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Old 04-28-2020, 04:12 PM   #1
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Is a bird eating my caulking?!

I just finished my 6-month roof cleaning, inspection and 303 application. In 8 years of RVing, this is a first. It appears something is eating the self-leveling caulking on the roof. The RV is 3 years old and the this original caulking is still very flexible like new.

Any ideas what can be doing this? By the marks, it looks like it could be a large bird.

I may add a camera on the roof to catch the animal red-handed.

I already ordered new sealant from Lichtsinn. Surprisingly, it's on backorder for 2-3 weeks from Winnebago.

[IMG]sewer vent by Al Moser, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]skylight by Al Moser, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]skylight by Al Moser, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:52 PM   #2
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Do you have any bird treats up there (bugs)? That is strange.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:20 PM   #3
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Not that I could see. As you can see, you can practically eat off the roof. :-)
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:34 PM   #4
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Definitely looks like an animal, will be interesting to see what the "critter cam" comes up with.


Question I have is why not just make the move to Eternabond and bypass the dicor/sealant?
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:27 PM   #5
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Wow, I guess this is a first in RVdom. Iíll let you know what I find out.

As for tape, I prefer to keep using what Winnebago built it with for now. Weíll see if the bird with an appetite for NuFlex 311 makes me reconsider. :-)
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:36 PM   #6
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My money is on a confused woodpecker.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:10 PM   #7
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After researching, many birds, especially crows and vultures, are known to each lap sealant.

Not much can be done except to cover the roof, get a fake owl, or scare them away with noise.

Someone said never to use citrus scented soap to wash the RV, as birds are attracted to it and will try to find the hidden fruit they think is underneath the sealant. My RV dealer gave me a complimentary wash after my annual service a little over a month ago. I wonder if the soap they used attracted the birds. If so, I just rewashed the RV with Mcguiers so maybe that will solve the problem. Ug.
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:25 PM   #8
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Not that I could see. As you can see, you can practically eat off the roof. :-)
I thought that was the problem!

Wash it in Snake Oil.

The Woodpeckers are in full bloom in the RGV. They use the facia of the patio as a sounding board, to attract mates.

Rubber snakes help somewhat.
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:52 PM   #9
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Another issue with citrus scented, or citrus containing soaps/detergents, are that they can cause some plastics to discolor and/or get cloudy/opaque, particularly some headlight lenses. fyi.
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:07 PM   #10
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So to summarize, maybe I should never wash the roof and let it build up a good protective layer of dirt! Hmmm, Iíll have to think about that. :-)
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:20 PM   #11
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After researching, many birds, especially crows and vultures, are known to each lap sealant............
Turkey vultures and black vultures, also called "buzzards" around here, have been known to eat the black rubber around the windows and doors of trucks parked at several different boat ramps here in northwest Alabama. A friend of mine had his brand new truck "attacked" by "buzzards" a couple of years ago while he was fishing a bass tournament which caused well over $10,000 in damages, and a number of other trucks were damaged as well. Prevailing wisdom around here is that they seem to have some sort of an affinity for white trucks for some reason. Maybe your roof is just too darn clean!!

Oh, and they're federally protected under the Migratory Bird Act and, as such, you can't shoot or harass them, so we can't really do a whole lot about it other than try to avoid those areas they've been known to inhabit.
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Old 04-29-2020, 04:16 PM   #12
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Good advice! But this happened in our RV storage yard.
There was no new damage today and I’ve set up a camera on the roof.
I’ll also talk to the manager at the storage facility to see if there was any other damage reported.

[IMG]RV Roof 1 by Al Moser, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:14 PM   #13
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Ok, 5 days in and the security camera on the roof of my RV has not detected a single bird! It has, however, detected a lot of motor homes coming and going! I know we are itching to take ours out and hope our reservations in early June stick!
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:34 PM   #14
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I sure hope you donít get any more damage. One time, when we were camping, a bird kept pecking at our rubber seal around the window. Fortunately, it did t do any damage.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:17 PM   #15
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Some caulks and roofing materials contain fish oil. That is the reason foam roofs went out of business a few years ago. Birds would eat them. Not sure you can check the materials for your caulk but it might be the reason.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:45 PM   #16
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Birds

My guess is crows, i have aeen them pull caulking off on houses.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:49 PM   #17
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The plastic underneath the lap sealant looks suspiciously clean to me. I'd consider taking a small flat tool and check that the lap sealant is actually adhering to the plastic by seeing if it pries up easily. Also push down on all of it and see if there appear to be any "bubbles" underneath, other places it has not adhered.

I think Dicor requires that you use a primer or it won't adhere and water can get underneath it. It's apparently not uncommon for the primer to be missed during construction.

If I were a bird, I wouldn't be so discriminating that I would just eat the inner edge when so much more, especially the outer edges, is more easily accessible to my beak.

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Old 05-06-2020, 05:02 PM   #18
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Judging by the jagged marks, I'd say it a bird.
Off the subject. You stated you use 303 protestant.
Is this instead of or in addition to waxing??
I use 303 on spa cover and automotive and it works very well.
Getting ready for spring prep and hate the waxing routine.
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:04 PM   #19
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Being from the construction industry, this is a common problem. I have examined countless leaks in metal panels and nearly every one was caused by damaged caulk from birds pecking it. Whether they are bored, smell something in the caulk or just being destructive, it is habitual. On buildings, the simple solution is spike strips. Not that simple for an RV.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:25 PM   #20
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I had the same problem with woodpeckers going after the aluminum panels on my back porch. They would not touch the galvanized materials on the main house or wood just the aluminum.
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