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prando

Mastic seals cleaning tips please

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I’m a fenwicks fan (caravan cleaner and Bobby dazzler) and regularly wash my van to keep on top of it. (We keep it alongside our house) 

Despite my frequent cleaning meticulous efforts (!) the dreaded green algae and black gunge reappear and require extra attention.

Any labour saving tips or is it a case of using a toothbrush? Notwithstanding, I am somewhat nervous about brushing directly on the seals ? Any recommending cleaning agent specifically for use on mastic seals ?
Thanks

 

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I wipe the mastic gently with a cloth wet with white spirit after which I use a cloth soaked in hand wash liquid and water on the area just cleaned. I am not aware of any dedicated cleaner but I have heard that some use Upvc cleaner. Do not use meths as it can damage the mastic.

 

Black marks in the mastic require a 50 / 50 mix of bleach and water. Wipe on and leave for 2 hours then wash off with water. Re-apply if necessary.

 

Then cover the caravan with a Protec cover. ;) See HERE under covers.

 

 

Edited by BOAC
Added info

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I've found it depends on the type and age of the sealant and also the severity of the mould or algae.

For mould, try Dettol or Polyclens mould remover (on a cloth). For algae try something like "Wet and Forget" again applied with a cloth.

As BOAC says,  a good quality breathable cover will help a lot but make sure everything is cured and dry underneath first unless you want to create a mould incubator.

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Thanks both.

I was also concerned not to use products that may contain chemicals that would damage and or disintegrate the mastic. Is that something I need to be conscious of ?

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As already mentioned by BOAC, meths is a no no.

Most things petroleum based, paint thinners especially cellulose, hammerite thinner/cleaner, toluene, xylenes, brake and clutch cleaner, carb. cleaner, nail varnish remover, etc. - almost anything that flashes off quickly and is not water soluble - you get the drift.  Damaging  adjacent paint and plastics is very easy, especially windows.

Be careful with upvc cleaner, also some of the well known car paint cleaners and compounds.  Even turps can be too aggressive.  WD40 and similar can clean most things but can cause damage too. 

I may be over cautious but my rule of thumb has been that if you use a liquid mould cleaner that's safe in the bathroom (acrylics, silicones, plastics  etc) it should be ok on the caravan.  Otherwise use Fenwicks neat.

The sealant needs to have hardened enough to not show were you've rubbed with a cloth.

I hope this helps.

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Bleach.

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5 hours ago, prando said:

Thanks both.

I was also concerned not to use products that may contain chemicals that would damage and or disintegrate the mastic. Is that something I need to be conscious of ?

 

White spirit will not cause mastic to disintegrate  or damage it in the time span you are going to apply it - say a three or four minutes. It will, however soften it VERY slightly and that is why white spirit is effective as a dispersant for mould, algae and general detritus.

 

Try  the method above on a hidden area or small area to get used to the simple technique of cleaning with white spirit before tackling larger areas.

 

If you hold a well soaked cloth on the mastic for six or seven minutes and rub hard then damage will occur. You are safe enough with what you intend to do. 

 

Be aware that no type of painted surface will suffer with contact with white spirit EXCEPT for enamel painted surfaces. While you are using the white spirit and cloth method check after  five minutes that none of the colour of the painted surface is on the cloth.

 

 

 

 

Edited by BOAC
Enamel added

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Thanks both.

I was also concerned not to use products that may contain chemicals that would damage and or disintegrate the mastic. Is that something I need to be conscious of ?

Great advice thanks.

I will also follow the ‘cloth’ suggestion rather than toothbrush.

I just need to do it now !
 

 

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I've used Silky cream for many years.  https://silkyleisure.co.uk/

Edited by Crannoghome
too early for spelling!

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