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Author Topic: Carpenter ants in the ceiling  (Read 3271 times)
Kindlin' Collector
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« on: August 12, 2009, 06:08:54 AM »

Hi guys, I'm a newbie. Anyway, I have a `94 Coleman Destiny that I bought new. I had it in storage for the last two years and when I went to pick it up I discovered that someone had unlatched the roof on one side and carpenter ants have eaten their way through the ceiling. It appears that they've eaten away the plywood right up to the wall paper (but not through the wall paper) and some of the foam behind it. And I can feel channels beneath the paper.

I called my dealer and he told me that all I could do is replace the top at a cost of $2,750! Well I only paid $3,300 for the camper when it was new! Being that she's 15 years old now I'd like to try to fix the damage myself before shelling out a pile of cash. So what will I find behind the wall paper? I'm assuming that there will be some kind of plywood/foam laminate which will have to be removed and replaced. And since the solvents in regular contact cement will melt the foam I was wondering if anyone has tryed using a water based contact cement? Also I'm guessing that the ceiling material is wider than a standard 4x8 sheet of plwood or paneling and the ceiling is made of two panels with a seam in the middle.

From the debrit found inside I'm guessing that the ants ate a bunch of the faom too and was wondering if I could fill those voids with a low expansion foam used for insulating around doors and windows, cut it flush with the existing foam, and then cover it with a new paneling? I've never repaired anything like this before and don't know how these things are put together. So any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Harry McCarthy
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 07:56:15 AM »

Regarding the foam, I'd find out what condition it's in first. If it's just a few spots here and there I wouldn't worry about it. If there are just a few holes, then one option might be Great Stuff expanding foam. After it's sprayed on and cured, you can carve it with woodworking tools.

Now in a tent.
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 09:43:26 AM »

Carpenter ants like to be where the water is.....I wonder if it is wet under there?

Is it possible the center seam or corners are leaking?....if so scrape out the caulking and recaulk.

From the inside you will need to take the ceiling down to assess damage. At that point you will know exactly how it is put together. I would take the ceiling down but try not to disturb the foam. In a perfect scenerio it will be dry under there, you can spray a little for the ants and put paneling or luan or FRP and attach it in the same method the old ply was attached.

I have a 1993 rio grande.....I know the roof is sandwich foam core construction but don't know the details. This repair will be time consuming but doable.
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