Small section of floor rot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-16-2016, 03:08 PM   #1
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Name: Lyle
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Small section of floor rot

Hey all, today, while pulling the carpet from my 1999 Scamp 13, I found a couple of small areas of beginning floor rot. The spots are at both corners of the door. I have never found the door to leak, but I assume it did at some point for a previous owner (I'm the third). I replaced what I thought were the original door seals earlier this fall - actually had Scamp do it at the factory. They commented then that the door alignment was still excellent.

Anyway, back to the floor rot. both areas are completely dry, and the corner by the closet is still perfectly hard when probing with a screwdriver. On the other side, it is still mostly hard, but there is some mushiness underneath the wall for the privacy bathroom/closet wall. I assume when water got in there, it took longer to dry, thus the mushiness. No holes, and the floor in front of the door is still sound. It appears that this is a separate piece of flooring from the door to the front of the side cabinet, about 22" X 18" (just rough guess).

On looking from underneath the trailer (has been undercoated, so not all is visible) the mushy end of the floor looks to butt up against a steel framing member.

Rather than cutting and replacing this section of floor, I intend, right now, to get one of the Rot Fix products, and use that to seal and prevent any further spreading. I will be covering the floor with Allure, so a more extensive repair would be possible down the road if this didn't work satisfactorily.

Does this sound reasonable to those of you who are more experienced? Any recommendations on products to use - they all claim to be the "best". Any other suggestions or steps I should take?

I will be posing this question on SOI as well, so no need to answer both.

Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:34 PM   #2
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Following this thread, because we plan to put Allure in as well and I'm curious what we will find under the floor. Just in case
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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Well, I still have the "Privacy Room" to strip the carpet out of, but I don't expect any problems there. There is no plumbing, just storage and a spot for the Porta Potty.

I will say, the job of stripping out the carpet is much more difficult than I thought it would be. The carpet just kind of disintegrates if you just try to pull it up. I got a 4" Razor Scrapper from Home Depot. It helps. As you pull up, use the scrapper to make the glue release, otherwise the incorporated padding remains stuck and the carpet threads just unravel into a mess. Since I was doing it alone, I found cutting the carpet into 12-14 " strips with a utility knife made it easier to pull with one hand and scrape with the other. I've been working on it for two days, couple hours each day. Should finish up the privacy room tomorrow.

It will be worth it. One, finding the rot so I can deal with it, two, it will look much nicer, and three, there are actually piles of sand on the floor that have sifted down through the carpet over the years. Can only imagine how much other dirt is in it. The only drawback that I see is loosing the insulating value of the carpet and pad. Will have to use some throw rugs in cold temperatures. Hopefully condensation problems won't rear their ugly head.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Well, I still have the "Privacy Room" to strip the carpet out of, but I don't expect any problems there. There is no plumbing, just storage and a spot for the Porta Potty.

I will say, the job of stripping out the carpet is much more difficult than I thought it would be. The carpet just kind of disintegrates if you just try to pull it up. I got a 4" Razor Scrapper from Home Depot. It helps. As you pull up, use the scrapper to make the glue release, otherwise the incorporated padding remains stuck and the carpet threads just unravel into a mess. Since I was doing it alone, I found cutting the carpet into 12-14 " strips with a utility knife made it easier to pull with one hand and scrape with the other. I've been working on it for two days, couple hours each day. Should finish up the privacy room tomorrow.

It will be worth it. One, finding the rot so I can deal with it, two, it will look much nicer, and three, there are actually piles of sand on the floor that have sifted down through the carpet over the years. Can only imagine how much other dirt is in it. The only drawback that I see is loosing the insulating value of the carpet and pad. Will have to use some through rugs in cold temperatures. Hopefully condensation problems won't rear their ugly head.
This is all good info for those taking out carpet. Our previous owner put down a parquet floor, so I'll be trying to pull up a wooden floor. We were thinking that we would just put the Allure over it, but it's started popping up in various places, so I am assuming it is glued down to the original plywood and the glue is coming loose.

But like you, I'm anxious to see what is under there and make sure it is good to go for another 30+ years! We've used throw rugs since we bought it, because the parquet is a cold floor. I put one under the table and two in the galley. A quick shake and they are clean We've also not experienced any condensation issues on the floor.
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:28 AM   #5
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If you look under the floor I believe that there are steel members along the line of the dropped section.
The Frame has a section turned sideways to carry the loads along the street side and you can take one of those vibrating multitools and cut the floor out and replace it, joining with the original floor over the frame. This will let you replace a 1 foot section at the door. You would have to clear out under the wall sections with that same multitool.
The multitool also has a scraper blade that might help clean the floor covering off as well.

If you do this you can fiberglass the floor section before it is reinstalled.
Just a thought.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:54 PM   #6
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If you have rot you have a moisture problem. The door seal may or may not be the source however you will have to find and eliminate the moisture source for a permanent solution. Once wood begins to rot it is best to remove and replace it. Rotted wood is weaker and the rot will resume if moisture, even a little, returns.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:31 AM   #7
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As I was prepping the wood for the hardner, I found that the soft, punky wood was a bit more extensive than I originally thought. I went out yesterday and bought a Multi Tool and some Fiberglass resin, plan to cut out the small section in front of the door and replace it today. Just decided to do it right the first time, and this seems like a fairly small job to learn on.

Regarding the moisture incursion, I've owned the trailer for a bout a year, it's been through some very heavy downpours, including driving for half a day in very heavy rain. I have never found any moisture in this area. I do not believe there is any current leak problem. I have looked often, since the old door seals looked suspicious, that is why I had Scamp replace them. Of course, the driving in the rain was on the way home after the door seals were replaced...

Only difficulty will be dealing with the screen door threshold, but I think I will find that the flooring will slide out from under it and slide back in, or that the flooring ends at the threshold, so won't be a problem. We'll see. As was stated earlier, there are metal supports completely surrounding the edges of this small section.

One question, how do I seal the seam with the old floor? Construction adhesive prior to installing new piece? Caulk after installing? Resin coat both before and AFTER install?
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:07 AM   #8
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On my rebuild I covered the floor sections with fiberglass cloth on both sides and the edges. The edges need to be rounded off for the glass to conform.
I used 3/4" exterior plywood and Epoxy resin, but polyester would do as well.
I had a problem with water getting in the seam at the midsection and running down the door jamb behind the Ensolite covering where I had a problem seeing it and tracing it back to the source.
Hopefully you will be able to get to the rot and replace just the section by the door.
It looks like it may extend under the rear wall as well so just look carefully.
I think you will be able to patch it and glue stiffeners underneath if necessary if you can't make the join over the steel members for support.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for your input.

Yeah, I will have to pull the air conditioner and check that floor as well. It is in the bottom of the curb-side cabinet, and the drain goes out right near that corner. I haven't used the air conditioner, but the previous owner did. That section of rot could have been from the air conditioner drain. Perhaps I am dealing with two different sources of leak.

I'm seriously considering just pulling the Air conditioner and replacing with a microwave or just a toaster oven in that space. Avoid that potential drain problem all together in the future.

Should probably get at it instead of just talking about it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 12:44 PM   #10
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Just remember wood rot is a fungus and you should treat the area and kill the fungus before you go covering up any suspect areas.

Wood Rot and Dry Rot Homemade wood treatments
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:37 PM   #11
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Yep, will do Steve, thanks.

So far in the removal of the flooring, I first cut out the floor up to the door threshold, thinking I could get away with that. Once I did, however, it became clear there would be no support underneath the actual threshold other than the fiberglass shell and thin aluminum flashing type material, along with the narrow strip of OSB that would be left there hanging.

See the first photo.

I don't ever step on door thresholds, but I know others do. I was contemplating ways to support it with new angle iron or dowels linking the new floor and the threshold - rejected these fixes. Thought, well, I'll go ahead and remove the screen door so that I can get at the area. This turned out to be a much bigger job than I thought, and I abandoned that plan or fear I would not be able to re-assemble it so all would fit properly.

I decided that I would have to remove more of the OSB under the threshold, but the screen door is attached to it at the rear side of the door. Although not an Ideal solution, I have cut the Screen door threshold out of the door, which revealed a c-channel of very light weight aluminum flashing that holds the end of the OSB. I managed to get all of the OSB, other than where the screen door is attached out of this channel. I will now cut an L-shaped piece of NEW OSB or Marine Plywood to fit this hole. It will be much better supported, pretty much as new.

See the next two photos.

The photos should show others that may need to repair this area the pattern of the framing. Scamp apparently used both glue and screws to bind the flooring together. I also found butyl tape sealing between the metal framing and the OSB. I believe it must have been to help seal the joint where the two pieces of OSB came together over the frame, was probably placed on the other longer support just in front of the door to keep things level. I'll probably do the same when I re-assemble.

Before that, here are the steps I plan to take:

1) Wire brush and paint the exposed steel framing.
2) Treat any remaining discolored areas of the OSB for mold/rot. Thoough it is all structurally sound at this point, there is some discoloration.
3) Coat all new OSB and cut edges of old OSB with fiberglass resin.
4) Apply the butyl tape to the framing, paying special attention to the crack between old and new OSB.
5) Apply adhesive calk on both inner sides of the c-channel.
6) Install and screw down the new floor patch.
7) Re-fiberglass the tabs from the wheel well to the new floor and from the shell in front of the door to the new floor in that area. I have VERY limited experience with fiberglass, but these are not visible, so function will count way over appearance of the finished product.

After all that, I'll continue on with pulling carpet and laying the Allure. Then repair the screen door threshold - not a big problem.

Whew! I thought I had learned my lesson remodeling an old house - things are NEVER as simple as they appear or planned.

I'm just hoping I don't find any problems with the privacy room floor, but at least there I won't have to deal with the door threshold, where everyone steps constantly.

Thanks everyone for you comments and suggestions, feel free to add more.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:27 AM   #12
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I never liked OSB. It isn't that strong and sometimes delaminates, especially if it gets wet. Plywood is better.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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Yeah, been looking for some marine grade plywood, but so far no luck at the big box stores. Found some via Amazon, but they wanted 67.00 for a 4' x 2' piece. I think it was Home Depot, had some online that could be ordered, but it had really bad reviews saying it was poor quality.

Will try some of the smaller, true lumber yards tomorrow. May also try a couple of the Marinas, see if they will sell me a small piece.

I do have a piece of scrap OSB in my garage that is big enough, but would prefer to find some marine plywood.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:52 AM   #14
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Hey Lyle - I don't know where you live, but I had the same problem. I found a wholesale plywood company that stocked marine plywood and a locally owned lumber company that was willing to take my money and give me a purchase order to take to the wholesale company.

Before I installed the plywood, I coated it on both sides with epoxy resin, and used a two part epoxy glue to fix it to the floor.

So far, it's doing well.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:11 PM   #15
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Thanks Dave.

I did find Marine Plywood at Menard's, but I had to purchase a full sheet. I also tried to treat the new plywood with the Bora-Care fungus and rot treatment as a prophylactic, the instructions implied it was ok, even gave a dilution for that use. Well, that was a mistake. The stuff has been on for over 5 days now, in my heated basement, and is still tacky. I had planned on applying the resin after that had dried. I'm certain, at this point, that the resin will never soak into the plywood with that Bora-Care on it. Resin is MUCH more important for this project.

Good thing I have a whole lot more of the plywood. I plan to cut a new piece tonight and just go with the resin, forget the Bora-Care. Found it difficult to cut a piece to fit the space tightly, since it needs to slide both into the door threshold and slide under the closet wall simultaniously. Had to cut it a bit short on the front closet side. It still sits on the metal frame, just not entirely under the wall section. I'll have to fill that small section with wood putty or caulk or spray foam or some combination.

Have gotten side-tracked the past few days, but need to get back to work on this project.
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Old 01-24-2017, 04:12 PM   #16
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Well, after many days of false starts for various reasons, I have made progress.

I got the section of floor replaced in the doorway. As I said previously, I did find Marine grade plywood to use, cut it to size, then coated it, all around, including the edges, with fiberglass resin. Took a couple of weeks for that to harden all the way, mixed according to directions - Oh well.

I sealed all the framing members that this new patch will sit on (full circumference) with butyl tape between frame and flooring. It appeared to be the way Scamp had originally installed the floor, makes sense, will prevent any water from getting up, around the new patch and infiltrating.

Next step was to move on to the bathroom/privacy room and pull that carpeting. Upon doing so, I found the floor and the wall (back left corner as you would be looking at the toilet) quite damp. Not sure if it is from condensation from the wall running down, or if the moisture from the floor is causing the wall to form condensation. This is an interior wall, but the opposite side is where the refrigerator is, so a cold environment. I have never noted any dampness coming from the refrigerator, but haven't be diligently looking for any. The flooring is discolored, but not punky. I placed a heater aimed at this area, and left it on for 24 hours, the floor and wall dried out nicely.

I purchased a small belt sander to remove the glue remnants from the entire floor, and to flatten out a very small ridge from the new patch. I then filled/bridged all of the seams, old and new, in the floor (only two) with plastic wood, let it harden for 24 hours. Today I sanded down all the plastic wood, then swept and vacuumed the entire floor.

I just got done sealing the entire floor with floor and porch paint. Hopefully tomorrow I will actually start to lay the Allure. Still have to decide if I will run the flooring N/S or E/W, so to speak. I know that lengthwise (N/S) supposedly makes the trailer look larger, but have also heard that crosswise (E/W) is easier, with fewer end seams. I'll sleep on it.

About the water problem in the bathroom. I decided to go ahead and put in the new floor. It is just a small, 2'X2' section, and it is the raised section, so not attached to any other floor. I will keep a close eye on the fridge, and try to determine what is causing the water accumulation. If worse comes to worse and I do have to pull that section again, it will be easy enough. No sense going through all the work without figuring out what the problem is. If it needs to be replaced, I'll probably have to remove the wall, pull the fridge, and replace it all. Didn't want to start that this time of year, and it may not be necessary for many years in the future. Time, and observation will tell.

By the way, I do have some photos to post, but idiot me painted the camera into the back corner of the Scamp. Have to wait until the paint is dry enough to walk on. Probably tomorrow.

Any comments/suggestions?
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:02 PM   #17
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Here are some photos:

Floor after repair, before painting:

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Problem area in bathroom, you can see the discolored area to the left. It is dry now, prior to painting:

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Floor after painting, ready for Allure:

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