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Old 07-31-2021, 07:34 AM   #1
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2020 22' Bambi
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Want to fix my caulking job

Hey all.

Hate caulking. No good at it and always mess it up!

Was reattaching a falling rub rail. Applied Sikaflex to seal it. Went well until I removed the painter’s tape and it lifted part of the caulking after which I proceeded to try and fix it. Made matters worse. Result is in the photo.

I want to redo it. How long should I wait before trying to pull it off and start again? I applied it 24 hours ago.

Also, when I do it again, is the trick to use mineral spirits to smooth it out prior to removing the painter’s tape?

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:46 AM   #2
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The only time I use tape is when I caulk with Silver Parbond. It skins over quickly and I can remove the tape. On polyurethane caulk, I clean the surface with lacquer thinner and run a thin bead. Then I squirt some liquid Dawn in a cup of water and paint some soapy water on the caulk with a small soft brush, then use my finger to smooth the bead. If any caulk smears out of place, I use a small plastic putty knife and scrape the excess off. Practice makes perfect. Good luck
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:29 PM   #3
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I would use ISO Alcohol and thoroughly clean all the areas. I would tape to get the clean lines but try to work the caulking down so there are thick areas next to the tape. Carefully remove the tape pulling away from the caulking to avoid pulling it off.

Should look better than new!

Sikaflex might state something different other than Alcohol. You might want to save some alcohol for yourself after all the challenges with your trailer

I use Dow 795 or CW in Anodized Aluminum colour.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_nb View Post
Sikaflex might state something different other than alcohol. You might want to save some alcohol for yourself after all the challenges with your trailer
lol

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:19 PM   #5
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I use acetone for cleaning up the surface and removing old caulk. The only time I use tape is where reaching the joint is difficult and I don't want the caulking on something else. Otherwise just make the smallest opening on the tube you need to puncture the seal and then apply very little.
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:16 PM   #6
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I just re-caulked all the seams on my 1994 Excella 25-ft. Don't know exactly how many feet of caulking that was, but it seemed like about a mile.

At first I was trying to use tape to get a neat and narrow caulk line, but I found that no matter how quickly I pulled the tape it had already started to skin over and resulted in a sloppy edge.

I was using both Parbond aluminum and Acryl-R, depending on which areas I was working. What I found is that with a little practice it's possible to get a very neat and narrow line with both of these products, although I did also have one tube of Parbond where the end of the nozzle got smooshed a bit - this resulted in a narrower opening which helped even more.

The bead of caulking seems to sit higher than is desired at first, but after a few days it settles down and really looked good. No smoothing was necessary and the few places I tried to do so it only made it look worse.

My suggestion is to practice laying a smooth bead with a tube of Parbond. Even if it takes an entire $14 tube to practice, it's a skill worth having. Once you can lay down a smooth narrow bead you don't need to tape or work the caulking once applied.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:11 AM   #7
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The guy in the slip next to me at the marina was re-caulking his windows with black Sikaflex and looked like he knew how to do it. I asked him what his secret was, as my caulking skills were in the gutter. He said that besides putting blue tape on either side and laying down a bead of caulk, the answer is to spray on Windex, use one's finger to spread the caulk, and then to remove the tape. My caulking skills have improved noticeably.
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:05 PM   #8
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All good advice. Thank you everybody. Plan on trying the mineral spirits idea next time. For this repair, now that it’s fully cured, I think I’ll let it be. As @richard9533 says, it settled and now looks not too bad. Give it a few hundred miles of dirt and grime and it’ll look just like the rest of the caulking. ;-)
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgentum View Post
The guy in the slip next to me at the marina was re-caulking his windows with black Sikaflex and looked like he knew how to do it. I asked him what his secret was, as my caulking skills were in the gutter. He said that besides putting blue tape on either side and laying down a bead of caulk, the answer is to spray on Windex, use one's finger to spread the caulk, and then to remove the tape. My caulking skills have improved noticeably.
Yes I just learned that trick, I am using the foam Windex, works great. It only takes a little bit and the foam doesn't run off right away.
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