Leak source: tiny holes in roof.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
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Name: Sharon
Trailer: 1995 16 ft Scamp
Virginia
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Leak source: tiny holes in roof....

We knew we had SOME kind of problem with the roof, due to a persistent leak, but we were never able to SEE anything on the outside. Last night while it was raining I finally started ripping up insulation and I found this:


This certainly explains the puddle of water that keeps appearing in our future front "dinette," (the water was running down behind the insulation) but now that I know what the source is, I'm not sure of the best way to fix it. And what HAPPENED to cause this series of tiny holes?? (As a quick fix, we caulked the holes on the ceiling and it stayed dry through today's heavy rains.)

Today I bought a fiberglass patch kit to put in the inside ceiling, but what should I do to the roof? Is there any type of sealant that can be painted or sprayed on the outside?

The trailer is the original white color (no gloss at all, and I figured I'd wax it after we got everything else done), and while we *might* someday paint it, our goal right now is to get it ready for camping as soon as possible....
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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I would have someone inside the trailer with a flashlight focus on each leak and I would be on the roof marking each leak carefully. My opinion is that the best repair would be accomplished from outside. Fiberglass putty might be the way to go. I sure would like to see photos from outside.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:39 PM   #3
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Hi Sharon, couple things, do you see any pin holes on the outside using a flashlight from the inside? If it was me I'd use resin and mat on the inside to seal it up as you don't have to worry about a nice finish. Any pin holes outside can be patched one by one with a white material that shouldn't show up without really looking for them.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:51 AM   #4
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Dave, I am just curious, as I really don't know anything about the outer finish on the fiberglass. If you patch the inside as you described, do you really need to do anything at all to the outside since the holes will be patched from the inside?
Dave & Paula
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:20 AM   #5
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I wouldn't Dave, unless what ever "holes" outside are a visual distraction. With no pics I can only think a small dot type filler it would look more like a rock chip. Just the way I would do it as the back side is already open, YMMV.
BTW, we were parked up on the ridge due south of you at Quartzsite. Really enjoyed seeing your trailer and mods first hand, very nice.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:54 AM   #6
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Thanks Dave, I do remember meeting you and giving you "the tour". Always nice to be able to put a face to the name or avatar.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:26 AM   #7
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Name: Sharon
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Virginia
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We've looked on the roof and totally missed these little holes, so I was quite surprised to see them from the inside!

The caulk that we put on the inside (not a silicone, can't remember what it was) just to quickly stop them from leaking certainly has helped--no leaks after more rain last night--but I do want to try to seal them up from both the inside and the outside.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:43 AM   #8
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I believe I would "rough up" the inside and apply a fiber glass patch to seal and reinforce the area. Personally I would use some fiberglass cloth and since I have epoxy resin I would use that. You can possibly find some off the shelf repair fiberglass kits that would work as well.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:33 AM   #9
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I would rough up the interior fiberglass with 60 grit sandpaper. I would put down a good layer of resin or 2. When cured then I would rough up the surface again and and put down a wet layer of resin and fiberglass cloth. Make sure your repair overlaps your pin holes by a couple of inches all around. Then re-install the interior when cured. Your choice of resin polyester or epoxy doesn't matter it will all work. If you want to make the job even easier. go to the hardware store and get an epoxy stick. This is a 2 part stick. you cut off a piece and need it together and stick it over the holes on the clean rough up sanded surface.

On the out side I wouldn't do anything more than clean and Zep the Trailer. The Zep should fill up any pin holes in the gel coat blocking water ingress into the old glass which you have repaired underneath. You will have to clean and Zep every 2 years if you store the trailer in the weather. But stripping it off isn't hard. It will look like a new trailer when the Zep is properly applied.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
I wouldn't Dave, unless what ever "holes" outside are a visual distraction. With no pics I can only think a small dot type filler it would look more like a rock chip. Just the way I would do it as the back side is already open, YMMV.

I am with Dave fixing it from the inside would be the way to go. If there are visible holes on the roof to keep the water from getting in under the gelcoat you could use a tiny bit of an Epoxy putty stick such as Waterweld Epoxy J-B Weld for them that would not even be noticed if done with care. I used it to fill in a couple of screw holes in my trailers roof a few years ago - worked great.


As far as the no gloss issue on the trailer goes there is no need to paint it to get the gloss back. It just oxidization on the fiberglasss that can be polished off. Pick up some 3M Marine Products - such as Restore & Wax and use a power buffer on it and it will be glossy once again if its a light layer of oxidization. If it is heavily oxidized you may need an actual Rubbing compound.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:25 AM   #11
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Sharon, we discovered "pinholes" like that when we removed our insulation. I repaired all of the "pinholes" from the inside using FG resin and FG cloth, worked great. I also "repaired" any areas that I thought could potentialy be a problem area in the future, even areas where the FG looked a little "thin" to me. It was very easy to do. I just made sure the areas were properly prepared & marked and went thru the inside shell methodicaly over a period of time. Sometimes I used a flashlight, moved the trailer around, did my work at different times of the day. Depending on the lighting, there always seemed to be a "pinhole" that magically appeared

Our egg also had multiple BB pellet dimples/small holes etc......that was a different story, I worked on the inside and outside of the shell for those.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:12 AM   #12
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If the black spots in the photos are mold, I would want to make absolutely sure there is no water getting in to continue feeding the mold. I would want a repair from the outside. If the black spots are not mold, what are they ?
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:13 PM   #13
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For small repairs on the gelcoat white Marine-Tex is a fairly close match. It is a marine epoxy sealer, some use it for patching rivet holes. Take a close look at the rivets over the door they would be more prone to leak.
Eddie
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:19 PM   #14
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Name: Denis
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Leaks in the roof

Hi Denis here! I,ve owned a 17 ft Boler for the last 20 yrs it was handed down from my aunt to my dad now me its a 79 Which my aunt bought new The pin holes in the roof are air pockets in the gelcoat when water gets in it can freeze and crack the fiber glass so if you fix the inside without doing the outside it will just come back you can get gelcoat at any boat shop it mixes just like the fiberglass resin the black stuff is mold it can grow and fill the pin hole and also crack the fiberglass to find the pin holes take a needle and pock the needle from the inside going out that way you came find the problem area than from the out side grind the gelcoat away till you can see the fiberglass clean it real good apply the gelcoat and then do the inside You can mix it to your color or you can get the dye to color it yourself. I ve been working with fiberglass for 40 yrs now Remember the gelcoat is thin about an 1/8 "

Just to help
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