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Old 10-09-2002, 04:11 PM   #1
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finding/fixing leaks

not sure if this goes in "interior" or "exterior", so here goes...

I'm in the middle of pergo-ing (is "pergo" a verb? ) my trailer. When I removed the old carpet, I found a couple of damp spots. very minor damage...probably nothing needs to be done to the sub-floor. this is not like a "soaking wet carpet" or big puddle or anything...would never have noticed it if I hadn't pulled up the carpet...but there is definately water getting in somewhere. The question is, where is it coming in? After reading the other threads on this subject, it seems that this could be nearly impossible to find, so I'm wondering if I should just get a case of vulkem, and go nuts.

I was up on the roof not too long ago, and didn't notice anything obvious; there is caulking around vents and all...the windows have a good bead of caulk around the top of them, although it does look rather old.

so, if "re-doing" the seams around the roof vents, windows, antenna, etc is the thing to do: how do I remove the old caulk?

Oh, and the damp spots I found are 1) just forward of the door, between the door and the window, and 2) almost exactly opposite this spot on the street side, just forward of the kitchen window at the base of the sink cabinet. there's about a foot of floor space visible between the cabinet and the front gaucho.

What really worries me is the areas of floor that I can't easily inspect...under the beds, sink, and bathroom under the shower.

I posted a few months back about "proactively caulking", and andy said "don't bother" unless you know you have a leak. Well, now I do.

as if I didn't already have enough things to do...
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:28 PM   #2
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Don't discount the inside as a possible source of water... which could run to a low spot. Leaking seal around the toilet base, loose sink traps, or faucet fittings. Does the refrigerator also have a drain that could be faulty? Where your moisture is located, possibly the AC condensate drain pan or hose cracked with water running inside the wall to the floor. These are just a few of the problems I've seen in this Forum, that comes to mind.
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:34 PM   #3
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Chuck,
I have noticed a slight leak in my Excella 500 just forward of the door but it is leaking onto my foldout table roadside. It almost appears that it is leaking from a seam, dropping down to the interior panel and exiting through the vistaview window shutter (although I have not seen a drip of water coming from that area). I had caulked with vulkum around the front ventfan due to numerous cracks in the existing vulkum. I'm going to order some Parbond when I find some extra money laying around and hit the segment seams on top of the trailer to be on the safe side.

Could your leak be around a vent or possibly a seam?
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:38 PM   #4
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finding/fixing leaks

Greetings Chuck!

Based on leaks found on my trailer, I would suspect the potential source to be:

1) Plumbing vent stack where it exits the roof - - mine had modest leaks only during heavy rain storms (solved by reapplying vulkem caulk) First noticed this near the kitchen sink cabinet and through further investigation found that both vent stacks in bathroom had similar leaks.

2) Wheel house enclosures. While I don't think this would be likely with your coach as the evidence is rather far forward of the wheel houses. On my coach, road spray would seep through cracks along the joint between the wheel house and the floor. The solution was to reapply vulkem caulk)

3) Refrigerator vent stack. This is one that escaped detection for quite some time. After heavy rainstorms, there would be a small puddle in the floor next to my refrigerator - - I had assumed that this was coming in around the door gasket as my entrance door had been sprung when it was blown open in transit. After having the door repaired, the leak reappeared with the next rain storm. Since I dislike heights, I tried all of the lower level sources compartment door (2 in the sidewall with my Overlander) and seams - - regardless of how much water was sprayed on the seams and access doors, no leak. When P & S Trailer Service polished and plasticoated my coach last Spring, they discovered the source - - a cracked plastic/fiberglass refrigerator vent cap - - replacing the vent cap solved that leak.

4) Since you are finding the water spots near windows, it would probably be advisable to check weatherstripping and seals for all nearby windows. It would also be advisable to check the entire exterior perimeter of the window frames for any evidence of missing rivets or caulk that might allow water to penetrate the skin.

The accepted to find a water leak, according to my understanding, is to have one person standing outside the rig directing a stream of water onto suspect areas starting at the top of the coach and working to the bottom.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips...I'll start checking. (after I finish my pergo job ).

I don't think water is coming "in" the windows..from looking at the construction of them, it doesn't seem like the weather stripping would cause a leak like this. It looks like a solid piece there...nowhere for water that gets past the seal to go any further. Plus on one side, the awning has been down for the last month, so no rain was actually getting near the window on that side...yet there is a damp spot on the floor. definately appears to be coming from inside the wall.

I would guess its coming in somewhere on the roof...but I'm wondering, is it possible for water to move "sideways" inside the walls? from the pictures I've seen of AS framing, I would think that any sideways movement of water would eventually be stopped by the next vertical frame member it meets, and be forced down from there. So where I'm seeing moisture on the floor, the leak is probably somewhere in the adjacent "stud cavity". does that make sense? or can water just go "every which-way" once it gets inside?
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Old 10-09-2002, 05:49 PM   #6
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Most of the leaks I've had were from the awnings & where they are attached. Every 5/6 years I half to remove the old stuff & recaulk. I have awnings on both sides & back, so its time consuming to remove the old & replace it.
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Old 10-09-2002, 08:29 PM   #7
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Leaks

You may want to repair the leaks BEFORE you finish your Pergoing!

It would be a shame to have your new floor damaged with warping from dampness, or cracking caused by an unstable mounting surface.

Cart before horse.

DMC
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Old 10-10-2002, 08:38 AM   #8
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Well, the thing is, I'm going camping this weekend, so I gotta finish. Plus, this is the "snap-lock" type....no glue, so it'll be easy to take up the outside pieces and check on things. really, this stuff is like a wooden carpet. ok, "fake" wooden carpet. While you're supposed to glue or nail down the molding to hold it in place, I'm going to just use a few finish-type screws w/ small heads to hold down the end-molding.

Jim W: "remove the old stuff and re-caulk".....how? what's the best way to remove the old?
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Old 10-10-2002, 09:37 AM   #9
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Chuck,
I had floor damage in the same area on my 71 Safari. The problem was the banana wrap aluminum at the lower front corners of the trailer. I pulled the belt line trim piece off and found that the banana wraps were installed outside of the sidewall skin. Water was running down the side of the trailer, behind the trim and into the banana wrap saturating the insulation and damaging the floor. I sealed the area with vulcum, reinstalled the trim and sealed the top edge of it also. Problem solved.
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Old 10-11-2002, 12:49 PM   #10
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roof leak

Chuck, I can't tell from the picture of your trailer whether or not you have a television antenna. My son and I spent four hours yesterday replacing stack gaskets and recaulking with Valkum. As we were checking other areas we found that the antenna base had been somehow altered by the previous owner and there were absolutely no rivets holding it down. We cleaned up and re-riveted it along with massive quantities of Valkum and are in great hopes that we have solved our leak problems. As I have been following these threads concerning leaks I have not seen anyone else mention the antenna as a possibility. Perhaps this might help. By the way, I am very interested in a Pergo type floor myself. Please share with us your experience in preparation, installation, and your satisfaction with the results.
Brouck Sleight
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Old 10-15-2002, 04:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the tips. Looks like I got my work cut out for me. Plus, on our campout last weekend, we were blessed with constant rain....and a NEW leak popped up. this one is a classic...coming in at the seam between the ceiling panels, right above the fridge. I'm betting its the center vent. I suspect this is what shorted out my light circuit, too. (blew 2 fuses. the first one, I thought was a fluke, so I just replaced it. a few hours later, it blew again, so I figured, "ok, something is wrong"). Next morning, I got dripped on while making coffee....funny thing, though: when I ripped out the carpet, it wasn't wet, and the floor beneath it in this area wasn't either. (?). Maybe we just haven't had heavy enough rain lately to make it "really" leak.

Time to buy some Vulkem. how much do you think I'll need to proactively re-do 3 vents, an antenna, and 2 awning rails...plus the sewer/sink vent covers....? 3..4...5 tubes? any discount for a "case"?

Pergo came out nice. I still have some trim-work to finish up, but I posted pics in the gallery: http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...at=500&thumb=1

The carpet in the "before" pics doesn't really look that bad...but it was pretty old and grubby.
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Old 10-15-2002, 05:06 PM   #12
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Finding/Fixing Leaks

Greetigns Chuck!

I wouldn't rule out a damaged refrigerator vent cap or one needing resealing. One of the most irritating leaks in my Overlander was one that was caused by a cracked refrigerator vent that would only leak during wind driven rains. This was before the same vent cap was destroyed in a hail storm about two years ago.

Good luck in finding the culprit of your leak.

Kevin
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Old 10-15-2002, 09:58 PM   #13
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Finding Leaks...

Finding leaks is a pain. I had several in my 1984 31 ft Excella.

The first ones located were the running lights on the front of the coach...ParBond used to seal..a real nice flowing smooth bead that blends nicely and looks great.

The second one was curbside at the rear seam on the coach, right before the curved pieces. I used ParBond to reseal all the outside seams on the rear.

Third was at the battery boxes in the front under the sofa. ParBond was used to seal all the way around the battery boxes on the outside of the coach.

Fourth was the streetside rear of the coach at the seam where the floor joined and the electrcity and city water come in. This one was most problematic. I used ParBond once again to seal all the rear window areas and seams. This did NOT stop the leak, so I used ParBond to seal the tailight housing, and that stopped it, so I continued and sealed the rear runninglights, reflectors, and license plate light.

Fifth was the seals on the attachments of the awnings, particularly the large curbside awning...Parbond was used for this too.

All in all 4 tubes of ParBond...I guess my coach is a "Four-tuber".

Next step is to use Vulkem to reseal the pan of the coach to stop road spray from entering the coach from underneath. I have already re-riveted the pan using washers to gat a grip on broken out rivets, and I am now ready to seal the seams.

Yup, leaks are a pain to find. I used water hose moving UP the coach and not top down. This more effective as gravity carries the water down and as you move UP the coach, as soon as water appears, you know you are high enough.
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Old 10-16-2002, 01:08 AM   #14
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Talking Re-Order?

CHUCK

Quote:
Time to buy some Vulkem. how much do you think I'll need to proactively re-do 3 vents, an antenna, and 2 awning rails...plus the sewer/sink vent covers....? 3..4...5 tubes? any discount for a "case"?
To ans your question...You should be able to get by with 2 tubes, no problem~

I did my entire skin, outside of course, and on top of awning, windows, etc.. (This is a 29 ft unit.)Still had some left over, which I gave away to my neighbor.
ciao
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