Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-06-2015, 03:53 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Fiberglass roof sealing

Hi, everyone! I hesitate to put this post under "how to" because, as the member name implies , I am no expert, just wingin' it! However... I was searching for fiberglass roof sealing and did not find much clarity, and I THINK I have come across some great info, that others may benefit from.

I have a 1991 Ford E350 shuttle bus. The roof was a really lovely garden. I scrubbed it off and was left with a textured fiberglass roof that was ok structurally but had a few issues. One, the designer geniuses made the roof such that the sides round up, and there is a middle panel that creates the top of the bus. This panel is RECESSED under the sides. Read: nowhere for water to run off, it must pool at the low pointsand evaporate- or leak under the seam into the bus. Awesome. Plus, there are metal rivets all around the top that tend to leak. Because of this obnoxious design, and the desire for better cooling/ insulation, I wanted to put a roof coating on. And, I did not want to spend much money.

The "not much money" part lead me to Kool Seal, an elastomeric coating. But the info for fiberglass was limited and confusing (it says "for metal, asphalt,..., not specifically fiberglass) and the reviews are mixed (not just for Kool Seal; there were cranky people who had unsucessfully used other elastomeric products on fiberglass as well). Some people used it and loved it, said that many years out it was still great, others said it was a peeling mess and to never, ever use that product. Some people said no primer needed, just clean the roof and put the coating on. But some people- and, actually, the successful people- seemed to stress the importance of the primer. That makes sense; the peeling isn't really the product, but is the lack of bonding with the fiberglass.

So I went to a local store that had Kool Seal- but didn't have the Kool Seal primer. I noticed that it was a Sherwin Williams product, so I called them to see if they carried the primer (the regular Sherwin Williams store did not, the "commercial" rated Sher Williams store did). But, in talking to the Sherwin Williams guy, once he heard that it was fiberglass he told me to NOT use the Kool Seal Primer- that a good primer is absolutely essential, but the Kool Seal primer is made for metal or asphalt, and does not have a strong enough bond for fiberglass (I had been so irritated that the first store didn't have the primer, you know how it goes, I want to do my project NOW- but thank goodness they didn't have it because I would have just bought it and not have gotten this vital info!). He said that by far the best primer is called UMA (urethane modified acrylic) by a company called XIM.

He said that unfortunately, they (Sherwin Williams) no longer carry that primer, and that he cringes to send me to a competitor but he sees that Kool Seal is a fantastic product but people don't have success with their project (and Kool Seal gets bad reviews) when they do not do the proper prep. No primer, or the wrong primer for fiberglass, can be a disaster. So he sent me to Rodda or Miller, who do carry it (my local Rodda store didn't, but Miller did- about $47 for a gallon). I asked the Sherwin Williams guy if, in case I could not track the UMA by XIM down, does he have a second choice that I could use. He said yes they do have a modified acrylic primer product, as do other people, but he said that searching out the XIM UMA was worth it, "the bee's knees", nothing else comes even close to how well it bonds with smooth surfaces like fiberglass, and you really don't want to have to do this again. ("But come back and purchase the Kool Seal from us!"). Well, OK!

With that kind of recommendation, even about a competitor's product, I feel pretty darn good about setting my Kool Seal project up for success. It makes sense that, like always, it's all in the prep- and that you can't expect any elastomeric compound to bond well directly to fiberglass without primer- and, much preferably, the right primer for fiberglass!

One last thing- I was pretty excited to do this today, prime in the morning, apply Kool Seal tonight, woohoo! But I happen to read that it is dry in 4 hours but takes 7-10 days to fully cure. I figure, great, it'll just cure under the Kool Seal. But I checked with the guy at Miller to make sure. He was horrified! He said NO NO NO, don't ever put a top coat on until it has fully cured; it's the biggest mistake people make- it's dry, so they put the top coat on, and it never actually cures and therefore never fully bonds to the fiberglass. Oh. Bummer. So... I'm NOT finishing my roof today... or this week?!

But, I'll gladly do what I need to do it right, because nobody wants a peeling mess, or to do this all again!

He (Miller Paint guy) said that one good coat should be fine if I made it thick. If I wanted to do more, to do touch-ups or the second coat, it is fine within an hour or two but don't go beyond the 4 hour time unless you want to wait the full 7-10 days before a second coat. I had more than half of the gallon left (after covering about an 18 x 8 ft roof area) so I went ahead and did a second coat, but I agree, it probably didn't need it.

I can't give you the "this has lasted me years and years" assessment, but I can say that I feel pretty good about where this is headed, thanks to a lot of luck (no primer at the first store, getting great customer service guys, asking what turned out to be vital questions...!). Hope this helps someone!

Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks for all the help I've found at this site.

Happy adventuring, everyone! (That is... adventures in going places in our busses, and, adventures in working ON our busses!)
Happily Learning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2015, 08:44 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 372
Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
Great info.. Keep us updated, and maybe some pictures too. I searched the sight and the net , and found very little info about coating my fiberglass shuttle bus.. Good stuff here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happily Learning View Post
Hi, everyone! I hesitate to put this post under "how to" because, as the member name implies , I am no expert, just wingin' it! However... I was searching for fiberglass roof sealing and did not find much clarity, and I THINK I have come across some great info, that others may benefit from.

I have a 1991 Ford E350 shuttle bus. The roof was a really lovely garden. I scrubbed it off and was left with a textured fiberglass roof that was ok structurally but had a few issues. One, the designer geniuses made the roof such that the sides round up, and there is a middle panel that creates the top of the bus. This panel is RECESSED under the sides. Read: nowhere for water to run off, it must pool at the low pointsand evaporate- or leak under the seam into the bus. Awesome. Plus, there are metal rivets all around the top that tend to leak. Because of this obnoxious design, and the desire for better cooling/ insulation, I wanted to put a roof coating on. And, I did not want to spend much money.

The "not much money" part lead me to Kool Seal, an elastomeric coating. But the info for fiberglass was limited and confusing (it says "for metal, asphalt,..., not specifically fiberglass) and the reviews are mixed (not just for Kool Seal; there were cranky people who had unsucessfully used other elastomeric products on fiberglass as well). Some people used it and loved it, said that many years out it was still great, others said it was a peeling mess and to never, ever use that product. Some people said no primer needed, just clean the roof and put the coating on. But some people- and, actually, the successful people- seemed to stress the importance of the primer. That makes sense; the peeling isn't really the product, but is the lack of bonding with the fiberglass.

So I went to a local store that had Kool Seal- but didn't have the Kool Seal primer. I noticed that it was a Sherwin Williams product, so I called them to see if they carried the primer (the regular Sherwin Williams store did not, the "commercial" rated Sher Williams store did). But, in talking to the Sherwin Williams guy, once he heard that it was fiberglass he told me to NOT use the Kool Seal Primer- that a good primer is absolutely essential, but the Kool Seal primer is made for metal or asphalt, and does not have a strong enough bond for fiberglass (I had been so irritated that the first store didn't have the primer, you know how it goes, I want to do my project NOW- but thank goodness they didn't have it because I would have just bought it and not have gotten this vital info!). He said that by far the best primer is called UMA (urethane modified acrylic) by a company called XIM.

He said that unfortunately, they (Sherwin Williams) no longer carry that primer, and that he cringes to send me to a competitor but he sees that Kool Seal is a fantastic product but people don't have success with their project (and Kool Seal gets bad reviews) when they do not do the proper prep. No primer, or the wrong primer for fiberglass, can be a disaster. So he sent me to Rodda or Miller, who do carry it (my local Rodda store didn't, but Miller did- about $47 for a gallon). I asked the Sherwin Williams guy if, in case I could not track the UMA by XIM down, does he have a second choice that I could use. He said yes they do have a modified acrylic primer product, as do other people, but he said that searching out the XIM UMA was worth it, "the bee's knees", nothing else comes even close to how well it bonds with smooth surfaces like fiberglass, and you really don't want to have to do this again. ("But come back and purchase the Kool Seal from us!"). Well, OK!

With that kind of recommendation, even about a competitor's product, I feel pretty darn good about setting my Kool Seal project up for success. It makes sense that, like always, it's all in the prep- and that you can't expect any elastomeric compound to bond well directly to fiberglass without primer- and, much preferably, the right primer for fiberglass!

One last thing- I was pretty excited to do this today, prime in the morning, apply Kool Seal tonight, woohoo! But I happen to read that it is dry in 4 hours but takes 7-10 days to fully cure. I figure, great, it'll just cure under the Kool Seal. But I checked with the guy at Miller to make sure. He was horrified! He said NO NO NO, don't ever put a top coat on until it has fully cured; it's the biggest mistake people make- it's dry, so they put the top coat on, and it never actually cures and therefore never fully bonds to the fiberglass. Oh. Bummer. So... I'm NOT finishing my roof today... or this week?!

But, I'll gladly do what I need to do it right, because nobody wants a peeling mess, or to do this all again!

He (Miller Paint guy) said that one good coat should be fine if I made it thick. If I wanted to do more, to do touch-ups or the second coat, it is fine within an hour or two but don't go beyond the 4 hour time unless you want to wait the full 7-10 days before a second coat. I had more than half of the gallon left (after covering about an 18 x 8 ft roof area) so I went ahead and did a second coat, but I agree, it probably didn't need it.

I can't give you the "this has lasted me years and years" assessment, but I can say that I feel pretty good about where this is headed, thanks to a lot of luck (no primer at the first store, getting great customer service guys, asking what turned out to be vital questions...!). Hope this helps someone!

Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks for all the help I've found at this site.

Happy adventuring, everyone! (That is... adventures in going places in our busses, and, adventures in working ON our busses!)
leadsled01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2015, 09:27 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,174
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Cannot comment on the performance of specific brands, but your "paint guru" gave you excellent advice.

Bond is critical.
Good bond requires good prep & primer.
Timing is critical. Read & heed directions.

All solid basics that very few people follow.
Best of luck
Tango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2017, 12:18 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1
walking on shuttle bus

I'm getting ready to power wash and then repaint the turtle top odyssey shuttle bus I recently purchased. I weigh ~124 but my boy friend might help me, he's about 215 lbs and also I have a solar installer who later will up there. So is it okay to walk all over the shuttle bus roof?

Also, I'm thinking of installing a TurboKool evaporative cooler on the roof. Can I just saw through? I'm concerned I'm going to hit the lighting wires or steel frame but I'm not sure how to locate them to make sure I don't.

Any tips? Would a simple stud finder work?
Ecological is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2017, 02:34 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,328
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
A stud finder won't do it any harm; give it a try. Another technique for finding concealed framing is to hit the surface with a fist or tap with a hammer. Often the feel and the sound will change when you cross over a frame member. I assume from your question that there must not be rivets or screws through that would be a dead giveaway to the locations.

You might be able to make the cut from the inside rather than the outside, or you could drill a small hole in the general area of where the cutout should go and then start making measurements relative to that hole on the inside and transfer them to the outside.

The roof overall will easily hold the weight of several people. Any single framing member will surely support a person who stands directly on it. The question is how much weight the fiberglass surface will support between the framing members. It's not unlike climbing through the trusses in a house attic, taking care not to step on (through) the drywall ceiling between trusses. The fiberglass will probably hold any of you fine, but if you want extra confidence (and if it's safe to do so) lay a temporary piece of wood down and walk on that.
family wagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
elastomeric, fiberglass, kool seal, roof, sealant

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.