Roof re seal advice

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by Marblerun22, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Marblerun22

    Marblerun22 New Member

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    Hey all, just wanted to get some advice. I noticed last trip my camper roof seals were starting to look pretty dried out. I was thinking it might be time to get ahead of this and scrape off the old seal and apply new before it starts leaking. Any suggestions on a good sealant to use for this? Also any good tips on removing the old stuff would be great too! Thanks M
     
  2. Up the Mountain

    Up the Mountain Member

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    What kind of PUP are we dealing with? and do you mean edge seams along the front and back, the corners, or the vent?
     
  3. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    I just had to redo the roof vent and roof seams, (thread here: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=76277.new#new). I used the following on this camper, and have used it on my last rig as well, with great results.

    Roof Vent: Sikaflex 715 Self Leveling
    Side seams and around all accessory ports, seams, etc.. on the body of the camper: Sikaflex 221

    I have used Acetone or Rubbing alcohol to dip your finger in when "re-tooling" the edges before it dries, but it will depend on your roof as to whether acetone reacts to the plastic or not. Rubbing alcohol is fine for any roof, I'd imagine.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing that is permanent, and you will likely need to re-do it every year or every other year.
     
  4. Marblerun22

    Marblerun22 New Member

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    Excellent thread here thanks! I have a 99 Viking to be exact. It isn't leaking or anything yet. The way I was always taught is to be proactive so I'm thinking since it's showing it's age no better time to do preventative maintenance and make the seals like new again for many more years of camping for the roof! This thread answers my questions on a few products I was looking at to use. Thanks!
     
  5. JayT_B

    JayT_B New Member

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    I have seen quite a few posts as to what to use to seal the roof and side wall joints. I have also seen a few suggestions to use rubbing alcohol or a citrus cleaner for removing the old sealant. Well I have tried both. The sealant is actually tuff enough to be messing up the edge of my plastic puddy knife. I had to stop as I can't get it off. It is only coming off in 1/4" chunks. At this rate it will take forever. I am half tempted to just clean and seal over the existing sealant.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Jace
     
  6. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Been there, done that, many of us have, so here's the skinny on removing sealant and butyl tape. Resist the urge to double up as you'll just end up coating the joints with and expensive mess of sealant that probably won't serve any real purpose.

    I'd recommend that you refrain from using anything until you've got the bulk of the butyl off. It'll take a good long while but that's just how it is. You can try to speed up the process but you've already found that to be somewhat counterproductive.

    Pull off what you can and roll it into a ball. When you've got it balled up, dab the ball of butyl tape onto the tape you want to remove. With any luck, it'll stick to the ball in your hand and start lifting off. You can remove any butyl tape residue using an autobody paint prep and rag or even just Varsol. It won't damage the paint as long as you don't leave it on for more than a few minutes but be sure to wipe it off completely.

    Using Varsol and/or paint prep on any other sealants (other than silicone) should yield similar results, but again, patience is key. You're just going to have to work at it and that's all there is to it.

    Even GooGone or SimpleGreen HD (citrus based) cleaner helps but I've found the spray gel worked best if left for several hours and in extreme cases, overnight. I found this particularly true with Dicor, SikaFlex and similar sealants. I prefer Simple Green HD as you can buy it in gallon jugs for $14 at Home Depot. The great thing about Simple Green HD is that you can adjust the potency by using it straight up or diluted with warm water. Here too, it's painstaking work to remove old sealant but easier when the stuff has softened up. In essence, it's a cat and mouse game between "what works" and "how badly does it damage the paint".

    In an extreme cases, Acetone will work but it's exceedingly hard on paint and should be avoided as much as possible.

    I've tried 3M 5200, SikaFlex and similar polyurethane sealants but they all pretty much end up requiring replacement after a few seasons. I recently resealed my entire roof after coating with U-Pol Raptor bed liner but chose Marine Goop to seal everything including the roof vent, plastic corners and edge trim. The stuff is UV resistant, self leveling, dries clear, can be touched up or even removed cleanly just by pulling or rubbing on it, plus it's got pretty good adhesive properties as well.

    If you make a mess, you can cut off the excess or just wipe it off when you apply it and rub away anything else with your finger after it's cured. While you can't put it on thick, because it's strong and flexible, it doesn't take much to achieve a great seal either. On application, you can tool it with your finger, and really press it into the joint to make sure it sets exactly where you want it.

    You can get it in the squeeze tubes or better still, in caulking tubes for about $9.99 a tube (though they might be hard to find at Home Depot). After a season of summer sun and rain, it's still sitting on the driveway and looks just as good as the day I put it on.

    Here's a link to a pic of my roof right after completion. Note that you can barely see the sealant but rest assured that it's absolutely water tight, baby!
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=72664.msg671435#msg671435
     
  7. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Dubbya,

    Bringing this thread back from the dead, in hopes that you had pictures of how the Marine Goop looks months (or years) down the line?

    Have had a few areas where the Sikaflex 221 has separated at a seam lately, but it may be due to it (not) sticking to the original caulk that was on there from the factory.

    Thanks!
     
  8. sealacamp

    sealacamp New Member

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    Marine goop will work but it is more expensive and harder to apply than NP1. NP1 won't let go, assuming you have a clean substrate, for at least 30+ years. Not sure about the longevity of marine goop.
     
  9. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Thanks sealacamp, but I am looking for info on marine goop. I do not want to apply something I'll be stuck with for 30 years. While the NP1 may be a good adhesive and caulking, I want to be able to remove it if I have to.
     
  10. banks412

    banks412 New Member

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    I'm a little late to the party here, but I can say that if you're sealing seams, Eternabond is an INCREDIBLE product for this. I used it to reseal my roof's main seam and it not only looks great, I know for a fact it won't leak. I also modified the Eternabond a bit and cut out half dollar sized 'patches' of Eternabond and used them to cover the end cap screws that were leaking and causing the wood panels in the roof to rot. Between that and a new coat of paint on the roof, I guarantee you no water will come from the roof leaking. Look into Eternabond - you won't regret it for seam sealing....
     
  11. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, KMH. Thank goodness for sealacamp's post and the resulting notification!

    Here's the skinny on Marine Goop over the long term. It's been a year since I redid my roof now. While the camper was stored in the garage all winter, I've found some yellowing on the broad bead I laid around my roof vent and along the roof edge trim but none on the smaller thin beads I laid to seal the endboard trim. It's not very aesthetically pleasing but it doesn't look horrible by any stretch so I can live with it.

    In terms of performance and durability, It's still holding up well, it just seems to have yellowed due to UV exposure. The Goop I used behind the end caps is still just as translucent as it was immediately after it cured. I guess it's like everything else that's said to be "UV Resistant", it's not "UV proof". Doesn't matter to me though. I'd still recommend it as overall, it's still holding very well and hasn't leaked at all.

    Along the roof edge trim, I need to touch it up here and there but only because the Goop was laid down in a pretty minimalistic bead and the butyl tape is forcing it away from the trim, similar to what it usually does with any other sealant. Nothing major, just a few spots that are under a few inches long where the butyl needed someplace to go when it heated up in the sun.

    I think that if I had to do it over again, I'd forgo the butyl tape entirely and just run a thin bead of Marine Goop on the top and sidewall edges of the roof before I put the trim on, then run another light bead on either edge of the trim and tool it with my finger just to finish it off nicely and leave a nice clean edge.

    It doesn't attract dirt or turn black like some sealants and silicone do either.
     

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