D-I-Y Shower Skylight Bubble Change.
Here’s a link to a video with step by step instructions on how to change your skylight exterior bubble yourself. I changed a shower skylight but the instructions are good for any style and shape exterior bubble. Yeah I watched the video and pretty much did what it says.
And here’s a link to my supplier and the skylight I installed. The price was right at $89.84 and I liked that fact it comes with the required SB-140 sealant. It does not come with replacement screws. They have all shapes and sizes in clear, white and smoke. Shipping was quick. The place seems to not own a telephone, however.
First let’s discuss the reason I replaced the bubble in the first place. Because Forest River installed the original poorly on the production line. The screws were driven in too far, and not one of them was driven in on vertical. This caused cracks to form in the bubble over time and allow water into the trailer structure. Cracks began at each crooked, overdriven screw. Picture 1. The video will teach you the right way, straight up vertical, slowly until sealant squishes out from under the edge. That’s enough. No further.
Picture 2 shows what you will need. Power screwdriver with the oddball RV square bit. Putty knives. SB-140 sealant and caulk gun, mineral spirits and a rag, Gatorade and a capable helper. Note the bucket and rope for bringing stuff up to the roof. DO NOT climb the ladder with stuff in your hands. Bring it up in a bucket.
Scrape away the old sealant until the screw heads are accessible and the edge is clear. Then pry the old bubble away from the roof, separating it with a putty knife as you go.
Then spend the next couple of hours scraping away the old sealant. Here’s where the able helper comes in. It’s faster and more fun with company up there. And you’ll want the Gatorade pretty soon, too. Get the mounting area as clean as you can. Rubber roofs react poorly to mineral spirits so use it sparingly, apply to the rag, not directly on the roof. Removing the old sealant is the most arduous and time consuming part of the project.
Once that was done we went to Lowe’s to get 30 each #10 zinc plated, pan head self-drilling screws and some washers. Washers are not called for in the video. What they do is spread the screw “pressure” across a slightly larger area and reduce the likelihood of cracking. While at Lowe’s I asked for “butyl tape” so I could put it back like factory. They not only don’t have it, they have no clue what it is. Nevermind. We’ll use SB-140 under the bubble.
Back on the roof I laid the new bubble down in place and traced around it with a Sharpie Marker. The new bubble was shaped very different from the old, the edges and screw holes were in very different places. The marking showed where to lay down the new sealant. Be sure to fill in the old screw holes. Lay down plenty of sealant! The one tube of SB-140 will do the whole job with some to spare.
Then the new bubble was laid in place. Note I left the outside wrapper on until the last minute to avoid getting sealant all over it. Don’t forget to clean the inside with class cleaner or those fingerprints will be there forever!
Carefully and slowly run the new screws down, on perfect vertical, until sealant just oozes from under the edge of the bubble. Then stop. No further. Perfect. No cracks. Ever. Thank you.
Then seal the edge of the bubble to the roof. As you come to each screw be sure to cover that screw with sealant. I made mine look like the one in the video, which resembles my first attempt at decorating a cake. Peel off the protective wrapper and you are done. Let the SB-140 dry 24 hours. I will go back with DICOR self-leveling lap seal later.
Yeah you can do this yourself. I did.