Saturday, March 7, 2015

Major progress atop the girl

On top of school busses is a white flashing strobe light. Why its there is a bit of a mystery to me but the strobe had been removed and a sheet of metal screwed down over the place. The aim today was to seal potential leaks on the roof. What actually happened was much more complex and took almost the whole day.

I started by peeling up the peeling silicone off the roof seams. That revealed rust that was sprayed with rust converter. Some of that silicone put up a real fight! Having said that, the seams took no time at all. What took several hours was the place where the strobe had been.

Somebody had put a large squarish patch over where the strobe would have been. What concerned me was the fact the sheet had ripples in it. It had been fastened down with no fewer than 17 screws, each of which had been covered with silicone and additional silicone had been put down around the edges. Rust from the nearby roof seam was very close and looked as though it might reach under the patch. Pressing the ripples was mildly alarming as water squirted out from underneath.

Clearly there was a problem. The solution was obvious: to remove the patch. Peeling up the silicone around the edges revealed aluminum thin enough to be laughable. That took a long time. Once that was up, the screws were removed. Some came out easily, some just spun in their holes and some needed gentle persuasion with the aid of a hammer and chisel. That left the aluminum which was glued down in the center. Again, using the hammer and chisel with further aid from a pair of pliers the aluminum was removed revealing the real area that the strobe had covered.

The patch size was ludicrous! I ended up repairing all the screw holes by inserting screws and silicone caulk. The original patch that should have been put on had to cover a hole of 1 inch diameter plus 4 screw holes. I ended up doing just that and filling in the 17 extra holes. It does not surprise me that the hillbillies sealed over rust nor put stupidly big patches. Nothing they did was high quality. My solution is better. My patch has silicone caulk under every millimeter and around the edges.

Otherwise, I took down an internal panel in order to check on putting the reversing camera cable behind. Replacing it was so problematic that the decision was made not to put the wires behind but rather to tape them over. The problem was mostly due to the awful fit of the panel. Carpenter's workmanship was not that good!

Finally, I painted the redundant windows on one side black on the inside and placed a sheet of OSB against the wall to see how it looked. It looked good. My task for tomorrow is clear - to put a second coat of paint on the glass and to fasten the OSB in place.

During my investigation of the panel, it was clear that Carpenter's insulation attempts had been little short of pathetic. I have to regard the bus as uninsulated

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