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Old 08-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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Advanced Rubber Roof Repair Help Needed

So, the story is that a slow leak developed in our shower skylight. It apparently wasn't bad enough to even show inside until it had already done a lot of damage.

Here are some pictures.





I'm OK when it comes to putting on new luan and the roof membrane itself. What I would like suggestions on is fixing the structure around the skylight hole. It may not be clear but the structural boards on both the left side and the bottom of the picture are rotted badly. I assume that they are in place to provide the frame to attach the shower skylight so that means that they have to be sturdy. It appears that they were originally fasted together with large staples (2" long). I have the bottom one in the first picture about 1/2 way removed and I'm going to have to remove the one on the left side of the shower opening back to the "y". I would probably fasten the two new ones together with biscuits or dowels before I put them in. I'm considering using pocket hole screws to hold them to the existing wood but am not sure how well that is going to work. Additionally, it looks like I could rip pressure treated 2x4s to the roughly 2 1/2 depth but I'm wondering if those aren't too heavy for this application.

It looks like they used some sort of an aluminum flashing around where the skylight was fastened, underneath the luan. I'm assuming that was done for strength but the aluminum was only fastened to the wood, not the surrounding materials.

Lastly, the skylight is a "neo skylight". It is not rectangular. I've found several suppliers that can provide neo skylights but they require that the dimensions be symetrical - mine are not. For example, they want the two long sides equal. One of mine is 33" the other is 31". I'm hoping to find a supplier who can custom make a new skylight to the dimensions I have. Reconfiguring the inside of the shower to handle a different size will not be easy.

All creative ideas and suggestions willingly accepted.

TIA

Charlie
All creative ideas gratefully accepted.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:04 PM   #2
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Charles:: No info on the original skylight...
If all else fails, a flat piece of smoke Lexan cut to the original shape may work as a replacement.. I had problems with small leaks around the screw heads on my skylight and I sealed the flat flange and onto the roof with 4" wide Eternabond tape.
MinWax makes a wood hardner that penetrates soft wood and dries to a hard plastic. I have used that to repair rotted wood in a travel trailer.... But!- use care- The solvents may attack the sytrofoam in the roof until it dries.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
Charles:: No info on the original skylight...
If all else fails, a flat piece of smoke Lexan cut to the original shape may work as a replacement.. I had problems with small leaks around the screw heads on my skylight and I sealed the flat flange and onto the roof with 4" wide Eternabond tape.
MinWax makes a wood hardner that penetrates soft wood and dries to a hard plastic. I have used that to repair rotted wood in a travel trailer.... But!- use care- The solvents may attack the sytrofoam in the roof until it dries.
Thanks for the idea, Hooligan. As an old sailboater, I've used "git rot" before but this wood is beyond that. It just crumbles.

I've found some suppliers that may have a skylight close to the original size that I could try to reconfigure the underside of the shower to match. Tomorrow, I'm going to call my new local Georgie Boy dealer and see if Forest River is willing to try to work with me to get the original sized part or point me to the supplier who made them (who may or may not still be in business.

It was the leaks around the screw heads that got me. I just wished that something had come through the ceiling sooner - I might have been able to fix this mess before the damage was so extensive.

Charlie
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:05 AM   #4
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Charlie, modifying the size and shape of the sky lite is not hard to do. The sky lite should consist of two pieces. the outer or top piece on the roof and the inside piece mounted to the ceiling of the shower in this case. Frame it out, It does not have to be supper strong as you will not be walking on the sky lite itself. Attach the frame of sky lite to interior ceiling as well as the roof decking with staples or counter sunk screws. Install sky lite and seal it with self leveling lap sealant (Dicor).
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Charlie, modifying the size and shape of the sky lite is not hard to do. The sky lite should consist of two pieces. the outer or top piece on the roof and the inside piece mounted to the ceiling of the shower in this case. Frame it out, It does not have to be supper strong as you will not be walking on the sky lite itself. Attach the frame of sky lite to interior ceiling as well as the roof decking with staples or counter sunk screws. Install sky lite and seal it with self leveling lap sealant (Dicor).
Thanks very much for your reply, Mike. If I may, I have some follow up questions:

1. It does not appear that the inner part of my current setup came with the existing skylight. Perhaps that is what is confusing me. I'm going to take the few screws that seem to hold it in place from the bottom off today and see what I get. If that is the case, when I order the new one, do I need to be concerned with a roof depth measurement?

2. I understand about the new frame not having to be too strong but am worried about the "vibrating loose" problem. It is the tying of the new skylight to the existing structure that has me worried from a vibration aspect. I was planning to use caulk everywhere inside the structure.

3. It appears that one of the reasons that the original setup leaked is that the screws rusted out. They were about 2" long. I was planning to replace them with a stainless fastener to prevent that in the future. Your thoughts?

I'm not at all concerned about fastening the skylight top to the frame and using the self-leveling caulk. It think that will be the easiest part of the job. It was clear that the first installation was not done on a level surface. The resulting damage (cracks in the skylight plastic) were no doubt a contributor to the leaks. I'm assuming that I could add another layer or luan in places if I need to to bring everything to level.

Thanks again.

Charlie
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:08 AM   #6
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Charlie, when you order a new sky lite you can order outer, inner or both if you need to. I don't think you have to worry about height of the inner piece. I have never seen a roof so thin that it was too high to install.
You should not get too much vibration but you do want it to be firm. If you found rusted screws then it was not sealed properly or maintained. Inspect your roof every 6 month for gapping of sealant and if need be clean and reseal. You should not have to use stainless steel screws but be sure area is clean and lap sealant is covering screw heads and seal very well. An uneven surface will cause the plastic to break and leak. Leveling the area is a must and you will have corrected the installation problem from the factory. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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Thanks for your reply, Mike.

I'm still a little confused about your "inner" and "outer" When I physically took the top off, I can reach into the shower. There is a plastic frame around that inside that is only held on by about 4 screws but it is completely decorative AFAIK.

I found this place.
Replacement Skylights, Square, Rectangular & Round. and they've given me a quote of $500 plus packing and shipping for an exact sized replacement that is Lexan like. The original dome does not appear to be that quality but the 10 years may have made it brittle. I'm planning to place the order today or tomorrow unless I get guidance to the contrary. I'm still open to other sourcing.

About 1/2 of the screws were rusted, some of them badly and almost all of them were on the parts with rotted wood. They were all completely covered from the top. I've cleaned the roof and put on the sealant twice a year, carefully looking at the caulk. There was no outward sign of leaks or evidence that the caulk seal had been breached anywhere. It looks like it was a lot of slow leaks. It wasn't until late last year that anything showed up inside and the structural wood could not have rotted that much that fast. I suspect that it was a "death by 1,000 cuts" type situation. It is very possible that I didn't know what I should have been looking for but I did look. I've been cleaning and putting the sealant on the roof twice a year and go carefully over every place where there is caulk. This one doesn't look different than the others.....which makes me think that I should consider re-caulking everything...ugh. The MH is now inside all of the time. I probably should have done this barn years ago. Maybe the problem wouldn't have developed.

There is no question that the original was damaged during installation. There are many broken parts (one whole corner is broken off) but those weren't visible because of the caulk. It is also remotely possible that it was installed whole but that the years and the miles have caused the cracking. Given the disparity in the height of the screws, the latter doesn't appear likely. It looks like they cranked down harder in some areas than others. It is hard to tell if those areas were the original water incursion point. They are pretty far from the worst of the rot underneath.

In the reply to my original thread on this problem, the other Georgie Boy owner who completely replaced his roof had a similar problem in the shower area. I don't think his structural support was as badly damaged, based on his pictures.

I noticed that the luan was glued to the Styrofoam and structure underneath. I'm assuming that a product like Liquid Nails would be OK for that. For the top side of the luan, to put on the rubber membrane, I bought a gallon (the smallest size) of the correct adhesive when I bought the membrane.

I can post pictures of the old dome if that would help.

Thanks again for your continued support. This is quite a tiger that I have by the tail.

Charlie
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Charles: My skylight is a single layer also. That inside piece is just plastic trim. When new, mine leaked into the shower, dealer tightened, cracked, and replaced the skylight. A few years later, small leak again and I removed the caulk from around the screws and applied the Eternabond. Having the leak where I could see it was really fortunate...
Good luck, sounds like you have a plan..
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:16 PM   #9
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Check building hardware dept at Home Depot/etc and look for tie in angles /etc that is used on stick homes. Can often find useable items to make repairs
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:37 AM   #10
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Some of the problem might have been caused by condensation from showering and getting under the sky lite. When you install the new sky lite, be sure to use butyl tape on the flat perimeter, bottom edge that meets the roof membrane. I would also try to design a method to prevent any condensation from getting behind the trim ring. If the trim ring meets the sky lite, you could use clear silicone on clean surfaces to create this seal. Otherwise you may want to add material to do so, to the trim ring.
Have you considered buying a sky lite used in a stick home? I know that you may have to re-frame the opening but it can be done easy enough. You may also find that there are inner and outer panels that will add some R value and prevention of condensation problems mentioned above with a stick home sky lite. I hope this message is not too late for you to do a little more research in your choices. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:23 AM   #11
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In my old RV, A class C the windows in the cab over section leaked. (typical Class C issue) and I had to replace some of the framing members around the windows, here is what I did.
1) exposed areas where the damage was to allow it to dry out to reduce possibility of mold
2) using screw drivers, pry bars and scrappers I removed all of the spongy wood.
3) cut 2x stock to best fit the areas.
4) Glued into place with Gorilla Glue. ( I think you could glue water together with this stuff)

Once the glue dried the areas were as strong as original.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for the additional replies.

I have not yet ordered anything because I wanted to continue to explore options.

Let's look a different view of this problem.

Look specifically at the gap between the inner trim of the shower below and the caulk line where the old bubble was fastened. You can only see that in the upper and right parts of the picture because I had to remove the roof membrane to get at the rotted wood elsewhere. That gap was similar the whole way around before my demolition efforts. While it is barely visible in the picture, try to see that the shower frame below ties into the same wood structure as the skylight did. My guess is that the shower frame is a part of the structural integrity of the installation I have considered a standard skylight but cannot see how the oblong structure and inner trim ring for it could work as it overlaps the shower wall below. If you have a different view point, please feel free to state it.

Mike your point about condensation being my enemy is very accurate. During the winter and without using the shower, we've seen water puddle on the shower floor. Based on your comments, I'm wondering if a double layer dome would help. I think your idea about the butyl tape is a good one. There is a exhaust fan (barely visible in the picture, which we try to use in many temperatures but I have to cover the exhaust fan vent in the ceiling in the winter or it is impossible to heat the RV. Unfortunately, this is exactly when we need the vent to work.

Mafiaman, Gorillia glue sounds like exactly what I should use though I'll probably add some pocket hole screws as strategic points because I'm a belt AND suspenders kind of a guy.

I remain open to additional inputs and will not order any more parts until I settle upon a final plan. Please keep your ideas coming.

I very much appreciate all the contributions so far.

Charlie
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:41 AM   #13
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Charlie, You apparently have a different skylight arrangement than mine. I have two plastic domes, inner and outer. I am not sure why there is an inner one except for cosmetic reasons and perhaps to provide a thermal barrier. You could add the inner dome if you wanted to but it may be harder to do as a retrofit.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #14
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I just realized that I really messed up.

Here is the correct link

http://www.pellandent.com/RV_Product...CategoryID=101

I was confused because I started out working with several companies and the other link was one of them. Sorry...early signs of Alzheimers

Jim, if you follow the correct link above, you will see a drop down list on the left side of the web page. On one of the listings is "Fax Forms" That takes you to an order page. When you look at that order page, one of the options is "double dome". I wouldn't consider any other way of doing it.
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