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Old 05-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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What is the best tool and cleaner to remove caulk on roof edges?

I have to remove a small area of loose caulk found during my roof inspection. What is the best tool and cleaner to use to remove the old caulk without damaging the roof or the J channel.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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When I resealed my skylight I used a plastic putty knife to pull up the old caulking and pulled it out with my hands. Then I used a kitchen degreaser spray cleaner to clean the area before resealing it.

I suppose there are others ways to do this, but this worked well for me.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #3
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A pretty good cleaner is 90% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol available at your local pharmacy, Wallys, etc. Take the spray top off another spray bottle you'd otherwise toss & put it directly on the iso bottle, or fill & relabel the spent spray bottle. Evaporates clean, no oily rags to worry about, and does an excellent job on a lot of clean up messes. Also, very cheap.

On flat roof against fiberglass skin on top (not on painted rolled edge) I've used a 1.5" metal putty knife, worked slowly to remove the "self leveling" type of caulk common on roof vents & penetrations. Push nearly parallel (mostly straight ahead & only slightly down against roof) to avoid cutting into the fiberglass sheet and most self leveling stuff shears off fairly clean. Alcohol & elbow grease to take off the small skips that are left.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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I took a old screw driver and bent the end over 90 degrees to scrape the old caulk out of the channel between the roof and rain gutter. Then used a razor scraper to clean the fiberglass of the remaining caulk. Then I used 3M Scotch Brite and BarKeepers cleanser. Worked well for me, just don't get in a hurry.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:23 AM   #6
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Before I traded my Winnebago Voyage without full body paint, I used this knife from Harbor Freight - Hobby Knife with Five Carving Blades.
It is very flexible and can contour with the roof as well as the awning rail. I cut loose the two sides then just pulled the caulk bead out. It came out in several feet lenghts. Any residue I would go back over with the flexible blade. Then I cleaned with denatured alcohol. Seemed to work pretty well.
An air nozel to blow it out was helpful as well if you have access to a compressor.

Have not worked with the new unit as I have only had it a few weeks, so not sure if it will work with the full body paint.

Good Luck,
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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Had good luck with lacquer thinner. Wear gloves tho.
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