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Old 01-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
TwinPower
 
2014 23' Flying Cloud
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ReSealing

Hi folks,

I have another thread out here that I just created a few days ago about the AS Factory Service Center, and this kind of ties to that, but really a standalone topic.

During their inspection, they noted that the entire roof of our 2007 Airstream (we just bought this fall) needed resealed, to the tune of nearly $600. I really have no problem paying this if it is truly needed, but honestly, we are not sure that it is? The Airstream has been in heavy rain, and no leaks from the ceiling that we have noticed, although I do realize that there can be leaks in the roof that come into the unit in other places. We do have a leak in the panoramic window that we are getting fixed. I'm just curious if on a 5 (i guess now 6) year old trailer, removing all existing and replacing with new sealant sounds reasonable? We honestly did not get up on anything to inspect the roof when we bought the unit, and I'm not sure if it was kept inside or outside its entire 5 year old life, but just curious if anyone has experience with this?

Thanks in advance!

Leah
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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Its just part of a process, seasonal upkeep battling normal aging for something now exposed to 2500~ days of weathering.

From the profile photo we can't tell if the roof is 'painted' or bare metal.

Being very deliberate with your movements on the roof is essential. A slow survey of vents, A/C cover, antenna lines and the like will highlight where to invest your efforts. Having a digital camera on hand to capture topical images is worth the hassles...

Lean a ladder against the door top drip guard and migrate up from the ladder to the roof - keep your weight on the rivet lines where the ribs are... and be satisfied to do one thing well, a section or an item all at one time.

EDIT: its hazardous to get on the roof. There's been a few of us that tried to gracefully fall off with worrisome results. Just saying if it's not 'you' to be a roof monkey then find another way
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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To answer your question, yes it could very well be. I have a 2006 unit purchased used in 2009. The PO basically parked it outside of his house and used it very little. That was the good news. He left it plugged in and did almost no maintenance on it which was the bad news. It was parked outside in southern Idaho where it gets very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

By 2010 a lot of the caulking around the windows and some on the roof needed to be replaced. The Airstream dealer notified me of that after doing some minor repair and caulking around the back panorama and charged me very little. The next year I spotted a leak in the front panorama and got up and resealed most of the front. It took time but it stopped the leak.

So, depending on where it has been parked and how much attention it gets, the caulking could be due for some replacement. I removed as much as I could, I taped both sides of the seam and then I filled it with Sikaflex (I think that was the right name). The seams I did all look good and they are holding. I have more to do but will go a section at a time.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
TwinPower
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
To answer your question, yes it could very well be. I have a 2006 unit purchased used in 2009. The PO basically parked it outside of his house and used it very little. That was the good news. He left it plugged in and did almost no maintenance on it which was the bad news. It was parked outside in southern Idaho where it gets very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

By 2010 a lot of the caulking around the windows and some on the roof needed to be replaced. The Airstream dealer notified me of that after doing some minor repair and caulking around the back panorama and charged me very little. The next year I spotted a leak in the front panorama and got up and resealed most of the front. It took time but it stopped the leak.

So, depending on where it has been parked and how much attention it gets, the caulking could be due for some replacement. I removed as much as I could, I taped both sides of the seam and then I filled it with Sikaflex (I think that was the right name). The seams I did all look good and they are holding. I have more to do but will go a section at a time.

Good luck.
I really appreciate your response.....this is the kind of feedback I am hoping to gain from the forum! Making spending time out here worthwhile! Thank you!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:33 PM   #5
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You hesitate to answer if the roof was/is painted.

Sorry if my answer did not fit your preconceived ideas you wanted to hear. That kind of feedback makes spending time here worthless!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:43 PM   #6
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I am currently resealing our Sovereign. I will hopefully be done on Sunday. I wish I had paid someone to do it. It is a rotten job. Messy and tedious even though it's a low-skill level job.
We are using a 3M product called 540 polyureathane sealant. From my research, it doesn't degrade as quickly as some older products. I pray we get 5-6 years out of it since it is parked outside.
We are using the gray or aluminum color which, if I had to do it again (Mr. Mod said we are NOT doing it again) I would probably use the clear sealant. It's not supposed to degrade and turn yellow.
However, when removing the remaining old sealant, I could see some etching in the aluminum where someone had probably used silicone at some time. So at least the gray sealant covers up the etching.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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Hi, at or about the same age as your trailer, mine got a leak from the front roof vent. While checking out everything on the roof, I noticed the sealer cracking in places. It may not leak at first, but the longer the sealer sits cracked, it will eventually leak.

This is what it looked like after some re-sealing was done on the front vent. This vent's sealer was cracked and some of the plastic vent frame was cracked too. [missing corners, were also broken off] The black tank vent was warped and the sealer was cracked all the way around it. [I bought a new vent] If you look at my radio antenna [not re-sealed yet in this picture] you can see cracks in the sealer.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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No insults intended :) Hope from your end as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
You hesitate to answer if the roof was/is painted.

Sorry if my answer did not fit your preconceived ideas you wanted to hear. That kind of feedback makes spending time here worthless!
The roof is NOT painted.....do they paint roofs on the newer airstreams? If so, what is the purpose of that? Do you need to re-seal less often? Or not at all??

I didn't acknowlege your response because it seemed to be explaining how to re-seal, and that wasn't my question. I plan on having the service center do the job, so my question was more directed to "if" anyone had a trailer my age, and had to re-seal an entire roof, and if that sounded possible. I am a new Airstream owner, it didn't sound likely to me, and re-sealing a roof is not a task we want to tackle this early in the game.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leahrumbarge View Post
The roof is NOT painted.....do they paint roofs on the newer airstreams? If so, what is the purpose of that? Do you need to re-seal less often? Or not at all??

I didn't acknowlege your response because it seemed to be explaining how to re-seal, and that wasn't my question. I plan on having the service center do the job, so my question was more directed to "if" anyone had a trailer my age, and had to re-seal an entire roof, and if that sounded possible. I am a new Airstream owner, it didn't sound likely to me, and re-sealing a roof is not a task we want to tackle this early in the game.
I think the main benefit of the painted roofs is better performance in hot, sunny weather. The white paint is an RV product that provides some degree of insulation as well as reflecting more solar energy away from the roof.

There have been discussions about whether polished vs. painted rejects more solar energy, but I think you'd really have to get to a mirror finish for that to be effective.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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Bob, do the seams in the roof itself hold up better than the various cutouts on the roof? My trailer is about the same age, and is showing no signs of leaking, but I do think I should reseal vents and other openings. But otherwise, I don't want to fix something that isn't broken or needing the maintenance.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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I try to go up on the roof at least a couple of times a year to repair/replace any caulking that looks to be in need.

One of the worst situations I found was the original poor quality plastic skylights - they were secured with vertical screws through the plastic flange on the skylight. The skylight flange had multiple cracks at every screw hole. Possibly the holes were drilled too small or the screws over=torqued at the factory.

Initially I just gooped up the cracks with a clear sealant, but the cracking just got worse and started leaking.

In the end, I replaced the Skylights with a far superior aftermarket polycarbonate design using an aluminum frame, and that seems to have completely eliminated the problem. Cost a bit more than replacing with OEM skylights but I felt it was well worth the money in every respect.

Brian.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Airstream does a great job of resealing. Better to get it done before you find out the hard way that it is needed. The top panels on newer Airstreams have a white factory finish instead of Al showing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Airstream does a great job of resealing. Better to get it done before you find out the hard way that it is needed. The top panels on newer Airstreams have a white factory finish instead of Al showing.
The hard way? Just this morning, I put my finger through the plywood floor. Such is life. Fortunately, it's only about 10 x 14 inch section that I think we can replace. The rest looks clean and solid.

A question for anyone who might know: Has anyone heard of leaking through the wheel wells? We just removed the fridge in our 77 Sov., The fridge rests partially on the wheel well. The section of the floor that is rotted is behind the fridge. The fridge must have leaked at one time and caused this rot. But I'm wondering is some water could have come from or around the wheel well. Any thoughts on this?
The section we have to remove is right up against the wheel well. I'm not sure if this will make the patch job easier or harder.

So far, this is the only floor rot we have found in our 35 year old plywood.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
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Dual Solution

I had same issue as Wingeezer/Brian. My solution for fixing the leak AND getting on the roof follows.
Del
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