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Old 09-27-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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Silicone Caulking

In my wanderings around the forum I have come across numerous comments about NOT using silicone caulking. I told DH about it, and to get butyl based caulk instead. He's good with that, but wondered why not silicone caulk. He uses it around the house so what is different about the applications on an RV?

I've gotten very up close and personal with the exterior of our 94' 5th wheel this last week, and have found that many of the running lights and assorted covers have been caulked with silicone. Most is still holding strong. Should we at some point be thinking about removing said caulking?

But, I also read that it's next to impossible to remove the residue to apply a different caulk. There is one seam that the silicone caulk came off of that must be recaulked. What does one have to do to remove the silicone residue without eating the paint off the aluminum siding?

This newbie would love to hear the thoughts of those of you in the know!
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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Simple, yer house doesn't fled like and RV, and silicone pops easily and leaves a residue behind that makes it difficult to adhere and replacement sealant in the same spot.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #3
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Silicone is fine to use on the RV, around the sink and shower. Outside in the sun, its sometimes makes a big mess, and nothing else will ever stick to it or its residue if it ever needs to be removed.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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For removing silicone, use . . . (drum roll) . . . "Silicone Caulk Remover" and elbow grease. It is available at places like Home Depot and Lowe's. It's not hard to find.

Silicone Caulk Remover
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckExpress View Post
Simple, yer house doesn't fled like and RV

Hey Redneck!
Usually I can figure things out from the context, but this time I'm completely stumped....

Translation, please!

Francesca
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Kurmudgeon;969467]For removing silicone, use . . . (drum roll) . . . "Silicone Caulk Remover" and elbow grease. It is available at places like Home Depot and Lowe's. It's not hard to find.

I did not know there was such a thing! Thanks! I'm off to Home Depo to see what I can find.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca View Post

Hey Redneck!
Usually I can figure things out from the context, but this time I'm completely stumped....

Translation, please!

Francesca
Fled = Flex, fat finger syndrome today....
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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Many roof materials are not compatible with silicone caulk and this is the reason for recommending something else. Silicone caulk will not properly adhere to a rubber roof and may actually cause damage over time. Silicone caulk cannot be used over the top of a lap sealant such as Dicor (and vice versa) as they will not stick to each other. Silicone caulk can be used in many applications with the proper roofing material and depending upon the kind of caulking you are doing. New installations of a satellite antenna on a metal or fiberglass roof will likely do very well with silicone. Trying to re-caulk a roof seam with incompatible caulk will cause less than desirable results.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:49 AM   #9
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That silicone caulk remover left a lot to be desired when I tryed to remove some with it. It maybe helped some but was not the magic eraser.

Still took a lot of elbow grease and a good plastic scraper
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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That silicone caulk remover left a lot to be desired when I tryed to remove some with it. It maybe helped some but was not the magic eraser.

Still took a lot of elbow grease and a good plastic scraper
x2 squared

Rather than using typical cheap homeowners caulk, spring for an elastomeric caulk, which has the ability to stretch and flex as your RV rolls down the road. Dicor is the gold standard, since it is compatible with pretty much all materials, but if you don't have a rubber roof you have more choices. We used 3M 5200 marine sealant.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
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I've had pretty good luck using a heat gun to remove old caulk...
And choice of new depends on the use- If you're removing/reinstalling things like windows, vents, etc. butyl tape is my sealant of choice.

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Old 09-28-2011, 04:31 PM   #12
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Wow! Such good information. Thanks so much.

I finally got a good look at the roof last night and I'll be spending some quality time recaulking. DH is fairly sure it's an aluminum roof, with what's left of a "Snow Coat" type product on top. For the most part it's in OK shape. The back corners definitely need recaulking NOW! Where I think the roof seams are one side moves a bit where maybe the tape has come lose? It's hard to say because on the surface it's all smooth.

We're not going to do much at this point other than the back corners. The fall rains and winter snow are going to be here too soon for any type of major roof overhaul. We are planning a couple of short trips just to try things out, then we'll cover him up till spring.

I will post a few picture and hope some of you "been there, done that" folks can help us formulate our plan of attack come spring.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:44 PM   #13
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Silicone caulk, when exposed to sun and flexing, will develop micro-fissures. The will eventually lead to leaks. Additionally, many of the RV materials will not adhere with silicone caulk.

For roof and end cap seams you cannot beat Eternabond. Just make sure it is clean where you are putting it and you have it where you want it to be placed.

Ken
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:46 PM   #14
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Apparently there is a new generation caulking available for sidewall caulking. I believe it's called Geocell. I may be wrong on the name. Camping World sells it.

Many of the RV manufacturers are using it. Much better than silicone because it 'latches' itself into the paint.
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