Fixing roof leaks - opinions on good sealants / methods?

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Fixing roof leaks - opinions on good sealants / methods?

Postby maxbluestorm » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:18 pm

Hey all - I finished my gigantic Benroy build back in March and have been happily towing her around since then. She's always had one joint that didn't quite seal properly, between the roof and the wall towards the back roof curve, and on my last trip what was once a hairline crack next to the trim turned into a huge open gap. I wasn't at all surprised since 7500+ miles of towing is sure to shake some things loose, but unfortunately we were camping in a downpour where I had no way to dry her out to fix it with the duct tape/poly sealant I had with me, and thus I had a little cascade of water down the interior passenger side wall.

Now that we're back in AZ (fortunately away from any humidity or continued storms) I've let her dry out completely and I'm not sure what's best to fix the leaks with. It's about 3/8ths inch at the widest point. There are also some cracks showing along the curve towards the hatch (which doesn't leak at all, nor do any of the windows/fan/etc) that I want to patch at the same time - I think they must be from the roof wood getting wet and expanding/contracting as it all dried out again.

For the gap - do I need a foam backer? Should I go back to something like Bondo to fill it, or just caulk the heck out of it? I had a friend suggest using Flex Seal tape on both the gap and the cracks, which I'm amenable to, but I've never tried that product so I have no idea if that's even a good suggestion.

For the cracks - should I sand down the whole curved section of roof to the wood and re-epoxy and paint? Or could I just paint another layer of sealant over whats there, filling it in?

I've still got a variety of sealants from my build, including polyurethane caulk, silicone caulk, marine decking sealant caulk, and leftover marine epoxy resin from Duckworks. I want to do the job right so that these leaks don't return, but obviously I'd also love to avoid a huge amount of removing trim, sanding, and re-sealing/painting if at all possible (hence my friend saying "just slap some Flex Seal tape on it").

I'd love to know what other folks have done with their leaks. I've found a lot of info on sealing around fans and hatches, but I've got straight up cracks in the roof that should be taken care of.

Thank you!

Ye Olde Gap
https://www.dropbox.com/s/x7rw0410qt5dg ... 4.JPG?dl=0

Ye Newe Crackage along the curve...
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v0jakrvejwtm5 ... 5.JPG?dl=0
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Re: Fixing roof leaks - opinions on good sealants / methods?

Postby woodywrkng » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:58 pm

Is that painted 1/8" plywood? Did it spring up tearing away from the molding, with a piece still under the molding? I don't know how it could have done that unless the plywood came detached at its end and is now trying to flatten out. However, there is green paint on the edge of the bowed area, which leads me to believe it was barely under the molding when assembled. All I can think of is remove all of the molding and replace the entire piece of plywood, making sure there's plenty of wood under the molding. Sorry about that. :o
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Re: Fixing roof leaks - opinions on good sealants / methods?

Postby tony.latham » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:31 am

Hard to come up with a fix without knowing the materials and construction methods.

Is that 1/8" epoxy coated luan? If that's the case, then I would suggest a light sanding followed by fiberglassing the entire roof.

What was holding it down where it's lifted up? Was there wooden blocking under that edge? Do you have a photo of your build before that went on and another before you put the trim down?

Tony
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Re: Fixing roof leaks - opinions on good sealants / methods?

Postby woodywrkng » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:11 pm

It looks like the 1/8" plywood jumped out from under the molding. If that's the case, then it wasn't wide enough to begin with. Plus, why would it bow out like that?
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