Nature’s Wrath

lidhail copyLast evening while we were out exploring a severe thunderstorm came through the area and as a result it dumped golf ball sized hail on the RV Park where we were staying. This morning while opening the bathroom ceiling vent cover, Shari noticed a hole in the cover. Further inspection from above showed not only one hole, but a section of the edge lip broken off as well. With the possibility of more bad weather, mostly rain this cover needed immediate repair or replacement.

Well there isn’t a source for such parts nearby and if you do find one because of where we’re at you’ll probably pay twice as much or more for the part. Since its in fairly good shape otherwise I opted to make a simple repair. Now some will simply lay a couple layers of duct or speed tape over the hole and ignore the broken off piece from the lip of the cover…not me.

piecedbacktogethertapedinplaceFirst I start with using some low tack painters tape to hold the pieces in place. I put the tape on the back or underside where I won’t be working with the adhesive. The tape will hold the pieces in place and help realign and cracks discovered. In this case there was as section punched out of the cover. I replaced it with the aid of the tape to hold it in position as well as match up either side of a nearby crack. (Image on right shows the approximate striking area of the piece of hail that damaged this section of the cover.)

With the tape holding everything in place I mixed up some two part clear epoxy. I’ve had these Dexter Hysol packets for decades! These are very handy as they contain enough epoxy in the right ratio to get most small repairs or projects done. If they are good enough to fix military equipment, including aircraft they are definitely good enough to fix most anything I need it for.

Just tear open and squeeze the contents onto something such as a plastic container lid, mix thoroughly and apply. It has a few minutes working time so you can get done what needs doing. It cures hard and fast. I used a craft stick to mix it as well as provide some additional support strength for the piece that was broken off the lip of the cover. This isn’t a permanent fix, but my experience with this stuff is it will last a long time. I will replace the cover due to its age…plastic dries out and becomes brittle over time making it more prone to such damage.

repaircomplete

I didn’t have any screen material to help bolster the strength of the repair so on the lip I epoxied in a craft stick. Once covered with epoxy it will give the area more rigidity, just as manufacturers of fiberglass components do by inserting wood strips between layers of glass and resin. In this situation, no one will see the stick, so its more for function than fashion.

After the epoxy has cured completely remove the tape. This low tack painters tape will eventually breakdown and disappear on its own, but to complete the job remove it. With the cover repaired and more rain in the forecast I am confident that it won’t leak potentially causing expensive water damage.

For you who live in a brick n stick house, this could have happened to you too. Not only damaging sky lights or vents but your shingles too. All things a homeowner has to deal with where in a conventional house or an RV.

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Gerald Voigt

Gerald's interests are wide and varied. His work career started in the United States Air Force and since then has worked in logistics management, retail & service management as well as manufacturing. He's an author, photographer, pilot, radio show host and marketing consultant who enjoys RVing which allows him greater freedom to explore, meet new acquaintances and serve his clients.