If you are an RV owner, one of the things that you must consider is annually maintaining the roof of the RV, such as cleaning and caring for it. The RVs are made using factory standard aluminum, thermoplastic olefin rubber or TPO, fiberglass, or ethylene diene monomer rubber or EPDM. RV roofs that are made of aluminum and fiberglass do not require a lot of maintenance, but they add cost to the RV and a lot of weight to the vehicle. It means that the EPDM roofs are the ones more typically used in RVs, especially the ones that are smaller and lighter. The maintenance of an RV roof starts with the kind of materials used for the roof.
Keep in mind that you will end up spending a lot less if you maintain the RV roof on your own instead of waiting for water to come and clean it.
Tips for RV Roof Maintenance
- Get on the roof to check – This is the most basic thing you want to do and you need to make sure that there is someone else observing you for safety. It should be someone you trust like a neighbor, your wife, or a friend. The bottom line is someone has to know you are up there in case something unpleasant happens. When you are already on the roof, begin at the back and start moving forward until you reach the coach’s front. Look at the ones that have been sealed using a sealant and see if there are any cracks. These could as thin as hairlines or bigger ones.
- Start cleaning the roof – Roofs made of rubber are durable, but chemicals can really cause serious damage to them. Avoid using cleaners that are abrasive, contain citric, and products that contain petroleum distillate because these can severely damage the roof. You first have to remove any debris by sweeping them off and pay attention to the fixtures of the roof. This is also an ideal time to inspect caulking for any cracks. After that, use a hose to rinse the roof. To keep any streaks from appearing, you should hose the sides first and then move to the front before going on the roof. Continue doing this until you are done with the process.
- Make sure you have all of these: Caulking gun, self-leveling lap sealant (1 to 2 tubes), pliers, 2 wrenches (adjustable), a toothbrush, mineral spirits (1 bottle or can), a roll of tape (putty), nitrile gloves (about 2 to 4 pairs), 1 roll paper towel, rags, and a trash bag.
- Clean off the old sealant using the mineral spirits and you will start to see that it is turning into white again. Make sure that these areas get completely cleaned because sealant will be put on them, and then move to the next area and then wipe everything down.
- You have to use everything right away once you have opened the lap sealant. That’s why you need to get everything off first. It will be messy if you have to pause and clean another section.
- If the roof is made of fiberglass, you can clean it this way as well. If there ate stubborn stains, you only have to choose a stain remover that is specifically for fiberglass. You can simply wipe it on, allow it to stay there for a few minutes before wiping it off. Do this again if needed. A lot of RVers also use granular products
- When all of the surfaces are already cleaned, load the caulking gun with lap sealant, but make sure the area has enough ventilation. The lap sealant can cause dizziness, but you will be fine if the area is well-ventilated. The best area is doing it outside.
- Fill in all of the cracks you saw earlier and don’t leave anything out. It does not have to be perfect because the important thing is all of the cracks are sealed properly.
Follow the given steps and tips to do your RV roof maintenance because you will save a lot if you do it on your own. Aside from that, you will learn a lot about RV roof care.