How do you remove old RV sealant?

In this article, we will explain: How do you remove old RV sealant? We will guide you step by step in removing old RV sealant and help you choose the best products for a new sealing job. 

How do you remove old RV sealant?

To remove an old RV sealant choose the smoothest surface to start peeling it off. Plant the corner of the putty knife blade under the old gasket, keeping it flat, then push the blade along the gasket to separate it from the surface.

The silicone seal ensures a good seal around an RV roof, but also for sanitary elements such as washbasin, sink, bathtub or even shower. Silicone gaskets are very easy to remove, here’s how to do it:

  1. Put on gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Take a cutter or a razor blade.
  3. Position the cutter blade flat against the wall without damaging it.
  4. Slowly move forward to remove the old seal by pulling on it with your other hand.
  5. If pieces do not come off, scrape lightly with the cutter.
  6. To remove deposits, soak a cloth in white spirit and rub. The white spirit will dissolve the remains of the seal. It is also possible to replace white spirit with white vinegar but you will have to rub a little harder!
  7. Once the silicone seal has been completely removed, the surfaces must be cleaned well with washing up liquid and then allowed to dry.

How to remove old sealant from glass or tile?

To remove old silicone from a window or a tile without scratching the latter, it suffices to gently scrape the excess silicone with a razor blade or a cutter. You can also use the scraper that you use to clean your ceramic hob. 

Then, to remove the silicone residue, the surface must be dabbed with a cloth soaked in acetone, household alcohol or white spirit. It is recommended to put on gloves before handling, the products used here are aggressive for the skin.

How to remove a sealant stain on clothing?

Sealant stains on fabrics are easily removed. Here are three tips:

  • Soften the silicone with a hairdryer for 30 seconds and collect it with a teaspoon. Then put the garment in the washing machine.
  • Apply a paper towel to the silicone stain and run the iron over it for a few seconds. Silicone must not melt into the fibres.
  • If the garment cannot stand the heat, the silicone should be rubbed with a nail file or sandpaper. If there is residue, wet a cloth with acetone, dab it on the stain and rinse thoroughly. Acetone can be replaced with household alcohol or F gasoline.

How do I remove RV silicone sealant from my hands?

The cool silicone is quite sticky. You must act within 24 hours to remove it.

  • Rub the silicone with a paper towel.
  • Repeat the operation, replacing the absorbent paper with a plastic bag or a garbage bag.
  • Wash and dry hands properly.

If residues persist, heat the putty with a hairdryer set to minimum temperature. Acetone is also effective but more dangerous for the skin.

What is an RV sealant?

A roof sealer is essential to prevent leaks, leaks and moisture; as well as the accumulation of fungi and bacteria. It is very important to apply it, especially in areas where humidity is frequent, where rainy seasons are very long or where weather conditions are very adverse. 

So to give the roof of your house proper conditioning without having to pay more, here we show you the best roof sealants that you can apply yourself at home.

  •  Sashco: Transparent Sealer

This sealant is elastic, it flexes with changes in temperature and with the wind. It is transparent and remains transparent, therefore it does not turn yellow over time. Lasts 20 times longer than asphalt.

It has excellent resistance to ultraviolet rays, adheres to most ceiling patches. You can paint it and it is resistant to mould, and it also freezes and you can leave it in your garage without heating.

  • Liquid Rubber Protective Coating

It is a superior liquid rubber waterproof product specifically designed for all types of home and industrial waterproofing applications. Its certification makes it ideal for roof applications.

Water-based, it has a low content of volatile organic compounds. You can apply it cold and it has a uniform rubber membrane specifically designed to protect your home.

  • Acrylic Roof Cladding

It can be applied to many surfaces, including EPDM rubber roofs, polyurethane foam, modified bitumen, asphalt, mobile homes, RVs, concrete, woods, and more.

This fortified acrylic roof sheathing is designed to cool roofs and provide energy savings. With 10-year protection, you won’t have to worry about reapplying every year.

  • Liquid Rubber: Waterproof Sealant

It is a highly effective and easy to apply liquid rubber sealer. This waterproof coating is ideal for homeowners as well as construction contractors.

Environmentally friendly, its flexible technology allows the waterproof rubber liquid to become a sealant bridge in concrete. You can choose between the different colour options available.

  • Reflective Roof Coating

It is a 100% acrylic reflective roofing coating. Its ability to extend over the roof provides long-lasting protection and reflectivity, helping to extend the life of your roof.

Tips for applying an RV sealant

On newer RVs, it is not necessary to remove the old sealant before applying a new one, unless it comes off. You can simply touch up the affected areas just above the old product.

Get a caulking gun and then apply it sparingly. A thin line is usually sufficient for the purpose. Do not hesitate to ask for help!

If you don’t feel comfortable re-caulking your RV on your own or if you want to save time, call the professionals! Make an appointment with your RV dealer for an annual inspection. Above all, don’t let water damage ruin your next camping trip!

We know that all sealants have a lifetime. Over time, they will dry out from enduring exposure to UV rays, the stirring induced by the travel will cause cracks which will eventually mean that the water will eventually seep in.

So what are the two most important factors in preventing water damage from caulk failure? Vigilance and cleanliness.

The best way to prevent water infiltration could not be simpler: inspect your RV regularly and keep it clean as a new penny! By keeping the exterior of your RV clean, you will be able to easily spot problems quickly, since the build-up of dirt on your vehicle will mask the deterioration of the sealant.

The bottom line

The sealant that RV manufacturers use to keep RV skylights and roof vents from leaking can gradually dissolve over time. Sunlight, alternating hot and cold temperatures, and even heavy rain can take a toll. 

Follow our tips for removing an old RV sealant and choose a good product to reseal your RV roof. Ideally, an RV roof should be resealed every year and entirely replaced after 10 years of use. Not taking proper care of your RV roof will lead to water leaks, high damp levels and even mould inside the motorhome. 

If you have any questions, comments or tips on how to remove old RV sealant, please let us know!

FAQ on How do you remove old RV sealant?

How to seal the roof of an RV?

To seal the roof of an RV, follow these instructions: With the double-sided tape in place, the original roof edges are repositioned as stretched as possible, pressure must be applied to activate the Eternal Bond tape. Finally, the resulting crack is covered with one-sided tape, and pressure is reapplied with a roller.

How to fix a roof leak?

A good alternative to repair leaks from inside the house is to apply one of the so-called roof patches with a spatula. Once the leak is located, it is only a matter of plugging the opening well with the patch and then sealing it with putty. 

How often should the RV roof be resealed?

Ideally, an RV roof should be resealed every year and entirely replaced after 10 years of use. Not taking proper care of your RV roof will lead to water leaks, high damp levels and even mould inside the motorhome. 

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