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Old 01-18-2004, 09:28 PM   #57
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Thumbs down "Just say no to silicone"

FWIW I work for a national roofing and sheetmetal contractor. NONE! of our metal manufacturers reccomend or allow silicone caulking for any reason. Most of them specify a butyl type caulk or tape caulk for concealed joints and a polyurethane caulk (like Vulkem) for exposed joints. Some just use the polyurethane for everything. The main thing is to make sure the joint is CLEAN before putting any new caulk into or on it. So many people think more caulk is better, not usually. A little caulking in the correct place will go a lot further than a whole tube in the wrong place. BTW I am still scraping silicone off of the windows of my AS, that had been put on by a PO

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Old 01-18-2004, 11:06 PM   #58
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I would like to know more about the Amtex-CCR silicone remover. It sounds like a miracle product that would come in very handy. All the windows on my tradewind have been sealed with silicone by the PO. That might just be why I had to pull the shell and replace the entire floor. Has any one used this stuff or something like it? How exspensive is it?
Can it be bought at Lowes or Home Depot?
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:00 PM   #59
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caulking remover

This might help: techsupport@amtexchemical.com
1-800-56-amtex
610-436-4813
610-436-5173 FAX
I have their site in my favorites but I can't pull it up on Google. If you can't upload the site, this is the info. Gregg
BTW:
Amtex Chemical Co.
890 Fernhill Road
West Chester PA
19380
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Old 04-09-2004, 10:49 PM   #60
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THE FOLLOWING IS A DUPLICATE POST FROM THE "CHRONOLOGY OF PAINTING MY 25' EXCELLA (some extra information has been added here)

Sealing the lap seams! I finished the 1st sanding today and started sealing the lap seams which have voids. To prepare the seams, I'm cleaning them out using a dentist's pick which I bought at a flea market. To seal the seams, I'm using a product called "Alcoa Gutterseal" which I purchased from: http://www.airstreamdreams.com/ the claim is "Unlike Vulkem or Parbond, Gutterseal wicks into seams, making it a popular choice for sealing between panels". There's not much information written on the tube, but it does say "for best results apply to clean dry surfaces", and "Refer to Alcoa Material Safety Data Sheet no. 304. The tube the Alcoa Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal comes in has a tip that is too big to get into tight seams, so I purchased some West System #807 syringes from Boaters World. They have a nice small tip. I transfer some Alcoa Gutterseal to a syringe, then inject the sealant into the lap joint. Cleanup is with M-E-K on paper towels. The syringe can inject into openings as narrow as about 1/32". As for the product wicking into seams, it does for me if it is humid and not too warm, otherwise, it dries quickly as the methyl ethyl ketone evaporates. I have to inject it but it is fairly easy. I'm not finished, but so far, it appears I'll be able to do most of my very small seams with a single tube of the Alcoa. It really acts like a great material and the finished surface has a very aluminum look.
The Gutterseal has a fluid consistency about like slightly stiff Elmers Glue, but it doesn't react like Elmers Glue as the VOC's evaporate quickly.

CAUTION (posted weeks after): The Alcoa Gutterseal is fine for sealing lap joints, but it ages to a "golden" color after a week or so, and it is difficult to achieve even results when covering the edge of a lap joint. Parrbond has proven to be a better material for covering the exposed edges of the lap joints.
Worrying that I might not be able to do it all with a single tube of Alcoa, I called a couple aluminum gutter installers to see if there was more Alcoa Gutterseal here in Corpus Christi. One installer said they use Ruscoe Permanent Seal instead of the Alcoa, and the Ruscoe is incredible but the only problem was they won't sell it to me. Searching Google using the term "Ruscoe" I found the product and its claims. Ruscoe claims it is an extremely durable "permanent" sealant for adhering aluminum to other materials. When at Home Depot, I went to the gutter department to see if they had a comparable material. Yes, it is called "Seamer Mate" and it is a tripolymer product which comes in small tubes as well as caulking tubes. Its claim: Permanent Bond Guaranteed, UV Resistant, Can Be Applied Under Water, and Semi-Self Leveling. It can be used on joints as large as 1/4" x 1/4", and it has a great aluminum look very much like the Alcoa Gutterseal.

My Airstream has a couple different sealants that were used at the factory. Sadly, the polyurethanes have not held up that well, but some of the sealants are still in great shape and they look just like the Seamer Mate Product. Permanent Bond Guaranteed and UV Resistant, now that is what I'm looking for. I'll use the Seamer Mate in all locations up to 3/16" wide. For larger seams, and there aren't many of those, I'll use the Vulkem 636 from Airstream Dreams.

For the record, I've been around sailboats and Rv's since the late 60's, and was a registered architect until I retired 3 years ago, and the only successful application of silicone sealants I've ever seen was on mitered glass corner windows in buildings. West Marine's website claims silicone adheres best to products which have "silica" in them. No silica in aluminum or fiberglass! Or bathroom polyester shower surrounds, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:37 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4slice
Hi all,
I've been unable to find Vulkem in my area (no one has heard of it at Home Depot), so I'll order it from Airstreamdreams or other online supplier. Does anyone know where to get Parr Bond--either at a store or online?
www.airstreamdreams.com is my suggestion. Their product is reasonably priced as are their shipping charges (no exorbitant "shipping/handling" charges).

I purchased 2 tubes of Vulkem ($5.95 ea), 1 tube of Parbond ($5.95) and 4 caulking syringes ($.75 ea) for $20.85 plus $6.95 shipping for a total of $27.80!
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:13 AM   #62
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Thumbs up Dwight's Right! Butyle Too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight
Try Hoppe's No. 9 Solvent. It works extremely well and you can get it at Wal-Mart as well.
I'm working on the windows, Herh 1200 series and felt it was critical to remove all the butyle so the glazing bead would seat propertly. Previously I had tried MEK to soften the stuff but it didn't work at all. This time a screwdriver the width of the channel proved effective for the bulk of the removal. I shot the scrapes with Hoppe's No. 9 and Airstream heaven! Dem channels came as clean as a hound's tooth! There's nothing more annoying and frustrating when you're working on something and each step, somethin' happens to thwart your effort.

Dwight, I reached a great sense of accomplishment with your pearl of wisdom and I thank you for posting it. And I didn't break any glass this time either! Course gettin' the glass away from the butyle is another matter altogether.
Ed
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Old 09-03-2004, 03:07 PM   #63
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Just for clarification. The info I am going to share is for newer coaches. I spoke with the factory and the only place they really still use Vulkem is in the wheel wells. I was told by Jackson Center that they use Silkaflex everyplace else. I believe they told me (don't hold me to this) that they use to use Vulkem in a lot more places on the coach, but if you have a newer coach, you have Silkaflex in every sealed area of the coach except for the wheel wells.

As for a good tool to get into the seams....try a fair size suringe. It works, but you have to have some strenght to keep pushing the stuff through the small opening, but it fits very nicely in some of the gaps on the coach. Used it on an SOB, worked very well. Hands hurt from all the stress, but clean, neat and complete job.
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:22 PM   #64
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I much prefer the Vulkem over the Sikaflex. I returned all my Sikaflex and exchanged it for Vulkem today.
I found that the Sikaflex dries quickly, too quickly for doing hour long jobs. It's probably great for a team of workers to quickly assemble a body, but if you're making repairs and need a little time to align things etc, the Sikaflex will harden and no longer squeeze through rivet holes. It won't flow in between sheets when it hardens, causing more additional work than what it's worth. They claim a 24 hour pot life,but that's bogus.
Par-bond is great for sealing windows and seams that are not disassembled.
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Old 09-04-2004, 06:43 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
I much prefer the Vulkem over the Sikaflex. I returned all my Sikaflex and exchanged it for Vulkem today.
I found that the Sikaflex dries quickly, too quickly for doing hour long jobs. It's probably great for a team of workers to quickly assemble a body, but if you're making repairs and need a little time to align things etc, the Sikaflex will harden and no longer squeeze through rivet holes. It won't flow in between sheets when it hardens, causing more additional work than what it's worth. They claim a 24 hour pot life,but that's bogus.
Par-bond is great for sealing windows and seams that are not disassembled.
Uwe,
Sikaflex is a brand name like Ford or Chevy. They make many different types and formulations of caulking. Two that we use in the architectural metals industry are the 200 series polyurethane (they make several different formulations) and IIRC a 500 series that is a non drying butyl sealant. I wonder if maybe you got a quick setting formulation? FWIW I prefer the Vulkem and Parabond also. It has stood the test of time. The best metal caulks on the market only have a life expectancy of 20-25 years max under ideal conditions, after that you are on borrowed time. Taking into consideration the enviornment that we use the caulking in on our Airstreams is probably one of the more severe; not only are we hitting the temperature extremes, but we are vibrating and flexing it on an extreme basis. That fact that it lasts at all is a tribute to its durability.

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Old 09-13-2004, 01:03 AM   #66
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Hi guys,

As fall is setting in quickly in the great white north, I would like to get some ParBond and Vulkem on the seams before winter. Stripping and polishing is in the long-term plans, but I've got to stop the leaks at all four corners asap. Since I plan to strip the clear and polish one day, should I be stripping it now at the seams before the caulking goes on, or can I apply the caulking over the clear (and not worry about there being clearcoat under the caulking)? Also, how does the stripper react with the Parbond and Vulkem?

Your advice is appreciated.

Gary H.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:40 AM   #67
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Holy Crap! I've got a headache now! My "new" 70 Overlander has lots of places that could let water in. This weekend, I picked up a piece of plexi to replace my broken rear window with, and picked up a bunch of "Seamer Mate" from Lowes. It's guaranteed to permenantly seal metals, plastics, etc... and specifically says it's good with Aluminum. It comes in an Aluminum color, which is a plus too.

Anyway, I put my window and frame together with the stuff, and started sealing holes, windows, etc... with it. Was going to jump on the roof and use it up there too. Will this stuff work, or not?
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:41 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
perusing through the threads, I'm wondering: should I pro-actively seal all the seams on my "new" ('73) trailer, or just large gaps or known leaks? (there aren't any that I know of...yet, except perhaps a sloppy sillicon job around the front window). I'm reading that vulkem needs to be run in a rather thick bead....I can't imagine how that would look running up and down the trailer (yuck). Or is there some method for getting it into the seams, making it more or less invisible?

What is this "par-bond" stuff, and where do I get it?

what about the alluminum gutter/flashing caulk available at HD?
Has anyone ever considered covering a leaking seam with that metalic tape used for sealing air conditioner ducts. I am not talking about "duct tape" which would look awful, but that silver metalic tape, with the removable adhesive backing. I think the tape may actually be aluminum. It seems that it would blend in well with the trailer since they are the same color and the adhesive is very strong.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:02 PM   #69
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Has anyone ever considered covering a leaking seam with that metalic tape used for sealing air conditioner ducts. I think the tape may actually be aluminum. It seems that it would blend in well with the trailer since they are the same color and the adhesive is very strong.
Aluminum tape (yes, it is really aluminum) should be carried in the toolbox of every Airstream. It's very strong, watertight if applied to a clean, dry surface, and adheres very well even in heat and cold. Use it like you would duct tape.

But even though it may hold up for several years, it should not be considered a permanent repair. And then there is the problem of getting a good seal around and over the rivets. Besides, the difference in sheen would be quite noticable.

Mark
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:56 PM   #70
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Parbond vs Alcoa gutter seal

Before I heard about Parbond, I purchased a few tubes of Alcoa gutter seal based on what I have read here.

I did not really like how it looked when it was applied. I turned kinda green

But I don't want to buy any parbond if its basically the same as the alcoa as they are both gutter sealer products.

BTW is this parbond the right stuff?
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