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Old 04-23-2016, 12:34 PM   #1
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What am I looking at here? Possible leak? Probable?

OK, this is my day to obsess over leaks, real and/or imagined (I posted a thread earlier today about DIY pressure leak testing).

With great weather and some time to actually do something, I looked around the roof area (from a ladder) and everything looks good (but grimy!) except for a roof seam which seems to have crummy sealing. There are a few places with an actual "opening" that I could get my fingernail in, and several areas where that same panel-to-panel junction looked like the sealant was super-thin.

So, what am I looking at here?

For the record, using my moisture detection meter, I find no evidence of leaks.

Thanks,

Rob
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:40 PM   #2
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Time to reseal that seam
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Time to reseal that seam
Well, shoot!

Now, I've just got to figure out if I want to do it myself or maybe take it to Vogt RV, my nearby Airstream dealer.

There are so many sealing and sealant threads on the Forum, I just get confused.

Rob
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFP View Post
....

So, what am I looking at here?
....

Thanks,

Rob
You are looking at a roof seam that was sealed after assembly from the outside, instead of having sealant between the panels. And its failing...
Bummer. In most cases they installed an awning rail to hold that unsealed roof panel to the side panel, I suppose in your case they did not on that side.
What would I do:
Get me a tube of vulkem 116, clean up the area and shove some vulkem in the crack, And then keep an eye on the seam in the future and fill cracks that will appear.
What would I not do:
Bring it to an Airstream dealer and let them hack it up more and charge me a fortune.
Take the advice for its worth...
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:57 PM   #5
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Here is a link to a sealant summary discussion that I saved for reference.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ml#post1562700
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:57 PM   #6
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"Fixed my roof" for a while... HyTech roof coating... Seals, reduces heat transfer in both directions and is quoted in a hailstorm...
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
You are looking at a roof seam that was sealed after assembly from the outside, instead of having sealant between the panels. And its failing...
Bummer. In most cases they installed an awning rail to hold that unsealed roof panel to the side panel, I suppose in your case they did not on that side.
What would I do:
Get me a tube of vulkem 116, clean up the area and shove some vulkem in the crack, And then keep an eye on the seam in the future and fill cracks that will appear.
What would I not do:
Bring it to an Airstream dealer and let them hack it up more and charge me a fortune.
Take the advice for its worth...
OK, here's what I found by scraping off a bit of the apparently-failed seal: There is some kind of black stuff between the panels... it is easily seen. The white "top layer" of the seal peels right off; much easier than I expected. I found that using a plastic "auto trim tool" works perfectly for scraping the seal off. Whatever it is really doesn't "bond" to the painted aluminum.

So, I've found this easy enough for a DIY job (thank heaven!). Now I need to dig through the sealant thread(s) and pick the right one to use for re-top-beading this seam.

QUESTION: Should I put my new sealant (whatever) over the rived heads that are close to the seam, or should I tape the area before I re-seal and avoid getting it on the rivets?

Rob
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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Sikaflex 221 White. Remove the rests of the sealant, tape then apply then remove the tape before the Sikaflex sets up. I would tape the same width as the old sealant. You can use Capt Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure on the rivet heads. If there is any gaps in the rivet heads then the Cure will get sucked in.

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Old 04-25-2016, 12:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Sikaflex 221 White. Remove the rests of the sealant, tape then apply then remove the tape before the Sikaflex sets up. I would tape the same width as the old sealant. You can use Capt Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure on the rivet heads. If there is any gaps in the rivet heads then the Cure will get sucked in.

Kelvin
Thanks, Kelvin (as always!)

Do I just apply the Sikaflex "topically" or do I "press it in" like I was calking a sink or tub to the wall? Seems like it might be hard to work it in with my fingers... but, hey, I don't mind difficult at all, I just want it fixed right!

Rob
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:04 PM   #10
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With the tape in place you can push it in then smooth it off then pull the tape. The caulk in between the panels is probably not the same as was the bead. Maybe you can run a pointy plastic tool in the seam to smooth out the sandwiched caulk then apply the Sikaflex over the seam. I've read you are not to use Isopropyl alcohol. Use mineral spirits to clean the area.

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Old 04-25-2016, 01:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
With the tape in place you can push it in then smooth it off then pull the tape. The caulk in between the panels is probably not the same as was the bead. Maybe you can run a pointy plastic tool in the seam to smooth out the sandwiched caulk then apply the Sikaflex over the seam. I've read you are not to use Isopropyl alcohol. Use mineral spirits to clean the area.

Kelvin
Gratzi ! I understand.

Yes, the calk between the panels is black, and mineral spirits apparently will "cut" it (as I clean, I get some black streaks as I wipe deep enough to contact the black between-the-panels stuff).

Thankfully, I read the alcohol warnings and have been using Mineral spirits from the get go. I am still surprised at how easily the old white stuff scrapes off.

Rob
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:16 PM   #12
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It's probably not Sikaflex, maybe Adseal. Sikaflex is supposed to be hard to remove and is a good long term caulk solution for roof projects.

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Old 04-25-2016, 02:43 PM   #13
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It's probably not Sikaflex, maybe Adseal. Sikaflex is supposed to be hard to remove and is a good long term caulk solution for roof projects.

Kelvin
Well, whatever it is, I'm really not impressed. Neither am I impressed at the consistency of the sealing job done on this roof. there are places where it looks pretty thin, and other places that are just gobbed-on... really ugly. makes me wonder if they do a real-water "leak test" on these things at the factory, and if they find a leak (!), gobs of pookey is the remedy.

Well, that's about what it looks like!

Below is a photo of a 23D roof (the Airstream is at Colonial, I "borrowed" the photo from the Air Forums Classifieds). Look at the front-to-back seal, the one just north of the Awning. The calk "bead" looks like it was just flowed on with no thought to smoothing... a couple of "gobs" there, too.

Rob
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And some stuff

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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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