Removing Moldy Diamond Shield From An RV
We all have to do lists, right? Well, sitting atop my to-do list was removing moldy Diamond Shield from my motorhome. Ever since we bought our RV I wanted to get rid of the dirty, ugly, Diamond Shield off the front of the RV.
Diamond Shield sounds great, right? Sounds almost bullet proof. The point of it is to protect your front end from rocks that get kicked up at you while on the road. It’s a clear film that covers the entire front end. Most of the time when an RV has a Diamond Shield on it, you don’t even know it’s there.
Apparently around 2006, the product wasn’t so great. Either the product allowed moisture underneath the film or there was a problem with the application process. The moisture under the film ended up molding. It turned the entire front end of the RV into a dirty-looking brown with dark mold spots all over.
I talked to several other RVing folks that either had the same issue or knew someone who did. The 3M Company made a similar product. All RVers stuck with that moldy shield on their motorhomes recommended different products or places to go to get it fixed.
There are many ways to remove Moldy Diamond Shield
The biggest thing that scared me away was the time commitment people were saying it needed. They said a minimum 24 hours of scraping.
I had a long talk with the Diamond Shield manufacturer, hoping they’d feel bad for me and offer to do it for free since their product was junk. No dice there. They said they’d be able to take it off for around $1,500 and that didn’t cover any paint damage that may occur. Then they wanted another $1,200 to put another film on. Not sure I want to try that again.
I looked into products to get rid of moldy Diamond Shield from an RV.
Then I called places to get estimates for removing moldy Diamond Shield from an RV. After countless hours researching the RV groups on Facebook, other RV forums, and talking with Newmar, my RV manufacturer, I was at a loss.
As fate may have it, we pulled into a campground and a guy one row ahead of us was out in front of his rig working away on something. He was working on the exact problem I had: moldy Diamond Shield on the front of an RV.
Bruce was more than willing to share the knowledge he learned by working on his. And he wanted to pay-it-forward and hopefully prevent some of the mistakes and time drains for the next guy. I was the next guy!
By the time I was ready to leave, he had given me one of the nylon scraping tools that he was using. He gave the name of the solvent to remove moldy Diamond Shield. And most importantly gave details on each step of the process. I went back to my rig all fired up to get started.
Supplies to Remove Moldy Diamond Shield from an RV
To get the Diamond Shield from an RV, you need the following:
- Plastic scraper tools
- 220 grit sand paper
- Clothes steamer
- Contractors’ Solvent
- Industrial spray bottle
- 2″ Painters Tape
- Chemical resistant rubber gloves
Step 1: Scrape Off the Moldy Diamond Shield
Bruce said this was the hardest part for him, but turned out to be the easiest part for me. He had a 3M product on his coach and I had Diamond Shield. Supposedly, Diamond Shield is a thicker mill film, so it came off in larger pieces, which made it faster for me.
The first step in the process is to get the film off. I used the clothes steamer and the scraper tool.
I also had some sand paper for when the edge of the scraper tool got a bit dull.
Use the steamer to steam a small section of the Diamond Shield.
You’ll see it start to sweat. Really heat the glue underneath to make it easy to release.
Then use the scraper tool to scrape it up.
It’s just like peeling a potato. Scrape in straight lines on the section that you just steamed. The film comes right up. You shouldn’t have to scrape too hard to get the film off. If you find yourself scraping too hard, just steam it some more.
Do this all over the front end where the moldy Diamond Shield is located. Work in sections and be patient. It takes some time. The most efficient way to go about it is to make nice, neat rows.
After scraping all the film off, your coach will look WAY better. But that’s only half the job. Well, maybe not even half.
Step 2: Remove the Diamond Shield Adhesive Glue
The next part is to remove the Diamond Shield glue residue stuck on the RV. This is also where the big mold spots are located. You also need to scrape those off.
First, open the Contractor’s Solvent. Pour it into a spray bottle
Before you start spraying, you’ll have to do something with your headlights.
Covering the headlamps prevents the solvent from fogging them up. The solvent made the plastic headlight covers on Bruce’s RV very hazy. Now he is going to replace them.
You can remove your RV headlights if it’s not too much trouble.
Or you can tape over them with blue painter’s tape. This method worked pretty well. But there were spots where the solvent must have crept under the tape. It’s not horrible, but I notice it. You have been warned!
Get your spray bottle filled with the solvent. Start spraying at the top of the Diamond Shield residue.
When scraping off the glue, it sometimes crawls down the front of your rig. The glue is still a bit sticky, but also slippery, so it’s kind of a slime that can get stuck on lower parts of the rig. You don’t want that ending up on a section you’ve already cleaned up.
I find it easier to spray the solvent on your coach in sections. The solvent will drip down the front, and that’s okay. Give the solvent a minute or two to do it’s work, then spray it again. You want the solvent to dissolve the Diamond Shield adhesive glue. But it must be wet when you scrape.
Let the solvent soak for a minute or two. Make sure it’s nice and wet. Then go ahead and scrape it with firm, even pressure. If you have to scrape too hard, there isn’t enough solvent on it or the solvent hasn’t had enough time to do it’s thing.
Scrape off the Diamond Shield adhesive glue.
Eventually you’ll learn how long to let it sit, and how much solvent to use. From my experience, scraping off the glue took much longer and was a much more tedious step than removing the moldy Diamond Shield film. The glue isn’t cooperative and generally doesn’t come off in strips like the film did.
Be very, very patient. Eventually the scraping works. Your motorhome front end will look like new when you’re done. It took me about four days to do my rig.
- I took the entire film off in one day, putting in about eight hours on the job.
- The other three days were spent getting the glue off. I worked about four hours each day.
No More Moldy Diamond Shield on your RV
I’m so glad I took on this endeavor. The rig looks like new and I love sharing this knowledge with other folks in the same situation. Moldy Diamond Shield is literally a black eye to an otherwise beautiful coach. Best of luck to you in getting your coach cleaned up and as Bruce said, pay this forward and share it!