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Old 07-27-2016, 09:32 AM   #1
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Water Damage in Wall of Slide-Out

Hello. First time in the forum. My husband and I have had a 2006 FR Sandpiper for three years now. We have been smelling a musty smell but couldn't find anything, so we went out to clean the carpets on Saturday (we have it parked at a seasonal site.)

As we pulled the couch out on the main slide out, we saw mildew on the carpet. As we removed the dinette set and pulled up the carpet, we saw a little mildew/mold on the plywood (but no structural issues.) We treated it with concrobium and will be painting it with Kilz.

However, we noticed a small bubble in the wallpaper at the base of the wall (center of the long wall.) We started pulling up the wallpaper and saw evidence of mildew and mold. It appears that there is a leak in the seal at the top of the slide out (which we just inspected a couple of months ago, but that's how things go I guess.) The water damage goes up to the ceiling.

We have vacuum bonded laminate walls. I believe it is an aluminum frame but my husband is calling the manufacturer to confirm. We are hands on DIY people at home, but this would be our first major RV repair. Obviously we could pull up the wallpaper (which is not fun) and paint the walls with Kilz, but I'm sure the insulation has issues and needs to come out too.

I've watched just about every YouTube video and read just about every blog there is, but wanted to get some advice on our specific situation.

I have a few questions:

1) My understanding is that the current wall is two panels of luan with some foam insulation in the middle. Is this correct?
2) After removing the current wall, what do we need to do to get the new one in place? Does it need to be reattached to the fiberglass?
3) Do the wall cabinets need to be removed from the outside (e.g. do we need to remove the aluminum in order to get to the screws to remove the cabinets from the wall.)

Any advice you can give would be appreciated. As of midnight last night I was ready to donate it :(

Thanks!

Amy
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:12 AM   #2
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are you absolutely SURE you need to remove the wall?

You might consider fixing the leak first and foremost, and then simply allow the wall to dry and move on.

If the wall seems structurally sound, I might not dig into it any further. Put some fans on it, and allow it to dry. These types of repairs can get pretty hairy.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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are you absolutely SURE you need to remove the wall?

You might consider fixing the leak first and foremost, and then simply allow the wall to dry and move on.

If the wall seems structurally sound, I might not dig into it any further. Put some fans on it, and allow it to dry. These types of repairs can get pretty hairy.
The wall does seem structurally sound. We do NOT want to replace it if we do not need to (we have four kids and no desire to take on an unnecessary project). In fact, we even kicked around the idea of (once completely dry from fans), tearing off all the wallpaper from the wall and removing the outside seal (where the leak started), pouring Concrobium into the seal (so it would get in the wall the same way the water did), and then drying it out real well again. Once it had plenty of time to dry, we'd reseal the slide and paint the wall with the Kilz. But we weren't sure if that would make it worse...it was one idea we had for getting to the mold inside without tearing anything apart. We still have a slightly musty smell, but we're still removing the rest of the wallpaper in that area, so we haven't been able to treat it all yet.

But we might be reaching out of hope that we can fix the mold issue without a tear out. Thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:33 PM   #4
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tearing it out would be a last resort for me.... It would have to be totally crumbling away for me to want to do that.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:01 PM   #5
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Once it's dry I wouldn't replace anything unless the rot caused it to deteriorate so badly that you need to. The mold and mildew will not cause future problems and if you clean and seal with Kilz as you propose then that should take care of it. Do you have a slide topper? If not add one. I always say that slides are like skylights, they either leak when you first put it in or they leak later. Slide leaks are way to common. It doesn't take an advanced degree to engineer this properly.
After you get it water tight you can make a decision to sell and upgrade or more likely enjoy your trailer since you solved the problem.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of the advice. We're going to proceed with the kilz. It's a much better alternative
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:23 PM   #7
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Mold is a a lot like rust, it never sleeps. By the time wood has been wet long enough to mold it will have begun to weaken and rot. If you can get to both sides of the wood to paint it with Killz you can slow it down some but my guess is that you will be smelling it again in the future.

And if it was chip board rather than marine plywood it will be very soft/crumbling apart.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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Once it's dry I wouldn't replace anything unless the rot caused it to deteriorate so badly that you need to. The mold and mildew will not cause future problems and if you clean and seal with Kilz as you propose then that should take care of it. Do you have a slide topper? If not add one. I always say that slides are like skylights, they either leak when you first put it in or they leak later. Slide leaks are way to common. It doesn't take an advanced degree to engineer this properly.
After you get it water tight you can make a decision to sell and upgrade or more likely enjoy your trailer since you solved the problem.
Really? Ive had my trailer for 7 years and the slide is the only part that has NEVER leaked. The rest of the roof has a ton of phantom leaks that happen once and never do again, others are seasonal or move around.

The only difference between the slide and roof is the slide is rubber and roof is aluminum. The roof appears to be in excellent shape just by looking at it so the leaks I live with rack my brain. You can shoot a hose anywhere but never reproduce the issue but if it rains an inch in december the bedroom will become an indoor pool, but 3 inches in spring it remains dry.
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