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Old 12-02-2011, 07:12 AM   #1
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Removing these layers of Vulkem

I am trying to fix some roof vent leaks and the PO's have put thick layers of Vulkem around the vent flanges that is now pealing off to some degree but there is still a lot of this stuff to remove. A wood chisle works to some extent but there are rivets in the way. A heat gun helps a little. I think I am going to have to use a wire brush wheel or something to get the stuff off. It did not stick in the first place because it was not cleaned properly the when the it was put on. I am going to try a wire wheel on a drill first and then maybe a cup brush on my angle grinder. I hate working on the roof. My old bones are complaining. This is just the first of three of these vents.

Perry
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:30 AM   #2
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Just take your time. You'll get there. There have been other threads, (can't find one right now) about some chemicals to soften things up when you get the bulk off mechanically. I can't remember some of them, but I hav used auto body "prep Sol" or equivelant. It's the stuff to do the final clean on bare metal and between primers and topcoats. It works pretty well. OK on plastics as well.

Seems like mineral spirits was mentioned....kerosene maybe...if it's OK on a car, it's pretty much ok on the AS.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:42 AM   #3
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Well I have some paint stripper I could use but that might be a little extreme.

Perry
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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Uh.....yeah......
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Perry
I am not sure the powered brushes are a good idea. It would be easy to go through the aluminum skin. I have cleaned vulkem like you are doing by using a hard plastic scraper, about 1 1/2" wide, sharpened to a bevel along with a heat gun and mineral spirits. I had good luck with a Scotchbrite Dobie cleaning pad and mineral spirits for final cleanup. A plastic putty knife on min. spirit soaked areas also worked. I know what you mean about old bones not liking the job - I have been on the roof of mine working on the A/C. Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:39 AM   #6
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This stuff is on there thick. The Vulkem above the windows was no problem compared to this. I don't think a wire brush is going to go through the skin. I may try the paint stripper and see if that softens it up. This is a bead about 1.5 inches wide and 1/8 thick.

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Old 12-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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Perry
I am not sure the powered brushes are a good idea. It would be easy to go through the aluminum skin. I have cleaned vulkem like you are doing by using a hard plastic scraper, about 1 1/2" wide, sharpened to a bevel along with a heat gun and mineral spirits. I had good luck with a Scotchbrite Dobie cleaning pad and mineral spirits for final cleanup. A plastic putty knife on min. spirit soaked areas also worked. I know what you mean about old bones not liking the job - I have been on the roof of mine working on the A/C. Good luck.
Dan
Agree, if you are talikig about wire wheels. I have read of some using the PLASTIC "wire wheels". I think they are fine.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:51 AM   #8
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There is no clear coat up there for the stripper to hurt and I think the stuff I have is a gel. I do need to be careful not to get it on the inside of the vent.

Perry
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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I have used a brass wire wheel, electric drill, on those roof vents (and old air flite windows) with excellent results. No scratching...to the point where I could polish the areas affected. I would recommend considering something along the lines of "Seal o flex" for the roof as well. It seals all seams and vents as well as cooling down the interior in direct sun light days.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
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My main goal is to get all the leaks fixed before my new floor in the back starts to rot and what is left of the floor in the front goes south. The floor in the front is in pretty good shape if I can stop the water.

Perry
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:25 PM   #11
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OK I put some of the Klean Strip stuff on there and it seemed to do the trick. It made the stuff soft enough to scrape off. I think I will need one more coat and it will be clean as a wistle. I don't know if they still make this stuff but it has just about every known carcinogen and neuro toxin in it. My universal antidote is Rum so I will make sure I take some tonight.

I was wondering why the rain did not get inside the inside vent cover. I got to looking and the way the vent is made any water that leaks is going to end up between the skins which is where you don't want it. I would rather have a leak I can see and clean up the mess from than it sneek down between the skins and rot the sub floor. I hope this fixes my right hand side leak and maybe some of the left hand side leaks as well. I have just about patched everything on the right hand side.

I am working of the forward most of three overhead vents.

Perry
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