How to Properly Seal and Repair Your RV Roof

Taking care of your RV’s roof is a large part of RV maintenance. This is one of the most important parts of your mobile home-away-from-home, after all, and deserves a little TLC from time to time. Even the most durable roofing products are going to face damage and wear over time, so the best thing that you can do is to learn how to repair and seal your roof for the best chances of avoiding future issues. That starts by making an assessment of the roof to decide what your next steps will be.

What is the Problem?

Water damage is the leading cause of RV repairs, and it usually is a result of a leaky roof that was improperly maintained or incorrectly repaired. Before you do anything, you need to figure out what problem you are trying to solve. If, for example, you are looking to reseal all of the seams on your roof, you will be looking for the best RV roof seam sealant. If you need to repair cracks or fill in missing areas on a rubber roof, a liquid roofing product might be a better option.

Identify the problem so that you can choose the correct solution. After all, it doesn’t matter how well you know how to seal or repair things if you aren’t sure of exactly what needs done.

Choose the Right Products

The increasing demand for universal products has created a new place for brands that cater to RV owners with all types of roofing materials. However, there are still many repair and sealing products that are uniquely designed to work with a specific material or another. For example, you need to avoid petroleum oils and citric acids in products that you are going to use on a rubber roof, because these can cause irreparable damage.

Read the product information to find reputable brands. Look at repair kits, which might offer a better deal depending on the types of repairs that you are dealing with. Finally, make absolutely sure that the products you buy are compatible with your roofing material. A great deal on the supposed best RV roof seam sealant is no good if the specific adhesive is damaging to your fiberglass roof, for example.

Use Your Resources

Some people assume that they have to take their RV to a shop or dealership for a roof repair. The fact of the matter is that this simply isn’t true. In fact, the majority of resealing jobs, repairs, and even full replacements can be done by the average handy person, with the right information. Take advantage of online RV communities and articles that can help you learn the best products and methods for repairing and sealing your roof. Watch YouTube videos of tricky repairs or things you aren’t certain of so that you can follow along.

Preparation is Key

The biggest part of most RV repair and sealing jobs is removing the old sealant or damaged roofing material. Having a clean, smooth surface to place the patch, pour in liquid rubber, or install brand new sealant around all the seams is going to make all the difference. Repairs will last longer and seams will be stronger when the area is cleaned and prepped prior to applying the new materials.

Wrap Up

To sum it up, it’s all about preparation and knowing what you are getting into when dealing with RV sealants and repair jobs. Take the time to learn about the project ahead of you and find the best RV roof seam sealant or repair kit for the job. Remove all of the damage so that you can start with a clean slate, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If the job is too big or simply outside of your abilities, there are repair shops and dealerships that can help. Just make sure that you shop around to find the best service and rates before you schedule your service.

How to Choose the Best RV Roof Material

Like structure roofing, RV roofing options are vast. There are a number of materials used to create RV roofs, including everything from liquid rubber to vinyl, fiberglass, and standard rubber roofing. Choosing the “best” material is a misnomer in this situation, although it is one of the most common questions asked by RV owners. Why is this question so difficult to answer, though? There isn’t just one right or wrong answer. Plus, while all roofing materials have their pros and cons to consider, modern products are fairly similar in terms of longevity and protective benefits. Therefore, it largely comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Liquid Roofing

Liquid products are the best RV roof material for a versatile, convenient, economical solution. These products are designed to fill in all cracks and crevices, and dry white to offer energy savings by reflecting sunlight. Liquid roofing products are also easy to apply with a brush or squeegee, and typically require little to no maintenance. Plus, they self-level, so you can ensure an even coat and avoid pooling that can lead to damage later on.

EPDM and TPO (Standard Rubber Roof)

Rubber is the most common roofing material used on RVs. Unlike liquid products, traditional rubber membranes offer a sheet-style application. EPDM and TPO refer to the two types of rubber materials used to make RV roofing, and each has its own pros and cons. EPDM is more affordable and offers a low-maintenance solution, while TPO is a synthetic that is ideal for flat roofs with few fixtures or attachments. Each type of rubber has different maintenance requirements, so make sure that you know which one you have.

Fiberglass

Although they add weight to the RV, fiberglass roofs are the best RV roof material for less maintenance. These roofs are significantly more expensive than rubber roofing and other materials, but they do offer a high-quality, hard-top solution that some people prefer. Fiberglass roofing may require more frequent resealing because the sturdy material doesn’t provide an additional layer of flexibility like a rubber roofing product.

Vinyl

Vinyl roofing shares a lot of the same properties with rubber RV roofing products. This is a more flexible material that is cost-effective when compared to fiberglass. Minor tears or rips can even be easily repaired without a full replacement, which makes this the best RV roof material for affordability and durability. Usually, the vinyl roof is chosen due to manufacturing costs, and isn’t that much different than EPDM or TPO in terms of maintenance and care.

What Really Matters

Now that you better understand the different types of roofing materials available for an RV and what they have to offer, you can decide which one best suits your needs. When it comes to a long-lasting, durable RV roof, the material is less important than things like:

● Routine inspections and cleaning. RV roofs should be inspected and cleaned                 at least 2-3 times per year, depending on how often it is used and whether or                   not it is covered while in storage.

● Use of proper protectant and sealing materials. The wrong materials can cause              a lot of damage to your RV’s roof and even affect its resale value. For example,              using a petroleum-based protectant or sealant on an EPDM roof will create a                  bubbling effect and can cause permanent roof damage. Make sure you care for              your roof with material-specific products and maintenance tasks.

● Ozone, extreme temperatures, and UV rays. All roofing materials are prone to                deterioration over time due to these elements. Some materials feature built-in                  protective coatings to reduce this wear over time. Others require regular                         application of an additional roof protectant, which may be a step you don’t want               to have to deal with.

The bottom line? Choose the best RV roof material based on your own personal preferences. Also, remember that when you are buying an RV, the type of roof that it has doesn’t necessarily make one model better than another. Liquid roofing certainly has a lot of perks, but with the right care, any roofing material can give your RV the protection that it needs.

Some RV Roof Sealant Tips for You to Consider

When it comes to maintaining their RVs, many people confuse time-consuming with difficult. Properly maintaining your coach, if done on a regular basis, is not that difficult, but can take a bit of time. Most RV owners however, are more than willing to expend both the time and effort required to keep their unit in great condition, because they realize that their RV represents a large financial investment from which they derive enormous pleasure. The part of every RV requiring the most scrutiny, whether the camper is always on the road or parked at a campground year-round, is the roof. That’s because the roof is the part that is most susceptible to damage from the elements, and just as importantly, any failure in the roof’s integrity will eventually translate into damage in another part of the trailer’s structure.

RV Liquid Roof

RV Liquid Roof

The Most Important RV Roof Sealant Tip is: Safety First.

It’s only natural to want to save money, and doing your own scheduled maintenance on your RV roof can save you a lot. However, and this is important, if you’re not comfortable working on the roof, please hire a professional. You’re not going to do your family any good or save money if you get hurt from a fall. Most professionals are licensed and insured and will warranty their work. Having said that, if you’re confident that you can safely do the roof sealing work yourself, you will save a significant amount of money that can be spent on other things.

Take Your Time When Performing the Inspection.

Another important RV roof sealing tip is to take your time when doing the inspection on your roof. If done properly, a roof reseal with the correct products will last for many years, so it’s important to take the time to make sure that every area is examined before proceeding. Check along the outside edges of the roof and look for any separations in the seam material. Pay particular attention to the caulking around all of the roof vents, looking for cracks and peeling. If you have to repair any areas, be sure to use a caulk that is specifically designed for use under a liquid EPDM rubber roof sealant.

Choose the Right Product for the Job.

You’re familiar with the phrase; ‘penny wise and pound foolish’. That phrase refers to people who buy inferior products that aren’t meant for a particular job, thinking that they’ll save a few dollars. What inevitably happens is they end up spending more in the long run when they have to redo the whole thing. Most people today are using EPDM type sealants on their RV roofs because they are fairly easy to apply, don’t require professional installation, can be installed in a weekend and provide long-lasting results on a variety of roof surfaces like metal, fiberglass and rubber.

RV Roof Sealant Tips Thee Ps

Don’t forget about the three Ps of RV roof repair and sealing; prep, prep and prep. Even if you choose the top-of-the-line liquid EPDM rubber sealer that only requires one coat, you still need to make certain that all repairs have been made and the surface is really clean. If any dust or detergent film remains on the roof’s surface, it could keep the liquid roof sealant from adhering properly. The little bit of extra time that you spend now doing the job properly, will pay huge dividends down the road when you’re able to enjoy your RV without having to worry about damage from a leaky roof. Happy Camping!

How to Repair and Restore RV Roof?

Are you worried about the efficiency of repairing and restoring of RV roofs? Well, you need not get too worried because there are ways you can adopt to successfully accomplish RV roof repair. Before you go ahead with repairing and restoring work, you need to make sure that a few things are done properly. Some of these steps include determining if the roof is fiber glass, aluminum, rubber or steel sheeting. Make sure you have measured all seams accurately including cross seams, pipes, air conditioners, all vents and outside edges. Cover the seams properly with a tape before you apply coating RV roof repair.

Before you start the actual RV roof repair work, scrub the rubber surface with the help of a deck brush or pressure wash, detergent and warm water. Be careful with sagging and lower areas of the roof and push off all the remaining extra water with a small hand brush. This will also let you easily brush off old roof patch material and remaining debris. Here, you have to remove the sealants and loose coatings which may not be adhering to the roof. After this, clean it properly and let it dry. After having this done, apply the tape to all the seams and make sure the tape is well placed.

Now you have to use a leak stopper, so opt for the brand which has a reputation for RV roof repair. A good leak stopper must seep deep down into the crevices and cracks to form a special bond with the roof and make a permanent seal. During the rebuilding process, it’s advisable to wear protective clothing and disposable gloves. You may also use an old and disposable metal trowel or paintbrush for the purpose of spreading and evenly covering every seam. Be sure that you have done it properly and cover almost an inch additional space on either side of the seam. The spaces around air conditioners, vents, and antennas etc are more vulnerable to cracks and seems, so seal them as well.

Remember, these spaces are the actual problem areas which you may easily ignore until it is too late. It is these complex areas which leak very slowly and worse thing is that they stay hidden. You can afford to spread the sealer very thin, but ensure you spread it wide over every seam. In order to be 100% sure that you have covered all the seams, it is wise to spread the sealer around and beyond the actual cracks and seams. Remember, though the seams and cracks which have already surfaced need attention, the problem areas are also equally important to cover for an effective RV roof repair and restoration.

If the tears are too large, try out some fiberglass repair tape and spread your selected roof repair tar covering the whole area which needs to be patched. Lay the fiberglass screen over these holes and spread a little more of the RV roof patching tar on top of this tape, which should cover it completely. This will help you complete the process of RV roof repair successfully and productively for a long time.