Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rust Treatment

Retro has a number of spots where water has leaked in, particularly in the bedroom along the rear wall.  The water soaked some of the wood, destroying it and also got under the floor wood and rusted the 14 gauge steel deck in some spots.

I am using a product called Ospho to treat the rust.  According to it's manufacturer it will convert the iron oxide (rust) into iron phosphate, which is a stable metal.  After treatment and conversion, I will paint the deck with some self-etching primer.    This may be a slight problem, since the metal is galvanized and most paints do not stick to galvanized metal.  The rust-oleum self-etching primer was the only kind that did not indicate on the label not to use on galvanized metal.    After I bought some I investigated further on the rust-oleum website and it said there that it was not for galvanized metal, but I am hoping that after treatment with the ospho,  the paint will stick.   In any case,  the paint will be under the wood floor and I am not concerned with appearances.  I was hoping for some additional rust protection, but if the paint does not stick, it means the galvanized coating is still good and that should protect against rust, particularly since there should be no more moisture standing on the steel.

I think I am going to embed some moisture sensors in the walls and floors around the water system and plumbing,  maybe even under the windows.   The sensors should be cheap, and I can build a little arduino based system to monitor them and let me know if a leak starts.

Here is the floor with some ospho on it:

I will post more pictures after this weekend.    These are from last weekend.

Here is what I worked on tonight:

That is fresh wet water from a leak in the rear window (left side,  right of picture)  from the rain we had a few days ago.  It is neat to have the walls stripped and see where the leaks are.   I am going to try to find some new rubber seal that goes around the window and holds it into the bus.  If I can't find new seal, I will work to clean up what is there and possibly seal it with an appropriate caulk.  I think I will be able to find some seal that will work, though.   The floor was dry tonight, so I wire brushed all the loose rust away,  vacuumed the dust and painted ospho on.   The ospho is fairly dangerous to work with - it contains phosphoric acid as well as other stuff.  It stinks and can burn skin, so protective equipment is required when working with it.   I put a fairly small amount in a paint mixing cup - perhaps 10-20 cc's or so.  Then I brush it on and work it into the rust.   I spread it pretty thin - it is about as viscous as water.  If needed I will go back and do another coat tomorrow, let it dry till Saturday and then spray paint Saturday afternoon.

I may rent a MIG welder this weekend and patch the hole(s) in the floor.   There is about a 4" hole where the water tank drain was,  and lots of small holes - perhaps 1/8"  where the wood was screwed to the deck.   I got a nice piece of 14Ga steel and a box of 100  #14 X 1-1/4  screws - exactly like the ones I pulled out of the floor. If welding the small holes closed is impractical, I have some JB weld to seal them up with.  I just don't want the wood of the floor exposed to the outside if I can help it.

 It is exciting to think that the step of installing new 5/8 marine plywood onto the deck is coming up - perhaps even this weekend!    I will probably paint the wood with some epoxy paint - perhaps I should let it dry for a week before installing the floor.   I will read about epoxy paint and try to figure out the best thing to do.

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