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Re-sealing Fridge Vents

Decided to re-seal the vents so that I could find out what Seamseal was like to work with, before doing one of the next jobs, sealing the awning rail on the off side where I have had to repair some damp inside the caravan.

I like Sikaflex 512 caravan for its properties as an adhesive and a sealant, but to do a large job the cost becomes too high, so I think I will use it for bonding wood to aluminium where a good bond is essential and it can take the movement.

Seamseal CV does not have the adhesive qualities, but looking at the Product Data Sheet (available from Hodgson’s web site) seems good for jobs like this (also other fixings were in the future may have to be removed) and of course its very cost effective.

Found it okay to use (it was best to not put too much on and if needed apply more), the hardest/ longest part of the job was cleaning the old sealant from the vents and the caravan!

Overview
Top vent has old sealant, bottom the same with silicone on top of it.

Tools required
Tools use to do the job.

First the top 
Starting with the top vent, the sealant looked to be brittle, removed six screws.

Vent removed
Vent came away quite easily,old sealant in tact. Construction of bonded side wall can be seen clearly.

Clean up
Cleaned up with a plastic scraper and white spirit, finished off using meths to take away the residue and de-grease.

Sealant applied
Used meths to de-grease the vent cover then beads of Seamseal applied to both the vent and the opening.

Pressed into place
Locate the vent with screws and press into place, sealant oozes from the edge ensuring good coverage.

Removing excess
Used this tool to remove the excess sealant and leave a neat finish.

Top completed
If needed tool with a wetted spatula, wet finger to you and me!

Breaking seal
Lower vent had newer mastic and silicone sealant on top, used a decorators knife to score all four sides, being careful not to touch the aluminium.

Start one edge
Concentrated on one end, it did not want to come off, but once started.

Pulled away
It came off easily, the condition of this mastic is how it should be still pliable and sticky.

Clean up
Now for the cleanup, using a plastic scraper to remove the old mastic.

Clean up2
Put white spirit on the mastic to soften, then scraped, keep doing until clean, dry then de-grease with meths, same to the cover.

Masked up
Offered up the clean vent held temporary with screws, then applied masking tape level with the edges.

Screw clean1
Top Tip - To remove the old mastic from the screws, screw into one of the fixing holes.

Screw clean2
As it goes in the old mastic gets pushed up the screw!

Screw clean3
Remove screw, it's easy to remove the blob on by the head. Spent ages trying other things before finding this method.

Sealant applied
Again beads of Seamseal applied to both vent opening and cover.

Located
Press together gently, locating with the screws, making sure sealant oozes from the edges.

Removing excess
Remove excess. This time can leave sealant on the van side as it is going to be removed with the tape.

Excess on masking tape
Excess sealant goes onto the masking tape.

Peeling off tape
Peel off the masking tape.

Easier to see
I found it left a cleaner edge by pulling the tape off towards the vent.

Left a good finish
After removing the tape a good clean line was left, there was no need to do anything further.

All done
If needed it can be smoothed with a wetted tool/finger. Should have washed the covers before refitting- never mind!

Fridge exhaust
Ran out of time to do the exhaust vent, but, should be easy.

Materials: Seamseal CV, Rubber gloves, White spirit, Methylated spirits, Paper towel or rags for clean up, Philips screwdriver, plastic and metal scrapers, silicone finishing tool and masking tape.

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