Why not silicone? (Split from Forums 101) - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-29-2015, 06:39 AM   #43
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Why not silicone? (Split from Forums 101)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
A few years ago the bath window on my S19 was leaking around the frame. I removed it cleaned the surfaces and reinstalled it using butyl tape. Guess what, it leaked more than it did before I removed it. I removed it and reinstalled it using silicone to seal it. It hasn't leaked since.
The "professionals" that constructed your trailer are "hourly assembly line workers" doing what they are told to do, how they are told to do it. If they don't, they will be looking for another job. I have worked in that type of environment where I raised an issue of how something was being done and I was told do the way I was told to or leave.
If ALL the surfaces to be sealed are 100%, not 99.9%, free of any dirt, oils, old sealant and all foreign material before applying the silicone it will seal properly and it will last.
Butyl tape has not worked for me while silicone has.
You use what you want but I will continue using Silicone because my experience tells me that silicone works better.
With all due respect Thom, after disassembling my first leaking Scamp vent fan and seeing how it was installed, I called Scamp and asked why my fan might be leaking, could the have failed. I was told it shouldn't be leaking because they use butyl tape when installing fans. I already knew they hadn't. And I find it difficult to believe that a newly constructed fiberglass shell would be coated with dirt, oils, or OLD sealant. But it will be if it ever needs to be resealed, which in my case was shortly after taking delivery. My lifelong experience with silicone has been that it doesn't stick where you want it to but it does where you don't. For you sake, I hope your window doesn't develop another leak requiring you to remove all the old silicone. And I believe the vast majority of individuals on this forum would choose butyl tape OVER silicone for sealing windows and vents in an RV which encounters tremendous stresses when "bouncing" down the road.

Again, with all due respect, you stated that if done properly silicone works better and Scamp must not have done it properly. I could suggest the same about your experience with butyl tape, but it is not my intention to fan the flames. As I said in my previous post, I have no objection to the use of silicone by those who advocate its use; I'm not the one who will have to deal with it if or when it fails.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:12 AM   #44
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Quote from Thom: "If ALL the surfaces to be sealed are 100%, not 99.9%, free of any dirt, oils, old sealant and all foreign material before applying the silicone it will seal properly and it will last."


That's pretty high bar to set in order to get a satisfactory seal and life expectancy with silicone sealants. Sounds like a "clean room" environment.


I suggest, based on my many positive experiences with butyl and common RV putty tapes, that "Pretty Clean" is more than adequate for a satisfactory seal and life expectancy with those products.


Fortunately, whereas silicone sealants come in all sorts of formulas, prices and qualities, RV putty tapes are fairly generic from source to source. About all you have to do is choose a thickness and width for your application.


Most of the time, when resealing windows, initial failures with almost any sealant can be laid to operator error, usually involving the inner frame not clamping properly.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:03 AM   #45
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Interesting thread going on here. In over 30 years I've owned everything except a 5'er and a pop up. Every leak that I've had to deal with on any of them came from the factory build, a repair or addition that a past owner did with sillycone. Never had a butyl seam ever leak. Thought I had one once but it turned out a plastic vent frame cracked...but the butyl seal was still fine . Got a question for any butyl doubters out there. Would you use sillycone or plumbers putty installing a sink drain basket ?
As mentioned, for most RV use, I am definitely in the butyl caulk camp. However, it too is prone to leakage over time too, just look at all the windows that have leaked on our older trailers using it. The '76 Trillium I am working on had the seals on a few of the windows compromised, and the backing wood badly rotted. Granted, this was 38 years old, and there was still some flex to the butyl. Even butyl caulk should be be checked and maintained, removing and resealing as needed. So, regardless of sealant used, it is advisable to check out its performance once in a while, and maintain as needed.

I install dozens of sinks every year, and will use plumbers putt for all ceramic and SS sinks, but there are a lot of sinks made with other products now, that disallow the use of plumbers putty, with many saying to use silicone, and others providing a rubber gasket to be used instead.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:25 AM   #46
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Why not silicone? (Split from Forums 101)

At some point you have to turn off all the voices and do what you think is best. I've had to do this numerous times. Basically, whatever you choose to use, in this case silicone vs butyl, will need to be checked and maintained over time.
I have 3 leaks, yes I found another with the rain yesterday. I am using silicone to seal them up for this camping season and over the winter when I have more time and a covered, secured place to work on the trailer, I will pull the windows, replace the wood trim and use butyl to reseal them.


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Old 03-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Got a question for any butyl doubters out there. Would you use sillycone or plumbers putty installing a sink drain basket ?
That's like asking, would you use scotch tape or masking tape on an electrical connection? No, you use some type of insulator, like electrical tape
The point here is every sealant has a propose and a use. Each person has to decide what will work best for them for each instance. Sometime that will be done by trial and error.
I am not against butyl tape in some circumstances. I just will not use it to seal a window or anything else on the outside of my Scamp. YOU must decide what will work best for you to use. The anti-silicone users have their reasons, those that won't use butyl tape also have their reasons. That does not mean one is 100% correct and the other is 100% wrong.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:00 PM   #48
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Try again

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Originally Posted by PrettylilTrilly View Post
Has anyone tried using the as seen on tv product Flex Seal?


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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
A previous discussion. Worth a look. Raz
Flex-Seal Clear
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:30 PM   #49
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There are NO Dumb Questions...

Many of the readers hereabouts depend on information in posts here to make decisions about what does and what doesn't work. I find the idea of telling someone to use "Trial and Error" to be counter to the intent of our site.

I have posted several times asking for specific brands and type of silicone sealant that work and have yet to get a single reply.

And NO, no one is 100% correct, but I do see at least a 80%+ slant towards the putty tape side and, were I a newbie, that might trump trial and error methods.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:41 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Many of the readers hereabouts depend on information in posts here to make decisions about what does and what doesn't work. I find the idea of telling someone to use "Trial and Error" to be counter to the intent of our site.

I have posted several times asking for specific brands and type of silicone sealant that work and have yet to get a single reply.

And NO, no one is 100% correct, but I do see at least a 80%+ slant towards the putty tape side and, were I a newbie, that might trump trial and error methods.
Nobody uses trial and error on purpose. You do it the first time and if it doesn't work you try something else. Hence trial and error.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:42 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post

Thank you! I've read through it. Now just to get the hubby to read it to so he will get off the flex seal bend he's on lol


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Old 03-29-2015, 01:00 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Many of the readers hereabouts depend on information in posts here to make decisions about what does and what doesn't work. I find the idea of telling someone to use "Trial and Error" to be counter to the intent of our site.

I have posted several times asking for specific brands and type of silicone sealant that work and have yet to get a single reply.

And NO, no one is 100% correct, but I do see at least a 80%+ slant towards the putty tape side and, were I a newbie, that might trump trial and error methods.
If someone here trys something suggested here and it does not work what should they do? Just live with it or should they try something else. Duh, trial and error.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:02 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by PrettylilTrilly View Post
Has anyone tried using the as seen on tv product Flex Seal?
I have never seen the TV commercial for Flex Seal but I stumbled on it at Home Depot and I admit to using the white version of it.

The last time I stripped and waxed my Bigfoot (last fall), I noticed the white elastomeric roof cement around the roof vent was looking pretty shabby. A few screw heads were showing and there were a few light cracks in it, which is understandable considering it was the original cement from the factory, glopped on poorly, and was now over 25 years old.

Since it was looking a bit worn and likely toward the end of its usefulness, but wasn't totally compromised and there were no major areas where it was missing and no existing leaks from the vent, I decided that some preventative maintenance was in order so I didn't have to deal with the cement failing on the road.

Rather than stripping all of the cement off and redoing it though, I decided to clean all the wax (Red Maxx) off of it and scrub it as clean and dry is as I could get it. Then I masked off a square around the original cement area and masked off the vent, then sprayed the Flex Seal right over the original elastomeric cement.

After two coats all the screw heads were concealed and all the cracks filled in. Several camping trips and rainstorms later, I recently went up there and took a look and the Flex Seal still looks like new.

Just like silicone, there is a appropriate place for these types of products. I don't expect much from it but will extend the longevity of the original cement awhile, which is all I'm after.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:10 PM   #54
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No "Duh" needed

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Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
If someone here trys something suggested here and it does not work what should they do? Just live with it or should they try something else. Duh, trial and error.
No, but if opinion favors one way 4-1 over another, it drastically reduces the need for those trials & errors.

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Old 03-29-2015, 01:45 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
The only conclusion there is, is whoever installed the fans at the Scamp factory did not do it properly otherwise they would not have started leaking so soon.
You have highlighted what is probable the #1 issue with using silicone & or other tube caulkings. If the folks at the factory can't get it done right why would I the home handy person who doesnt do it everyday think I can. The problem with the early failure of a factory install is not an uncommon one.

Having a 24 year old trailer I have had to replace many of the outside fittings, as well as reseal hatches and windows. Most time consuming job of each fitting replacement or hatch reseal is the removal of the old silicone &/or other caulking product that was used over the years to seal it .... I giggle at the suggestion that it will come off with a plastic knife or rubbing your finger on it..... took 2 days and several different products to get what ever tube sealant (looks like several different ones had been used over the years) that had been used on the roof hatch of my trailer off so I could do a clean reseal of the escape hatch.

The 2 good reasons I think using butyl tape over any tube type caulking are:

1) If you somehow fail to seal correctly what ever it is you where installing then its real easy/fast to remove the item and clean it up and try again.

2) It easy to trim up the butyl around the edges of the fitting what you have installed to make a nice clean looking edge unlike the all to often sloppy caulking job seen on many an older trailer that attracts dirt.

Below is a photo of a Fantastic Fan after it had been resealed with just butyl tape. Been on for over 4 years through many a wet coast rain storm and not a drip.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:50 PM   #56
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After two coats all the screw heads were concealed and all the cracks filled in. Several camping trips and rainstorms later, I recently went up there and took a look and the Flex Seal still looks like new.

Just like silicone, there is a appropriate place for these types of products. I don't expect much from it but will extend the longevity of the original cement awhile, which is all I'm after.
Flex seal is a rubber product, and I would expect that it has a limited longevity as a result (and I couldn't even guess at how long that may be), HOWEVER, if it's working for your needs, that's great, and honestly that's all the reason you need to justify using it

I agree that silicone is fine - when used appropriately. Anything just slathered on top of something that is already leaking is not an appropriate use of ANY kind of sealant - at best it's a shorter term temporary fix, that's really where the problem is - people will pile on layer after layer of silicone on top of something and leave it like that forever, never fixing the problem that started it all.

One may as well use duct tape at that point. That said, they do make a butyl-backed aluminum "duct" tape that I've often wondered about - perhaps that might be a better short term solution to fix some kinds of leaks when one can't R&R something to reseal and fix the leak properly - I'm thinking of things being able to just tape over a leaky rivet until replacement is possible - that has the potential to be a quick and easy fix, with simple removal, and it can prevent a lot of damage as well. I've been tempted to get a roll and keep it in my camper "just in case"

ETA - link for waterproofing tape: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Nashua-Ta...7802/100197267
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