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Old 06-16-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
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Cleanup and reseal of roof fittings

I did a quick search and didn't find anything so please direct me to another if I've missed it.. I appear to have some leaks around the seams where my skylights attach to the roof. Previously they have been sealed with a band what can only be described as a silver metallic goo covering about an inch either side of the seam. It is still soft, looking like its not meant to set. It looks like its migrated away from the seams it's trying to seal.

My plan was to remove it and run polyurethane sealant around the seam. Has anyone come across this stuff before and know how to remove it? It's as sticky as heck and doesn't seem to want to let go. Alternatively would it work to try and warm it with a heat gun and try to push it back where it's supposed to go - this is not my favoured option since I figure if it's moved once it'll do it again...


Thanks in advance,
Rob.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
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Hi Rob,
the product you're looking for is TemPro.
TremPro 635

You can also use the silver gutter sealer: http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/..._p/vts-138.htm
which is also great. I think the gutter seal is better for smaller cracks or things that need to look really good, but the tempro can be put on and built up (which is helpful on the roof).

The easiest way I found to reseal my skylights was to use a wire brush on a grinder or drill and wire brush it all off. This will scratch the aluminum but unless you're on top of the trailer you can't see it. The wire brush gets into the cracks and gets most of it out of there.

I would avoid the heat for several reasons, the main one being that there are wires most likely running in your ceiling which you could melt (along with other things). Heat does help with removing it, but I would just heat on a something where you knew what was behind it. The stuff stinks to high heaven when you heat it too.

You should tool the TemPro after you put a bead on.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:58 AM   #3
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What's on it is butyl tape. It's basically grunt work to get it off. Get a few 1" plastic paint scrapers and remove as much as you can with that. Then use mineral spirits, goof-off or Xylene to soften what remains. You'll have to soak it multiple times to get it all off.

Once you have it off - all the vent needs is a nice clean bead of sealant at the seam and a dab on each rivet head you will expose once you've removed the butyl. Mine had the same sealant and I'm not sure why they used so much butyl for such a small seam. Probably fast and cheap to apply is my best guess.....
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin View Post
What's on it is butyl tape. It's basically grunt work to get it off. Get a few 1" plastic paint scrapers and remove as much as you can with that. Then use mineral spirits, goof-off or Xylene to soften what remains. You'll have to soak it multiple times to get it all off.

Once you have it off - all the vent needs is a nice clean bead of sealant at the seam and a dab on each rivet head you will expose once you've removed the butyl. Mine had the same sealant and I'm not sure why they used so much butyl for such a small seam. Probably fast and cheap to apply is my best guess.....
If you are not taking the entire skylight off to redo it you probably won't see the butyl tape, you will just be dealing with the grey stuff that sealed the seam.

If you do take it all the way off then the tape off with a wire brush. The tape is white, the soft grey stuff is the old version of TemPro.


If you do take the entire thing off to re do it the Butyl putty is available here: Butyl RV Putty Tape
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:22 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I think I'll remove the grey goo and put some polyurethane sealant around it so it doesn't leak. Maybe I'll take the whole thing off at a later date, but for the moment not leaking will do...

I don't have any plastic scrapers, but I've been having some success with the silicone around and all over the windows using a lump of hard white maple planed to form a chisel.. And solvents are always good too..
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:23 AM   #6
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You can use a bit of heat to help as well, just don't overdo it since there may be wires right behind the skin...
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Well, I got it done. A whole day sat on top of an airstream in the burning sun. Heating it up wasn't an issue - not burning my ass, however, was..
If it helps anyone else the easiest way I found was my sharpened wooden stick to get the worst off, followed by the scraper, then solvent soaked rag. As far as I tested different solvents for cleanup I found methyl hydrate to be the best, though it does evaporate rather quickly at those temperatures..
Now I'm just waiting for it to rain so I can see if it works...
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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So what did you use to recaulk it with? Any pictures?
Have you any flooding there this year like last year this time?

Dave
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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Methyl Hydrate is way under-rated... no smell, flashes off quickly, and is super cheap. Great for any prep-work.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm
So what did you use to recaulk it with? Any pictures?
Have you any flooding there this year like last year this time?

Dave
Ahh yes, nice picture of Brandon's Corral Centre Lake. Thankfully we live the other side of town, and we're well away from all that. Nothing like that this year, the river was really low this spring because of the fact we had very little snow anywhere..
It's even more incredible when you see how big the dykes are now that they're high and dry and remember how close it came..

Back to the subject in hand, I recalled with DAP polyurethane sealant which, according to the tube is excellent for bonding to metals. It is also grey and readily available which is a big plus after all the fun I had trying to find Trempro. Seemed to work pretty well, no real test yet as the minute I sealed it it stopped raining...

I really should get some pictures up or something...
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday
Methyl Hydrate is way under-rated... no smell, flashes off quickly, and is super cheap. Great for any prep-work.
I agree - it'll also keep your nail guns working at -40C. That just leaves the problem of keeping me working at -40C!

Really the flashing off is a huge benefit, use anything else and you're left with a jar of contaminated stuff that you have to find a safe and environmentally responsible way of getting rid of. So far the best I've come up with for the other stuff is a tin can with a rag in it and a match.... Who needs eyebrows anyway?
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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I have a small leak around one of the roof fans. I can see a small crack where the sealant has pulled away from the base of the unit.

Can I just clean up the crack and fill it with sealant?

If yes, what sealant is best?

If no, what should I do?

Also, I just bought this Airstream and this is my first time on the roof of any RV. It looks like all the vents and other roof-top units are sealed with a thick wad of sealant that appears to have been smeared on and piled up around all of the units. Is this normal? Was ths done at the factory or later?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyslinger
I have a small leak around one of the roof fans. I can see a small crack where the sealant has pulledp away from the base of the unit.

Can I just clean up the crack and fill it with sealant?

If yes, what sealant is best?

If no, what should I do?

Also, I just bought this Airstream and this is my first time on the roof of any RV. It looks like all the vents and other roof-top units are sealed with a thick wad of sealant that appears to have been smeared on and piled up around all of the units. Is this normal? Was ths done at the factory or later?
If you mean that there's about a 2" band of sealant or the grey goo spanning over the joint and onto the roof then it's the same as mine. Its odd stuff, that feels solid if you just prod it, but under sustained pressure it will move. I'm beginning to think it's either original or at least an original type of sealant as I'm finding it everywhere on my '68.

If you just want to fill a small crack, I'm sure you could, but you'd have to find something that is compatible with the original stuff. Not even being sure what it was I cleaned as much of it off as I could and went around it with a big bead of polyurethane. Having said that I wasn't looking at a small crack, it was more like the Grand Canyon.

I'm sure others more experienced will be able to weigh in with a more detailed answer or recommendation - this is also the first time I've been on the roof of an RV or owned any RV come to that.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:23 AM   #14
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The only two I have experience with on the roof....

PPL on the black tank vent.

Sika on the skylight, both worked very well.

Loc-tite PPL roof/flashing...


Sikaflex UV 721


Bob
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