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Old 05-21-2015, 09:54 AM   #1
JJA
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Sealant removal? (Tar, Silicone, Butyl, & other sealants)

Curious about favorite products and methods people have developed to remove various sealants.

1) Tar-like rubber adhesive? My clearance lights have a rubbery and tar-like glue that attaches the rubber gasket to the aluminum. What's the best way to get this off clean enough to install slightly smaller lights?

2) Around my water heater cutout, there was a different sealant. This one is white and hard. Putty knife gets most of it in chunks and it can be scraped like a hard chalk or soapstone but is there a chemical that is its kriptonite?

3) Silicone?

4) Relatedly, what is your favorite sealant for installing exterior lights, aluminum panels, etc. And, what is your favorite method for creating a corrosion barrier under steel exterior hardware and accessories?


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Old 05-21-2015, 06:44 PM   #2
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Hi JJA from Missoula. We stayed there for three nights in the local KOA. It's a nice town. The Lo Lo canyon fire caused us to detour west instead of south.

Sealant removal is a grind. Lacquer thinner cuts some of them. Plastic scrapers and the like gets the big pieces. Nothing I've found takes silicone. I just have to pick and scrape. It's a maddening process.

There is a nifty sealant thread that I'll find for you. I find most of my needs are covered with tempro 116 caulk and Acryl-R.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ry-116214.html

David
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:58 PM   #3
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Hello JJA,

Ditto to what DBJ216 said. Sealant Summury, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ry-116214.html

On the silicone removal issue.
Most of us use the plastic scrapers so as to not scratch the surface.
It is a frustrating process, I used end up scraping the last of it off with my thumb nail. Not great for the thumb nails, but it worked the best.

So as I was in the pet store a while ago I saw "cow hooves". Thought to myself, a big ol' thumb nail just waiting to do my scratch free scraping.

For me cow hooves work better that the cheep plastic scrapers and can be shaped and sharpened with a rasp or file.

-Dennis
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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The white sealant you mention around the water heater is called butyl rubber sealant. It is also used to seal fittings on the roof, i.e. skylights, sewer vents and fans. The best way to remove it is scraping. It is not difficult to remove and works well when not exposed to the sun such as sealing behind other items and flanges.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:17 PM   #5
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While doing shop projects with old style silicone I have found if I can dampen it with unleaded gas for a few hours it will break it down and soften it to the point a brillo pad will remove 99% of it.. Sometimes a repeat treatment is needed..
But any time one uses something that can combust,, care must be used so not to turn your A$ into a large back yard cooker.

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Old 05-22-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
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...but doesn't unleaded gas act as a weak solvent on a clearcoat, especially if left on for a period of time?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman View Post
Hello JJA,

Ditto to what DBJ216 said. Sealant Summury, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ry-116214.html

So as I was in the pet store a while ago I saw "cow hooves". Thought to myself, a big ol' thumb nail just waiting to do my scratch free scraping.

For me cow hooves work better that the cheep plastic scrapers and can be shaped and sharpened with a rasp or file.

-Dennis
Cow hooves? Now THAT is thinking outside the box. I love the creativity & will certainly try it!
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:39 PM   #8
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dbj216, Great & helpful list! I'm still trying to figure out how to find useful items in the forums, appreciate you making it easy.

& that Lolo fire was awful! Sorry to say we have one like that every 5-10 years here. Look me up the next time you;re in the area!
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:44 PM   #9
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I've used McKanica silicone caulk remover it worked well I got it on Amazon

Joe
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:53 AM   #10
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Uh oh, I miss spelled Lolo. Wild fires are awful. We have a few in Minnesota every now and then.

I hope you're having fun "pick'in and grin'in" on the layers of caulk folks have added to your trailer through the years. I figured once I got all that caulk off, I would just seal seams and rivets. I mainly used Acryl R as it tends to flow into the seams. I saw no reason to smear caulk on seams like cream cheese on a cracker.

I did do a "air pressure leak test" after I was done and felt my trailer is pretty well sealed up. I found seven leak spots using this method. Now I need an all day rain and then check for wet spots.

David
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:47 PM   #11
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For the tar, I used citristrip. I'm not sure if it was really necessary...it seemed to be holding, and now I need to figure out how to seal it back up.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:56 PM   #12
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AND! How often should I polish the exterior...would that determine what product I use to seal seams on the exterior? It sounds like the Sikaflex does NOT move. Or is that a product that is applied to the underside of the seams? I hope someone can shed some light on my confusion.
Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by painterfam View Post
AND! How often should I polish the exterior...would that determine what product I use to seal seams on the exterior? It sounds like the Sikaflex does NOT move. Or is that a product that is applied to the underside of the seams? I hope someone can shed some light on my confusion.
Thanks!
If you read post #2 and #3 they both give you a link to the most comprehensive sealant thread on the forum.


-Dennis
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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Goof Off

We've had good luck using Goof Off to remove sealants - including silicone. On hard to remove items like silicone, saturate and let it sit awhile.
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