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A roof leak and rot repair


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#1 OFFLINE   samiam

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 12:23 PM

I've got some rot. Where the front cap meets the roof and meets the wall, on the passenger side. I would like advice on how to proceed with a repair. #5 below is where the repair process starts…

1. I think this is a vinyl roof. the material feels like vinyl, it has a very thin felt-ish backing. The owner's manual calls it "Patrick RV 2000" material. I had one RV repairman tell me vinyl wasn't waterproof - is that true? I can't believe that. i found no holes in the vinyl. I really think it was a poor sealing job with the wrong caulk to begin with.

2. I pulled back the interior sidewall panel and found the plywood damaged just around the top inch of the corner of the wall. maybe three square inches, but not much. On the roof I unfastened the metal transition strip joining the fiberglass cap to the roof, and also the top of the metal trim piece that joins the sidewall to the fiberglass cap and roof.

3. The plywood roof was wet from the corner about to midway across the front, right along the edge of the fib-cap. it was damp from the corner back towards the camper rear about a foot. i peeled vinyl roofing until i'd exposed totally dry wood. The framing in the fib-cap had water on it, but it seemed like it was clear fresh water, perhaps released from the roof at the time I pulled things apart. I found no evidence of damage on the fib-cap framing.

4. Looks like it's 1/4" plywood roofing. I removed a 3"x5" piece at the corner due to wet rot, and a few small pieces of plywood within a square foot of the corner, although most pieces were just some top layers of the plywood and not completely through the roof. Altogether I have the 3"x5" hole, and two 1"x1" holes. The framing underneath the roof had some rot and i removed only the most fragile of the rotted wood, which didn't amount to very much, and didn't seem enough to compromise structural integrity. I stopped short of removing more of the plywood roofing since it seemed I had discovered the extent of the damage.

5. I coated everything with a few coats of anti-fungal penetrating wood preservative. I have the camper covered and a fan blowing inside at the corner to keep drying.

Any advice? I might use an epoxy such as GitRot to treat the wood in the area, then to use a wood filler to fill the gouges in the framing and plywood. I will replace the 3"x5" section of plywood roof. I have 4"x50' Eternabond tape to utilize in the re-seal of the roofing. I am not sure how to fill in the 1" round holes (two of them).

While I'm up there I'll redo the dicor caulk around the vents, etc.

I'm just hesitant to remove more roofing at this point. I don't know what the whole framing picture of the camper roof looks like. I'm afraid to remove more plywood and lose roof strength putting in patches that aren't supported by framing.



#2 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 12:56 PM

The leak is from a seam for sure. The roofing material is TPO & it won't leak. The standard seam sealant for it is Dicor. You can also use eternabond on it, abetter solution if you don;t care what it looks like up there after. For the 1'' round holes, I would cut a plug using jig saw about the same size, wedge it in, & use a mixture of wood glue & sawdust to fill around it

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#3 OFFLINE   samiam

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:01 PM

Thanks Paul, great idea to plug the holes. Another question - I intend to apply the Eternabond to the seam of the fib-cap, wall, and roof BEFORE re-attaching the metal trip pieces over the top of the seams, then apply Dicor then maybe another Eternabond strip over everything - will the Dicor adhere to the exposed Eternabond tape? Or am I just wasting Eternabond by doing it that way since i'll be putting screws through it to attach trim? Misuse of Eternabond? Or should I just screw it back together, skip the Dicor, and just Eternabond over the top?

#4 OFFLINE   Gary

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:19 PM

On my 99 Citation it got wet in that corner and caused the sidewall in front of the window to delam,the repair guy at the dealer said there was no place that wasn,t sealed but it still was leaking.He peeled it back and glued it again but it never looked good and bulged out again , when I traded it in for the Lance it was cold and it looked flat but when the sun was shining it would blowup like a balloon.

#5 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:18 PM

I see no point in Dicoring over eternabond unless you want to blend the seam into the roof. The eternabond will make a far better seal. I have used the trick of mixing sawdust into wood glue before with pretty good success. Sort of comes out like fibreboard but without the water expansion issue.

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#6 OFFLINE   Rob the Rep

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:27 AM

I pulled out an old vent that was no longer being used and had a 5" hole to deal with. It was starting to rain, so I was in a hurry. I used four pieces of 4" Eternabond (and nothing else) to "bridge" the hole. I haven't put the inside panel in, so I can see how it holds. I even hit it with the garden hose and it's holding just fine.
The 4" is over-kill for vents. You can get the double-sided stuff and re-seat the vent (that's how some dealers are starting to do it). Or, get some 2" white Eternabond (cheaper than 4") to recover the top, factory seal.
I love the stuff. I even used it to fix the sole of my neighbor's work boot.

#7 OFFLINE   jhawk282

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:41 PM

QUOTE (samiam @ Jun 15 2009, 01:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've got some rot. Where the front cap meets the roof and meets the wall, on the passenger side. I would like advice on how to proceed with a repair. #5 below is where the repair process starts…

1. I think this is a vinyl roof. the material feels like vinyl, it has a very thin felt-ish backing. The owner's manual calls it "Patrick RV 2000" material. I had one RV repairman tell me vinyl wasn't waterproof - is that true? I can't believe that. i found no holes in the vinyl. I really think it was a poor sealing job with the wrong caulk to begin with.

2. I pulled back the interior sidewall panel and found the plywood damaged just around the top inch of the corner of the wall. maybe three square inches, but not much. On the roof I unfastened the metal transition strip joining the fiberglass cap to the roof, and also the top of the metal trim piece that joins the sidewall to the fiberglass cap and roof.

3. The plywood roof was wet from the corner about to midway across the front, right along the edge of the fib-cap. it was damp from the corner back towards the camper rear about a foot. i peeled vinyl roofing until i'd exposed totally dry wood. The framing in the fib-cap had water on it, but it seemed like it was clear fresh water, perhaps released from the roof at the time I pulled things apart. I found no evidence of damage on the fib-cap framing.

4. Looks like it's 1/4" plywood roofing. I removed a 3"x5" piece at the corner due to wet rot, and a few small pieces of plywood within a square foot of the corner, although most pieces were just some top layers of the plywood and not completely through the roof. Altogether I have the 3"x5" hole, and two 1"x1" holes. The framing underneath the roof had some rot and i removed only the most fragile of the rotted wood, which didn't amount to very much, and didn't seem enough to compromise structural integrity. I stopped short of removing more of the plywood roofing since it seemed I had discovered the extent of the damage.

5. I coated everything with a few coats of anti-fungal penetrating wood preservative. I have the camper covered and a fan blowing inside at the corner to keep drying.

Any advice? I might use an epoxy such as GitRot to treat the wood in the area, then to use a wood filler to fill the gouges in the framing and plywood. I will replace the 3"x5" section of plywood roof. I have 4"x50' Eternabond tape to utilize in the re-seal of the roofing. I am not sure how to fill in the 1" round holes (two of them).

While I'm up there I'll redo the dicor caulk around the vents, etc.

I'm just hesitant to remove more roofing at this point. I don't know what the whole framing picture of the camper roof looks like. I'm afraid to remove more plywood and lose roof strength putting in patches that aren't supported by framing.



I have an 03 Citation which had the exact same problem in the exact same place. Except it may have been a bit larger but never got thru to damage the inside. My camper has aluminum frame with styrofoam insul. and 1/8 inch ply on top.
I rolled back the rubber???roof and was able to remove the top thin layer of the veneer from the ply and dried it all out and just glued the rubber back down and sandbaged it all to keep it flat till the glue took hold.
BUT the leak was not from the front but was from the Hatch above the bunk that housed the Fan. The hinge on this hatch is fastened down thru the roof covering instead of being fastened to the upright frame around the hatch opening. Hope I explained this right. So the water was migrating forward towards the front.I found the leak while recaulking around the hatch as you plan to do.
There is also a dam of water that lays up against the nosecone because the mouldings are all too high for all the water to run off and I suspected the leak to be there, but it didn`t seem to be.I think I will fair this dam level with the mouldings with a litre of "roof covering" and try to build it up so water doesn`t lay there.
Hope this helps,
Clive

#8 OFFLINE   samiam

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:54 PM

Clive, i understand. i will recheck that roof vent over the bunk. i'm certain the water came from a bad prior patching job at the corner, but i'll check while i'm up there. i plan to put new Dicor and Eternabond on the vents too. i've also noticed how water pools in the middle where the roof meets the nose cone, and mine doesn't appear to have leaked there. i'd love to level it, or somehow build up the roof to keep water off. wish they would have put a convex roof on these things.

#9 OFFLINE   samiam

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 08:29 PM

Today I decided the damp wood was totally dry and did the repair. Used an epoxy mix by Elmers to strengthen the wood that i didn't replace. used a polyurethane caulk since i was clueless about what else would be safe to use as an adhesive to stick the roof back down. a local rv shop used the same thing. worked pretty good. got the metal transition strip screwed back into place, and layed two overlapping 4" wide strips of Eternabond over the strip. that gave a good 2" on either side of that strip sticking to the TPO roof and the fiberglass cap. Had a hard time with air bubbles along the strip, but got most of them out. I decided the remaining ones just didn't matter that much. i could pop them but is it a big deal? at the ends of each side of the strip I used dicor. that stuff is great, but how long does it take to really firm up? it was sitting for about three hours when i last looked and had skinned over, but was still very gooey underneath.
the elmers epoxy sure worked great - i used the kit for "all purpose" instead of the one just for wood. that plywood was really hard, and it's waterproof epoxy so i'm glad i used it. I also went ahead and cleaned up the transition strip along the rear end of the camper and put one 4" piece of Eternabond down back there too, and dicor'd the ends. That was an 8-hour day and i'm glad it's done. now the next part is putting the inside corner back together above the bed - i cracked some of the nice paneling when i was pulling it back to examine the extent of rot.

Edited by samiam, 28 June 2009 - 05:36 PM.





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