under there, is a leaking seam (or two, or three...)
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:31 PM   #9
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in the south that magic crap is referred to as coolseal! and just to clean up the mess it makes when its fresh we use gas! I am unable to drink anything that contains alcohol because my liver amplifies the effect and od on 3! so no beer less i want to pass out! I know cheap drunk. Doc says drunk or dead so I avoid it altogether! google cool seal removal that may help!
Cliff
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Okay, thanks for the suggestion. Here's what I found on a vintage Shasta site...

http://vintageshasta.proboards.com/thread/2945

Paint stripper and lacquer thinner seem to work well along with heat (being in the sun) and a paint scraper.

Gives me a place to start.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:29 AM   #11
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BE CAREFUL because those two also warn to avoid use in direct sunlight cause they are highly (senior moment need spell check) flammable. might work we used paint stripper a putty knife and a lot of pepsi!
Cliff
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:46 AM   #12
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I'd be more inclined, I think, to see how much I could get to flake off on its own and then bring on the paint stripper for what was left behind....

At least that's my - almost one o'clock in the morning - thinking.

Thanks again, everyone, for the insights and information!

Julianne
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:12 AM   #13
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BE CAREFUL!!! That stuff could get very slippery when cut with solvent.

Teenie, weenie, tiny areas at a time...

Bob
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:47 AM   #14
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I think i cut back old sealer around windows and picked out anything really dry (using a painters tool and a utility knife). Then a small bead of vulkem and made sure to get it in the seam with the tip of the caulk tube. Lots of disposable gloves. And coffee. I used paint thinner to clean up as that's what I had. Brakeclean dries fast and leaves little residue.
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