Week 3 – Renovation in the Rain…Again
Holy cow. Has it really been three weeks already?
Holy cow. Has it only been three weeks?
Well here I am, a little late with our weekly update, but today’s post is coming to you live from renovation headquarters! (Well this post was started when I was sitting there…more on that a little bit later)
It’s so hard to decide if it feels like things are taking forever or that time is passing by so quickly I can barely keep up!. At times it’s hard not to feel frustrated that we aren’t further along but on the other hand I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot in a short amount of time! When I left off last, we were preparing to do more window sealing and button up a few items on the exterior that were possible leak culprits. The good news is we tackled most of those projects this past week.
We successfully have the back corner looking all nice and pretty! The new exterior outlet for the stove vent hood was installed this past week and keeps water out like a champ.
Matt also hopped up on the roof and applied the Dicor lap sealant around the antenna. Seriously, if you need to seal up your roof, go with that stuff. It’s awesome.
We also pulled out the other two back windows and got those back in and resealed with Pro Flex sealant. If you remember last week, I mentioned sealing our first window with clear silicone. While I don’t want this blog to be full of technical details, I do want to make sure we share the best possible information, so I’m going to talk about RV sealant for a minute.
(Skip this paragraph if you have no intentions of sealing an RV anytime in the near future) 😉 In my initial research, I came to the conclusion that Pro Flex RV sealant was the best choice on the market for the job. However, they didn’t have any in stock at Camping World, so we were told to just go pick up some silicone from the hardware store. Well, after reading my last post, a nice gentleman informed me that silicone is not the way to go. Great…so I dug a little deeper and came to the conclusion that silicone isn’t a great choice for RVs because its adhesion properties aren’t the best, it attracts dirts, and when it starts to compromise (which it will), you have to completely remove it before reapplying; which I’ve learned is a huge PITA. So, we returned all of the “clear silicone” and used Pro Flex for the other two windows. I think we’ll be ok on the one window we already did since we actually used Lexel, which is a clear silicone alternative. It has great reviews, and since we’ll be painting the exterior, you won’t really be able to tell a difference between the Lexel and Pro Flex. Phew, really dodged a bullet there! Ok, back to the fun stuff.
On Saturday I did a silly thing and wished for buckets of rain. I wanted to make sure the windows and roof were sealed up nice and tight so we wouldn’t have any surprises post painting. Well, I got my wish.
Hey! Looky there, leaks!…. Back up to the roof and corner we go this week with a little more sealant. However, while we weren’t really too surprised to see water there, we were VERY disappointed when this appeared.
WHAT?! Water at the corner of the window?? How could this be? My first thought was, “Crap, now I have to eat my hat”. It was quickly followed by complete and utter confusion because we had thoroughly soaked the window and it had stayed completely dry.
After wracking our brains for several minutes the only thing we could possibly think of was the water was somehow coming in through the exterior metal seams and running up to the edge of the window. There aren’t any rain gutters along the roof edge, so when it’s raining really hard, water just pours down the sides, and quite a bit was near the window.
What happened next was not photographed because it was both hilarious and tragic and very wet all at the same time. We went outside in the pouring rain to apply the Pro Flex sealant to the exterior seams. I couldn’t really find any advice on doing such a thing, but I figured, “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen?”. We can always remove it (since I’m such a pro at that task these days) and at least we’d be able to see if the seams were in fact our problem. The Pro Flex says that it can be applied in damp conditions, so we set up a makeshift tarp along the side to try and keep the rain out. The plan was for me to dry the area while Matt went behind me with the caulk gun. This worked for about 30 seconds before the rag got too wet to dry and then it just turned into a circus of trying to get the Pro Flex to stick to the wet surface. It was very frustrating. After what seemed like ages of being completely soaked, the seams got buttoned up enough to test and see if our efforts were going to be rewarded. We dried the two wet spots inside and played the waiting game. Sure enough, it worked and stayed dry for the next several hours while the rain continued! The bad news is, since the application conditions were so poor, I’m going to need to go back and do a better job at making sure things are even.
I actually started this blog post a week ago, but I’ve been waiting to publish until I could find some conclusive answer to our panel sealing. The internet was pretty elusive, and I wasn’t able to find other people having metal seam issues or solving them by sealing. I kept looking and came up empty, so I took my question to a Vintage RV group where I found that other people had done this! So onward we go with our plan, and hopefully this will be our last dance with leaks for a while!
In news not related to leaks or sealing or seams (thank goodness), we’ve made quite a bit of progress on getting the walls and cabinets back together!
Look at that pretty new cabinet front! Matt is an expert luan cutter at this point and has been doing such a great job with the reconstruction.
We’re at a bit of a renovation standstill at the moment because this blog post is actually now coming to you from Kenedy, TX. Our original plan was to stay in Arkansas through Christmas and come to south Texas in January, but as life goes, sometimes plans change. My sweet grandma passed away last week so we made a quick trip this past weekend for the funeral and decided to make the most of the drive by staying for Christmas. We’ll be here until the 26th, and then we’ll head back to Arkansas and take advantage of some vacation time and get some solid days dedicated to the renovation! Until then we wish you a very Merry Christmas!