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Subject Topic: Damp found in caravan today. Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Martin1976 via mobile 17/1/2022 at 7:31pm
Outfit:  Lunar Zenith and Vauxhall Insignia     Location:  Stamford
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Hi all. Not sure if this is an issue or not, or exactly what I need to do!

Bought my caravan last year, it's a 2005 lunar zenith sport 4. I have a cheap damp meter (tenner off eBay) and have checked it over the year every few weeks to make sure nothing looks odd. Today I noticed a high reading (45%) on one of the inside corners.

I have checked this area before as it looks like it's been repaired previously, there was a bit of silicon repair where the vinyl paper looked like it had been taken back, but today I noticed a lot of bumping which was never there before.


See bumps



The damp reading is on the wooden bar bit with all the bumps at the bottom where it meets the wooden effect board.

I've taken the screws out and snapped this off, and it's black and mouldy under the paper.

The panel to the left of the image is actually the front of the van, over the locker storage. If I put my fingers behind the panels, the side feels dry but the front is wet. The wooden coloured board meets the plastic front of the van, and is soft. The bottom of the panel where it meets the wood colored board of also reading high, but only the very bottom.

I've checked the window seal and that seems dry. Is it possible this is condensation on the inside of the plastic panel running down and sitting on the board? It looks like it's wick'd up the wooden bit that I snapped off.

I've had a look around the outside and it doesn't look like there is any visible cracks etc that it could be coming in. There is a rail screwed on, but this is above the window and the readings everywhere else seen ok.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

Message posted by Martin1976 via mobile 17/1/2022 at 7:38pm
Outfit:  Lunar Zenith and Vauxhall Insignia     Location:  Stamford
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This is how it is now.

Meant to say, this window has been left on the vent up until today. Is that the right thing to do?

The wood panel is over the locker storage, and I can feel there is a gap around it. Is any condensation supposed to drain down into there as it looks like there is drainage in there onto the road.

Should I get some kind of sealant and start whacking it around the rail at the top? Not sure what the next step is without starting to rip off the wall panels!

Message posted by marg617/1/2022 at 10:10pm
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your next step is to get some captain jollies creeping crack stuff, its very thin sealant that will find its way into any gaps it can, failing that to tape up the rail above the window and also on the edge of the walls of the caravan, dont forget to tape up around the handle and marker light too, this should bide you some time until the weather gets better when you can strip it down from the outside first to then reseal up using the correct mastic, no point fixing the inside until the outside is watertight!

Message posted by Mick S.18/1/2022 at 2:47pm
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Have you even noticed water sitting on that front ledge? My window rail was fit badly from the off, let water, and caused my corner strip (of wood) to become damp. But nothing like yours. Just a thought worth investigating.

Message posted by Pickled Onion19/1/2022 at 11:47am
Outfit:  Bailey Burgundy S7 Honda CR-V IV     Location:  Near Alton Towers N. Staffs.
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No, the gap isn't supposed to be there, it looks like the two pieces have moved apart due to the lack of strength and rigidity in the materials because of the dampness.

The wood that is soft is now rotten as it's been continually wet for some considderable time, my guess is that the previous owner was aware and tried to tidy it up instead of fixing it properly. It will have to be removed to see the full extent of the damage and back to sound wood, that is likely to point you in the direction of just where it came from. As already mentioned, there is no point doing a spot repair until the cause is found and rectified, it will only come back and probably worse.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if there isn't too much damage, most repairs, although daunting at first, can be done properly by the average DIYer. It's the time taken that means getting the professionals to do it so it will be expensive. I had occasion to replace a small area of rot and fix the problem with the awning rail a couple of years ago. There is plenty of advice to be had, see the 'Fixed It Club' on this forum plus videos on YouTube.

Dave.



-------------
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day,
Teach a man to fish and you can get rid of him for a whole weekend.

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Message posted by Martin1976 via mobile 19/1/2022 at 12:02pm
Outfit:  Lunar Zenith and Vauxhall Insignia     Location:  Stamford
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I've ordered some Captain Jolleys actually yesterday.

I guess I clean the rails and run this along to see where it runs in. The van definitely wasn't damp when we got it. It's only a very small section.

I am ok at DIY so happy to tackle this myself.

I didn't think about the indicator light on the side.

Mick, never noticed and water sat. Is the window rail the hinge rail at the top of the front window?

It does seem to be wet at the front rather than the side. It feels like there is a wooden batten at the bottom behind the panel which is wet.

I guess by realistically, if I patch it up for now to buy time, I can reseal the rails and windows around the whole area when the weather is better and that should sort it.

Message posted by Martin1976 via mobile 19/1/2022 at 3:00pm
Outfit:  Lunar Zenith and Vauxhall Insignia     Location:  Stamford
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Will duct tape suffice as a temp solution?

Message posted by marg619/1/2022 at 4:01pm
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yes perfect for the job

Message posted by Martin1976 via mobile 20/1/2022 at 2:24pm
Outfit:  Lunar Zenith and Vauxhall Insignia     Location:  Stamford
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I think it's the rail joining the roof to the front panel.

Bit of Captain Jolleys along the top, and I could see it along the bottom so there must be a gap for it to seep behind. Hopefully a few more applications and it will be sealed for now. I'll take the rail off and reseal in spring.

Next job will be to dry inside. Planning on getting a fan heater out there at the weekend. I can then monitor it stays dry. I am not worried about patching up the inside, I am certain I can do a decent enough job of it.

Where is been repaired previously is definitely different. That is on the side. I've noticed the rail has a section replaced rather than being one while rail. The side seems sound. Captain Jolleys didn't seem to go in anywhere around there

Does that sound ok to everyone or is there something else I need to consider our think about?


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