A Lot Can Go Wrong with Fiberglass Repair Without Knowledge and Care
Repairing fiberglass can give it new life, but it is not as easy as sticking a patch on a crack. If the right care is not taken, it can result in further damage or an incorrect repair that has to be redone later on. Not only does this add to the time needed to take care of the repair, but wastes materials and effort, as well. Here are some things that can happen to cause problems with fiberglass repair.
Backside damage. Sometimes fiberglass can be damaged on both the impact side and the backside. If the damage is not carefully evaluated, the repair may only address the impact damage and overlook backside damage. If the backside is not repaired properly, it can lead to further problems later, even after you think the damage has been fixed.
Poor adhesion. The laminate must be in good condition for proper adhesion of the repair patch. It is important to include the laminate in your assessment of fiberglass damage. The damaged laminate must be removed prior to adhesion of the repair patch. If this does not happen, the adhesion will not work properly, which can result in further damage.
Sharp corners. When dealing with fiberglass tank repair, sharp corners are stress concentrations. Before a scarf is ground onto the surface, it is important to create a round shape for the repair area. This will help reduce the strain and potential stress to the area and provide strength to the fiberglass repair.
Surface damage. Surface damage can occur during the sanding process when you prepare the repair area for adhesion. If you use a sander, the heat can damage the surface, which means poor adhesion. That can lead to problems with the repair. The easiest way to avoid that is to sand the surface of the repair area by hand.
Surface contamination. Once the surface has been sanded, it is in the best condition for adhesion. However, it can also make it vulnerable to contaminants. Protecting the surface will ensure it will adhere appropriately and your repair will last. This includes protecting it from solvents and the fibers from a rag.
It is important to make sure that you are careful when you repair fiberglass. It is not an easy process, and there are things that can go wrong. However, if you pay attention to these common problems during the tank leak repair process, you can protect the fiberglass from further problems and ensure the strength and stability of your repair.