Need to fix a screw up

Posted by: CamperMom

Need to fix a screw up - 03/14/17 06:08 PM

OK, this is not exactly a MYO gear, but here goes. I bought a net tent and wanted to put some silicone dots on the silnylon floor to cut back on slipping. Well, I thinned some old GE clear silicone that then wouldn't dry. I tried to get the stuff off and now have this sticky mess coating the floor. I seem even to have put a tiny hole in the floor, whether from rubbing or a snag on the clothesline, is anyone's guess.

Any ideas out there for fixing this problem?


Posted by: wgiles

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 03/14/17 07:11 PM

I've never had silicone that wouldn't cure, eventually. Moisture is what causes silicone to cure and there is normally plenty of moisture in the air. I've used mineral spirits to thin pure silicone caulk and then used it to glue tieout loops to silnylon. These always cured within a few days. When I do this, I have always tried to use fresh silicone. Google suggests using alcohol to remove uncured silicone, either Isopropyl or denatured Ethanol. Mineral spirits might work. I've never used alcohol to thin silicone. There is water in most alcohol and I would expect that water to help cure the silicone. I wouldn't suggest a strong solvent like Lacquer thinner or Acetone, partly because of the fumes and partly because they might do more damage than good. Even alcohol needs good ventilation and rubber gloves. I would suggest trying some of these solvents on a small spot and see whether they do anything. Ordinary paper towels may be too flimsy, you might need paper shop towels to wipe the residue off.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 03/14/17 07:25 PM

Heat should help with the cure.... of course be careful you do not burn the net or floor. I would suggest a hair dryer and more time.
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 03/15/17 08:25 PM

Thanks, guys.

This actually has been sitting for months and I did try cleaning the silnylon with 70% rubbing/isopropyl alcohol. I'm looking at gear well before spring trips and figured it was time to ask for help. I may just live with the tacky floor for now. Other than stopping slippage a bit too well and collecting every iota of dust and debris right now, I DID want to stop sliding around. This may fall under "Be careful what you ask for." lol
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 03/15/17 09:45 PM

When you open old GE Silicone, take a whiff of it. If you smell acetic acid (vinegar) it's probably still good. If not or its very weak, toss it. It requires acetic acid and oxygen to cure. Otherwise, its an eternal gooey mess. Camp gas or paint thinner will remove it (PAYING ATTENTION TO FLAMABILITY!!). Pick up a new tube and start over.
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 03/15/17 10:17 PM

It has been a while, but, as I recall, I could still smell acetic acid. Of course, I may just remember smelling vinegar with other times I used silicone. This silicone was very thick and I thinned it with mineral spirits, as usual. I when it "dried," sort of, I ended up with the thick, gooey mess that you have described.

I live up in that snow belt that was just dumped on again with some more coming over the weekend (a few days, maybe 2). I may have to live with the mess until summer when I can take the item outside an work on it.

Thanks, Gang, for the input.


Posted by: dkramalc

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 05/09/17 08:50 PM

Did you try dusting it with cornstarch? It might help...
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Need to fix a screw up - 05/09/17 10:11 PM

Thanks. I let it sit exposed all winter and the exposed sticky side collected some dust while it more or less cured. I wiped it off with a damp rag and have decided to leave it. Maybe a bit of tack will keep me from sliding so much. Interestingly (maybe), I had hung it on the clothesline and either the clothespin or maybe catching on a decking nail put a small hole in the side near the bottom. I bought some new silicone, put a dot on the tiny hole, and it dried in a few hours. What a difference fresh, undiluted silicone made!