A question about waterproofing the floor - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-01-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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Name: Betty
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A question about waterproofing the floor

I've just removed the lovely orange carpet from my 13' Scamp and before I replace it with vinyl plank flooring, should I waterproof the plywood before I do this and if yes, what do you recommend to do it with?

Thanks
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:05 AM   #2
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The only way to be certain is to fiberglass it. But that seems a bit extreme to me. It has lasted this long and has not rotted right? So why not just put down good high quality vinyl sheet flooring and seal the edges and holes.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:27 AM   #3
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How would you plan to seal the floor inside cabinets and benches? Lots of work.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:49 AM   #4
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Penetrating epoxy is excellent for this purpose. You can paint it on, or pour it on and spread it around with a plastic putty knife. Especially in the known vulnerable areas, like in front of the door for instance. This material has the consistency of water and will soak in to harden and waterproof the surface. Since it is so thin, it will soak in, wick and travel along under bulkheads or the threshold. Getting it into tight areas should not be much of a problem as you can simply reach in and pour it out of a Dixie cup. Then spread it a bit with the putty knife, or brush it a bit to get it everywhere. It is thinner than paint, soaks in and takes hours to harden.

Out in the general areas, it will give a harder, cleaner surface that will accept glue or sticky-back finish materials much better than simply sticking them to old plywood that can have embedded dirt or weak fibers.

There are also a number of materials that are spread over plywood and tile backer board in showers. These waterproof and prepare the surface to accept glued materials. Home Depot should have a few selections of these, but they will not soak in as well as penetrating epoxy.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:49 PM   #5
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I was scared to see what was below the carpet for being an 1985, but surprisingly enough, the floor is in really good shape except for about a 6x8 inch rot to the left of the front door by the closet area.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Penetrating epoxy is excellent for this purpose. You can paint it on, or pour it on and spread it around with a plastic putty knife. Especially in the known vulnerable areas, like in front of the door for instance. This material has the consistency of water and will soak in to harden and waterproof the surface. Since it is so thin, it will soak in, wick and travel along under bulkheads or the threshold. Getting it into tight areas should not be much of a problem as you can simply reach in and pour it out of a Dixie cup. Then spread it a bit with the putty knife, or brush it a bit to get it everywhere. It is thinner than paint, soaks in and takes hours to harden.

Out in the general areas, it will give a harder, cleaner surface that will accept glue or sticky-back finish materials much better than simply sticking them to old plywood that can have embedded dirt or weak fibers.

There are also a number of materials that are spread over plywood and tile backer board in showers. These waterproof and prepare the surface to accept glued materials. Home Depot should have a few selections of these, but they will not soak in as well as penetrating epoxy.
Thank you!!
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
The only way to be certain is to fiberglass it. But that seems a bit extreme to me. It has lasted this long and has not rotted right? So why not just put down good high quality vinyl sheet flooring and seal the edges and holes.
I had thought about that but had seen others commenting about waterproofing. The 1985 floor is in really good shape, except for a small part by the front door by the closet.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:30 PM   #8
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Most of those sticky back adhesive products will stick better to a floor that has been sealed. I am not talking about waterproofing, just something like water based acrylic varnish. Getting the adhesive to have a great grab is important.

As to waterproofing...your trailer, your money and labor so it is your choice. Not saying it is easy to decide what to do because there are pros and cons to encapsulating wood with epoxy the main one being if water gets into the inner plies then it can't easily dry out through evaporation. But as you are putting a vinyl floor over the plywood it still would not be able to easily dry out through evaporation.

The weakest link in plywood when it comes to moisture is the edges of the panels and also the cut edges when drilling for bolts or when running in screws. Or when someone puts in hundreds of staples to attach carpet to it. All those edges are end grain of the wood and end grain readily soaks up water by capillary action. Those are the tiny straws trees drink with. That was the case with my plywood floor. Because of all the staple holes plus repairing some rotted areas as well I did seal the edges and I put epoxy on top to seal up those hundreds of voids from the staples. Can you tell I bought a 1971 fixer that had been abused by a number of previous owners?
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Most of those sticky back adhesive products will stick better to a floor that has been sealed...
The vinyl plank flooring sticks to itself (along the overlapping edges) but not to the subfloor. Itís a floating installation.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:11 AM   #10
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I did that on my Burro. I first planned to use marine plywood, but found Advantec, a completely waterfproof subfloor material that looks like chipboard.
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