Hi all -
Finally, a sunny weekend, so I began to tackle the dreaded corner trim job. Only dreaded because of the poor soul (as I cursed him or her for hours today) who thought it was a good idea to seal where the butyl had failed with silicone. Actually I lucked out, it turned out there's only eight feet total. Tomorrow I tackle the last three feet.
Next good weekend I'm going to be removing the insert, trim, and resealing. So my question is - what do you think of, after cleaning things up and prior to using the butyl, using 2" eternabond down the corners to create an additional (probably permanent barrier?). I figure worst is that it would peek out a little from under the trim, but might provide some peace of mind.
I saw a video where they used a similar solution (called weatherseal I think but then can't find the product) so thought this might be an alternate option.
Would love opinions! Also the video is about the only one I can find detailing how to do this project - if anyone spots that he's doing something wrong, or has different advice I'd appreciate it :-)
Here goes, my opinion based upon my experience.
First, read this - not entirely accurate, but close:
What I do not agree with is Polyurethane:
It is no more dangerous to you than any other sealant you may use. Standard precautions, yes.
Stringy - depends entirely on the product and intended use. Some, such as those used for major joints such as tilt up buildings actually have that built into the manufacture for adhesion and cohesion.
As for butyl caulk, yes it is very water resistant and extremely viable - provided (which is not stated) - it is shielded from constant UV exposure. It is EXTREMELY messy to apply.
As for the tape in your video - I don't know. My experience has been only and very satisfactory with Eternabond. I also know it is compatible with both butyl and polyurethane. Compatibility is very important to know before you use any product.
Eternabond has fibres integrated into the tape and does not, in my experience, squeeze out.
My suggestion would be:
1. Eternabond tape on the corner of the RV. If you have to trim the width, do so. If it helps use shorter lengths, from the bottom up (water fall effect).
2. Small bead of butyl caulk to the corner of the trim. The only purpose of this is to seal any possible cuts to the Eternabond from sharp edges of the siding.
3. 1/8 x 3/8 butyl tape - very available and compatible) applied 1/8 back from the outside edges of the corner trim. This provides the required void for the final seal.
4. Apply the corner trim. This will require two people and a bit of a trick to remove the protective cover from the butyl tape. That will come later if you are interested.
5. Install only enough screws by hand to the corner trim to secure it in place.
6. Put a dab of butyl caulking in the rest of the fastening holes and install those screws by hand.
7. Remove the initial screws, caulk, install as above.
8. Two days later you will be able to rub off any excess butyl caulk with your finger.
9. In the mean time, remember that void? Mask and caulk it with polyurethane. This is the final seal and protects the butyl tape and caulk. Also, done well is far more aesthetic than a huge smear of caulk over the surface. Also compatible.
More on that if you are interested.
So you would use the caulk and the tape? Your method sounds like my rig could go amphibious after all that. I don't think you could get it any tighter! Very clear directions and followed it all.
Do you have a favorite butyl caulk? I ask because I heard some complaints of one of the products I was looking at on Amazon was that the caulk never skinned after a week. That sounded like a faulty to me, but of course I don't know the conditions they worked under. We have pretty high humidity here.
Hi Terry -
Well, I'm "mostly" following your directions. I'm afraid some frustration has gotten in my way (and a limited amount of time). I missed putting a bead of caulk on the screws when inserting (I was trying to get the trim down before the caulk skinned and forgot) but I'm hoping going through the butyl putty, and the seal tite tape and carefully sealing the top of the vinyl insert will be enough?
I may not have used the right caulk either - I used guttering caulk not being able to find anything called butyl caulk at the local stores. The guy who advised me there said he thought it was perfect for the application. Thoughts on that?
Hate admitting I didn't follow exactly and then come to you for more advice, but I really think you had the right line of thinking (and now I am feeling completely discouraged I didn't do this right).
The tape did end up showing a little, won't be pretty a few times on the road, but I'd rather have tight than martha stewart corners that don't hold up.
I now have it back up (one side) and am facing the "void". I really was surprised the butyl didn't squeeze more - it doesn't look at all like what I took out. I'm thinking they used a very wide tape (I used the 3/4 - as it left just enough room for the bead of caulk down either side on the trim piece. So next....polyurethane caulk? You don't think one of those new elastomerics like Lexall might do the trick? I ask that because that I have a clear Lexall on hand. I figure if I go to the box store one more time I won't find the poly and end up with yet another probably-second-guessing-myself product.
Masking? Run painters tape down the side of the RV - not sure I'm picturing how to do it but will check out and see if I can find some youtube videos tonight. I just know the typical squeeze and run your finger down it.
That article you posted nailed it. How confusing all the types are!
All I know if I ever have to go back and redo this (and I do plan on keeping her awhile) is I never want to remove silicone again - the butyl took time but wasn't horrible.
Any thoughts and admonishments are welcome (facepalm).
And, now that I think this through - I have to consider what caulk will bond to the guttering caulk as well - maybe I should just continue through with using that and just keep an eye on how it holds up?
Dawn my trim insert is one inch. my trim is out side to out side 11/4" but it is a 90 Degree angle. I suggest you get a piece of construction paper and cut a strip of each 1" and 3/4" and see what one looks best in your application.
So, making my way through this corner trim process but not finished yet. I'm so appreciative of everyone's advice wanted to update. Not everything has gone smoothly - straightforward, perhaps, but when is any project ever as simple as the how to videos??!!!
Anyway this afternoon I finally got to the taping and I've attached the pics at the bottom.
I like the tape - it's nice to work with. The fabric side makes it comfortable to use and it's somewhat forgiving if you need to bring it back up (somewhat - gotta be quick and will still need a scraper, but workable). Turned out I did order it too wide (1 inch), but easy to cut down as the fabric weave gives you a bit of a line to follow/eyeball for trimming. It does stretch a little. My issue was even then while some places are so wide, others are too narrow, so no matter my size it wasn't going to be a 'just follow the pencil line and wrap it over'. If I did that it would definitely show from beyond the trim. So, I think I finally got what Rich said about hooping it in the middle.
I followed Terry's suggestion to waterfall as I just wasn't comfortable trying to run one long piece of trim and it just felt easier for me to start at the bottom and use 12 inch or so strips. I lay down on the flat back side of the camper (well, it's flat further up - see last pic), then folded over and lay down the other side so it fell within my pencil line, gathering the excess in the middle I could then push that into the gap. Or just 'hoop'. I don't expect any issues with thickness as it will lay into the gap when pressed down. It's still going to show on the top - heck the trim wasn't even covering the edge of the siding at the top corners!
Attaching pics. It's not as pretty as Mark Polk does it in the videos, but I worked slowly and did my best to seal carefully. I've still got two days before it rains again (although sadly not a weekend so I'm pushing it) and so the goal is now to push through and get the corner trim back in place. Have screws, have caulk (guttering), have butyl tape, have some lexall caulk...I haven't quite wrapped my head around using the butyl tape with the caulk together and then following with the lexall? But all I can do is just try it and see how it squooshes. Have new screws (the one side had obviously been redone, no rust, but the other side they had some). Picked up same size and then larger stainless steel. We'll see how they go back!
After this is all complete I'll post another pic of the finished product and then the roof is the next major project. So glad though that rear tarp is off, though, and I'm determined it's not going back on. It's nice to see light through the kitchen windows and not have it all dark and gloomy inside!'
Hello Dawn. I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
Butyl caulking: It does not really 'skin' as do others. It also should not be exposed to sunlight. The most common use for it is in residential and commercial glazing systems to seal butt joints in the butyl tape and corner blocks in curtain wall systems. In both cases the caulking is completely covered by finishing components. It also used to be used in vehicles that used rubber gaskets to install windshields, etc. Again, completely covered.
Gutter Seal: I've never used it. There are many varieties and manufacturers. GE for instance offers a Gutter and Flashing seal that is silicone, which you want to avoid. It would depend entirely on the product and composition you used.
General: Personally, I would avoid any inexpensive caulking that does not tell you it's composition. There are a lot of them in the big box stores.
No offence intended to those involved, but advice you receive from an associate at a big box store or local hardware store is difficult to accept as expert. My advice for future would be to look for a sealant supplier in your area and talk to them. They will likely be wholesale only, but if you pick a time when they are not busy they should be willing to suggest products. They also can direct you to a retailer for the appropriate product. I'll send a link to one in my area after this post so you have an idea of what I mean.
Lexall: Not familiar with it. Two suppliers of polyurethane I would recommend are Sika and NP-1.
Masking: The corner trim, just outward past the start of the curve. Wall, about 3/16 from the trim. Run the tape a few inches beyond in both cases and fold over the end. Makes it much easier to remove.
Caulking: Hold your gun about 45 degrees from the joint. If you are caulking down, raise the back of the gun a couple of inches. If caulking up, lower it. Run the caulk ahead of the nozzle. You want to see it coming out of the tip. This forces it into the void and forces out air.
Dry tool first, forcing the caulk into the void and taking excess away from the edge of the tape. I find a bare finger best, but I'm too old to worry about precautions. You will have to stop every so often to clean your finger and may have to go over some areas again.
Remove the tape, pulling it slightly towards the bead. This helps any feather or strings left on the tape to stay on the bead. Fold the tape into itself every foot or so to keep it manageable. Have a garbage bag open and ready and lots of paper towels - you will need them.
Final tooling: Slightly soapy water in a container, use your finger with light pressure and short quick strokes. This smooths out the taped edge and gives it it's final appearance.
Screws: It's not too late. You could take out every second screw, caulk, replace and then do the balance. Personally, I would not put a screw in the exterior without sealing it.
Hope this helps. Any questions, I'll do my best.
Dawn, here is a link to a sealant supplier. I am in Canada, so they won't do you much good, but the general idea may help you in the future. As you will see, they do not deal in BBQ's, light bulbs, fertilizer etc. Only products related to sealants.
Yeah, I felt good about my choice in the store but regretted it after. My struggle has been it's the first time in months we've had three rain free days in a row for me to get the project done (and warm). So I rushed it with what I had.
Butyl was recommended with this product but from your description doesn't sound like it would have been a good idea - it's not completely covered as the corner trim doesn't completely hug the sides as discussed - so!
On the screws - yes, I can redo them. I'm out of sunshine, though :-) Next spot is Sunday when we'll have a dry day. I'll order some caulk to have at hand then. I'll just have to tarp again. Lexall is in that article - the last "group" of caulks.
I appreciate ALL your advice, and especially on applying the caulk. If I am brief it's only because after the last three days I'm tuckered - as much from self-doubt as from the actual energy expended getting the screws back in and the many bo-bos and sore bits :-)
Hey, please do not feel bad. You are doing the best you can with best available advice and some very very good intuition. We all learn by doing. You have not done anything that would be terribly detrimental, and have thought out all of your steps to a far greater and better degree than many I have heard from.
Keep going as you are. Always think out each step in the process before you start. It may surprise you just how many potential mistakes you may prevent by walking through the entire process in your mind before you begin.
What you are doing and have done deserves accolades. Please accept mine.
Thank you for the encouragement! Feel much perkier and brighter today now that I've slept on it. I do have to recognize that this is a learning process. Part of it is just accepting I don't need to rush. I want to be mobile by fall, but I also want to do it 'right' the first time - in as much is that is possible! I'll finish up my report next weekend.