Fiberglass is a very sturdy material that usually used in the construction of boats, table tops, bath tubs and even some forms of doors. Despite its relative durability, it can still be damaged with wear and tear so it’s very important to know what to do should signs of damage appear. Knowing how to make simple repairs enables you to prolong the productive longevity of your property thus making you get better benefits from your initial investment for purchasing a fiberglass-based product.
To repair fiber glass, simply follow the steps below
- Tap and listen. Damaged fiberglass sounds dull while intact fiberglass sounds tight. Should the damage be invisible to the naked eye, you can tap the surface of the fiberglass to assess for the integrity of the material. It is very important to do these routine checks to make sure that the starts of cracks are addressed as soon as possible. Negligence of these seemingly minor problems can lead to a higher cost of repair and maintenance later on.
- Repair from inside out. Always repair the damaged piece of fiberglass from the inside. This way, you can actually see from the outside if you’re filing up all the necessary areas. This also makes the final result more aesthetically pleasing.
- Cut away damaged areas. To make repaired area stronger, you should ideally cut away the damaged area. The hole that results from cutting the damaged sector of the fiberglass should be tapered by a grinder. This taper increases the surface area that you can bond the new piece of fiberglass too. Wipe the edges with a de-waxing solvent. Fiberglass is usually finished with a lacquer that makes the end product become more smooth and sleek so this might make bonding later on difficult. By diluting this waxy coating, you improve the chances of the adhesives to work well.
- Coating. You may now coat the area around the perimeter of the newly treated hole with a paste wax. This ensures that any resin that strays from the field will not smudge the other parts of the undamaged fiberglass.
- Put a waxed backer on the hole. This gives you surface to work on. This wax backer should also be coated with gelcoat to give the final look that you desire. Be ready to match the color and hue of the existing piece of the fiberglass to the gelcoat pigment.
- Cut the layers of the fiberglass fabric and just pile it on top of each layer fiberglass mat. Finish it with a generous helping of polyester and laminating resins. You may want to add a catalyst to these resins to hasten the drying process.
- Lastly, remove the backer and smooth out the imperfections on the other side with a buff and sander. Polish the surface of the fiberglass if you prefer.
Repairing fiberglass is not an easy task, but if you really want to save money, you can always do it yourself and keep the cash you’ll potentially pay to a contractor. During these tough economic times, every penny saved counts.