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Old 09-10-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
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I wish to repair small bubble in fiberglass siding - guide please

We have a couple of small (2 to 3 inch) bubbles in our mini light fiberglass front siding.

I called a local RV repair shop and they said front panel needed to be removed and that water had caused it.

I have now caulked around the suspect window.

Seems I could drill a hole and inject some type of glue so as to reattach?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

M-Bob
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:54 PM   #2
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Epoxy resin/glue could be used to fill a fiberglass bubble. But you will likely still have a bubble.

The traditional repair in the marine world is to remove the bubble (grind/sand) and get down to solid fiberglass. Then fill in with fiberglass cloth and resin/epoxy putty/gel coat until level (material used depends on size of depression, I listed in order of most strength). Apply gel coat or paint to match.

The traditional repair assumes the bubble is delamination within the fiberglass. If it is a fiberglass layer separating from a foam or plywood core, it's going to be harder to repair. You must make sure of the structural integrity of the foam or plywood before building fiberglass back up on top of it. All crumbling or loose foam has to be removed before repairing. Foam is usually built back up to original size with epoxy putty after getting to nothing but solid foam. Rotted/wet wood or plywood is usually cut out and replaced before re-fiberglassing.

Repairing fiberglass is never pleasant, but with care, nobody will ever know it was repaired. And if done right, it will be stronger than it was before.

hope this helps
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Epoxy resin/glue could be used to fill a fiberglass bubble. But you will likely still have a bubble.

The traditional repair in the marine world is to remove the bubble (grind/sand) and get down to solid fiberglass. Then fill in with fiberglass cloth and resin/epoxy putty/gel coat until level (material used depends on size of depression, I listed in order of most strength). Apply gel coat or paint to match.

The traditional repair assumes the bubble is delamination within the fiberglass. If it is a fiberglass layer separating from a foam or plywood core, it's going to be harder to repair. You must make sure of the structural integrity of the foam or plywood before building fiberglass back up on top of it. All crumbling or loose foam has to be removed before repairing. Foam is usually built back up to original size with epoxy putty after getting to nothing but solid foam. Rotted/wet wood or plywood is usually cut out and replaced before re-fiberglassing.

Repairing fiberglass is never pleasant, but with care, nobody will ever know it was repaired. And if done right, it will be stronger than it was before.

hope this helps
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
Thank you Fred
I'm about ready to make repair.
Don't care that much if the two bubbles are still there after repair but
wanting to stop their growth.
MB
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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L.inoI'm about ready to make repair.

LDon't care that much if the two bubbles are still there after repair but

wanting to stop their growth.

MB[/QUOTE]

I&
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:06 AM   #6
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Bubbles mean that the foam and skin has become detached. But then you have to ask why? Yes typically water damage starts this. That destroys the integrity of the wood, often expanding the wood. This cannot be easily repaired.

If the wood is solid and not delaminated or otherwise rotted then it is merely a matter of A) getting adhesive into the space and B) applying pressure to force the foam and skin together. Note that the adhesive must be one that cures chemically rather than through evaporation. This is why epoxy is most often used since you once you mix the 2 parts together the chemical reaction will progress even if sealed from air.

If wood has gone... then you will need to cut old out and graft in new and go into more of a bodywork mode of fill and sand.
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountainmanbob View Post
We have a couple of small (2 to 3 inch) bubbles in our mini light fiberglass front siding.

I called a local RV repair shop and they said front panel needed to be removed and that water had caused it.

I have now caulked around the suspect window.

Seems I could drill a hole and inject some type of glue so as to reattach?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

M-Bob
They have a product out now that is called MajicEzy, It's for fiberglass repair, it also pre tented to match your color they have about a dozen colors. That would cover the whole your going to have to make to inject some epoxy. What your trying to repair is only about 1/8" thick with plywood behind it. If you push on it and the plywood is delaminated under it, then I can see them saying you have to replace the wall you should be able to feel it if it is. Remember it's composit built. There is a good U-Tube instructions on how to do a repair on line. A lot of times the glue just lets go from not curing correctly. The hard part that I seen in the video was putting enough pressure on the area when drying. I bought the snow is what the color is called matches the white if your unit is white, I used it to repair a very small crack. I would look at both I mentioned. as far as an epoxy to use look at West Marine. They have products to do just as you need..Hope that helps a little but that is where I would start, If you can post a picture of the area your talking about. If it's close to the window you might be able to remove the window to get at the spots.....
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:09 AM   #8
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If the delam is under a window, you will still have to remove and reseal the window. Why not do it all at the same time?

This way, with the window out, you can use a large carpenter's clamp and some plywood pieces to clamp the exterior ply to the wall for curing.

Then using butyl tape, reseat the window and re-install the inner part of the window. Trim off the excess butyl with a razor knife.

http://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=21589
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountainmanbob View Post
We have a couple of small (2 to 3 inch) bubbles in our mini light fiberglass front siding.

I called a local RV repair shop and they said front panel needed to be removed and that water had caused it.

I have now caulked around the suspect window.

Seems I could drill a hole and inject some type of glue so as to reattach?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

M-Bob
As mentioned, fiberglass epoxy is the best route. Deciding whether there is damage behind the bubble is your call. An example of how to get the pressure for bonding is to park the RV close to a wall so you can wedge a short piece of 2x4 or something in between the wall and a piece of plywood putting pressure on the bubbled area. At most fiberglass repair shops you can purchase some non bonding material to place between the plywood and fiberglass. The difficult part is getting the right amount of epoxy in there for it to bond but not go all over the place.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:53 PM   #10
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W.E.S.T. epoxy comes in a tube, #610, like a tube of silicone, with two 'mixing' tips. Great product! Place in a caulk gun and have at it. Drill a hole where you want to inject the stuff and squez away. About 40 minutes work time before it starts to harden. When your done just remove, unscrew, the mixing tip and the epoxy in the tube is still good. The tube comes with two tips and you can buy more as/if needed. Oh, WEST Marine carries the stuff.
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