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Old 02-24-2015, 04:38 PM   #1
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How to remove silicone caulk

I got on top of my trailer today to seal the fantastic fan and found a lot of silicone on the seam where the roof panels end and the end cap starts is there anything that Will remove the silicone after I scrape off as much as I can first ?

Joe
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
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I used the silicon caulk remover that is available form Vintage Trailer Supply. Was very pleased with the performance (& service from VTS).

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have incredible amounts of silicone on my trailer from the PO. THe remover I purchased from Home Depot just didn't work very well. It did a heck of a job removing the clear coat, not so great at the silicone. Will have to check into VTS's remover...

-Red, desperate to de-siliconize...
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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Drape a rag soaked in mineral spirits over the silicone for about 20 min and it will soften it up and make it easy to remove.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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I will look at VTS also.
Thanks
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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You can get Malco Cosmoline Remover. A couple minutes' rubbing with a cloth soaked in the stuff, and the silicone will wrinkle up and scrape off easily.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #7
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I got on top of my trailer today to seal the fantastic fan and found a lot of silicone on the seam where the roof panels end and the end cap starts is there anything that Will remove the silicone after I scrape off as much as I can first ?

Joe
Hi Joe

There is no easy answer for this, and the difficulty of removal and effectiveness of the various products will vary from one project to the next. Whether due to age of the silicone, care taken in application, or formulation of the product used, I do not know.

I have had the best results with a heat gun and an improvised wooden scraper. A paint stir stick or a doorframe shim will work. Plastic scrapers will soften in the heat and metal ones will scratch the aluminum. Care must be taken not to damage or ignite anything nearby.

I have used the silicone remover sold by VTS. While effective, it is slow going and will not work especially well on thick applications of silicone. It is also expensive.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:39 PM   #8
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I too have used a heat gun on silicone but not on my AS. The application was on metal ducting that had been slip-sealed with silicone as they were joined together. It loosened them up in no time and was able to disassemble very easily. As I recall the vapors were toxic so ventilation may be appropriate. It was somewhat messy. Good luck.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:05 PM   #9
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My trailer required a lot of elbow grease, careful mechanical removable with many straight edge razor blades.


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Old 02-25-2015, 03:09 PM   #10
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WJC - what year is your coach? If it's a relatively newer Airstream you may be seeing factory roof caulk. Is it white and silicone "feeling", and alongside as well as inside the "panel gaps"? I discovered the shiny white caulk on the roof seams of our 2014 FC 27fb is factory and while not silicone per se it is silicone like.....in that nothing else sticks to it. It may be Sikaflex (polyurethane) or Dicor or something like that............

If your coach is say 10 years old or older and the caulk looks like a previous owners "the bigger the glob the better the job" project over the top of everything up there then it's probably silicone.......


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Old 02-25-2015, 03:17 PM   #11
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I despise silicone calking. Cant stand the stuff. It should ONLY be used INSIDE the joint where two pieces lap, never to fill or seal an exterior gap.

Eventually this stuff starts peeling and it looks like CRAP, it is hard to fix, and it is just bad. I would sooner use latex as silicone for seam sealing.


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Old 02-25-2015, 03:37 PM   #12
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I despise silicone calking. Cant stand the stuff. It should ONLY be used INSIDE the joint where two pieces lap, never to fill or seal an exterior gap.

Eventually this stuff starts peeling and it looks like CRAP, it is hard to fix, and it is just bad. I would sooner use latex as silicone for seam sealing.


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I will only use Vulkem, or an equivalent type caulk. I hate the silicone with a passion. I can take a die grinder with a mild abrasive wheel, get the outer layer of the old Vulkem off, then wipe with mineral spirits to remove the rest... So much nicer when you have to reseal.

-Red, anti-silicone...
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:31 PM   #13
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I have a 88 Excella 29' my father owned the AS before me and gave it to me last year when he stopped traveling he is the one that put the silicone on it there is some also on the rub rails and over some of the windows also my worry is if I don't clean off the silicone on the roof seams good enough the new sealant will not stick and reseal the seam. It is not leaking now
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:33 PM   #14
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How to remove silicone caulk

Silicone should NEVER BE USED ON AN RV!!!!!!!! ANYWHERE!!!!

PERIOD.


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Old 02-25-2015, 05:07 PM   #15
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........ also my worry is if I don't clean off the silicone on the roof seams good enough the new sealant will not stick and reseal the seam. It is not leaking now

When you start taking it off, clean it off well. If you are judicious with a straight edge razor, it will come off clean. You will need to get it all off for new calking to work.

You will go through several blades in a short time so I recommend that you just buy a box of a hundred...

My 72 had silicone EVERYWHERE and lots of it. Cleaning that stuff off sucked big time...





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Old 02-25-2015, 05:15 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info I did not think it was going to be simple. This forum is great

Joe
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:28 PM   #17
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Thanks for the info I did not think it was going to be simple.
Joe
It is good you are accepting reality. Anything that makes it easy to remove will probably remove things you don't want to remove. Acetone is my last resort solvent, but it removes clear coat too and I'm not sure silicone is vulnerable to it. I go the scrape route when I find silicone caulk in my house, although I might also try denatured alcohol just because it might help (unfortunately you can't drink it), but it makes me feel like it may be easier to scrape.

The irony of silicone is that something so hard to remove still leaks after several years. There are caulks with a mixture of silicone and other things—they are the paintable caulks. I don't know if they are as bad as silicone, but I'd stay away from them unless you find out that answer. I use Sikaflex.

Gene
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:34 PM   #18
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Silicone should NEVER BE USED ON AN RV!!!!!!!! ANYWHERE!!!!

PERIOD.


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or a lot of other places either!

Interestingly enough Keystone is using it in copious quantities on the Coleman line of travel trailers.

Aaron
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:27 PM   #19
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or a lot of other places either!

Interestingly enough Keystone is using it in copious quantities on the Coleman line of travel trailers.

Aaron
WAIT.....'till the leaking starts!!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:11 AM   #20
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Just curious about Sikaflex -- How hard is it to remove?
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