Removing butyl tape? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
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Removing butyl tape?

I'm getting ready to reassemble the metal carport I had to dismantle to allow the roofers access to our back yard.

But the seal between the roof panels, which was a strip of butyl tape, has never been satisfactory, and when I reassemble the thing I'd like to use latex caulk as a sealant.

So I have to remove the old butyl tape, about thirty feet of it all told. I'd been picking at it with my fingers, and then I suffered a severe loss of enthusiasm , and now, before I resume, I'm wondering if there's some better way.

Solvents? Plastic scraper? Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
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Use a plastic putty knife to remove the bulk of it. Common paint thinner (mineral spirits) will remove the residue. Be sure to use old rags, as they will be need to be discarded afterwards.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:58 PM   #3
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I'll give that a shot tonight. Thanks--
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:12 PM   #4
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I would use butyl tape over caulk. Most high end boat manuf use it for deck hardware and 20 years later its still as good as new if installed correctly obviously.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
I would use butyl tape over caulk. Most high end boat manuf use it for deck hardware and 20 years later its still as good as new if installed correctly obviously.
It's a matter of the thickness of the tape. The roof would fit together much better if the sealant was zero thickness, which I can approximate better with caulk than with tape.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:42 PM   #6
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peel a section up that is long enough to grab hold of and pull up and towards you, Butyl releases itself as it is stretched. If you pick at it like adhesive in small sections it will never come off.
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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Google to see if you can get it in thinner sizes.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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Squeeze it down if you can't get thinner sizes. I have rolled it into little balls and squeezed into a disk to make a sealing washer.

I tend to agree butyl tape can be a better sealant than caulk. But it depends somewhat on being compressed after application by the parts being sealed getting tightened together to be effective. Then it acts like a gasket to fill all the voids and form a good seal.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:15 PM   #9
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When I tighten something down when using butyl, I slowly go around in a circle and leave some time between doing it again and it slowly compresses the butyl squeezing it thinner and thinner.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:15 PM   #10
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I left the roof panels out in the sun to warm up, and then the plastic putty knife-and-paint thinner method worked very well. I'm about half done; the roof panels are also getting a scrub-down with bleach to wash away the accumulated dirt and mildew. Tiring.
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