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Old 06-30-2020, 03:45 PM   #1
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Why does my bus floor have two layers of metal?

Just got the old plywood off the floor, and am getting ready to treat rust. (Plan is to treat rust, paint, then add 2x3 framing, 2" polyiso insulation, 3/4" plywood, and some sort of veneer).

I discovered that the floor has two layers of metal: a very thin layer (approx 1/32nd inch) laying on top of a thicker layer (approx 1/8th inch).



As is obvious from that picture, there's rust on both layers. Why use two layers? Is it to protect the lower layer from more serious rust?

Should I just throw away the top layer, and treat the rust below it? Or, do I need to remove the top layer, treat the rust below it, and then buy new sheet metal for a new top layer?

Help much appreciated!
-Chris
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:39 PM   #2
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Interesting...

If only we knew what make and model bus you had...

How thick is the lower layer of metal?

As a starting point I would remove the layer of 'foil' and see if there're any surprises underneath it...
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to skoolie.net. If you go to User CP in the upper left corner you can fill out your details including where you are and what kind of bus you have. Helps people tailor their advice to your specifics.

What kind of bus do you have and where exactly in the bus was this pic taken (more pics would always help)? It's possible that what you're looking at is a post-sale repair made by the school system that owned it. My bus had a few places where there was more than one layer of sheet metal, and it was always some custom repair. Rusty buses will have a lot of stuff like this in them.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:58 PM   #4
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Thank you banman and musigenesis for your replies.

>If only we knew what make and model bus you had...
Apologies, I should have included that in the post. We have a 2005 Ford e450 bus.

>How thick is the lower layer of metal?
It's about 1/8th of an inch thick.

>where exactly in the bus was this pic taken
It's taken on the driver's side, about 3/4 of the way towards the back. The pipe is the input pipe for diesel, and it leads to the gas tank.

The layer of "foil" covers the entire floor of the bus, with the exception of a small (non-rectangular) area by the driver's seat.

>As a starting point I would remove the layer of 'foil' and see if there're any surprises underneath it...
Good plan. . I'll take the foil off tomorrow and take a few pictures of the whole floor.

Thanks for your feedback! This theory of a post-purchase repair makes a lot of sense.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:54 PM   #5
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Just pulled up the "foil" layer, and I think I understand why it was laid down. The steel underneath is laid in approx 10" strips, and you can see down to the ground between them.

So, I'm assuming that the "foil" is there to keep water / insects from accessing the wooden subfloor. Here are a couple of pictures:

This picture shows the passenger side of the bus, facing the back. We have removed one of the two strips of foil.



This picture shows the underlying steel strips, and the gaps between them where air, water and insects could access the subfloor, if we didn't cover them.


So, here's my plan, and I'd love feedback on it:

We're going to throw away the two 4' x 16' strips of "foil". They're quite rusty.

Then, we're going to grind out the rust, treat it with Ospho, prime it with two coats of Rustoleum.

Then, I'm a little unclear as to what to do. Should "glue" new metal strips to the floor just to over the gaps between the strips of the floor? Should we buy two new pieces of 4' x 16' sheet metal ("foil") and reproduce what the previous owners did?

Then, I'm assuming that we should paint the "foil"? Or, should we paint the bottom of the foil before we lay it down, and then paint the top?

Advice appreciated!
-Chris
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File Type: jpg IMG_20200701_151050.jpg (476.3 KB, 86 views)
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:09 PM   #6
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Are you planning on insulating the floor?

If this were mine, I would do as you plan in treating the rust and priming/painting what's there. The next layer I would put down is this stuff;

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Owens-Co...WLFL/206820553

On top of that I would put foam board insulation, plywood, then my floor covering.

To give credit where it's due for the idea, I got the idea from another member here; I am definitely using this method for multiple reasons.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f32/l...ion-29186.html
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:21 PM   #7
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Hi JackE,

Yes, we're definitely planning to insulate the floor. We were planning to glue 2x3 framing materials to the metal floor, then glue in Polyiso insulation, and top it with a 3/4" plywood subfloor.

Love the idea of the ice and water shield.

Would the ice and water shield take the place of plugging holes and gaps in the metal floor?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:10 PM   #8
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I think if you put it down on a nice warm sunny day, it'll seal up any holes and/or gaps you have in the floor. I have used the stuff for it's intended purpose in roofing and if it's too hot of a day, the stuff is a real pain to work with, especially on the slant of a roof. I think on a nice warm flat floor it will do the job sealing up the holes in the floor. Be careful using it, it's very difficult to get it unstuck from itself. It applies much easier in the cool mornings on a roof. I plan to lay it down in the cool of the morning, then let it sit and bake on in the hot summer sun for a few days before I put my insulation down.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:07 AM   #9
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Hi JackE,

I really appreciate your feedback. (And, I was reading through your own build story -- you're a good writer!)

I guess my concern is that over 3-5 years of driving in hot places the ice and water shield might melt out through the gaps in the metal, and the insulation underneath might get exposed, or it might create an opening for critters.

Any second opinions out there? Either agreeing with JackE that ice and water shield will be a solid way to fill the gaps between the metal slats, or disagreeing?

Thank you so much!
-Chris
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyB View Post
Hi JackE,

I really appreciate your feedback. (And, I was reading through your own build story -- you're a good writer!)
Thanks for the accolades. My mom and brother are both published authors, as well as several cousins. I never considered myself much good at that sort of thing, maybe a little of it wore off on me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyB View Post
I guess my concern is that over 3-5 years of driving in hot places the ice and water shield might melt out through the gaps in the metal, and the insulation underneath might get exposed, or it might create an opening for critters.

Any second opinions out there? Either agreeing with JackE that ice and water shield will be a solid way to fill the gaps between the metal slats, or disagreeing?

Thank you so much!
-Chris
I don't think this stuff will get hot enough to drip out through the holes and cracks. It is used on the leading edge of roofs under the first layer of asphalt shingles. With the hot summer sun bearing down on black shingles in 115* temps in Mesa, I have never seen it get to the dripping state. I don't know how hot the roof gets at that temp, but I'm willing to bet it's well over 150*. I don't think you will see that kind of heat on the underside of your bus, especially going down the road with a nice breeze blowing around under there. If you are worried about the gaps, you could run a strip of Gorilla tape over the seam before the water & ice layer, that stuff will take a layer of skin off it sticks so well! That should effectively stop anything from melting out.
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:47 PM   #11
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I think I would just seal these gaps with seam sealer (like my trusty Dynatron-550) and lay down foam board and plywood. Ideally you'd do this from underneath but a lot of it will be blocked by the stuff on the underside anyway, so from above would be easy and quick. I would guess two or three tubes would do the trick, so $30-$50 total.

Edit: actually some of those gaps look like they might be a bit wide for this.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:30 PM   #12
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I like the idea of the membrane https://www.homedepot.com/p/Owens-Co...WLFL/206820553 very much.
If you buy the wide roll linked you can cut it down into several 8" to 12" wide strips and cover all your gaps and seat holes in one strip.

The only place the underside of your bus is gonna get hotter than a house roof with dark shingles is if the exhaust is routed too near the floor somewhere -- the hump over the rear axle is the only likely place for that.

I like this idea so much I'll probably use it myself!
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:34 AM   #13
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Thank you JackE, Musigenesis and banman, I really appreciate the help! Ice and water shield it is!
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