Eternabond prep

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Conquest aka Robert

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2011
I am getting ready to start roof repair and after reading lots of posts will be using eternabond. Just wanting to know what folks use to clean and prep area to make the repair last. I want to get it right the first time.  8) Since the tape cost so much don't want to waste a milimeter of it.
What is the surface made of?

One tip that I found helpful when laying eternabond on a friends trailer was to use a chalk-line to make a nice straight edge to follow. I have seen trailers that laid that stuff without the aid of a chalk-line and it was a mess.
I used isopropyl alcohol that I got at a tack store, more than 99% pure stuff.  Don't use rubbing alcohol as it contains a lubricant and the ET Bond may lift.  Some have used mineral spirits but only apply on the rag and not the rubber if you go that way.  I have used acetone but do not recommend it unless you are very aware of its properties.  Same with paint thinner or lacquer thinner.
The main this with EB  is that the surface be *"CLEAN"* and however you get that way is fine.  If you do use a soap/detergent, be sure it is completely off as any residue left with allow the EB to fail sooner than later.  That is why I liked the alcohol as there cannot be anything left IF you  get the surface clean.
A putty knife to remove the old sealer and isopropyl alcohol was all it took for me.
What you need to use depends on what is on there to get off. I usually start with something mild and progress until I get the results I need.  Plain detergent is the first choice, but it won't remove most adhesives or old caulk. Isoproply Alcohol is great as long as the crud is soluble in alcohol, so that would be my second choice. Try it to see if it removes whatever is there.  Mineral spirits is probably the 3rd choice and it works on most adhesives and caulks. Just don't slop it all over a rubber roof, cause it might also loosen the adhesive that bonds the EPDM to the substrate (EPDM is porous to mineral spirits). Use a damp rag instead. For the same reason, be cautious with the orange-type adhesive solvents (Goo Gone, etc) cause they too can go through the EPDM rubber and loosen the adhesives underneath.

Lacquer thinner, acetone and MEK are the solvents of last resort. They will remove most anything but are very likely to affect/damage anything else they touch as well. Not recommended unless you are (a) desperate and (b) have some experience with them. The proverbial advice "try first in an unobtrusive spot" applies.
GREAT help guy/gals as usual. My biggest trouble areas are where the roof rolls over the top edge looks like some tree snags. So no caulk involved so plain soap and water. I assume clean and rinse in morning and apply in late afternoon to give time to dry. Again thanks ALL for the advice ;)
One thing that has not been brought up.  Try to install the EB when the temperature is below 80? and preferably below 75?.  It is a lot easier if it is cool.
Jim Godward said:
One thing that has not been brought up.  Try to install the EB when the temperature is below 80? and preferably below 75?.  It is a lot easier if it is cool.

Great little tidbit I don't do hot anyway. Now I have a excuse even better the guys on the forum said not to ::).
I did hot a couple years back on my other rig to get mullberies off the roof with the ant army smelled like a brewery. My shoes still have a smell from it they are now my grass cutting shoes. ;D

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