Burro floor wet under the linoleum: is this a condensation problem? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
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Burro floor wet under the linoleum: is this a condensation problem?

Yesterday we removed the sheet linoleum I'd stuck into the Burro last spring when we quickly got it up and running. I was pretty surprised to discover that the floor was pretty evenly damp under the lino - and the sheet had gotten moldy.

How did this happen? Is this a result of interior condensation? It never occurred to me that I would get condensation UNDER the flooring. If the wet had been more concentrated around the edges I might be more inclined to think it's a result of the few remaining leaks we had after getting the windows re-sealed last year.

Suggestions for avoiding more of this? I have more linoleum to put in, but obviously I need a way to create ventilation underneath if indeed this is a condensation issue. Or maybe I should consider a different type of floor. What's there is kind of ugly plywood so I do want to cover it with something more pleasant, but would like to avoid future floor damp.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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I think you have a leak and should try to plug it before installing new floor, otherwise you will have a rotten floor real soon. Since you said you resealed your windows, how was that done?
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen b View Post
Yesterday we removed the sheet linoleum I'd stuck into the Burro last spring when we quickly got it up and running. I was pretty surprised to discover that the floor was pretty evenly damp under the lino - and the sheet had gotten moldy.

How did this happen? Is this a result of interior condensation?
Define "stuck". Does this mean that you merely placed the linoleum on the floor and no adhesives were involved in this procedure? If that answer is yes, then I would agree that this is condensation. I did not wish to mess with replacing the carpet in the Fiber Stream, so I steam-cleaned it and left it to dry for a week after which I laid a clear plastic vinyl runner over it. On very cold days I can see condensation on the bottom of the runner. The air between the loose covering and the floor does this. Next time glue the flooring down.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #4
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I only thought you had condensation when you had heat inside and cold outside, if the unit has been sitting empty for renovation, and the unit has not been in use with heat then there should not be any condensation, any evidence of dampness would be from leaks. If it has been used recently then perhaps. Jen, you are in a better position to answer that.
Either way, mold is not good and you can treat the subfloor with something to prevent future- here MoldSTAT Encapsulator Coating | UV resistant, Microbial protection
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
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Sorry Jen, but I too think you have a leak. Just damp is a tough one. I would check for water in the storage areas, under the sink, ect. Next, do you have a frig? Could that be the cause? Next, is there a fan overhead? As I recall Burros have a vertical seam. Could there be a seam leak. Be systematic. You'll find it. Raz
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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I think you have a leak and should try to plug it before installing new floor, otherwise you will have a rotten floor real soon. Since you said you resealed your windows, how was that done?
Jim: I had the windows popped out and then put back with new butyl tape. However, the rear window was still leaky around the panes themselves because the old rubber gasket thingies have shrunk. Plus, where they overlap there is nothing to seal out water. If that makes sense. After getting wet feet at night during a long rainstorm I duct-taped them together.


Quote:
Define "stuck". Does this mean that you merely placed the linoleum on the floor and no adhesives were involved in this procedure?
Yep - because we knew we would be doing more work this winter, we'd decided against glue, to make it easy to remove again. So the lino is just sitting on top of the plywood.


P Raz, I did caulk up the fan leakage in the summer, but with the wonky door fit and the back window being not much of a rain barrier, it's totally possible that water found its way to the floor. I guess I was sort of surprised at the even distribution throughout the floor under the linoleum, though.

Right now we have everything stripped out to prep for painting - fan, windows, door, and the top trim-lok thing that covers the clamshell seam is off, too. We will be putting all of it back with much attention to preventing more leakiness. One of my next online shopping trips will be to hunt for new rubber gaskets for the windows and to fix those up to not let quite so much water through between the panes.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:23 PM   #7
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"I guess I was sort of surprised at the even distribution throughout the floor under the linoleum, though. "
Water will do that, although I can not recall the technical term/property of water but if you put a dab of water between 2 pieces of glass laying horizontally (or 2 sections of floor in a camper) the water will spread out between the two pieces as if applied overall equally. Anyway, water is sneaky so I'd try to fix the rear window and then tackle the mold abatement before installing the new floor.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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Jim, that makes sense. We are definitely going to police this thing inch by inch to make triple sure that water cannot sneak in any more than is reasonable. Looking back I'm kind of amazed at how porous it has been!
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:27 PM   #9
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Run a hose overtop your Burro while someone inside watches for leaks. I did this and discovered that my (then) Burro's rear side windows' channels would fill with water coming off the roof (like in a rainstorm) and overflow inside the trailer. I cleaned the outside weep holes and it helped, but the channels would still fill (just not quite overflow) in a heavy storm. I'm not suggesting necessarily that you have the same type of problem, merely relaying my experience and the thought that perhaps water on the roof might possibly reveal something.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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Man, that's too bad Jen. I'm confident you will find the leaking area(s) - sounds like you have a good start on figuring out a couple of the places that might be causing problems.

I've been eagerly awaiting your next installment -- but unidentified leaks wasn't quite the update I hoped to hear! We are embarking on a similar Burro project and some of the stuff you're doing is on our list too. Good luck and hope you get quick resolution so you can move onto other challenges.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:52 AM   #11
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Jen, while you have the Trimlok pulled, might pay off to check the condition of the seal/bond of the vertical flanges up top. I personally have no knowledge of how the flanges were made watertight but surmise that the width of flange would make simple caulking pretty susceptible to flex, sheer, and ultimate separation and that the two shells were likely joined by glassing across the seam on the inside. I've never had the interior centerline trim off in our Burro so have no idea if the inner liner halves are also joined on centerline, bonded to outer hull, or other? As you have actually seen these features (flange topside, centerline area between interior shells inside), you probably have a better idea than I do about the probability of a center seam leak. I would also incline to think a window leak would generally "goto" the floor level except that the overflowing lower channel mentioned earlier always presents a quantity of water right on top of the bunk/benches which are part of the inner liner which runs continuous up the walls and tends to pool water under cushions. I believe I have stated this very awkwardly because I have only a suspicion of and no exploration or correction of such a water problem in my Burro trailer. So pure speculation on my part, justified only by the fact of a vertical seam on a very few marques--notably Burro, U-Haul, EggCamper.

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Old 12-31-2011, 05:33 PM   #12
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Thanks all!

Mike: good idea on the hose plan. I almost said that we should do that before painting, but, uhhh.....there are giant holes in the trailer where the windows used to be right now.

Raster: I think there are limited numbers of places where water can have been getting in at this point. Between the window panes, overflowing weep holes, ummmm, possible through those holes I found behind the marker lights, too. Right now the thing looks like it has chicken pox from all the Bondo that is patching all these wayward little holes.

rabbit: On my back dinette bench, the puddling is very possible, but there's also a hole in the dinette mold where the two hulls meet in the center. It would be pretty easy for water to wander in through the rear window, roll down the wall, make a puddle, and/or sneak over through the hole into the cubbyhole space underneath.

About the top of the trailer, I have become a close acquaintance of the top flange with all the sanding I have been doing up there (ohmygawd, that thick layer of brushed on paint up there was nasty!). It seems like around an inch and a half tall, the flange where the two outer hulls meet on top, a little tattered in places. On my burro's interior there's a 23 inch space along the ridgeline between the tops of the inner hulls. I will have to take another look with leakage in mind. The vent was sealed in with a LOT of silicone, and I know for sure that was freely leaking before I dumped a whole tube of bathtub caulk on top of it, just as a temporary fix.

***So here's another question: how to folks stick that U-shaped Trimlok down with future leak avoidance in mind? After painting we'll replace it. Old method from previous owner: silicone at 12-inch intervals. I know there is some clamping action built into the trim, but should I also add some kind of caulk or sealant?
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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Jen, if you're going through all this work with an eventual paint job... I'd do away with the Trimlok. Fill the seam with resin and fiberglass strand, sand, prime and paint. Sell the Trimlok to another Burro owner who's not going through a total rehab like you are. Save yourself from grief further down the road... IMHO only.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:51 PM   #14
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Donna, I'd have never thought of that! It seems like it would be pretty easy to do, too. We've got the fiberglass cloth and the bondo.....I will have to discuss this with my foreman/dad.
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