Swift RULE OF THUMB B_11
Since winter has set upon us we have been receiving a LOT of questions about Caravan resealing for example “Do we have to reseal our caravan when looks to be in good nick’ and if so “When should it be done” and most importantly “How will you do it”?
To help you identify potential issues with your valuable asset we propose the following questions;
- Are you experiencing a damp smell in your caravan?
- Do you have water marks on walls under windows or around the wall to ceiling interface area?
- Have you got water marks around your roof mounted Air Conditioner?
If the answer is YES to any of the above (or you are just not sure, we (Swift Caravans) have you COVERED.
This photo shows an example of the “tape” we will be referring to. It’s a commonly used material by caravan manufacturers during the build process, installation of external components such as tables, windows, door and lights. It’s been in use for while so wether your caravan is newish or older this tape will fail and when it does water leaks in causing varying degrees of damage. Movement/vibration, weather and the effect of temperature all contribute to the tape degrading over time; the ONLY way to fix it is to remove it and replace it with high grade silicon. Depending on where your leaks are occurring this can be a simple job but let us take a look for you and quote accordingly.
Typically roof mounted Air Conditioner mounting bolts vibrate loose over time which can cause damage to the isolation (rubber) mounts. Typically when quoting on resealing we look over your roof from the vantage point of our “walk-around, roof high gantries”. These are purpose built and allow us to make a careful inspection of the entire roof including the Air Conditioner. Tightening the bolts DOES NOT resolve the issue as there is a special seal around the base of the unit which needs to be replaced and everything resealed. Tell tale signs of things going wrong are water stains on the ceiling around the unit.
There are plenty of people out there who claim to do a “good” resealing job but our years of experience have helped us to “perfect” the best way assuring that your asset is in tip-top shape. It’s not a quick job as corner and side moulding have to be removed, cleaned and replaced generally with new screws. Commonly we find low quality screws have been used which go rusty further contributing to leaks.
A “less than expected” point of leakage is around lights again where foam tape is used or simply because the light itself has failed due to sun damage. In some cases low quality “caulking sealant” goes dry and brittle and as a result fail, again letting water in and or potentially causing the light to malfunction rendering your rig “un-roadworthy”. In any of the above cases we remove the light, check the connections and repair them as required and reassemble everything using HIGH quality materials.
A birds eye view of a typical window installation using tape. It looks good, initially taking care of mating the profile of the cladding to the window mounting face but it has a VERY limited life. Usually the leak starts at the top which is natural as the water rolls off the roof and down the side of the caravan right onto the top of the window and into the caravan. The sides are a little more resilient as “gravity” is not in play so we spend more time inspecting the top of the window versus the more obvious/easy-to-see sides. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when the leaks will start.
Finally an example of what happens after water leaks into a “wood” clad caravan. Aluminium or fibreglass cladding first needs to be removed then all damaged materials replaced and everything resealed properly. We see a lot of caravans with this type of damage BUT the key is – “GET IN EARLY” as prevention is much better (and less costly) than a cure.
Examples of a good reseal is replacing ALL foam tape under external fittings, windows and hatches where internal water marks are present with a high quality sealant. Call us on 03 9729 8477 to book your caravan in or ask us for a quote (conditions apply).