RV roofs are one of the most neglected and expensive components to repair on an RV. Each time an RV is moved, it shakes, rattles and vibrates as it moves down the road. Over time, depending on the conditions where the RV is kept, roofing materials degrade, sealants start to lose their bonds and water starts to make it’s way in. Without regular inspection and maintenance this water makes it’s way across roofs and down walls which can result in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs. The problem is if you don’t keep the roof clean and inspect the roof seams on a regular basis you could end up with water damage. Many RVs today use a rubber roofing material. If you want to get a long life out of your RV roof here are some things you can do.
You have to get on the roof of your RV to properly clean and inspect it for any damage or potential water leaks.
Rubber roofing on an RV is a great product, but like everything else without routine preventive maintenance it will not last as long as it could. First of all there are different types of rubber roofs. Different manufacturers provide different instructions with their product.
Rubber roofs should be cleaned three to four times a year and depending on where you park or store your RV it may need to be cleaned more often. Regardless of the type of rubber roof you have NEVER use any cleaners or conditioners that contain petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citrus ingredients. These types of cleaners can cause permanent damage to any rubber or vinyl surface. Most manufacturers of rubber roofs recommend you use a medium bristle brush and a non-abrasive cleaner. For light cleaning you can use warm water and a mild detergent like Dawn dish washing liquid. To clean, condition and protect the roof I use B.E.S.T Rubber Roof cleaner and protectant. Hard to clean areas like stubborn stains caused by leaves, sap, mold or mildew may require a second treatment. Use caution to prevent the cleaners from getting on the sides of the RV. ALWAYS rinse the sides, front and back of your RV before rinsing the roof to prevent streaking or damage to the finish on your RV.
Cleaning the roof is only part of maintaining it. Every time you clean the roof you need to inspect the sealants around all of the openings and the seams on the roof. Water will take the path of least resistance and if there is the smallest opening it will find it. You need to thoroughly inspect the roof sealants for potential leaks and reseal any areas of the roof seams and around openings where you suspect a leak. Check with your RV dealer for sealants that are compatible with your roofing material.
Cleaning, inspecting and sealing your RV roof can add years to the life of the roof and help prevent costly repairs caused by water damage.