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raphspeaks 10-15-2016 06:42 PM

Butyl Tape removal
Holy cow! What a pain in the butt!

Is there anything magical, perhaps a chemical, that I can use to remove butyl tape from the vistaview windows and frame other than goof off and excessive elbow grease?

So far I'm using goof off with some steel wool, and it works ok, but im putting out a lot of watts getting that stuff off.

If anyone has a trick please let me in on the secret!


Morgan guy 10-15-2016 07:40 PM

I have found that the first step is to use a plastic putty knife to scrape off as much as I can. I then use mineral spirits to remove the residue.

raphspeaks 10-15-2016 08:11 PM

Hey @Morgan, Yeah, I've done that for the most part. I'm thinking that I'll take a dull metal scraper and heat it up. Hopefully the heat will cut through the adhesive.

With the plastic scraper there appears to be just a bit too much adhesive left for the goof off to be effective. I find my self scrubbing like no other to get it off. Eventually it works, but like i said there has to be a better way.

I was just reading about wd-40 doing a good job I breaking down the butyl adhesive. I'm going to give that a whirl as well tomorrow.

Thank you for the insight!

A W Warn 10-15-2016 09:12 PM

Speaking about my experience, using a metal putty knife will quickly make scratches in the aluminum that will not polish out.

I used a flat file to keep the plastic putty knife sharpened.
Applying heat to the putty with a heat gun or a hair dryer will soften the putty.

TG Twinkie 10-15-2016 09:13 PM

How about a wire brush on an electric drill?

raphspeaks 10-15-2016 09:22 PM

@AWWarn yeah i am worried about that. It's starting to get a bit chilly in my neck of the woods, so at this point that butyl tape is hard! I'll grab a few plastic scrapers, and maybe a wire wheel on,the drill with some soft bristles to see how that worka out. Has anyone tried wd40?

raphspeaks 10-15-2016 09:23 PM

@TG Twinkie, thats what im thinking as well.

Unka Jack 10-16-2016 09:42 PM

Hi there, I went through the same job a while back during my shell off resto-vation. Here's a link to my post about the vista widows and sealant removal.
One of the best caulking/sealant removers I found was Mckanica silicone remover. It worked well on all of the old sealants.
The most effective trick I found was to spread the remover on the old caulking at the end of the day, cover it with plastic film wrap (Saran Wrap) and leave it on overnight. In the morning plastic scrapers and cow hooves made short work of the residue without harming the aluminum.
Hope this helps.

raphspeaks 10-19-2016 09:39 PM

I'm getting great results removing butyl tape with a plastic welder. Quick clean up with steel wool and goof off. Took less than 30 mins to prep the window frame for butyl tape. So, the magical tool is the plastic welder.

Al Boondy 10-19-2016 10:18 PM

Heat is your friend. I use a heat gun, putty knife, and clean up residue with acetone or MEK.

raphspeaks 11-06-2016 08:51 AM

Best solution so far is wd-40 and steel wool.

Next challenge is polishing the vistaview windows.

raphspeaks 11-06-2016 09:35 PM

Alright, the jury is in for best results on removing the butyl tape. Hit the window frame with a heat gun and use a plastic scraper to remove as much butyl tape as possible. Then hit the frame with wd-40. Let that sit for a few mins. Grab your drill and a fine wire brush wheel. On low rpm, let the drill work, every now and then hit the wheel with some wd-40. The butyl tape will start breaking down. Wipe any lose residue with a rag or steel wool. Continue working your way around the window. Again, have a few rags to wipe the butyl residue. You don't want that stuff flinging around, but i promise you this is the easiest approach for the snap ring windows.

Also, I'm not going to use the interior plexi pane, instead I'm using tremco polyshim tape, then in between the exterior glass and the snap ring will be a black solid square rubber trim strip that will be pressed in between to keep pressure on the butyl tape to prevent any leaks. I'll follow up with the actual trim piece that I'm using after i confirm that it's a success. After the window is set, I'll use sikaflex on the exterior to glaze the window.


Unka Jack 11-07-2016 07:43 AM

This is all dependant on the tape in question is ONLY butyl tape. Not a 40+ year collection of unknown sealants and miracle goops that previous owners have used in trying to seal leaky windows.

raphspeaks 11-07-2016 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by Unka Jack (Post 1873625)
This is all dependant on the tape in question is ONLY butyl tape. Not a 40+ year collection of unknown sealants and miracle goops that previous owners have used in trying to seal leaky windows.

Yes! That is true. I did have one with a bunch of silicone that was a pain. I used a 3m adhesive remover for that. Paint it on let it sit and it comes right off. I'll snap a shot of the bottle.

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