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Old 04-05-2006, 09:17 PM   #1
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So how do you get the old stuff off? (vulkum)

So if I want to get up on the roof and start trying to fix my leak(s). There is already significant what I think is vulkum and some black looking stuff that is stuff pretty darn good to the roof in known problem spots such as the antenna area refer vent etc. It would seem to me that to get a good bond with any new stuff, you'd have to get the old stuff off.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:48 PM   #2
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check your sewer vents first.

after that heat helps remove all old gunk. a heat gun for paint removal will make it easier to remove.

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Old 04-05-2006, 10:35 PM   #3
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We found Perma-Flex Gasket Remover made silicone easier to remove. The vulkem we scaped out of the seams with sharpened popsicle sticks before re-sealing. Good luck, it'sa lot of work!

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:44 AM   #4
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What about sealing the most obvious cracks and holes and then (gasp, horror of horrors) roof coating it?
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
check your sewer vents first.

after that heat helps remove all old gunk. a heat gun for paint removal will make it easier to remove.

john
You think the sewer vent in the back could be causing a leak all the way up at the front of the unit?
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:37 AM   #6
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Leaks are sometimes hard to find. There are lengthwise struts running between the ribs that will channel water some distance from the point of entry, but not usually the length of the trailer. If you have aluminum trim covers over the vent pipes, remove them, clean out the old gunk, and caulk around the pipe itself. Replace the trim covers. Dap some caulk on the screws to seal them, The open pipe is OK because any water entering the pipe will go to your drain system, not between the trailer walls. I've used the Elixer brand aluminum fibered roof coat on several trailers with good results. DO NOT follow the instructions on the can, however. Thin with paint thinner to a texture that can be applied with a disposable paint brush and plan on giving two coats. If you use directly from the can, it is much too thick and cannot be brushed very well. Scrub the top with hot water, laundry detergent and a little bleach to remove any moss and dirt. Clean off any old caulk with heat and sharp putty knife (careful not to scratch the aluminum!), recaulk with vulkem. Tape off the area to be coated. I coat 1" below the first rivet line on either side (or down to the awning rail, if you have one) and 1" beyond the rivet line at the first and last cross rib. This covers the most exposed part of the roof, but cannot be seen from the ground unless you're a long ways back from the trailer or you are very tall. The two-coat process takes some time - about 3 days to cure between coats - so you should have the trailer under cover or at least be assured of warm, dry weather before you start. The first Airstream I coated lasted 14 years outside in the Oregon rain before it need it again. If kept under cover, probably would last longer. I've coated the roof of my current Airstream, '65 Tradewind, and polished the rest. It looks fine and I did not have to polish the roof! Darol
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:41 AM   #7
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It look like they used some Vulkum up there but there is also a hard black material up there as well that seems like it will be extremely difficult to remove.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
You think the sewer vent in the back could be causing a leak all the way up at the front of the unit?
yes.

happened to me. the leak was entering at the aft vent, being wicked UPhill by the insulation in between the walls, then moved along the ceiling panel, and dripped out at the end of the curbside bunk. not all the way to the front of the trailer, but at least half way.

depends on the year of your trailer, but many have a rubber gasket that fits tightly around the pipe, and is held down on the skin of the trailer by the vent cover. these age, dry out, and become non-functional. should be replaced every 5 years or so.

I'll second JohnHD's comment on the heat gun, too. I wish I had discovered that tip before I started this task. I don't know how it would work on sillicone, but it works like magic on caulk. borrowed a gun from my dad that is meant for use on small electronic projects...for de-soldering, heat-shrink tubing, etc. it was perfect, because it has a very small opening, about the size of a dime. Most "heat guns" you see in hardware stores have that huge output, meant mainly for removing paint or flooring adhesive. the small outlet on this gun lets you keep the heat isolated to the work, without affecting adjacent stuff...like clear coat finishes.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:23 PM   #9
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How about a blow torch used from a distance?
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wacnstac
How about a blow torch used from a distance?
Too risky.

Heat gun - max 1000F
Aluminum melts - 1220F
Propane torch - 1600F to 2500F
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:35 PM   #11
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