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Old 10-26-2016, 08:36 AM   #1
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Power wash the tar on the inside of my bus?

I'm done pulling out all of the seats, floor boards, wall panels, and ceiling panels. I removed all insulation. On the floor I am cutting out a few small areas that were rusted through. I am using Ospho on the surface rust. Next I am going to paint the floor.

On the ceiling and walls I have the black tar that they must have used to hold the insulation batts in place. I feel like I want to remove it and paint the walls and ceiling. Honestly, I have no reason other than psychological so I start with a clean canvass.

I heard someone say they power washed the tar off the inside. That sounds great but it seems like that would be promoting surface rust in areas I just got rid of rust.

It doesn't look like the tar is holding any moisture. The only thing its holding is little bits of yellow insulation.

As I'm typing this I can think of no logical reason to power wash the walls and ceiling and then paint them before I start my build. Any opinions?

BTW- I am lazy so 20-30 hours of cleaning and painting for no reason seems rediculous.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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Power wash it.... WITH OSPHO!!!




No, no.. Don't do that.. Oh the burning sensation.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:32 AM   #3
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I haven't heard of anybody stripping the tar off with a pressure washer, though I suppose with enough pressure anything is possible..

Personally, I used an electric heat gun to soften the material and a 3" metal putty knife to scrape it off. Then I followed with a couple rounds of solvent wash using naphtha.

Others have reported great success with aircraft paint stripper. I haven't tried it, but I expect the stripper would soften the tar into something gummy/gooey similar to what the heat gun did for me (but faster and easier) and that the scrape and solvent wash steps would still apply.

It's reported that spray foam won't adhere to the tar layer well. I intend to use spray foam, so that's the biggest reason why I cleaned it out of mine. Others also suggest having the tar cleaned away gives a better view of the base metal so you can look for corrosion or leak issues that may lurk behind the tar.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:27 PM   #4
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Aircraft stripper MELTS the tar (actually Asphalteum). Quite dramatically, too.
After a couple HUNDRED hours I finally got my baked-on tar out.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:04 PM   #5
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After a couple HUNDRED hours I finally got my baked-on tar out.
The tar in mine was perhaps younger and less stubborn, or a thinner coating. I didn't spend hundreds of hours, but it was easily 30+ hours. It wasn't until I was nearly finished that I remembered I had a nephew looking for odd jobs to earn money for a school project or trip or something. It would have been money well spent to pay him to do the work for me!
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:41 PM   #6
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The tar in mine was perhaps younger and less stubborn, or a thinner coating. I didn't spend hundreds of hours, but it was easily 30+ hours. It wasn't until I was nearly finished that I remembered I had a nephew looking for odd jobs to earn money for a school project or trip or something. It would have been money well spent to pay him to do the work for me!
Yeah, I had put several friends and relatives to work on mine. It was about 3/16" thick and baked on SO hard.
The tarry stuff on an OLDER bluebird that I demo'd would come off with my fingernail!
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
Power wash it.... WITH OSPHO!!!
Ospho actually works great in a pressure washer... Had a job where we sprayed aluminium trailers down with Ospho and then scrubbed them down to get them ready for paint...

I agree with family wagon. I used an electric heat gun and putty knife on mine and it came out pretty easily...
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:51 PM   #8
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I'm sure there will be those that disagree but after removing my ceiling panels & pulling the insulation & spent quite a few hrs with a flash light during HEAVY rain storms & covered every inch of my ceiling, I found not a single leak or rust area in my bus ceiling so I saw no reason to remove it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:53 PM   #9
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hey, if it don't leak, don't fux with it. This advise I live by...
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:55 PM   #10
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I believe the rule on Skoolies is..."if it don't leak...it will soon".
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:05 PM   #11
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As much as I've seen my bus SWEAT on the inside, I'm very confident that taking the tar out and starting out with clean, painted metal is IDEAL. All that sweat was causing funky oxidation and rust behind the tar.
YMMV, of course.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:37 AM   #12
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See, I've cleaned some small areas and see no sign of rust or anything g. I would guess that after 25 years of hauling 60 little mouth breathers, if it were a problem, I would see signs of it by now. 30 hours is a long time and when I say lazy, by gosh i mean it!
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:38 AM   #13
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On second thought I have an 18 year old with no job and no classes right now.
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Old 10-27-2016, 10:41 AM   #14
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Problem solved...
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karrlot View Post
See, I've cleaned some small areas and see no sign of rust or anything g. I would guess that after 25 years of hauling 60 little mouth breathers, if it were a problem, I would see signs of it by now. 30 hours is a long time and when I say lazy, by gosh i mean it!
On my Ward, the rusty tar sections were fore and aft the roof hatches.
The factory hatches on our buses are crap-ola and leak really badly. Were any of your rivets oxidized or showing any signs of moisture or any discoloration?
I'm not gonna name anyone, but someone is doing a build of my same bus, left the steel paneling in, and I can totally see that their hatches have been leaking since the bus was built just like mine.
You could just leave it. I only took mine out because I knew full well there was rot starting behind it.
Your bus if from a very arid climate, so maybe your roof hatches weren't an issue like mine.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:33 PM   #16
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On second thought I have an 18 year old with no job and no classes right now.
Lucky...
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
On my Ward, the rusty tar sections were fore and aft the roof hatches.
The factory hatches on our buses are crap-ola and leak really badly. Were any of your rivets oxidized or showing any signs of moisture or any discoloration?
I'm not gonna name anyone, but someone is doing a build of my same bus, left the steel paneling in, and I can totally see that their hatches have been leaking since the bus was built just like mine.
You could just leave it. I only took mine out because I knew full well there was rot starting behind it.
Your bus if from a very arid climate, so maybe your roof hatches weren't an issue like mine.
I'll check those areas. When I bought it there were paper towels stuffed in around the front hatch, so I'm assuming it was a leak. Since that is the most likly location, I'll follow one of these methods to check those two areas.

I'm not taking anything for granted. I was shocked at the amount of rust on the floor.

When I was removing ceiling panels there were not any areas that had a lot of rusty rivets, so that is positive.

I should probably also check around the ribs that are the attachment points of the roof panel seams.

Man, sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of work to be lazy....
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:05 AM   #18
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id say.. BUS-KOTE the outside of the roof and then if it didnt leak.. id say insulate with the tar there... im with Tango.. if a skoolie doesnt leak it will soon.. so it is automatic to seal the roof..

-Christopher
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karrlot View Post
I'll check those areas. When I bought it there were paper towels stuffed in around the front hatch, so I'm assuming it was a leak. Since that is the most likly location, I'll follow one of these methods to check those two areas.

I'm not taking anything for granted. I was shocked at the amount of rust on the floor.

When I was removing ceiling panels there were not any areas that had a lot of rusty rivets, so that is positive.

I should probably also check around the ribs that are the attachment points of the roof panel seams.

Man, sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of work to be lazy....
Strip the tar away from the sections near the hatches. IF they aren't rusty then you could leave the rest. That's what I'd do. From the way it sounds, you probably have some of the same issues mine had.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:29 PM   #20
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This stuff removes the tar with about the same ease as rubbing alcohol on sharpie pen marks. (really quick and easy)

https://www.welleauto.com/index.php/...PPG/p/50485101

I pour it in a spray bottle and use disposable wipes. It goes away fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by karrlot View Post
I'll check those areas. When I bought it there were paper towels stuffed in around the front hatch, so I'm assuming it was a leak. Since that is the most likly location, I'll follow one of these methods to check those two areas.

I'm not taking anything for granted. I was shocked at the amount of rust on the floor.

When I was removing ceiling panels there were not any areas that had a lot of rusty rivets, so that is positive.

I should probably also check around the ribs that are the attachment points of the roof panel seams.

Man, sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of work to be lazy....
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