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Old 07-07-2020, 05:19 PM   #1
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Screws in Fiberglass - Remove Silicone Caulk from Fiberglass

Confession: I torture my rig when boondocking. Miles and miles of horrid washboard road takes a toll on everything. Step one on arrival is to locate the screws on the floor. In wood, I use a larger screw and Gorilla glue. In metal, I use LocTite.

But what about fiberglass?
I have an 8' long metal gutter that was held on by just 4 screws. 5th trip this season, and it fell of in my hands.

What adhesive do you recommend for screws in fiberglass? I'll use 4 larger stainless screws in the original holes and harvest the 4 original screws and add them in between the factory attachment points.

Adhesive on the threads and in the holes will do a lot to keep them from vibrating out. What adhesive do I add to my tool box?

There's a big goober strip of silicone caulk on the upper edge of the gutter. Besides a putty knife, is there a really good way to get he caulk to release from the glass so I won't have to wreck the gelcoat?

TIA
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:13 PM   #2
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I worked at a boat factory. We used 1/4" lexan or plexiglass 1" wide with one edge beveled about 45 degrees to a sharp edge. It would cut the caulk without scratching the gelcoat.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay2703 View Post
I worked at a boat factory. We used 1/4" lexan or plexiglass 1" wide with one edge beveled about 45 degrees to a sharp edge. It would cut the caulk without scratching the gelcoat.

And of course you wrote this the day after our trash pickup where I threw out a bunch of handheld snow scrapers that would have worked well for caulk removal.

As usual, my timing sucks. (sigh)

Ray
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:31 PM   #4
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And of course you wrote this the day after our trash pickup where I threw out a bunch of handheld snow scrapers that would have worked well for caulk removal.

As usual, my timing sucks. (sigh)

Ray
Probably hard to find this time of year too.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:57 PM   #5
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Almost all auto parts stores sell plastic "Bondo" applicators. These work well for removing sealants used on RV's, usually Dicor or Lexor. Tip: Warm the sealant up with a common hair dryer and it becomes easier to get off.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:29 AM   #6
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I would use 3m 5200 or equivalent on the fiberglass. This is what we use on our boats and it is water tight and works well with the gelcoat.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jay2703 View Post
I worked at a boat factory. We used 1/4" lexan or plexiglass 1" wide with one edge beveled about 45 degrees to a sharp edge. It would cut the caulk without scratching the gelcoat.
Makes me think I could use a plastic ice scraper...I have a couple new ones. Does that seem to be equivalent?
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:12 AM   #8
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And of course you wrote this the day after our trash pickup where I threw out a bunch of handheld snow scrapers that would have worked well for caulk removal.

As usual, my timing sucks. (sigh)

Ray
Fortunately, I have a few.
Years ago, I bought ones with a brass edge...for use in ice-caked upstate NY. Whenever I buy a new snow brush here in CO, they usually throw in an ice scraper...and plastic ones don't hold a candle to the brass. So they sit around unused.

But I hear ya about throwing it away just before you find a use for it.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:13 AM   #9
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Almost all auto parts stores sell plastic "Bondo" applicators. These work well for removing sealants used on RV's, usually Dicor or Lexor. Tip: Warm the sealant up with a common hair dryer and it becomes easier to get off.
good suggestion!
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jay2703 View Post
I worked at a boat factory. We used 1/4" lexan or plexiglass 1" wide with one edge beveled about 45 degrees to a sharp edge. It would cut the caulk without scratching the gelcoat.

Mr. boat guy...
What adhesive would you recommend?

I use Gorilla Glue on steel screws in wood, and it acts like LocTite...VERY effective. I don't know what to choose for the thin fiberglass skin.
I don't want to just experiment, because each time a screw pops on a camper, it does not "back itself out"...it strips and pops. The hole gets bigger, and the surrounding material gets more and more damaged. The right adhesive will make a huge difference in durability.

Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by scayne62 View Post
I would use 3m 5200 or equivalent on the fiberglass. This is what we use on our boats and it is water tight and works well with the gelcoat.
Got it!
Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:23 AM   #12
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Thanks to all!!

I checked into the 3-M 5200, and that seems to be a good choice for adhesives.

The plastic scraper concept aided by heat from a blow dryer seems to be a good option for removing the existing goop.

I knew I could count on this forum!!

Thanks again.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
Fortunately, I have a few.
Years ago, I bought ones with a brass edge...for use in ice-caked upstate NY. Whenever I buy a new snow brush here in CO, they usually throw in an ice scraper...and plastic ones don't hold a candle to the brass. So they sit around unused.

But I hear ya about throwing it away just before you find a use for it.
If you do use a brass scraper, always check the edge for burrs before using it. Even while using it. You can wind up with a bunch of scratches on your windows or fiberglass. Ask me how I know.
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:08 PM   #14
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If you do use a brass scraper, always check the edge for burrs before using it. Even while using it. You can wind up with a bunch of scratches on your windows or fiberglass. Ask me how I know.
Gotcha! I learned a hard lesson. I used a green Scotchbright pad to clean crusty bugs off my windshield. The Scotchbright scratched the windshield.

Actually, given the hardness of glass, that seems impossible, so I'm wondering if my windshield has a coating on it that was scratched by the scrunge pad. Whatever, I may have to replace the windshield.
But I digress...
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:28 AM   #15
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I would use 3m 5200 or equivalent on the fiberglass. This is what we use on our boats and it is water tight and works well with the gelcoat.
Keep in mind 5200 is PERMANENT. You'll play hell getting anything apart where it's used.
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:53 AM   #16
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Keep in mind 5200 is PERMANENT. You'll play hell getting anything apart where it's used.
Thanks. That's the goal in this case....a "rain gutter" over my slide. Assuming adhesion to stainless steel screws is pretty good, I'm not likely to every remove it. If I must, I'm confident that an impact driver can break the bond.

But I really appreciate the heads up. I wouldn't want to use the wrong product and regret it.
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