Why is silicone bad? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
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Why is silicone bad?

I have read that silicone is bad. Is death for your camper. Is the worst thing ever used. I would like to know why? How do you get rid of it? What do you use instead? I hope none of you are rolling your eyes at such a newbie, I truly don't know what I am doing!
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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Wink Links to some required reading. There will be a test after.

Butyl Tape, Silicone and sealing

Help with silicone removal

Why not Silicone?

Alternatives to silicone

Removing silicone!
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #3
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WOW! This is just one reason why I love this forum, great practical information. I have had trouble using silicone around the house and always thought it was me.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #4
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I wish I had seen this before putting in my 2 Fantastic-Fans.

Art

PS I followed the instructions that came with the fans.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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I don't even have a camper yet and i found this extremely helpful! DH is all over things with the silicone. Good to know before i find an issue. Thanks everyone. This site rocks!
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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IMHO Silicone is a temporary fix that can be permanent problem (to remove it!). Any window, vent or other opening on a molded fiberglass trailer will eventually develop leaks. Your choices are to install the item(s) properly using quality product, knowing that "someday" you'll be removing it for a reseal. I'd rather use something that lasts years and is easy to remove.. like butyl.

But, since it's your trailer and not mine, you are welcome to use whatever you want.... just stay away from mine!
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farren and Heather View Post
I have read that silicone is bad. Is death for your camper. Is the worst thing ever used. I would like to know why? How do you get rid of it? What do you use instead? I hope none of you are rolling your eyes at such a newbie, I truly don't know what I am doing!
Silicone has a couple of bad characteristics that can cause problems. The first is that it tends to cure to a rubbery consistency but has poor adhesive properties - as the sealed area is flexed, this lets the rubbery bead of caulking 'break loose' from the surface or surfaces, meaning that the seal is no longer watertight. You can imagine the flexing that a trailer does as it is being towed...

I have removed a lot of silicone caulking that sailors have used on their boats that has subsequently leaked - and caused major damage to the boat - as a general rule, the bead of cured silicone peels right off, right easy, because there is water lodged behind it.

I've also sweat blood removing 40 year old butyl tape when reseating deck gear on sailboats. This gear is subject to enormous strains and constant movement, and is generally constantly wet, but the tape is usually as good as the day it was installed.

The second problem is the residue that silicone leaves behind - it's kinda super-slick, you can't see or feel it, but unless you get it all off, which is a hellishly difficult thing to do and involves chemicals which can eat your liver for lunch, nothing else will ever stick to the surfaces it has touched. Most marine stores, if not RV places, carry rolls of butyl tape in varying thicknesses and widths - it is, IMHO, the only caulking material to use in any situation where flexing can occur and you need a dependable waterproof seal.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
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One of the refernced links mentions using innertube as gasket material. A far better material is rubber pond liner. It is uniform in thickness, similar consistency to innertube, and the best attribute is that it is UV resistant. I use it for all sorts of things.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Years ago, when we had a sailboat, I was told that silicone makes a good gasket material, but a terrible caulk. Any thoughts on it as a gasket material?
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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It's funny, last night while I was spending literally hours, unsuccessfully, trying to remove what felt like an entire giant tube of silicone from the bottom of my Boler cabinets, I was thinking about starting a thread called....'why I hate silicone'....silicone is the bain of my time spent doing our restoration. I am a female who try's not to swear, but.....
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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It's funny, last night while I was spending literally hours, unsuccessfully, trying to remove what felt like an entire giant tube of silicone from the bottom of my Boler cabinets, I was thinking about starting a thread called....'why I hate silicone'....silicone is the bain of my time spent doing our restoration. I am a female who try's not to swear, but.....
go ahead and swear, we understand. Raz
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