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Old 02-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
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Recaulking My MoHo

I have seen many good discussions of caulk and recaulking of RV's here on IRV2. I recently did an inspection of my roof (fiberglass) and the various joints and seams. As in previous years i found the roof cutouts and front and rear joints in good condition, even after six years. However, the caulk at the side joints between the roof and the side panels were separated from the aluminum gutter but were still nicely attached to the fiberglass roof. The separation was not obvious at a casual look but was noticeable when pressed. I have reviewed the various caulks discussed here and read the manufacturers' application charts and specs.

I decided to use 3M 4000uv marine caulk and sealer for this repair. I considered 3m 5200 but chose the 4000 because it is removable whereas 5200 is said to be permanent, whatever that means, and because the 4000 is rated to bond to metal (the aluminum gutter) and fiberglass (the roof) but the 5200 mentions wood and fiberglass but not metal. The 3m 4000uv was not available locally, except by special order, where it was priced at $23+ per 10 oz tube, so I have placed an online order at about half that price. All of the 5200 available locally was the seven day curing variety. At this time I have removed the old caulk from the driver's side but haven't started the passenger side. Using a razor scrapper, the removal was easier than I anticipated.

Any thoughts re my choice of caulk or suggestions concerning applying the caulk will be appreciated.

JT
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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I used the 4000 (not the 4000uv) as a sealant in the shower last year. I've had to reseal it at least half a dozen times due to the large amount of expansion and contraction between the 90*+ summer heat and the -20* winter cold. This is the first time I tried the 3M product and so far so good. It seems to handle the temperature range well and so far hasn't tried to pull away from one of the surfaces.

I'm sure the 4000UV will do an excellent job on the roof. The only caution would be to make sure you use whatever you open. According to the person at West Marine it will only last 30 days once the tube has been opened. It has an "open" time of about 20 minutes. If I recall correctly it can be cleaned up with water within the 20 minute period.

Here's a link to the 3M marine sealant application chart:
Marine Sealant & Marine Adhesive Guide : Marine Supplies : 3M Europe
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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I used 4000uv on my Winny roof about 5 years ago. It's still holding good.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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I used the 4000uv last year on both sides of my roof (front to back) and was very pleased with the results. I used one tube on each side and had a little bit left over at the end of each side. The left over gets hard in a few days so use it as quickly as possible. I paid about $15 per tube. Bill
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reassurance guys. I removed about two-thirds of the passenger side caulking today and over the patio awning the caulk was attached firmly to both the gutter and the roof. I had a discussion with myself as to whether to leave this good stretch or to replace it too, especially since this was considerably more difficult to remove. I decided that since I was into the project, to do it all with new caulk. I have three tube scheduled to arrive Monday so there should be plenty. If I have any unopened left, I wonder what kind of shelf life it has.

JT
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Well, the caulk arrived today (early) so I got on the project. It went about as I expected, except my hands tired quickly using the caulk gun. This stuff (3M 4000uv) seems to be stiffer than regular household caulk and is hard to feed through the nozzle. I used a whole tube before stopping for the day but wanted to rest sooner. Yes it does set up pretty fast, so I did about three feet, then smoothed it out and reset my ladder and stuff, then moved to the next segment. I had about ten minutes of working time before it stiffened.

My only concern now is the scary warnings about getting it on one's skin, which, of course, I did. Any of you fellows get any on yourself and, if so, did you have any reaction? Hopefully, that largely CYA legalism. I know I'll have sore muscles! Thanks.

JT
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
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It's messy stuff, and yes I got it all over my hands. I kept a wet rag handy so I could clean it off. By the time I was done standing on my head, laying on my back, and generally twisting myself into a knot I had several spots on the backs of my arms I couldn't see. Once it dries on your skin it's really hard to get off. I was picking it off my hands, arms, and out from under my finger nails for a good week.

I believe you're right about the warnings being largely CYA legal speak. It propably has no effect on the average person. On the other hand if like peanuts, milk or a million other things, if you happened to be allergic to it you could be in real trouble
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
It's messy stuff, and yes I got it all over my hands. I kept a wet rag handy so I could clean it off. By the time I was done standing on my head, laying on my back, and generally twisting myself into a knot I had several spots on the backs of my arms I couldn't see. Once it dries on your skin it's really hard to get off. I was picking it off my hands, arms, and out from under my finger nails for a good week.

I believe you're right about the warnings being largely CYA legal speak. It propably has no effect on the average person. On the other hand if like peanuts, milk or a million other things, if you happened to be allergic to it you could be in real trouble
Thanks, Hikerdogs, for the report. I got it on my hands but after half a dozen scrubbings it seems to be gone and, now, after about 18 hours, no adverse reaction. I'll probably get back onto the job tomorrow.

JT
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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I've used 5200 on my flats boat on several projects. It is exactly what they say "permanent". I don't see any way to get it off without damaging the surfaces it is on. The bond can be separated with guitar string sawing but it will forever be on the surfaces. It is also not UV resistant.
You made a good choice with 4000, 4200 fast cure is also a good product.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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I've used 5200 on my flats boat on several projects. It is exactly what they say "permanent". I don't see any way to get it off without damaging the surfaces it is on. The bond can be separated with guitar string sawing but it will forever be on the surfaces. It is also not UV resistant.
You made a good choice with 4000, 4200 fast cure is also a good product.
Thanks for the report, Peddler. I finished my job yesterday and am pleased with the looks of it at this point. My smoothing was less than perfect but the material, although quite stiff during application, seems to smooth out a little and take on a shiny finish as it sets up. Murphy was still active so while moving my stuff after finishing, I bumped the end of the tube on the blue side of the MoHo, leaving a blob. A wet rag only smeared and spread the white caulk, however, a dry rag and vigorous scrubbing got it off. It would have been near impossible to get off if missed til later! I noticed that a lump of the 4000uv had gotten on my aluminum ladder a couple of days earlier and it wouldn't scrape off with a trowel, so, hopefully, its also well bonded to the aluminum gutter.

JT
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Just a follow up note on application. The stuff sticks so well to everything that you do not need to put to much on. If you just clean all of the old caulk out of the groove and apply just enough to fill the groove and not overflow it you will be fine. Then there is no need to wipe off the excess. A little of this goes a long ways. Just go slow in application and do not over apply. Bill
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:37 AM   #12
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Just a follow up note on application. The stuff sticks so well to everything that you do not need to put to much on. If you just clean all of the old caulk out of the groove and apply just enough to fill the groove and not overflow it you will be fine. Then there is no need to wipe off the excess. A little of this goes a long ways. Just go slow in application and do not over apply. Bill
Too late. I probably used more than necessary, trying to get a slope from the roof to the gutter. Hope it lasts a long time since I don't think it'll remove easily!

JT
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