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Old 12-30-2020, 10:47 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Corvallis Oregon
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cat3126
PNW, leaks driving me crazy:((((

Hi folks, am so tired of leaks I could almost give up. I have seam sealed all seams with dynetron 550, we have taken out cleaned polished and reinstalled all windows with butyl tape and flashing sealant, we have done numerous hose checks from the bottom of the bus to the top to try and isolate where leaks start, and Iíve gone back over rivets that appeared to be a problem, I have gone over all the old window frames and put dynatron in pinholes at corners of window where glass meets weatherstripping in case the actual aluminum frame might be leaking. We are planning to put Henryís tropical on the roof after the roof deck and mini stove vent are installed.

We still have one slow drip (there are drilled holes in that window well for the water to leak out that we didnít put there) and, we still have a bit of discoloration in window wells that look like a small amount of dampness. The one drip is coming from one of the u shaped roof ribs and dripping out of the bottom of that so I canít see behind that rib to determine where the water is coming in. The seam over that has already been sealed
I have gotten so sick from mold in the past refinishing a shower for a friend and donít want to risk mold growth. We donít plan to spend a lot of winter rain time in the PNW when the bus is finished. Is a tiny bit of leaking in the window well, where there are weep holes going to create a problem? Weíre wondering... with the heat pump on low, running off of the solar panels when itís parked here in the rain, could keep it mold free?
Any encouragement and words of wisdom would be so welcome right now!
Thanks,
Karen
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
Hi folks, am so tired of leaks I could almost give up. I have seam sealed all seams with dynetron 550, we have taken out cleaned polished and reinstalled all windows with butyl tape and flashing sealant, we have done numerous hose checks from the bottom of the bus to the top to try and isolate where leaks start, and Iíve gone back over rivets that appeared to be a problem, I have gone over all the old window frames and put dynatron in pinholes at corners of window where glass meets weatherstripping in case the actual aluminum frame might be leaking. We are planning to put Henryís tropical on the roof after the roof deck and mini stove vent are installed.

We still have one slow drip (there are drilled holes in that window well for the water to leak out that we didnít put there) and, we still have a bit of discoloration in window wells that look like a small amount of dampness. The one drip is coming from one of the u shaped roof ribs and dripping out of the bottom of that so I canít see behind that rib to determine where the water is coming in. The seam over that has already been sealed
I have gotten so sick from mold in the past refinishing a shower for a friend and donít want to risk mold growth. We donít plan to spend a lot of winter rain time in the PNW when the bus is finished. Is a tiny bit of leaking in the window well, where there are weep holes going to create a problem? Weíre wondering... with the heat pump on low, running off of the solar panels when itís parked here in the rain, could keep it mold free?
Any encouragement and words of wisdom would be so welcome right now!
Thanks,
Karen
Misery loves company. I'm you're new bestie then! I'm sick about it as well. I've done more and gone above and beyond and still no good. Just tonight this happens coming from this. I just don't know. Covered parking is the only thing i can think of.
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:30 AM   #3
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Dang, hard to think of anything you missed. I understand your frustration.


Any possibility the sealant failed? Was it applied over silicone, a non-compatible cured sealant, or solvent, or itself? How were the surfaces prepped before sealing? Was it applied w/in the sealant's application window for temp & humidity?



Could it be residual water trapped before you sealed? Didn't get a sense for the volume you're talking about.


Can it just be getting blown in from a gap, like in the top of the window that doesn't seal firmly closed?


How did you inspect the rivets to determine they were leak free? Did you inspect every rivet?
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:32 AM   #4
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I honestly don't have much advice as far as stopping the leak unless you know exactly where it is coming from (which pretty much requires removing the interior wall / ceiling skins and tracing it to the source). My money is on a emergency roof hatch that needs re-sealing... Or a rooftop A/C that lets water in with a heavy rain. Seen it before in an RV...

You can try draping an appropriate sized tarp over the roof, stopping it completely is not guaranteed, but it will slow it down. Partial coverage can also help to determine the source (ergo, if the leak slows down or stops with a certain portion of the roof covered, you know the leak is likely in that area). Hope that helps!
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
Hi folks, am so tired of leaks I could almost give up. I have seam sealed all seams with dynetron 550, we have taken out cleaned polished and reinstalled all windows with butyl tape and flashing sealant, we have done numerous hose checks from the bottom of the bus to the top to try and isolate where leaks start, and I’ve gone back over rivets that appeared to be a problem, I have gone over all the old window frames and put dynatron in pinholes at corners of window where glass meets weatherstripping in case the actual aluminum frame might be leaking. We are planning to put Henry’s tropical on the roof after the roof deck and mini stove vent are installed.

We still have one slow drip (there are drilled holes in that window well for the water to leak out that we didn’t put there) and, we still have a bit of discoloration in window wells that look like a small amount of dampness. The one drip is coming from one of the u shaped roof ribs and dripping out of the bottom of that so I can’t see behind that rib to determine where the water is coming in. The seam over that has already been sealed
I have gotten so sick from mold in the past refinishing a shower for a friend and don’t want to risk mold growth. We don’t plan to spend a lot of winter rain time in the PNW when the bus is finished. Is a tiny bit of leaking in the window well, where there are weep holes going to create a problem? We’re wondering... with the heat pump on low, running off of the solar panels when it’s parked here in the rain, could keep it mold free?
Any encouragement and words of wisdom would be so welcome right now!
Thanks,
Karen
I recently got my windows to stop leaking, and it seems that the key was to completely cover the rubber gasket between the bottom glass pane and its frame with sealant (not just the corners, and 4-5" up from the bottom) and to cover all the sealant with paint. It's not really pretty up close but it "seams" to be working. The other major thing was to use a craft paint brush to get sealant into the corners of the outer sill - these will trap water if the bus is parked on a slight angle, and standing water will get through openings that otherwise water would flow over.

I'm not sure where your drilled holes are that you're talking about, but I think you want to plug those holes if they're allowing water inside the bus.

When you talk about leaking from the bottom of a rib, do you mean water is dripping out from one of the empty ceiling rivet holes? I had this happen to me all of a sudden; the way the rib material is shaped, the only source for a leak like this would have to be through one of its rivet holes on the roof. This particular rib had only 4 rivets on the roof so I carefully covered all four with Dynatron and that particular leak stopped.

I also sometimes get condensation inside that ends up dripping from the ribs (since they're now surrounded on both sides by XPS foam), which creates the impression that there's a leak when there isn't really.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I recently got my windows to stop leaking, and it seems that the key was to completely cover the rubber gasket between the bottom glass pane and its frame with sealant (not just the corners, and 4-5" up from the bottom) and to cover all the sealant with paint. It's not really pretty up close but it "seams" to be working.

I wonder if there is an easy way to 'rebuild' the windows so the rubber seal surrounding each pane is replaced? Do they sell the seals alone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I also sometimes get condensation inside that ends up dripping from the ribs (since they're now surrounded on both sides by XPS foam), which creates the impression that there's a leak when there isn't really.

That's a great point.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:00 AM   #7
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I wonder if there is an easy way to 'rebuild' the windows so the rubber seal surrounding each pane is replaced? Do they sell the seals alone?
I have read that some glass companies can come out and replace a broken pane in a school bus window, so I'm guessing they could replace the gasket too, but I don't know.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:49 AM   #8
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A couple thoughts come to mind reading this.
First off, could the leaks actually be condensation forming on the ceiling and running down?


Second, did you happen to seal up the bottom of the windows against the sill plate? I hope not The factory installation of the windows in my bus were caulk sealed on the sides and top of the exterior, but the bottom is left without sealant so that the water that inevitably gets into the frame can drain out. A window that can't drain the frame out the bottom to the exterior will eventually drain into the interior.
I took a hybrid approach to sealing the windows. Caulked top and sides fully, then caulked the bottom while leaving a "hole" at each bottom corner for drainage.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
A couple thoughts come to mind reading this.
First off, could the leaks actually be condensation forming on the ceiling and running down?

Second, did you happen to seal up the bottom of the windows against the sill plate? I hope not The factory installation of the windows in my bus were caulk sealed on the sides and top of the exterior, but the bottom is left without sealant so that the water that inevitably gets into the frame can drain out. A window that can't drain the frame out the bottom to the exterior will eventually drain into the interior.
I took a hybrid approach to sealing the windows. Caulked top and sides fully, then caulked the bottom while leaving a "hole" at each bottom corner for drainage.

This is great info. Thanks so much for this. We're getting ready to put our windows back in for the (hopefully) last time, and I really want to do the job 'right'. Can anyone confirm or deny that this is the factory-way of installing windows for other models (like our International)? Do the service manuals it appears we'll never be able to get our hands on detail the proper way to seal windows?
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I recently got my windows to stop leaking, and it seems that the key was to completely cover the rubber gasket between the bottom glass pane and its frame with sealant

I'll 2nd that. We (pretty much) solved our water problems by sealing over the entire gasket. What happened was the water would leak through the micro cracks in the gasket, then migrate in the frame to the corners (which is why the water seemed to be coming in the corners).

It was a maddening thing, trying to chase down the source of the water.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Dang, hard to think of anything you missed. I understand your frustration.


Any possibility the sealant failed? Was it applied over silicone, a non-compatible cured sealant, or solvent, or itself? How were the surfaces prepped before sealing? Was it applied w/in the sealant's application window for temp & humidity?



Could it be residual water trapped before you sealed? Didn't get a sense for the volume you're talking about.


Can it just be getting blown in from a gap, like in the top of the window that doesn't seal firmly closed?


How did you inspect the rivets to determine they were leak free? Did you inspect every rivet?
Thanks for the wonderful checklist!
1st pp, Roof and windows all worked on in the dry summertime within recommended temperature range and humidity range. Sanded all roof seams, treated all rust, wiped down with acetone, applied Dynatron. Made sure to use appropriate sealants for seams, as well as, for windows over thoroughly sanded cleaned and acetoned surfaces on the windows.

Pp2 Done in dry weather so no trapped water. Volume of water leakage on one rib at bottom of window well is slow drip and slight puddling. Other leak by drivers seat is slow drip, dampness, but, no puddling. The rest of window wells could very well be slightly damp from condensation as bus is not heated or insulated at this time.

Pp3 We havenít been driving bus, so canít be from being blown in at this time. When we did windows, I made sure to clean and silicone all parts so windows slide and close proprerly.

Pp4 I thought I inspected every rivet... Could thoroughly go over them all again. Weeí everyone been waiting until roof deck, solar panel wiring and stove install done before we paint roof with silicone which would solve that issue. Still at least a month or two off before we get to that part.

Iíll go back over those rivets and see if I can identify any that look guilty!

Thanks for your time! Helps to have folks removed from the frustration to think sometimes!
Karen
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L2thaJ View Post
Misery loves company. I'm you're new bestie then! I'm sick about it as well. I've done more and gone above and beyond and still no good. Just tonight this happens coming from this. I just don't know. Covered parking is the only thing i can think of.
Uhg! Looks like some troubleshoooting in store for you! We havenít built out yet, not even floor, so nothing to try to tear out and reinspect. Weíre hesitant to do any building until we have this solved! Want a mold free bus. Best wishes for an easy resolution to you
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I honestly don't have much advice as far as stopping the leak unless you know exactly where it is coming from (which pretty much requires removing the interior wall / ceiling skins and tracing it to the source). My money is on a emergency roof hatch that needs re-sealing... Or a rooftop A/C that lets water in with a heavy rain. Seen it before in an RV...

You can try draping an appropriate sized tarp over the roof, stopping it completely is not guaranteed, but it will slow it down. Partial coverage can also help to determine the source (ergo, if the leak slows down or stops with a certain portion of the roof covered, you know the leak is likely in that area). Hope that helps!
Thanks for the troubleshooting thoughts. We havenít got any interior built out. Have been focused on getting moisture fixed first. Imagined that to tear out finished work would really suck, so hesitated to do more until get moisture stopped!
Like the tarp idea! We did all roof work in summer and thoroughly hosed it to check out if leaked. Have new skylight where hatch was, and fan installed. Both are looking super water tight so far. No leakage there. Ther tarp might help figure out if roof rivets are culprit though!
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:25 PM   #14
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I love the way you work. And I feel your pain. I consider myself pretty thorough - as you obviously are - pursuing solutions to problems, so 9 times out of 10 when I end up finally reaching out for help, most folks are like .


Was really hoping the other folks above like Jatzy nailed it with condensation. You're SURE that's not it? Would suck to go through another round of this only to end up at the simplest answer. And that's usually the way it works, right?



Happy New Year! Maybe it's 2020. Post if the water stops dripping at midnight.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I recently got my windows to stop leaking, and it seems that the key was to completely cover the rubber gasket between the bottom glass pane and its frame with sealant (not just the corners, and 4-5" up from the bottom) and to cover all the sealant with paint. It's not really pretty up close but it "seams" to be working. The other major thing was to use a craft paint brush to get sealant into the corners of the outer sill - these will trap water if the bus is parked on a slight angle, and standing water will get through openings that otherwise water would flow over.

I'm not sure where your drilled holes are that you're talking about, but I think you want to plug those holes if they're allowing water inside the bus.

When you talk about leaking from the bottom of a rib, do you mean water is dripping out from one of the empty ceiling rivet holes? I had this happen to me all of a sudden; the way the rib material is shaped, the only source for a leak like this would have to be through one of its rivet holes on the roof. This particular rib had only 4 rivets on the roof so I carefully covered all four with Dynatron and that particular leak stopped.

I also sometimes get condensation inside that ends up dripping from the ribs (since they're now surrounded on both sides by XPS foam), which creates the impression that there's a leak when there isn't really.
Thanks for your input Musigenesis! Glad to hear you finally succeeded. We had one bus owner that told us it was impossible...these old window notorious for leakage. I have done everything on our windows that you have done except tackle the actual glass gasket itself. Some of those did have micro cracks. It seems like our back leak is stronger than what would come from that kind of seepage. I did mean through that rib. Your description of how that water can leak from rivets and run down that rib helped me rethink and decide to identify the rivets to that rib. Still have plenty of Dynatron to seal those up. The drilled holes I referenced. Are through the floor in the window well. Wondering if they had a chronic leak problem they solved by use drilling a couple holes so the water would drain out.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
A couple thoughts come to mind reading this.
First off, could the leaks actually be condensation forming on the ceiling and running down?


Second, did you happen to seal up the bottom of the windows against the sill plate? I hope not The factory installation of the windows in my bus were caulk sealed on the sides and top of the exterior, but the bottom is left without sealant so that the water that inevitably gets into the frame can drain out. A window that can't drain the frame out the bottom to the exterior will eventually drain into the interior.
I took a hybrid approach to sealing the windows. Caulked top and sides fully, then caulked the bottom while leaving a "hole" at each bottom corner for drainage.
Damn! I totally missed that detail on windows I did seal all the way around...and enthusiastically! I wonder if I should go back with a small drill and create a weep hole at the bottom of each??? I hate to ruin good frames! We worked so hard on polishing them up. I never ran across that info in all my installation research.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:50 PM   #17
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Engine: Cat3126
Hubbard bus, yes! Love the way you troubleshoot too! Will wait and see what Jatzy says about factory installation before I do anything to my widow frames. I do think some of the wet in the window sills is from condensation. The rather steady drip at the bottom of the ceiling rib is happening during rain storms and after all these wonderful responses, I think it might be coming from some rivets I missed. I’m going to find the rivets for that ceiling rib and use Dynatron on them. I think the Henry’s should do a great on on all ceiling rivets, but, can’t apply that until final roof installs are done. I think Todd and I figured out a build out plan that will allow us to leave those window sills open until the roof is finished... No water out on the main floor at all. We can get the framing in and leave window sills open for the time being and I’ll continue to trouble shoot those leaks. Wish the hubby’s vacay lasted longer! Been fun building with him over the holidays!
Happy new year to you and yours too! Would be fun to see you on the road sometime!
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:52 PM   #18
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LOL! Somehow missed, post if the water stops at midnight������! Thanks for the levity! May 2021 be more positive news than 2020!
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
... see what Jatzy says about factory installation before I do anything to my widow frames.

Don't worry much about "factory" installation. Quite frankly, factory installation of the windows in my Thomas was terrible! Very much prone to leaking.



You're better off taking a lesson from home construction and how windows are built and installed.


After a window is framed out the next step is to seal up the sill plate. Best if it can slope outwards.


On my Thomas bus the sill plate does slope outward, but it was poorly sealed from the factory at the corners. I caulked the corners before installing the windows.


This is isn't my bus and is slightly different, but the same principle applies. The colours mark where caulk should be applied.




You can see that the back lip will keep water from coming into the bus, but only if it can escape out the front! No window is entirely leak-proof. Also, there is condensation on the back faces that needs to be accounted for. Water must be able to exit out the front.


Home windows typically have built-in weep holes. My bus windows do not.


Here's a weep hole I made for a window. One in each corner of the window.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M_X...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:48 PM   #20
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Here's a weep hole I made for a window. One in each corner of the window.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M_X...ew?usp=sharing
Ah, I thought you meant a weep hole on the bottom of the sill, so that water would flow down inside the bus. Your weep hole location makes sense and I may try that on my one front window that is still leaking.
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