Cured Sealant Identification and Removal - SailNet Community

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Old 07-16-2013
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Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

I removed some of the wood trim from around my companionway on Sunday because I suspect that some of the leakage I'm seeing is coming from that area. I want to rebed everything, especially the screws. When I pulled it up, I noted that the previous owner attempted to solve the leaking problem by applying some kind of sealant to the wood/deck joint. To me, it feels soft and squishy like silicone caulk, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is, in fact, what was used, but I can't be certain. Is there an easy way to identify what was used?

There was also an adhesive/sealant underneath the boards, between the hull and the wood. That stuff seems a little different, but I'm not 100% on that.

If, as I suspect, this is silicone, am I basically stuck wet sanding/wire brushing it out? I saw some information from MaineSail back in 2009 saying that wet sanding was the best bet; I wasn't sure if there was anything new.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

If you look at this table, you'll see that the best solvents for silicone are toluene, xylene, gasoline, and mineral spirits.

So that suggests that a fine product for removal would be automotive carburettor cleaner spray. I have tried it and it does seem to work well.
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Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

I've scraped varnish and goo off the gel coat Jim, it seems to do less damage then sanding which can be done after scraping; unless the scraper gets tilted and makes a gouge? NOPE not me!
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

Mark, did you mean to include a link?

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

Oh yes, ooops :

http://www.clearcoproducts.com/pdf/l...olubility1.pdf
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

Xylene...hmmm..I remember in college I accidentally poured some xylene into a plastic petri dish. Within a couple of minutes the petri dish had dissolved. Not sure what it would do to gelocoat...
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

That's my fear about trying many of these things. Seems like they may do more to my gelcoat than just take off the silicone. I keep coming back to the idea of "just" using a wire wheel on a dremel and trying to take VERY light passes. Or just using some wet sandpaper.

I think what I'll do is try GoofOff first (I've read, and the GoofOff site claims) that it can do a good job with silicone on fiberglass. I've already scraped off most of the silicone; I'm now just trying to make sure the oils all get out of the gelcoat. Supposedly the GoofOff will help lift the silicone oils, and then I can just wash the GoofOff off with soap and water.

I still have time to adjust my plans, so any other feedback is appreciated. Otherwise, I'll report back on my success (or failure).
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Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
I removed some of the wood trim from around my companionway on Sunday because I suspect that some of the leakage I'm seeing is coming from that area. I want to rebed everything, especially the screws. When I pulled it up, I noted that the previous owner attempted to solve the leaking problem by applying some kind of sealant to the wood/deck joint. To me, it feels soft and squishy like silicone caulk, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is, in fact, what was used, but I can't be certain. Is there an easy way to identify what was used?

There was also an adhesive/sealant underneath the boards, between the hull and the wood. That stuff seems a little different, but I'm not 100% on that.

If, as I suspect, this is silicone, am I basically stuck wet sanding/wire brushing it out? I saw some information from MaineSail back in 2009 saying that wet sanding was the best bet; I wasn't sure if there was anything new.

Thanks!
GOO Gone Caulk remover! I got it at Lowes and tried it last night. I removed the old silicone sealant used to seal the handrails. I sprayed the stuff on the places and let it sit about 2 minutes. Then scrubbed with a small stainless steel brush. Finally wiped clean with a damp towel. Clean as a whistle now.
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Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

Goo Gone CAULK remover?? I'll have to look for that one.

There was a spray can at Home Depot, I don't recall the name but we just call it "rocket fuel" which did pretty well but not quite 100% on silicones. The mist from it will really eat your flesh though, some of these solvents are real nasty.
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Re: Cured Sealant Identification and Removal

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Goo Gone CAULK remover?? I'll have to look for that one.

There was a spray can at Home Depot, I don't recall the name but we just call it "rocket fuel" which did pretty well but not quite 100% on silicones. The mist from it will really eat your flesh though, some of these solvents are real nasty.
Yep.. it is.
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