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Old 05-23-2019, 02:20 AM   #1
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Removing old sealant from roof radius?

As a follow up to a previous post, I'm ready to begin resealing my roof radius and assume that as much of the old sealant as possible should be removed? True?

If there is all ready a "best practice" for doing so, I'd just as soon not have to figure out a bunch of stuff that doesn't work first. I've gathered a fair amount of supplies that I suspect I'll need: razor knife (two kinds of blades), dental picks, denatured alcohol, small straight blade screw drivers, rags, new caulk (as recommended by Winnie and dealer) - anything else?

Thanks for any suggestions as I'd like to only do this once and do it right.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:25 AM   #2
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A Painters 5 in 1 tool. Knee Pads.

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Old 05-23-2019, 10:08 AM   #3
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You should be able to remove all of it. If the caulking is really old it may just pull out in strips. I found that a gentle pull along with some probing with an appropriately shaped tool worked pretty well.

I think mineral spirits or might work better than denatured alcohol but try both. Acetone is also good, especially for the final cleaning after using mineral spirits. I've never tried it but Goo Gone makes a caulking remover. A lot will depend on what type of caulking was used.

Whatever you use, wear gloves. Solvents, especially acetone can be absorbed through the skin.

Some older MHs like my 2002 Suncruiser, may have a rubber spline, like those used to hold screening onto screen door frames, pressed down into the bottom of the metal channel. Since it's not universal, I don't know how necessary it is but, if you have it, try and save it for re-use if you can. If not, you may be able to find a suitable diameter spline at the hardware store.

And make sure that any weep holes are clear, including after re-caulking.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I have one of the painters tools - it is very handy, I'll take it up with me.

BobC, the little I've messed with it, it does appear like it might come out in strips - here's hoping! I will look out for weep holes but will they be in the bottom of the track (never though of that) and how many do you suppose? One every couple to several feet?

If the weather cooperates (ha!) I'll be working on it tomorrow morning and I'll report back & maybe pics.

Thanks for the help
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:17 PM   #5
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Here's a profile of the extruded aluminum channel that Winnie uses, circa 2002.



It shows the weep holes are covered by the roofing so there's not much you'd need do to them unless your roof has pulled up and out of the channel.

It was the potential for repeated roof work that caused me to use Eternabond tape along the roof edges instead of caulking. Some prefer the caulking, but I'd rather not mess with it. My roof had the silicone type caulking come loose and was hanging down along the side wall in a few places when I noticed it hanging down over the main door. Kind of hard to miss. I was in Mexico at the time. Most pieces were only 6" long but one was a 4 foot long strip. That was after 1 year of ownership...I purchased in '16. So where I could, I gently pulled on it. Where it wouldn't come off for me, I just went ahead and had it covered with the Ebond tape as it was such a thin bead. That was two years ago and the Ebond is still looking fine. Roof edge article...

Hope the work goes well!
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:51 AM   #6
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Another Jim does the same. I first got, when I first got mine and read postings, OSI Quad caulk. Eh-eh ..did not work for me.

My major issues were the four, top corners where the main body joins the end caps. The MH must do a subtle 'Hula' going down the road. I also used Eternabond tape in a shingle layup. I could make a cauk line look better but not work as well.

The first cleaning is 'everything else' ..the final is alcohol. Good luck with it.


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Old 05-25-2019, 02:46 AM   #7
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So, we're making progress. It took 4 1/2 hours yesterday but I was able to remove the vast majority of the caulking on the left side roof radius. Interestingly, there were places (one four or five foot section) where the original caulk was still in good shape and adhering firmly and so I didn't dig that out but instead ran a small bead of new caulk over it. I hope that doesn't prove to be a mistake which I assume, time will tell. I also removed the caulk from both end caps (at the corners) and resealed them.

In reference to removing the old caulk, a number of things worked in various areas. The tool I used the most was a curved dental pick. Because it was curved it allowed me to get under the old caulk and the sharp point held onto it so I was able to pull a fair amount of it out in strips. The plumbers tool mentioned above also did a good job in places where the sharp edge cut through the caulk if I used it in a rocking motion. I also used a razor knife in places.

The final cleaning was done with a phillips head screw driver of a size appropriate to the track, denatured alcohol and a rag.

As for re-caulking, I'm reminded of a meme I saw on FB where they showed the difference between a $5 an hour bead of weld and a $25 an hour bead and my caulk job was closer to the first than the latter. However, I believe it to be sealed well and it is, after all,12 feet from the ground. I'll do the other side but I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

Now, there are a number of other areas that need to be caulked where I won't be taking the old caulk out, unless it's falling out, so now I have another question. How does one create a tiny bead of caulk for say, over the windows, without ending up with aschmierfink job of it? I don't mind a less than stellar look at 12 feet, but I would like it to look better where I'm going to see it all the time. Small beads and caulk guns with large tubes of caulk don't seem to be conducive to one another. Thoughts?

Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:41 AM   #8
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My work with caulking also looks like a $5 job with the small bead looking unprofessional. Lack of practice is the main reason.

I try to avoid using caulking wherever I can, and over the windows is no exception. I tried to find a different way to do it and came up with this: RV Rain Gutter

I put it over the front windows and like the look and the ease of installation enough that I put it over all the other windows...except those covered by the main awning. Did find that it's best to install on a warm day. Comes in black and white.

So far after 2 years it's holding up well. And no maintenance to do.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
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You haven't said, are you going to use Eternabond as Jim and I have recommended?
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:19 PM   #10
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Upin, Calk-over-calk will be interesting to see if a good bond is made. From my boating days, I cannot seem to remember any 'cured' chemicals bonding well to 'uncured'. (maybe a swipe of acetone to destabilize the old?)

I would first lay down masking take on either side if I was looking for the best job ...but, I once saw a video that I have bookmarked.




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Old 05-26-2019, 02:19 AM   #11
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Jim, the gutters look interesting. Do you have any pics of them on your RV? I'd like to see them in place before considering investing in them. Although never having to caulk around the windows again is a pleasant thought.

Bob C, although I considered Eternabond, and will likely keep a roll on hand for emergencies, I can't put it on at this time. I'm working by myself with one ladder and just don't see how it would come out looking good. This 4 1/2 hours on a ladder kind of took it out of me so the other side may have to be done in stages, making sure of a good seal between the two areas.


Wetstuff - great video, wish I had seen in before I caulked that edge, although as I said, I believe I forced the caulk way down in the track so I'm certainly hoping to have a good seal. Maybe now the other side will look a little more professional. Also, I understand about caulk on caulk but it may come down to "let's see what happens."


I certainly appreciate all of the comments and tips. Thanks
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:43 AM   #12
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I see that you are well into your project, but I will add my 2 cents anyways. Maybe someone will find some benefit.

I second the use of a painter’s 5 in 1 tool. The one that I have has the pointed part sharpened on both sides. I found it easier to cut the old caulk by dragging the tool through the caulk rather than pushing. I also keep the tool’s edge sharp with a file.

https://www.menards.com/main/paint/p...3132523&ipos=4

I also use a silicone finishing tool to smooth the edge of the caulk. It leaves a nice smooth uniform caulk bead. The caulk can be tapered so that no water can pool along this roof edge.

https://www.amazon.com/Outus-Sealant...s%2C644&sr=8-5
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
Jim, the gutters look interesting. Do you have any pics of them on your RV? I'd like to see them in place before considering investing in them. Although never having to caulk around the windows again is a pleasant thought.

Yes, there's some pictures of the gutter in my blog article: Installing Gutters

Bob C, although I considered Eternabond, and will likely keep a roll on hand for emergencies, I can't put it on at this time. I'm working by myself with one ladder and just don't see how it would come out looking good. This 4 1/2 hours on a ladder kind of took it out of me so the other side may have to be done in stages, making sure of a good seal between the two areas.

Wetstuff - great video, wish I had seen in before I caulked that edge, although as I said, I believe I forced the caulk way down in the track so I'm certainly hoping to have a good seal. Maybe now the other side will look a little more professional. Also, I understand about caulk on caulk but it may come down to "let's see what happens."


I certainly appreciate all of the comments and tips. Thanks
As far as installing the Eternabond by yourself, with a ladder, just cut the tape into 6 foot strips and butt them together as you apply them to the roof. If you accidentally leave a crack, it can be filled with silicone. I also recommend cutting the tape if it's windy. The Ebond I recommend for the edges is only 2" wide so pretty easy to work with alone.

Can't see it taking more than an hour or two for one person. Roof needs to be clean and dry and most of the residue of the old caulking removed if it's smeared all over. If it's only that fine bead that Winnebago makes during manufacture, just pull the loose stuff and cover the caulking that remains with Ebond. If it was smeared all over like I've seen on some roofs, you'll have to scrape most of that off using the usual methods so the Ebond has somewhere to stick. I has to be removed in any case even if you use new caulking instead of Ebond. Refer to my earlier post with the link for more information.

Good luck and I'd suggest if possible having one of your neighbors stand by while you're working on the ladder...even if it's just watching out their window. I do that all the time in RV parks when I'm working alone on something that for me might be potentially dangerous. I also carry my phone while working on the roof or on a ladder.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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The Eternabond tape is pretty easy to work with since it has a peel off paper backing so you roll it up and peel as you go. I also found it easier to work from the roof instead of from a ladder. If you feel uncomfortable kneeling so close to the edge you can always lie down.

I also bought 4" and split it with a straight edge and razor knife. I think it was cheaper but, in any case, having 4" gave me the flexibility of different widths for different purposes.
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