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Old 08-21-2021, 12:49 AM   #1
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Help With Roof Rust and Wood Rot

Hello, severely unskilled and unknowledgable here.

After watching many videos and searching for hours, we haven't found someone with our exact scenario. Our shuttle bus is a 2008 E350 v8 finished by starcraft I believe. When we removed our ceiling panels we were surprised and pleased to see structural ribs supporting the fiberglass roof! But now we have an issue where a leak has been present long enough to cause rust on the ribs and rot on the thin pieces of wood sandwiched between.

From my novice level of skills I see the only way to truly solve the issue is by removing the entire fiberglass roof and doing the necessary repairs and replacements.

In my skill level, workspace, and time frame, I am leaning toward cleaning up what rust I can and painting over it all heavy (post leak repair).

Curious for any advice on this.
Pics of a terrible screenshot showing the ribs and three of the area in question attached

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Old 08-21-2021, 12:51 AM   #2
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Old 08-21-2021, 05:58 AM   #3
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The rust on the steel ribs looks very minor. I think you'd be fine to just sand them around the affected areas, apply Ospho or other rust treatment, then prime and paint those areas. The damage to the plywood also looks pretty minor, just make sure it dries out completely then use wood sealer or primer on it.

It's important to make sure these leaks are completely sealed up on the outside or whatever you do inside won't last very long.
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:28 AM   #4
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As musigenesis has said, that all looks like minor damage, just make sure of the roof seal and keep on it. These things are moving and flexing all the time, it's not good enough to to seal a roof penetration once and ignore it forever, it requires constant inspection and touch ups. Removing the entire roof skin is not a good idea, it's a ton of work that's not necessary and removing and reinstalling that thin skin of Fiberglass without damage would be a crap shoot. What's your anticipated time of ownership of this vehicle 5years? Maybe 10? Clean it up, seal it up and built it out. Most importantly get it done and start using it.
Good luck
Cheers
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Old 08-23-2021, 01:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
The rust on the steel ribs looks very minor. I think you'd be fine to just sand them around the affected areas, apply Ospho or other rust treatment, then prime and paint those areas. The damage to the plywood also looks pretty minor, just make sure it dries out completely then use wood sealer or primer on it.

It's important to make sure these leaks are completely sealed up on the outside or whatever you do inside won't last very long.
Thanks, with this being all uncharted territory its immensely helpful for sound advice. Especially when it aligns with my thoughts.
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Old 08-23-2021, 01:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
As musigenesis has said, that all looks like minor damage, just make sure of the roof seal and keep on it. These things are moving and flexing all the time, it's not good enough to to seal a roof penetration once and ignore it forever, it requires constant inspection and touch ups. Removing the entire roof skin is not a good idea, it's a ton of work that's not necessary and removing and reinstalling that thin skin of Fiberglass without damage would be a crap shoot. What's your anticipated time of ownership of this vehicle 5years? Maybe 10? Clean it up, seal it up and built it out. Most importantly get it done and start using it.
Good luck
Cheers
Thanks to both of you.
I am kind of appalled at how bad the seals are and how they got this way. I'll definitely be heading your advice and checking more often then the city and previous owner
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