Hole In Roof - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:34 PM   #1
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Name: Dee
Trailer: Triple E
Ontario
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Hole In Roof

I have been reading threads here on fiberglass repair, feel overwhelmed by the amount of information, and haven't found too much info on my specific issue.

While washing the trailer this past week, Ontario, long winter, I tackled the roof which was covered with tree lichen. While doing this I discovered a small 1" round spot that was soft to the touch, obviously a patch, which as loose at one side. The interior lining is intact, there are no signs of leaking. But I want to fix this before there are signs of leaking.

First, I need to remove the current patch to see what I am up against.

Question: what can I do to seal the hole temporarily, when the patch has been removed? The trailer sits out of doors and will be sitting in the weather and rain.

I know the hole cannot be accessed from the inside of the trailer as the lining is intact, and would have to be cut away to get at the ceiling in the trailer, which I do not want to do. I am wanting to repair this hole from the outside.

Question: I am thinking of using the Bondo Fiberglass Resin Repair Kit (http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/bo...5803p.html#srp) to repair the hole. Pros and Cons?
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:54 PM   #2
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That looks like a good kit because it has the cloth in it. You'll want some cheap 1 or 1 1/2 inch throwaway paint brushes to apply the resin. I usually mix the resin in a paper cup and stir it with a popsicle stick. Once it sets up there's no cleaning it off brushes.
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob, good to know about the brushes!
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:09 PM   #4
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Dee, couldn’t you fiberglass right over the existing patch? If you decide to remove the current patch, you could use the aluminized duct tape to keep things dry until you are ready for the permanent patch.
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:26 PM   #5
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David B, I hadn't thought of leaving the existing patch in place, what a good idea! The patch has been functional until the removal of the lichen, so after a good cleaning I'll put the fiberglass patch over it!
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:06 PM   #6
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First clean the surface with dishwashing liquid a couple of times and be sure to ruff up the surface real good! Use 36-40 grit sandpaper.
'Glass is simple to work with, watch some videos, cover everything so your not dripping resin on anything.
Wet the surface real good, wet the glass and lay it on then take the brush and poke the glass down till it appears saturated. At least 2-3 layers. As a former poster use to say " U can do it"
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:26 PM   #7
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Umm... to clarify what Fred said. When he said "Wet the surface real good" he meant with resin, not water. Same thing with the glass.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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Eternabond tape is made for such. It will last over 10 years. I highly recommend it.

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Old 04-26-2018, 08:30 PM   #9
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Wash the area with acetone, this will slightly soften the surface of the area and prepare it for a chemical bond, acetone is the solvent for the resin, and will help in linking molecules. Then while the acetone is still wet, brush on resin, then cloth pressing out any air bubbles. Finish with waxed gel coat the same color as the trailer. If you do not use waxed gelcoat, it will always remain slightly sticky and will collect dirt which will 'glue' its self to the new fiberglass work. First used fiberglass in 1975 building and repairing yachts.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:48 PM   #10
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If you need a temporary tape that is water resistant to seal over the hole while you are going through the repair process you can use aluminum duct tape. It makes a good, long lasting, water tight bond, just burnish the edges down nice and flat. After removing the tape clean any tape residue off the surface before putting on the fiberglass patch. Always nice to have a small roll of this metal tape in an emergency repair kit. Unlike cloth duct tape it is not a fabric that gets UV damage and the edges are not prone to lifting up in the wind. I have used this tape in various exterior situations where it stayed in place for the better part of a year before I got around to patching up a hole. You can put more than one layer on if you want. Big bonus points.....it is very easy to find in a variety of types of stores including the dollar store chains.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee823 View Post
I have been reading threads here on fiberglass repair, feel overwhelmed by the amount of information, and haven't found too much info on my specific issue.

While washing the trailer this past week, Ontario, long winter, I tackled the roof which was covered with tree lichen. While doing this I discovered a small 1" round spot that was soft to the touch, obviously a patch, which as loose at one side. The interior lining is intact, there are no signs of leaking. But I want to fix this before there are signs of leaking.

First, I need to remove the current patch to see what I am up against.

Question: what can I do to seal the hole temporarily, when the patch has been removed? The trailer sits out of doors and will be sitting in the weather and rain.

I know the hole cannot be accessed from the inside of the trailer as the lining is intact, and would have to be cut away to get at the ceiling in the trailer, which I do not want to do. I am wanting to repair this hole from the outside.

Question: I am thinking of using the Bondo Fiberglass Resin Repair Kit (http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/bo...5803p.html#srp) to repair the hole. Pros and Cons?
You will probably find this is a bubble between the fibreglass layers if it's not right through remove all loose pieces with a strong blade clean the areas well with acetone then full with bondo, sand down, then coast with a surface layer of flow coat. If its not visible don't sand the flow coat smooth as it will possible open up pin holes in the surface.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:12 AM   #12
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Dee, fiberglass work is a lot easier than most people think. I didn't a lot of repairs to our Scamp and it takes only a little practice to get the hang of it. We removed the stove and refrigerator from our Scamp and I patched the entire vent hole from those appliances. BIG HOLE. It went very well and I was very pleased with the results.

One piece of advice I'd share is to practice a patch off of your camper before you jump in. You will get a feeling about how long it takes to set and how to spread the resin as well as how the fabric/mat works when wet. You probably have a lot of material in your kit and can spare a little to learn how things will "work."

As advised by someone else, get some cheap hobby brushes from Lowe's or Hobby Lobby that you won't mind throwing away when you're done. I used rubber gloves to keep the resin and fibers off of me. I mixed my resin in a paper bowl bought from Walmart in the picnic/paper plate isle.

Surface prep is a major key to success. Make sure that the surface is clean and you're ready for the new patch. Collect your materials and patch a hole in cardboard before you try the real patch. Of course, it won't hold, but you'll know about mixing your resin and how to work the brush as well as the fabric. Having this experience will make you more confident when you approach your camper to work the real hole. Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:17 AM   #13
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Name: Dee
Trailer: Triple E
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Thanks for the great feedback!

My first step, having read all the excellent suggestions and tips, is to cover the patch with metal duct tape to prevent leaks while I plan the next step. I will put a small piece of paper on the sticky part of the duct tape, where it will go over the existing patch, so that when I take it off, it won't rip the patch off.

I like the Eternabond idea as well, but it is too pricey to use as a short term solution, when the $3.79 CAN will buy enough metal duct tape to do the job.
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