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Old 01-12-2020, 10:48 AM   #1
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Sealant or butyl tape on windows?

I have never heard anybody say that Butyl tape didn't work. So that should be my answer right there, but I will ask anyway.

My windows leak very little. I checked all of them now, and the sealant looks good on every window up both sides, with lots of pinholes, and larger, openings on the bottom. So I bought some sealant at home depot just to experiment, resealed the bottom of two windows so far. It hasn't rained yet.

I keep thinking though that I should at least pull the windows out, clean it all up and reseal them. I hate touching things that aren't broken though. And I never have full days to work on the bus, so it would get one or two windows done in a week, one at a time, or take them all out and expose my bus to the elements for too long.

Then it's about $70 for enough butyl tape vs half that or less for some Dynaflex sealant. Not a huge expense on it's own, but I would rather spend that 40 bucks toward a welder that I still need to buy.

So has anyone been happy here with just resealing their windows? I appreciate the real world experience.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:45 PM   #2
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We had some terrible leaking from our windows. We first sealed the exterior around the edges with seam sealer. That didn't work, so we pulled every window, wire brushed the window frames and the bus frame to a nice clean metal surface and sealed with seam sealer. Still had leaking, so we installed an interior gutter system to catch the water. Then we, finally, found the source of the leaking. It was the rubber gasket (what would be glazing on a home window) where the glass meets the aluminum window frame at the bottom. The gasket was dry rotted and water was flowing to the corners of the glass, then down into the aluminum and, ultimately, into the bus. We put weathersealing tape over than gasket and it fixed the problem. We've been meaning to take the tape off (UV rays have mostly done so for us) and put a bead of seam sealer over that gasket. That's like project #6 on our current list!
All this to say...find out, for sure, where the leaking is coming from before you go all out and reseal the window frames. It only took 2 days to pull, scrape and reinstall them but it turns out it was a wasted 2 days.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We had some terrible leaking from our windows. We first sealed the exterior around the edges with seam sealer. That didn't work, so we pulled every window, wire brushed the window frames and the bus frame to a nice clean metal surface and sealed with seam sealer. Still had leaking, so we installed an interior gutter system to catch the water. Then we, finally, found the source of the leaking. It was the rubber gasket (what would be glazing on a home window) where the glass meets the aluminum window frame at the bottom. The gasket was dry rotted and water was flowing to the corners of the glass, then down into the aluminum and, ultimately, into the bus. We put weathersealing tape over than gasket and it fixed the problem. We've been meaning to take the tape off (UV rays have mostly done so for us) and put a bead of seam sealer over that gasket. That's like project #6 on our current list!
All this to say...find out, for sure, where the leaking is coming from before you go all out and reseal the window frames. It only took 2 days to pull, scrape and reinstall them but it turns out it was a wasted 2 days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post

All this to say...find out, for sure, where the leaking is coming from before you go all out and reseal the window frames. It only took 2 days to pull, scrape and reinstall them but it turns out it was a wasted 2 days.
I'll be sure to check the gaskets. Thanks for the advice. The nice thing about moving slow on this build I'll have plenty of time to watch for leaks
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:18 AM   #4
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On my bus I removed all the windows, repainted them in places, and reinstalled them by running a bead of Dynatron-550 along the sill the window rests on and up the sides of the windows where they press into the outside trim pieces between each window (I then smoothed out on the outside the Dynatron that had oozed out). This means the sealant is pinched between the window and the bus, so the waterproof seal is not reliant on the adhesive properties of the stuff. If you just leave the old window in place and re-seal from the outside, it will work but only as long as the sealant adheres (to both the window and the bus) on its own. Which may be forever, I dunno; either way it's important to clean the surface really well and scuff it before applying the Dynatron.

My windows also leaked through the edges of the sill, the result of them having been pried out of the bus in the past and the bottom pieces separating slightly at the outer edges. Water would collect in the sills (which face the outside) and then pour (literally) through these gaps into the inside of the bus (this is basically what happened to my wheel wells). I seam-sealed these from the outside after my windows went back in with a little hobby paintbrush that was able to reach in there.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:32 AM   #5
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As others have mentioned (in other threads), don't use a permanent sealer on the sides or top of the windows, or you will have to fight them, possibly break them, if for some reason you need to remove them again in the future. There was just a bit of some kind of non-hardening sealant at the top of my windows, and that was enough to almost break them; did bent the aluminum frame just a bit. Cut the old sealant with a Knife from the outside along the bottom, if you can, before prying them out.



I used Henry's Crystal Clear sealant from HD at the bottom. Pulled the windows. Cleaned the bus' frame; painted it to match the exterior. Applied a thick bead of this stuff. Then installed the window. If the Aluminum window frame/gasket leaks now, it won't just disappear into the wall, it will bead up on the inside of the sealant first.


For the sides, they only need to repel wind-driven water (going down the road, etc.). With the window out, I just used some " wide " thick sponge window seal (also from HD), and tacked it in place on the bus using its own sticky side. Then the window pops right in and it seals well.


I only did one side, because you need to remove so much interior trim above the windows, from the back to the front, that I figured they should all be done at once. The other side wasn't leaking. Hard rain, hose & spray nozzle, sloppy wet rag to wash the glass, no leaks. Installed cabinets on the inside under those untouched windows. It rained last week, and low-and-behold, a small drip from the E-window, running down the wall, into the cabinet, onto the original rubber-mat floor, and down to the end of the bus. Likely under the plywood flooring also.


Gotta get to the desert so I can safely take that side apart, pull all windows, clean them, detail them with Bon-Ami (hasn't scratched yet!), polish the aluminum frames to a mirror as best I can, then paint them with a tinted clearcoat like the other side. That's a full day per window, easy, plus drying and curing time for the paint (1 week). It really looks good. Much better than the old dingy-grey oxidized aluminum. I would do them one at a time, but I want to open a new tube of clear sealant, and then install all the windows at once before it starts to cure in the tube. That means the whole side exposed to weather.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
On my bus I removed all the windows, repainted them in places, and reinstalled them by running a bead of Dynatron-550 along the sill the window rests on and up the sides of the windows where they press into the outside trim pieces between each window (I then smoothed out on the outside the Dynatron that had oozed out). This means the sealant is pinched between the window and the bus, so the waterproof seal is not reliant on the adhesive properties of the stuff. If you just leave the old window in place and re-seal from the outside, it will work but only as long as the sealant adheres (to both the window and the bus) on its own. Which may be forever, I dunno; either way it's important to clean the surface really well and scuff it before applying the Dynatron.

My windows also leaked through the edges of the sill, the result of them having been pried out of the bus in the past and the bottom pieces separating slightly at the outer edges. Water would collect in the sills (which face the outside) and then pour (literally) through these gaps into the inside of the bus (this is basically what happened to my wheel wells). I seam-sealed these from the outside after my windows went back in with a little hobby paintbrush that was able to reach in there.
I'm trying to understand this last paragraph. They were leaking in the window frame itself? The parts holding the glass in place?
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JDSquared View Post
I'm trying to understand this last paragraph. They were leaking in the window frame itself? The parts holding the glass in place?
Yeah, the aluminum frame that holds the two window panes. The bottom pane is fixed and positioned on the inside of this frame, while the top pane slides up and down and is more towards the "out" side of the frame. Since the fixed bottom pane is on the "in" side, this creates a little ledge or sill that faces the outside. Rain would collect on this sill and then flow inside the bus through the small gaps between this sill and the vertical pieces of the frame.

Out of the factory, these pieces of the frame are pressed tightly together and then the whole thing is pressed into the bus frame, and that keeps the seams watertight. But if somebody tries to pry the window out, the bottom piece will remain stuck to the bus (unless/until you cut underneath from outside) and it will pull away from the two vertical pieces, creating these gaps.

This problem seems unique to my bus, FWIW, but I wonder if it's sometimes a cause of leaking that people can't identify otherwise. For it to happen, someone would need to remove the factory windows, reinstall them with seam sealer, and then remove the windows again (my bus shows signs of the windows having been removed and reinstalled at least twice before I even got it).

You can see if this is currently a problem in your bus by just blasting a hose at the edges of this sill and seeing if any water comes inside. Or you can tell if you take the windows out and clean them - in my case water was just spraying through these gaps.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:44 PM   #8
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Ok. As I was caulking the two that I did I kind of wondered about that area. Anyplace water can sit is a problem, but I have two weep holes in the frames which I think help.
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Old 06-19-2020, 08:18 AM   #9
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Need help with leaky windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We had some terrible leaking from our windows. We first sealed the exterior around the edges with seam sealer. That didn't work, so we pulled every window, wire brushed the window frames and the bus frame to a nice clean metal surface and sealed with seam sealer. Still had leaking, so we installed an interior gutter system to catch the water. Then we, finally, found the source of the leaking. It was the rubber gasket (what would be glazing on a home window) where the glass meets the aluminum window frame at the bottom. The gasket was dry rotted and water was flowing to the corners of the glass, then down into the aluminum and, ultimately, into the bus. We put weathersealing tape over than gasket and it fixed the problem. We've been meaning to take the tape off (UV rays have mostly done so for us) and put a bead of seam sealer over that gasket. That's like project #6 on our current list!
All this to say...find out, for sure, where the leaking is coming from before you go all out and reseal the window frames. It only took 2 days to pull, scrape and reinstall them but it turns out it was a wasted 2 days.
Do you have pictures of the interior gutter system you installed?
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDSquared View Post
I have never heard anybody say that Butyl tape didn't work. So that should be my answer right there, but I will ask anyway.

My windows leak very little. I checked all of them now, and the sealant looks good on every window up both sides, with lots of pinholes, and larger, openings on the bottom. So I bought some sealant at home depot just to experiment, resealed the bottom of two windows so far. It hasn't rained yet.

I keep thinking though that I should at least pull the windows out, clean it all up and reseal them. I hate touching things that aren't broken though. And I never have full days to work on the bus, so it would get one or two windows done in a week, one at a time, or take them all out and expose my bus to the elements for too long.

Then it's about $70 for enough butyl tape vs half that or less for some Dynaflex sealant. Not a huge expense on it's own, but I would rather spend that 40 bucks toward a welder that I still need to buy.

So has anyone been happy here with just resealing their windows? I appreciate the real world experience.
I don't think butyl tape or seam sealer is the right way to go on window reseal. Auto glass shops use polyurethane to set windshields, a friend of mine owns a glass shop and has re sealed many buses for the local district. He has also completed 4 skoolie's for himself so I'll take his advice. I've just completed removal/reseal on half my windows and first hose test is perfect no leaks.
Polyurethane can be found at all the big box stores no more cost than other sealants. image.jpg
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
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Oscar1 you have my attention...I just blew through a tube of 3M Seam Sealer ($24) on two windows and was looking for an alt for the rest. I see a QUIKRETE Non-Sag Sealant 10-fl oz Polyurethane Masonry Sealer for Concrete at Lowes...is this what you mean? I love the price...
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cushionhead View Post
Oscar1 you have my attention...I just blew through a tube of 3M Seam Sealer ($24) on two windows and was looking for an alt for the rest. I see a QUIKRETE Non-Sag Sealant 10-fl oz Polyurethane Masonry Sealer for Concrete at Lowes...is this what you mean? I love the price...
Dynatron-550 is $15 a tube at Autozone, or you can order it by the case for as little as $12. Half a tube per window seems like a pretty high usage rate for this stuff.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:26 PM   #13
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I agree, it didn't go as far as I thought it would. There were some gaps to fill.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cushionhead View Post
Oscar1 you have my attention...I just blew through a tube of 3M Seam Sealer ($24) on two windows and was looking for an alt for the rest. I see a QUIKRETE Non-Sag Sealant 10-fl oz Polyurethane Masonry Sealer for Concrete at Lowes...is this what you mean? I love the price...
Hello cushionhead
Attached photo is of the Dap brand polyurethane that I purchased from Home Depot. Canadian price was about $8 a tube. I just completed the last of my twenty four windows. completely removed, cleaned up the window openings and repainted before windows being reset in the polyurethane. Happy to say my garden hose leak tests showed success and no leaks on any windows.
Good luck
image.jpeg
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:42 AM   #15
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Thanks very much
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