RVs utilize rubber roofs. This choice is due to the fact that rubber is lightweight, flexible, and durable. The standard RV roof lifespan usually last for 20 years until you need to replace it due to the inevitable degradation. Of course, that 20-year lifespan all hangs on whether you properly maintain your RV roof or not.
But what if the roof is inadvertently damaged by a low hanging branch? What if something fell on top and broke the rubber material? Will you need to replace the whole roof? Depending on the damage, chances are you can simply repair the RV roof. In this article, I will give you some tips on how to repair RV roof. You won’t need to spend much with these RV roof leak repair techniques as well.
Fix Any Kind of Damage ASAP!
When it comes to taking care of your RV roof, vigilance will be your main tool. Regularly do check-ups on your RV, especially the rubber roof. If you find any sort of damage you should fix it as soon as possible. Even the most minuscule damage on the RV roof could turn into a financial headache if left ignored. Do yourself a favor and repair any sort of damage as early as possible.
What Causes the RV Roof to Deteriorate?
The weather and seasonal changes will be the main factors that will deteriorate the integrity of your RV roof. With proper care, you can significantly slow down the wear and tear. While rain will be the most prevalent problem you will need to contend with when it comes to RV roof maintenance, it is not the biggest threat.
The biggest problem will come once winter rolls in. This is because you will be dealing with a whole new set of dangers to your RV roof. Such danger includes when water seeps into the cracks. As you would know, water expands when in its frozen state. If water has seeped into small cracks and froze, you can expect it to slowly tear apart that small crack with very freeze and thaw. By the end of the winter season, that small inconspicuous crack will turn into a bona fide hole.
How to Prevent RV Roof Damage During Winter
Winter is one of the reason which makes the RV Roof turn bad. There are many “symtoms” for it as you can see and you may wish for some ways to solve this problem. In order to help you prevent RV roof damage during winter you need to remember two important things:
- Inspect the integrity of your RV roof before winter hits.
- Do the appropriate repair and apply protective coatings as soon as possible.
Different Types of RV Roof
RV roofs don’t always use the same material. As you would expect, a different material means a different approach when it comes to maintenance. It is important to distinguish what material your RV roof is using. Knowing that will greatly help in narrowing down repair and maintenance.
When picking the correct maintenance and repair product, there is one golden rule that you should be aware of. If the said product is mainly used for home use, it may not be compatible with your RV. So, always double check when purchasing maintenance and repair materials for your RV.
Now, it is true that RV roofs are mainly made of rubber material but did you know that there are 2 different types used? Your RV roof will either be using TPO or EPDM types of rubber. Knowing how to differentiate the 2 is important for proper RV roof maintenance.
The TPO material has a polish to it that gives it a more plastic-like look. It is also less flexible than the EPDM rubber material. It is rust-resistant and will not develop a chalked surface over time. Cleaning TPO material is simple as you only need the standard soap and water combination. There are cleaning materials specifically made for treating TPO rubber, a good example is the Murphy’s Oil Soap.
EPDM material is known for its durability. In fact, EPDM can go on for at least a decade without any sort of maintenance. Of course, you will need to clean it regular water and soap occasionally. EPDM material can also withstand UV rays without the need for any protective coating.
The one thing you need to keep in mind when attending to RV roofs that are made of EPDM material is to never use petroleum-based chemicals. Applying any sort of petroleum-based chemical will damage the integrity of the EPDM material, causing significant damage.
EPDM is also susceptible to oxidation which will cause it produce a chalky powder. This chalk actually helps prevent the material from degrading further. EPDM is known for its longevity but there will come a time when replacing it will be necessary.
In order to prolong the lifespan of your EPDM RV roof, use cleaning and maintenance materials specifically made for treating EPDM material.
How to Seal RV Roof
I’ll give you some quick tips when it comes to repairing your RV roof. This has been my go-to method when fixing my RV so I stand by this technique. First, you will need to get your hands on the following materials. I’ll also be including a link for each product to help you along the way.
- White EternaBond Rubber RV Roof Repair.
- EternaBond EC-1 EternaClean Spray Cleaner.
- Marshalltown E54D 2-inch Solid Rubber Seam Roller.
Once you have the repair materials on hand, it is time to do a little fixing on your RV roof. Don’t worry as the process is easy and simple that even a child can do it.
- Step 1 – Use Spray Cleaner. Take the spray cleaner and use it to remove excess dirt, grime, and oxidation on the surface.
- Step 2 – Measure the length of the damaged area. Take your roof seal tape and cut the appropriate length you need. Be careful when applying the tape as it immediately bonds to the surface. Once it is applied, you can’t remove it again.
- Step 3 – Seal it tight. Take your seam roller and press against the seal tape to permanently seal the tap to the surface.
That is all you need to do to make a quick and affordable repair to your RV roof. This is an easy and low-cost method in RV roof leak repair. Of course, this only covers damage that is still in the early stages. Still, if you observe any developing cracks on your RV roof you can try this repair method out first before heading on to your automotive repair shop.
For RV campers that travel regularly, having repair and maintenance materials specifically made for your RV is essential. This helps save you high repair cost in the future and extend your RV roof’s already impressive lifespan.
If you have any personal repair and maintenance tips you would like to share please feel free to comment down below.