Roofing Tar? Really? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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Post Roofing Tar? Really?

The P-PO of my Cloud had major leaking problems. So he globbed roofing tar over the "headband" (Cloud seams go over the top), when it still was full of water he put handfuls of caulking over the roofing tar, followed by many coats of spray paint. Any ideas on how to get this mess stripped off w/o melting my camper?

BTW the leak was never resolved because the dummy had put the roof vent (the cover had lots of play) in backwards. Hinge at back with open side forward. It also never entered his mind that seam was 'glassesd closed on the interior.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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Well, there should be a special section of hell for people who do stuff like that to innocent trailers. My guess is that the tar and spray paint could be softened and removed by liberal application of mineral spirits. This probably won't bother the fiberglass at all but you might want to test it first anyway. Acetone is not recommended since it will dissolve the trailer. A solvent for the caulking would depend on the type but it sounds like it will come away with the tar..
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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I'd use a very carefully controlled heat gun and a wide bladed putty knife to remove the bulk of the mess, followed by wiping with a rag saturated with whatever seems to dissolve/lift the residue. Experiment with different solvents on some of the goop you removed to decide what works.

Do NOT leave any solvent just sitting on the surface of the fiberglass for a nanosecond longer than it takes to lift the bad stuff away, and wipe/wash the newly exposed clean surface well immediately.

Francesca
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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I had an escape hatch/vent sealed just like that by a PO. I ended up installing a larger escape hatch/vent. It worked out that all of the tar stained fiberglass was covered by the new frame and decor sealant.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Gina's Leocraft had roofing tar all over the top too. She removed it with plain ole Coke Classic. Getting the paint off first... you might want to try a paint remover designed for fiberglass like Soy Gel paint remover... which the big box stores carry. Rather than scraping with anything metal, I'd use a plexiglass ice scrapper. Don't gouge at the gelcoat...
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D.
Rather than scraping with anything metal, I'd use a plexiglass ice scrapper. Don't gouge at the gelcoat...
The big box stores also sell plastic putty knives that might work for this application.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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I'll probably end up trying all your ideas, but I think I'll start in the Home Depot paint department. After all the sanding I've done, a stripper sounds kinda nice. BTW there are pics in the Cloud gallery. Thanks for all the info.

Joel
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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What a mess they made, when all they had to do was ASK questions first so they could do it right!! Please post progress photos!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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Donna is correct, I had exactly the same issue as you. I had roofing tar on every penetration and all over where the previous PO tried to seal leaks and cracks.

I spent close to two weeks on my roof after work with...Coke. Plain old coke. Actually it was just Cola from the dollar store..not even real Coke. Pour it directly on the tar and watch it bubble and melt..then scrape away the blobs of the gooey mess.

To clean the residual, I used Goof Off and then cleaned the entire roof with acetone.

Acetone is perfectly fine to clean with. Wipe it off quickly and do not let is sit and pool. It will evaporate quickly as well. I have cleaned and sealed dozens of RVs this way as an RV tech at a dealership and had no issues with it eating through anything.

It's messy, not fun and will teach you new words. But after much research, this was the most effective solution I found. It's not hard, it's just time consuming.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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I'm not a Coke, Cola, or any sort of a Soda drinker, but I've heard of using Coke for many things that need 'disolving'..... funny to think that people actually drink that stuff (LOL)
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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Well, folks after several long days, the headband is about cleaned. I used a sharp scraper, cheap cola, and Goof Off. Cola didn't work as well as I hoped because the tar was covered in paint, but after scraping, some cola and a Goof Off cleaning, I'm satisfied. BTW if I had a name/address for the inventor of Goof Off, I'd send him/her a fruit basket. The stuff is amazing.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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This brings something new to mind. Anyone know where I can get a nice "chrome" trim to fit over the headband?
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #13
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Actually it was just Cola from the dollar store..not even real Coke.
I for one will be very disappointed if this thread doesn't degenerate into a "my favourite brand of cola is a better roofing tar stripper than your favourite brand of cola" thread....
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cannibal53 View Post
This brings something new to mind. Anyone know where I can get a nice "chrome" trim to fit over the headband?
I've wondered that question myself. All that I've ever found is black or white.
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