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Old 02-09-2018, 06:24 PM   #1
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How to DRY wet Insulation?

We FINALLY found and purchased our Airstream. A 1999 Safari 25. Overall great condition. Stored under shelter for a good deal of its days. There are a few leaks as due to a lapse in maintenance. Today I removed the forward fan which had gobs of different sealant layers. With the fan removed I reached into find wet insulation between the outer and inner skin.

My question is how can we speed the drying process so we can remount the fan? I was thinking to strap a leaf blower on the roof and point into the opening. Not sure if this will help.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:28 PM   #2
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Heat and air flow
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:50 PM   #3
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Pull down any trim that exposes the insulation....AC panel, fan trim, ect. the position fans to blow in that direction and put a dehumidifier in the trailer.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Pull down any trim that exposes the insulation....AC panel, fan trim, ect. the position fans to blow in that direction and put a dehumidifier in the trailer.
Agree
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:58 PM   #5
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If it's just a bit damp it will dry if exposed to air, but not if air cannot reach it. If it is soaked it will not dry. You have remove it and replace it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:27 PM   #6
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I don't see that there is a practical way to remove insulation between the skins. If it is soaked, the water will eventually go down, which is unfortunately going to be the edge of the floor.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:19 AM   #7
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Water will trickle down and end up in the C-channel at the floor then it will soak the floor. All these things leak at some point. I have found many leaks hard t find unless you remove the inner skins and sit out there in the rain and watch for leaks. If you are that far into it replace with rigid insulation.

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Old 02-10-2018, 08:46 AM   #8
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As mentioned above water will flow downwards. Since you have no idea of when it was wetted you have no idea of how far it may have gone.

If it was just from periodic rains the water may not have traveled that far. I would start to pull out the insulation and hopefully reach dry material before you run out of reach. Based on what you find will determine any additional action.

You will never get it dry in place unless you run the temperature sky high in the trailer or wait till Fl. summer.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:02 AM   #9
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Out of the weather (Under cover and preferability controlled environment ), heat, air flow, dehumidifier(s), and time.

Best regards and safe travels
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:00 AM   #10
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Wet insulation

I was informed at the factory that the insulation used in the AS will not develop mold and dries easily. If you can expose that area it will eventually dry out.
Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasher View Post
We FINALLY found and purchased our Airstream. A 1999 Safari 25. Overall great condition. Stored under shelter for a good deal of its days. There are a few leaks as due to a lapse in maintenance. Today I removed the forward fan which had gobs of different sealant layers. With the fan removed I reached into find wet insulation between the outer and inner skin.

My question is how can we speed the drying process so we can remount the fan? I was thinking to strap a leaf blower on the roof and point into the opening. Not sure if this will help.
I see you are near JAX. The insulation will dry pretty quickly as soon as the sun heats up the exterior skin. Since it's supposed to be in the 70's and 80's all week you should not have any long term issues..

If you are outside making this repair, go ahead and re-install the fan so that it is water tight. It's best if there is no chance for rain or dew to re-wet everything.

Leave the interior trim off so that air can get to the insulation. As others have suggested, airflow or dehumidification will speed things along.

A different issue:
Your trailer is one of those prone to leaks at the area where the rear bumper storage lid goes through the exterior wall. Make sure this has been resolved on your trailer. I found out the hard way! (search "rear bumper storage leak" on this forum)
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasher View Post
We FINALLY found and purchased our Airstream. A 1999 Safari 25. Overall great condition. Stored under shelter for a good deal of its days. There are a few leaks as due to a lapse in maintenance. Today I removed the forward fan which had gobs of different sealant layers. With the fan removed I reached into find wet insulation between the outer and inner skin.

My question is how can we speed the drying process so we can remount the fan? I was thinking to strap a leaf blower on the roof and point into the opening. Not sure if this will help.
Structural drying is what I did for a living. For nearly thirty years. I have not read all of the comments, so I don't know what's been suggested already, but here's what I know to be true. Insulation works because it traps air. For this reason it dries very well with exposure to ventilation, no matter how wet. Insulation is actually one of the easiest things to dry. Under the right conditions I use to dry it in hours. In this case it may take a few days. Naturally, the wetter it is the longer it may take to dry.

Increased Air flow will help, but it does not need to be extremely forceful. Mostly it just needs to have a way for the water to evaporate out. It may not be necessary to remove more than the fan.

Make sure the fan hole is tented to prevent further moisture intrusion, but also to allow air flow and evaporation.

I imagine the insulation is fiberglass batt. It's not an organic fiber so it will not mold like say cellulose would.

PM me and include a phone number to reach you if you'd like more detailed information.

Pete
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:39 AM   #13
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As mentioned numerous times: moving warm, dry air.

Get the trailer somewhere it cannot get wet.

Fans, DEHUMIDIFIER, heat, and time.


Regards,


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Old 02-11-2018, 07:44 AM   #14
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I just fixed a small leak in the popup bathroom fan.

Before replacing the interior trim, you can turn on the fan and tape a piece of stiff cardboard over the opening with painters tape. It will pull air from the insulation space.

Might work for the large ceiling fans too.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:26 PM   #15
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Thanks for al the info,

I have the Airstream covered and I have been applying airflow to the open hatch. Will be re installing the fan soon with butyl underneath and then covering with Eternabond tape. Anyone have any reason not to cover with 4 inch eternabond? Seems like a good alternative to caulking type sealant.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:29 PM   #16
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Yes there rear bumper issue is there. I have it well covered at the moment as I make my way back along the roof. I am exploring removing the bumber rail and adding a small aluminum flashing section along the exterior skin, looking for best ideas to solve this issue permanently.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:58 PM   #17
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Sounds like you are getting good recomendations. Never dried out an Airstream, however ...... the guys who save Moore 24s from the dumpster recommend same approach. They put the boat in a heated enclosed building with multiple dehumidifiers running. The hot dry air removes the moisture that the fibreglass hull has absorbed through years of sailing, but it takes several months. You likely will have faster results. Hope all works well with your seal work. Pat
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