RV Sealant Removal

by Leanne Stack

When your roof starts to leak, a window needs to be resealed or your exhaust vent needs to be replaced in your recreational vehicle, you may start to wonder if the “recreation” in your RV is about to turn into a good deal of back-breaking work. Far from difficult, removing old sealant and preparing your RV for new is a snap with the right tools, know-how and a little work.

Removing Old Sealant

Generally, you will use a plastic scraper or putty knife for removing sealant. If you are replacing a roof vent, hatch or skylight, cutting away some of the old sealant with a utility or metal putty knife may be necessary, but do so as carefully as possible because you run the risk of cutting into or scratching the rubber or fiberglass of nearby fixtures when metal is used. Your best bet is to use metal tools to remove large amounts of sealant where safe, and then switch to the plastic scraping tools closer to the surfaces you wish to seal. After scraping most of the sealant off, use a plastic scrubbing pad or fine-grain sandpaper to ensure no trace of old sealant remains because this can prevent new sealant from adhering completely. Wipe all surfaces that will be resealed with mineral spirits or another solvent on a clean cloth and allow them to dry thoroughly. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area where there are no sparks because solvents are flammable. If a window leak is the source of your problem, begin by removing any trim and find the source of your leak if possible. Slip the scraper under the old sealant, breaking the remaining seal on the window. Have someone on the outside ready to catch the window if it should fall outward, and work together to scrape or cut away the sealant on the inside and outside until the window can be removed and set aside. Again, use a plastic scrubbing pad or sandpaper to remove traces of sealant, wipe down with solvent, and allow to dry before applying new sealant.

About the Author

Leanne Stack's articles on mental health, personal wellness, and decorating and design have been featured on eHow. She has a Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology and trained as a psychologist before becoming a freelance writer. Stack currently resides in Illinois.

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