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Old 05-03-2020, 10:08 PM   #1
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Is this the beginning of a roofing problem?

I was up checking on the roof of my 2015 Coachem Catalina 273TBS today and everything looked pretty good except for one spot at the front leasing edge of the rubber roof. I'm referring to the seem where the rubber meets the plastic transition piece separating the rubber roof from the curved nose panel. There is a section of the rubber roof which appears to be separating. It is hard to see in the pic, but it is about 12-14 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. I can't tell if it's actual separation or just a spot where the adhesive wasn't applied at the very edge of the roof. Should I be concerned?Click image for larger version

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Old 05-03-2020, 11:06 PM   #2
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It’s hard to tell but that sure is a poor looking seal. I would suggest you get some eternabond tape, clean the whole seam per eternabond instructions and tape the whole seam.

Here is a link to 4” wide but they make it in 6” and more...

https://smile.amazon.com/EternaBond-...s%2C180&sr=8-3
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
It’s hard to tell but that sure is a poor looking seal. I would suggest you get some eternabond tape, clean the whole seam per eternabond instructions and tape the whole seam.

Here is a link to 4” wide but they make it in 6” and more...

https://smile.amazon.com/EternaBond-...s%2C180&sr=8-3
The picture is not great but the self-leveling looks to be pretty well intact along that edge. I have been reading a lot of folks gtalking about Eternabond and I have been curious about doing it. I looked at their website and the instructions are a little vague. Do I need to remove all of the self leveling caulk along the edge before I eternabond it? If so, I feel like I would be doing more damage than good.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:35 PM   #4
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The picture is not great but the self-leveling looks to be pretty well intact along that edge. I have been reading a lot of folks gtalking about Eternabond and I have been curious about doing it. I looked at their website and the instructions are a little vague. Do I need to remove all of the self leveling caulk along the edge before I eternabond it? If so, I feel like I would be doing more damage than good.
You know, I don’t know the answer to that. My gut says no but removing self leveling and covering with eternabond would not do more damage than good. Once you put it down, assuming you cleaned the area and followed instructions, it’s not coming up.

I put an eternabond patch on my roof where I tagged a tree about 5 years ago. Still adhered like new.

I’m sure others will pipe in shortly. Many on this forum have eternabond taped all the seams on the rv roof.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:05 AM   #5
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I am not sure if its a leak but it looks like the roof adhesive is failing. Make sure the roof underneath is solid to make sure there is not a leak. As long as it doesnt spread further you should be good.

If it spreads or the roof is soft you need to adress it. I would draw on the roof with a sharpie where the bubble is to see if it is getting bigger.

There is a thread here where someone had to reglue their roof because the front third bubbled like that. I would suggest at a minimum putting some adhesive under that to prevent it from bubbling further. Either slit the roof and put the adhesive underneath or inject it and patch with eternabond.

I just did my front seam, rear seam amd sides with eternabond. You don't have to removed all the dicore but you should be able to cover it or at least scrub it very clean.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:12 AM   #6
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I ended up leving some on the epdm roof because it was starting to pull up. I cleaned enough off to make sure that the eternabond went end to end.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-04-2020, 12:12 PM   #7
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I zoomed in a few times on your picture. Unless you are seeing evidence of a leak, soft roofing, or musty odors in side, probably it is just the way it came from the factory - unless you have a baseline to compare it to and you can see a difference.

My MH edpm roof is going on 14 years old and that particular seam was well sealed but not without some minor irregularities at the factory.

When you are dealing with a potential problem on a major component of your unit, the cost of a 30-60 minute labor charge at your local dealer seems worth the cost, to me anyway.

Chris
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:03 PM   #8
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Roof repair

Good advice on using the eternabond tape from everyone. We come across this often in doing our roof systems where eternabond has been used. Here's a couple of important tips in using Eternabond tape,
1. Remove all existing caulk completely
2. Clean the area with TSP (trisodium phosphate)
3. Use the 6" tape putting 3" on one side and 3" on the other.

If you have any questions you can email me at hal@rvroofingpros.com
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:05 PM   #9
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If you cannot easily peel off any Dicor off the old roof, then trim with a razor blade or scissors, clean the patch area and apply Eternabond over the old Dicor if necessary. Anything lapped over by the Eternabond will be there for good. I would leave at least an inch overlap to the side of anything like that.

Quote:
I looked at their website and the instructions are a little vague. Do I need to remove all of the self leveling caulk along the edge before I eternabond it?
What other instructions do you find vague? Work with the Eternabond tape in small sections, peeling only 6-12 inches of the clear backing off at a time. You can lay down an entire 8 feet of the tape, just leave the clear backing on the back of the tape and peel off small sections before applying. Lay the tape down correctly the first time, as you will not get a second chance... it sticks that well. Apply pressure with fingers or use a small seam roller. Once the tape has pressure applied to it, it is not going to come off IF the roof was cleaned and prepped with alcohol (IPA from a drug counter hi-% of alcohol) and allowed to dry.
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2pfunk View Post
The picture is not great but the self-leveling looks to be pretty well intact along that edge. I have been reading a lot of folks gtalking about Eternabond and I have been curious about doing it. I looked at their website and the instructions are a little vague. Do I need to remove all of the self leveling caulk along the edge before I eternabond it? If so, I feel like I would be doing more damage than good.
I cannot tell a bunch from the picture because I'm doing this on a cell phone. Somebody who can blow it up on a full-size computer screen can probably tell you better. My friend the roofer tells me you have to think like water. Where will the water go and is it getting in. if it is leaking and water has gotten in most responsible people will say do not slap eternabond over it or just do not go pick it up with more roof sealant.

this is probably a good place to say that roof sealants are a specific animal and nothing to do with what they sell in home Depot. The most widely used roof sealant is dicor brand self-leveling sealant.

You can get a better idea about roofing an RV by watching the "AZ Expert" channel on YouTube. He's an independent RV repairman who seems to specialize in a lot of roof problems. Through him I've learned a couple of really important things. Winnebago roofs don't generally use dicor that use a different and specialized sealant. There's a new material called a vinyl roof and nothing will stick to it making it almost unrepairable. It seems to be very sturdy but all it is is a waterproof cloth made of vinyl. I was on the roof of my friends 2014 Thor Miramar with the roof repair tech who had just done some extensive roof work for me. thank God there were no leaks and in one week area we agreed to pile up some dicor and Hope. but at this point he said that there is nothing he knows that he can do to repair a vinyl roof except when it's damaged remove it and replace it with a rubber roof or something that is more amenable to repair.

The AZ expert says dicor is not designed to be the primary seal nor is eternabond. He insists that the primary seal has to be made especially where the cap and the roof come together and then the dike or is just the finishing touch to seal the edge and channel water away from laying in that sesm and eventually working its way in.

I frankly even without being able to see the picture too well it doesn't look like you have a big problem and I wouldn't expect a big problem on a roof that's less than 5 years old unless it has been in a steaming hot climate or had a defective installation at the factory originally.

Good luck to you
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
There's a new material called a vinyl roof and nothing will stick to it making it almost unrepairable. It seems to be very sturdy but all it is is a waterproof cloth made of vinyl. I was on the roof of my friends 2014 Thor Miramar with the roof repair tech who had just done some extensive roof work for me. thank God there were no leaks and in one week area we agreed to pile up some dicor and Hope. but at this point he said that there is nothing he knows that he can do to repair a vinyl roof except when it's damaged remove it and replace it with a rubber roof or something that is more amenable to repair.
Well I am not sure what an RV VINYL roof is made of, but if it is made of vinyl then it can be glued. I have owned a Vinyl lined backyard pool 16' X 36' for over 25 years and I have repaired rips and tears in it several times without an issue using another piece of vinyl glueing to the original vinyl using vinyl glue.

Most air mattresses and small vinyl pools come with a tube of glue and a patch that always work. Vinyl glue will slightly melt the vinyl and when a second piece of vinyl is also pre-glued, the two sides will melt and fuse together when applied properly.

But when you run out of that small tube of glue you can purchase this product...
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:15 PM   #12
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And...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RvRoofPro View Post
Good advice on using the eternabond tape from everyone. We come across this often in doing our roof systems where eternabond has been used. Here's a couple of important tips in using Eternabond tape,
1. Remove all existing caulk completely
2. Clean the area with TSP (trisodium phosphate)
3. Use the 6" tape putting 3" on one side and 3" on the other.

If you have any questions you can email me at hal@rvroofingpros.com
4. Don't forget to roll the tape down for best adhesion. Even an inexpensive wallpaper seam roller will do.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
1. Remove all existing caulk completely
2. Clean the area with TSP (trisodium phosphate)
STEP 2A... FROM THE eternabond website... Clean the area to be repaired - the cleaner and drier the better.
(EternaBond® tapes will usually aggressively bond to non-cleaned surfaces, however, we suggest using EternaClean, or acetone applied to a rag and wiping the area to be repaired, or briskly rubbing the area with a dry towel.)

Through personal experience I like Isopropyl alcohol ( the same as you would get in the small packets that you might get with a repair kit to glue on a rearview mirror to your windshield), only buy at bottle of hi-alcohol stuff at the drug counter and apply with a clean rag just before you apply the tape.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:20 PM   #14
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Nice things about acetone

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STEP 2A... FROM THE eternabond website... Clean the area to be repaired - the cleaner and drier the better.
(EternaBond® tapes will usually aggressively bond to non-cleaned surfaces, however, we suggest using EternaClean, or acetone applied to a rag and wiping the area to be repaired, or briskly rubbing the area with a dry towel.)

Through personal experience I like Isopropyl alcohol ( the same as you would get in the small packets that you might get with a repair kit to glue on a rearview mirror to your windshield), only buy at bottle of hi-alcohol stuff at the drug counter and apply with a clean rag just before you apply the tape.
I haven't tried acetone on the EPDM roof, although I've used it on plenty of other projects. There are two nice things about it:
  • It is "stronger" than mineral spirits or alcohol--less scrubbing
  • It evaporates really quickly--less time to damage the roof membrane or other objects.
After that recommendation, I will definitely use it on the roof this summer. For what it's worth, it's $16.98 per gallon at Lowe's.
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