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Is EternaBond Tape Really Eternal?

Is EternaBond Tape Really Eternal?

There’s no greater nemesis to an RV owner than a leak. We consider an ounce of prevention as being well worth any amount of effort, which is why we regularly inspect all areas where sealant has been applied to our RV. In appropriate areas, we’ve chosen to use a product called EternaBond tape, and we’ve found the bond it produces to be unquestioningly worthy of our confidence.

But is EternaBond tape truly eternal as the name would suggest? Read on to find out!

What is EternaBond Tape?

A roll of EternaBond tape

A roll of EternaBond tape is a very important part of our RV toolkit, and we believe all RVers would find this sealant to be useful and reliable.

EternaBond comes as an easy-to-use roll of tape and is patented as using a micro sealant technology. One of the few RV sealants made in tape form, EternaBond will stop or prevent almost any leak as it provides a permanent bond to virtually any surface and works very well for most non-pressurized leaks.

Trusted for its effectiveness and ease of use, EternaBond tape is the sealant that is perhaps most used and best-loved by everyone from construction workers to RV owners.

Is EternaBond Tape Really Eternal?

While EternaBond tape should normally be expected to last anywhere from about 20 to 35 years, its bond is not quite eternal. The tape can be removed if necessary (though not without significant effort), and it’s possible, however unlikely, that an area sealed with EternaBond could need to be resealed at some point.

Breaking the EternaBond seal is not at all easy, but it’s possible with the proper steps. The tape must be heated well (and carefully, to avoid damaging your roof, especially if it’s a “rubber” roof) and thoroughly softened, after which you need to use some strength to tear back the outer coating, using a sharp utility knife to cut away the adhesive material as you do.

If your plan is to reapply EternaBond tape to the area, there should be no need to completely remove the adhesive that remains stuck to the roof. But if you want to perfectly clean the area, you can work to scrape the rest of the material off with a plastic scraper and use turpentine or alcohol to wipe away any remaining residue. Again, careful use of heat to help soften the adhesive may be helpful. A fiberglass or metal roof is the best type to try removing EternaBond from.

So, eternal? Not necessarily. Long-lasting? Yes, sir!

What is EternaBond Tape Best Used For?

RVers often use EternaBond tape on their roofs and sidings to prevent leaks because it’s simple to use with minimal mess. It quickly repairs torn seams, leaks, and small holes. And, because of its durability, doesn’t require regular maintenance once applied.

The sealant tape applied to an RV roof

EternaBond tape not only repairs leaks but also prevents them when used before leaks can occur, like sealing holes left over after removing equipment from your roof. This is where our satellite dish used to be mounted.

EternaBond also works well to secure items such as wires to an RV’s roof or siding, keeping them from flapping in the wind.

Existing leaks can be addressed with EternaBond tape as well, as long as you can locate the source of the leak.

What is Eternabond Tape Made Of?

EternaBond tape is made from synthetic polymers and it contains a proprietary built-in primer that allows it to strongly bond to and seal a wide range of surfaces. This combination of resins and rubbers is formulated from synthetic polymers with an extensive temperature tolerance.

Unlike many sealants such as traditional caulk, silicone, or even butyl tape, EternaBond and its primer contain no solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For this reason, the air quality is not negatively impacted while you’re applying it or even if the tape is damaged.

It’s easy to see why EternaBond is one of the most sought-after sealants on the market.

How to Use EternaBond Tape

Depending on the job there may be more specific instructions for creating the seal you need. However, if you follow these general steps you’ll be well on your way to creating a nearly eternal bond.

Be sure to consult the care instructions for your roof type before proceeding. A fiberglass or metal roof will be pretty impervious to almost anything, but a TPO, EPDM, or other “rubber” roof material can be damaged by treating it too harshly.

Clean the Surface

As with any tape or sealant, clean the surface well before applying the tape. A good scrub with warm soapy water will help ensure a tight, waterproof seal.

The surface should be free of any dust, oils, or other contaminants. A quick, thorough scrubbing will do the job if there’s nothing on the surface. However, if there’s oil, grease, tree sap, or remnants of other organic matter, you may need to use a degreaser.

Prep the Surface

Depending on what you need to remove, alcohol or acetone should do the job. Keep in mind that these solutions are flammable, so use them with caution.

If you simply can’t get the area clean, you can use EternaPrime, a tape primer and surface conditioner. It’s a low-VOC aerosol spray or liquid with the same EternaBond tape resins, and it will coat any contaminant so that the tape will stick and seal.

If Possible, Work with Small Strips at a Time

The first rule when applying EternaBond is to use it when it’s warm, preferably at a minimum of around 70 degrees if possible. Lay the tape down gently, giving it time to conform to the space and surface(s).

EternaBond tape can be cut using a pair of household scissors.

The tape can be cut to size using a pair of household scissors. Working with pre-cut strips makes application much easier.

Don’t pull the tape taut across an extended surface. Instead, work with small strips for the best flexibility and ease of use. Cut and place the tape gently, being careful not to stretch or gather it.

Overlap Strip Edges

Because you’re working with small strips, overlap the strip edges to add an extra layer of protection.

Once you’ve gently applied the tape, begin to apply pressure at all contact points. EternaBond works best under pressure. Pressing down activates the adhesive and creates the seal. You can purchase a small roller for the application of even pressure across the tape.

Using a small roller can be helpful to the application process.

Using a small roller activates the micro sealants in the tape evenly and ensures that the edges of the tape are securely affixed to the surface.

If you use a roller, it will ensure that you evenly activate the adhesive and remove bubbles for the best seal. You can also use continual pressure from your hands and fingers, especially in small areas of application.

Sale

Inspect

Once applied, take your roller with you, and examine each area where you used the tape. Look for air bubbles, folded corners, or other imperfections. Roll out air bubbles if possible and attend to other defects. If you’re unable to repair a problem area, use the steps mentioned earlier in this article to remove that section of tape and apply a new strip.

Allow the tape to settle for about 60 to 90 minutes before checking for a proper seal. If you followed the steps outlined above, there should be no issues with the tape for a long time to come. As with any sealant, always check sealed areas every six months or so.

Can You Paint Over EternaBond Tape?

There are mixed reviews on whether you can paint over EternaBond tape. However, according to the manufacturer, you can.

There’s no need to add paint as a sealer – the tape already does that! However, if you’re specifically looking for a different color (the tape is available in white, gray, black and even tan), you should be able to paint it. Keep in mind that tree branches and other outside elements may end up scratching the paint.

Where to Buy EternaBond Tape

Over 600 commercial distributors and retailers coast-to-coast carry EternaBond tape. You can also buy it online directly from EternaBond, or through Amazon. It comes in a variety of lengths, widths, and kits to match your repair needs. Be sure to pay close attention to the width of the tape you’re buying for your application.

EternaBond Tape: Just the Right Amount of Eternal

EternaBond tape is one of the most trusted sealants on the market. If you’re going to be in a long-term, almost eternal relationship with a sealant, EternaBond is a trustworthy companion!

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Rustyn Kennedy

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

I can tell you I was a fan until... I am finally getting to replace the roof on my 5th wheel. I had tape on the front and rear traditions to the caps and also a long section for some satellite wires. Cutting into the sealed tape I have found it will wick water into the tape. the transition bars that were under 4 inch wide tape were full of water. and that set of wires lets say in a 18 foot run all of the wire was wet. it has been over a week since rain here btw. finding this I will NOT be ever using this for any long term fix.

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

Oh no! That's strange, Rustyn! Our guess is that it's possible what's on your RV isn't actually Eternabond tape. There are several "alternatives" out there that may not have the same durability that Eternabond does. Plus... proper installation technique is important to ensure it bonds and seals correctly. Sorry to hear your roof needs to be replaced... but hope the results turn out great!

Pat Parker

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Thanks for your info regarding eternal bond tape.

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Our pleasure, Pat!

Steven R Fischer

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

My experience is similar to Greg Gimlick. I have an older (2010) rig and I've always been extremely mindful of seam inspections for the roof. I just recently decided to use Eternabond tape on the front and rear seams. The trick is to definitely work slowly and only remove a small section of the backing tape at a time. I, too, am a big fan of Eternabond tape! Always carry some in the toolbox.

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Thanks for sharing, Steven. We love sharing "the news" about Eternabond... it's so handy to have around! ;)

Greg Gimlick

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Hi guys, I'm a big fan of Eternabond! After my last motorhome had a couple roof seam leaks in spite of my strict inspection and Dacor regimen, I decided this downsized RV would get the Eternabond treatment before leaks happened. Two years later it’s still like new up there. You’re right about going slow and carefully, if you try to reposition it, you can pull a rubber roof away from the underlayment.

There are third party versions, but I’ve stuck with Eternabond brand because it’s what I have experience with. A friend who owns an RV dealership put me on to it a few years ago when he said it’s their "go to" fix for leaks and had never had one come back.

Great job, as always. I enjoy your work. Drone still working well for you?

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Thanks, Greg. We're with you and always stick with the brand name on this one. Wouldn't want to use an imitation product and live to regret it. And yes, the drone's still going strong... always love when we have a reason to fly it! ;) Hope you've been getting the chance to fly a bunch, too.

Dan

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Great info, thank you! Q: We had solar panels installed and they put Eternabound tape over wires but the ends of tape are not tight, there space between the wires and tape and water can get in. Should we be concerned even if there’s no wholes anywhere underneath the tape? Q: What would you recommend for ‘baked sap’ removal on Fiberglas roof? TIA

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Thanks, Dan. On the solar wires... if there aren't any holes under the Eternabond, and it's just holding a run of cable down to the roof, we wouldn't worry about water being able to get under. It may cause some mold/mildew to build up under there... but it won't be seen and shouldn't cause any issues with the roof itself.

On the "baked sap" issue... THAT'S a tough one. On a fiberglass roof, you can get more aggressive with solvents (mineral spirits, citrus solvent, etc) and physical tools (window scraper, etc). For anyone with a rubber (EPDM/TPO) roof, they'd have to be more gentle. Strong solvents could end up dissolving/weakening the adhesive that holds the rubber roof to the substrate. And tools could puncture the roof.

If it's really stubborn, we'd soak it for a while with either mineral spirits or CitraSolv (on Amazon: https://amzn.to/33BII3F) or something similar, then try rubbing it with more to get it removed, resorting to a window scraper to carefully try to pry under the sap to release it (being careful not to gouge the fiberglass).

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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