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?
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.
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).
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.
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.
- Solid rubber seam roller
- Simple structure, easy to use
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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