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Main Forum => Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: Ron Dittmer on October 23, 2015, 05:00:51 pm

Title: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 23, 2015, 05:00:51 pm
Now that our rig is in hibernation, I am going through my list of things found when cleaning up the rig at the end of this season.  Many things are applicable to everyone, this one in particular can get serious if ignored.

On our roof (and yours too) every vent is sealed to the fiberglass roof at the factory using what looks like a thick white poured liquid the consistency of molasses.  That soft white rubbery material on our roof is now eight years old but has seen much less than one year's worth of sun exposure.  Our rubber is still very soft and pliable, but is splitting apart in very small amounts around the perimeter at the edges of the Fantastic fan, bathroom fan, and bathroom skylight.  It is not significant but it is there.  I do not see any water stains on the inside ceiling anywhere so maybe there is more of the same goop between roof and flanges, preventing the water from getting inside.

I bought a squeeze tube of white outdoor use 100% silicone caulk and touched up the areas in question.

I know most of you store your rigs outdoors, always exposed to the elements.  Maybe you with older and even newer rigs have the same issue developing as us.  I recommend you get up on your roof and closely inspect that white poured sealant for any separation or cracking, and seal up anything questionable.....especially before winter sets in.

I hope you share what you find here for others to read about the severity or lack there of.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Barry-Sue on October 23, 2015, 09:34:56 pm
When we had to have something resealed on the roof it was resealed with Dicor self leveling sealant.  This is what the RV industry uses.  It has a higher flexibilty then silicone and we were not mixing two different types of sealants.  Will be much easier if repairs have to be made to the same area in the future.  
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 23, 2015, 09:57:07 pm
You make a good point about mixing products.  I will find out over time if a made a boo boo.  I'll have to keep an eye on it.

Funny though.  I am not impressed with the original sealer.  It seems too easy to get damaged, too easy to fail.  It shrinks a little, then starts to split apart.  I even question it's adhesion in the areas where it starts to fail.  Considering our rig stays inside a dark garage with temps between 60 and 80 degrees most of it's life, I expected better performance from that product.  It's not a train wreck of a failure though.  Just little spots here and there.  I wonder why it's happening on our rig considering it's level of preservation.  It appears that Phoenix did an excellent job of preparation and applying the product so I rule that out.

I wonder how 100% silicone caulk would perform in the same application.  I would handle it much more carefully for the application.  Maybe one day if this gets bad enough, I will remove the worst vent, clean it up extremely well, and try 100% silicone caulk.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: 2 Frazzled on October 24, 2015, 04:07:45 am
Ron, I know you only get a few weeks a year in the Phoenix but your posts look like most of those weeks are in the southwest. I'm wondering if the dry air might have an added affect on the sealant. I know when we were in Colorado and Utah, the dry air was killing my sinuses and skin so I figure it would do the same to the rubber and sealants on the rig. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Barry-Sue on October 24, 2015, 07:47:18 am
Ron,

Fiberglass has a broad expansion and contraction factor regarding temperature changes and that is why the leveling sealant is used, mainly because of its flexibility.  The leveling sealant doesn't look pretty but that is the way it is suppose to look and yes it does stay somewhat pliable. Eight years is a great run for any product. UV really is hard on any material.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 24, 2015, 09:12:27 am
Ron, I know you only get a few weeks a year in the Phoenix but your posts look like most of those weeks are in the southwest. I'm wondering if the dry air might have an added affect on the sealant. I know when we were in Colorado and Utah, the dry air was killing my sinuses and skin so I figure it would do the same to the rubber and sealants on the rig. Just a thought.
We have been in the dessert region for about 6 weeks total, but never in the heat of the summer.  I doubt that is influential.

Actually our rig has never seen temps over 85 except at home when we had a summer-time garage sale, and the rig is parked outside.  Our under-the-house garage is partially underground which keeps everything in a/c like temps.  We typically travel later in the season when families are back home and the kids are back in school.  And I have enough vacation time banked at work.  They won't let employees carry over more than one week from the previous year which makes a 3-4 week impossible to take in the spring time.   :'(
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 24, 2015, 09:17:17 am
Eight years is a great run for any product.
I guess so.

Still....
Everyone please take my warning serious and inspect your own roof goop, Dicor.  It would hurt me to read of water marks on PC ceilings when it was easily preventable.  I am just looking out for my PC family here.  I am not complaining, just sharing a "Heads-Up".
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: gradygal on October 24, 2015, 09:20:55 am
Last year, I found a similar issue while inspecting the roof. I posted what I found last November on the Forum.  I used Dicor which was recommended by Kermit. Dicor has instructional videos on how to clean and apply the product.

George
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: TomHanlon on October 24, 2015, 02:20:07 pm
As much as I like silicone caulk, there must be a very good reason everyone is using Dicor to seal roofs. So when I need to reseal it will be with Dicor.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on October 24, 2015, 06:00:06 pm
As much as I like silicone caulk, there must be a very good reason everyone is using Dicor to seal roofs. So when I need to reseal it will be with Dicor.
  I suppose I should have gotten the Dicor product, but outdoor silicone caulk is just too convenient to purchase. :)  And the squeeze tube is just too easy to work with.  I will see what happens.  Sometimes I just do what makes sense at the time.  Hopefully this time with no regrets later.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: 2 Frazzled on October 25, 2015, 04:44:22 am
We carry a small tube of clear silicone caulk in our repair kit just in case. While it might not be the best product for every job, there may be times we are far from a store and need a quick repair. It may wind up on our roof one day until we can get the Dicor.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: butch50 on February 06, 2016, 02:04:48 pm
A newbee here to the PC forum but not to RVs. I have been Rving for over 40 years and through many rigs. I presently have a Winnebago Sprinter but am looking to switch to a PC.

Just to let you know that if you ever need to reseal that area it is going to be a job. In the first place nothing sticks to silicone once it has been applied, not even silicone well stick to silicone once it is set up. So you have to clean the silicone off before you can redo it and it is next to impossible to get all of the silicone off without a lot of effort. Do ask me how I know this.

Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on February 06, 2016, 03:06:01 pm
Good tip butch50  2o2

Being the original poster here, I did want to emphasis how minor & tiny the cracks were in the original sealant.  All cracks combined, I think I applied 4x the equivalent of toothpaste people put on their tooth brush.  If I had a worse condition, I'd be asking some questions here on how best to handle it.  I feel what little I applied and that I applied it only in hairline-ish cracks of old sealant, I did good, not harm.

Though the original sealant is still very soft, the cracks formed from what I believe to be shrinkage from age.  It surely is not from the elements for our rig is hardly ever outdoors and rarely ever seen temps below freezing.  It is outdoors maybe 4 summertime weeks a year.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Sarz272000 on February 06, 2016, 09:00:40 pm
I applied silicone chalk to my travel trailer which had rubber roof and dicor type sealant. The next year I could actually peel off the silicone I applied. It didn't adhere. So be careful and check it in the spring.

Ron
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: Ron Dittmer on February 06, 2016, 09:12:17 pm
Oh boy.....Thanks for the warning.  I will be watching for it.
Title: Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours
Post by: fandj on April 16, 2016, 09:59:14 pm
Since I am relatively new to the PC forum I have been reading through some of the earlier posts and saw this thread on resealing previously caulked areas.  My experience with silicone caulk has not been very good.  The problem with it is nothing will permanently adhere to it not even more silicone.  Once used it is next to impossible to get all of it off to recaulk.  I know there are a lot of manufacturers using silicone which can seal for awhile but it is when the eventual crack or detachment occurs that resealing issues begin.

This article explains some the properties of some of available sealants, adhesives, and bedding materials.

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2013/April/how-to-pick-the-right-sealant.asp

I am certainly no expert but it appears the Dicor self leveling material is widely used.  It is relatively easy to touch up minor cracks in the Dicor by first cleaning the area to be recoated with mineral spirits and then using the Dicor self leveling material generously.  By remaining rubbery it has reasonably good elongation properties but looses some of that with age and exposure. The article above explains the importance of elongation in reducing failure for sealants.

I have successfully used butyl tapes (very good elongation properties) but its main use is bedding of components not touching up cracks.  The article also discusses butyl tapes.