Monday, April 9, 2012

Water Leak Repairs - Clearance Lights and Siding

I took the motorhome out of storage last week.

I started spring cleaning with an inspection of hidden areas like storage compartments and cabinets. In short order I found some moisture in a dusty lower storage compartment - evidence that some water had made its way where it should not.

I set a fan to dry the compartment and started searching for the source.

The source was the clearance light in the picture below, high on the rear of the motorhome.  The seal behind it had given way.  When I took it off and inspected, I founds signs that the other five rear clearance lights were loose as well.  This had not been a problem up to now because the motorhome was stored sloping down to the front; but two weeks ago I changed parking spots to one that slopes to the back.  Then  the meltoff from last week's snowfall drained back and right over these lights.  

The clearance  lights are also 24 years old and getting brittle, so I decided to replace and seal all of the rear lights.  There are five more amber ones at the front and four marker lights on the sides, but those are in better shape and can wait for a while.

There's also another potential water problem that I thought I had solved last year: a crack in the fiberglass siding not far from the rear right clearance light.  Last year I sealed this with epoxy resin and fiberglass fabric, but now  a year later the resin is giving way.  the resin did not hold up well to the elements.

I replaced the five clearance lights, used longer screws because the size that were used previously were not holding.  I applied generous amounts of clear silicone behind each light to ensure they won't leak; so much that it oozed out when I tightened the screws.  I think silicone is the best sealant for this: it has excellent adhesion, and can tolerate lots of expansion, contraction, movement and vibration.

Old and new clearance light side-by-side.
Now for the crack in the siding.  I know this was not the source of water in this case, but it could quickly become a big problem.  I bought some Resisto Aluminium Waterproofing Membrane; this is a thick foil tape with roofing tar on one side.

I cut the size of membrane I wanted, drew the patch area onto the siding with a pencil and sanded the area well for good adhesion.

I squirted silicone into the crack.  Then I applied the waterproofing membrane, slowly peeling the backing off about a centimetre at a time to ensure that there were no bubbles, and that the patch was sticking well.

This summer I plan to re-seal all the seams on the entire roof.  I have some white paint-like sealant that adheres to aluminium, and that will cover this patch nicely.

Job complete - and peace of mind that the motorhome is once again watertight.  I will  re-seal all the seams on the roof this summer, and replace the five front clearance lights and four side marker lights.


Anonymous said...

I agree--silicone is a good sealant but years ago a mechanic friend recommended "marine silicone". I've been swearing by in ever since for RV roof repairs


Becca@Roofing Melbourne said...

WOW… I am thoroughly impressed with your patience to find that water leak…that looks like such a hard work…but the results…gorgeous!
Good work!

CMR Electrical said...

Nice work, looks great.

Anonymous said...

Preparing your roof is good task. Seepage can wreck entire roof. To handle leakage I used EPDM Liquid Roof RV. It is dead set against weather and cost effective.

Nicole Morgon said...

Upkeep is the key of long haul wellbeing. If you need to set up your rooftop for winter simply do review before winter and apply Roof Leak Repair at holes and harms now you can be casual for next numerous years.