How to Check Your RV for Leaks

Water damage to your motorhome can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Prevention is simple, you think, right? Once you see water dripping through into the interior, you get up on the roof, apply some Liquid Roof to the trouble spot, and all is well again. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

When a leak develops on your RV roof, the water may travel unnoticed in the area between the roof and the ceiling, dripping down into the walls and causing damage which may not be detected until you’ve got a very expensive problem on your hands. Inspecting the roof isn’t enough – you’ve got to go through the entire motorhome to see if there are any areas which show signs that water is getting in. Then you’ll be able to trace it back to the source and treat the roof with liquid roof to prevent further problems.

How to look for water damage in your RV:

Inspect the roof – Visually inspect all the seams, flashing, and areas around protrusions like antennae for cracked or damaged caulking and other gaps as well as soft spots or discoloration. Any problem areas can be cleaned and fixed with repair tape and liquid roof.

Check inlets – Examine the areas where the furnace, shower, water inlet, etc. come into the inside of the RV and make sure there are no signs of water damage.

Inspect the walls – Check for soft spots, discoloration, or wrinkles on the walls, particularly around doors, windows, slide-outs, and vents.

Inspect inside cabinets – Pay special attention to the area where the top inside corners of the cupboards meet the ceiling.

Check the cab-over – This area is often vulnerable in Class C motorhomes. Be sure to feel underneath the mattress for any soft spots.

Check for delamination – Stand at one end or the other on the outside of the RV and see if there are any ripples or irregularities in the shape of the fiberglass along the sides. This can be an indication that water has gotten between the outside of the motorhome and the walls.

Don’t forget storage – Inspect the insides of the exterior storage compartments for signs of water damage.

Once you’ve conducted a thorough inspection of your RV, you’ll need to address any issues by locating the source of the leak so that you can repair the roof damage with liquid roof.

In order to locate the leak, you can have an RV shop perform a smoke test, or you can conduct an air pressure test at home. This is achieved by blocking all vents and other places where air can escape and creating a pressurized environment inside the motorhome using fans or other equipment. You then apply bubble solution to the suspected problem areas on the roof to see if bubbles form.

Once you find the problem, liquid roof can be used to create a waterproof seal. Liquid roof – or EPDM – can be used for patching, or to apply a new surface to the entire roof. Just be sure to check the instructions to make sure you have a kind of liquid roof which is compatible with your roof material.

How to Deal with RV Roof Leaks

There you are, minding your own business, relaxing with your family in the comfort of your motorhome, listening to the soothing sound of the rain falling outside. Then it happens – drip, drip, drip. The dreaded sound of water inside your safe haven, right where it’s not supposed to be. RV roof leaks are no fun, but you don’t need to panic. Unless something has fallen on top of your motorhome and created a gaping hole, it’s likely that you can deal with the situation yourself. The most important thing is that you don’t put off doing something about the problem, as this is sure to lead to much more expensive repairs than a simple roof patch.

Finding RV Roof Leaks

Locating the source of the issue is typically the most difficult part of the task. It’s important to understand that in a motorhome, water from a leak often travels throughout the area between the roof and the interior ceiling before finally dripping down into the room. This means that wherever the water is dripping on inside of the rig may very well not be the place from which it’s actually originating.

You have a couple of options when it comes to finding the source. You can take your RV to a shop that deals with repairs and pay them to smoke the rig out. This involves the professional blocking off all possible exits such as vents and pipes, and filling the unit up with smoke to see where it’s escaping out of the roof.

Or, if you’re so inclined, you can attempt to perform a pressure test yourself. Making this method work involves creating enough air pressure, possibly through the use of fans, to create a pressure differential between the outside and the inside of the rig (of course blocking all vents and drains first). You then apply bubble solution to the suspect areas of the roof, such as seams and protrusions like skylights and vents, and see if any bubbles form.

The important thing to remember if you’re doing the leak test yourself is not to create so much internal pressure that you cause damage to the RV, although this is unlikely when using air sources found around the house. It’s a good idea to either cobble together a makeshift manometer, or use a real one, in order to monitor the pressure differential between the inside and outside atmospheres.

Fixing RV Roof Leaks

Once you’ve determined the location of your RV roof leaks, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the areas, and cut or scrape away any damaged caulking or liquid roof patching material. Next you can apply a repair product like EternaBond tape, or in the case of a tear or thin area in your roof’s rubber membrane, patch the area with a product like Liquid Roof.

Fixing leaks in your motorhome’s roof can be a project, but with a little persistence and some good luck, you can get the problem under control and prevent any extensive interior damage to your ride.

Liquid Rubber Coatings Combat Roof Problems

When you have a roof that’s seen better days, or even a roof that’s still in good shape, you want to make sure that you can extend its life. Using Liquid Rubber coatings is a good way to do that. They can help to combat many of the most common problems that roofs have to face.

The Sunlight

When the sun shines down on a roof year after year, it can cause some problems. The UV rays can damage the surface of most roofs, including those that use tar and asphalt. Over time, the roofing membrane becomes brittle and starts to break away. This leaves gaps in the roof that could be a way in for the next big problem we’ll be talking about with roofs.


When there are cracks in a roof, even tiny cracks, if means that water has the potential to find a way into your building. That’s the last thing you need. Once the water gets inside of the building, it can start to damage other parts of the structure, the wiring, and your belongings or stock that is in the building.

If you live in an area where it gets cold and freezes in the winter, the water that has made its way down into the roof could expand, causing some severe damage that would require a roof replacement.

Fluctuations in the Temperature

The roof goes through expansion and contraction as the temperature changes. In the winter, the roof contracts, and in the summer, it expands. When the roofing membrane can’t keep up with these changes, it means it will start to crack and break. The same thing could happen as a building starts to settle. You need to have a roofing membrane that is able to move along with the building.

Other Damage

Quite a few other things could damage the roof as well. Wind, falling debris, chemicals and pollutants spilled onto the roof. There are countless ways that the roof could face damage. What are you supposed to do about it? If you use Liquid Rubber coating for your roof, you will find that it can mitigate many of these problems.

How Do Liquid Rubber Coatings Help?

These coatings are amazing. They are UV resistant, and they are flexible. This means that they can expand and contract along with the building based on any temperature fluctuations. In addition, they are waterproof from the minute you apply them, so you will not have to worry about water getting into the building. Since the product is white, it will reflect the sunlight. One of the added bonuses is that this can make the building easier to keep cool in the summer.

If you want to give your roof some additional protection, instead of looking at an expensive replacement, consider using Liquid Rubber coatings instead. They are easy to apply, even on your own, and they can provide you roof with true protection from most of the things that can cause damage to it.

Tips for Applying EPDM Liquid Rubber Manually

One of the best ways to protect a roof from all manner of problems including UV light and leaks is with EPDM Liquid Rubber. One of the nice things about this product is that you will be able to install it on your own if you have the time and the DIY spirit. The following are some tips to help make it a bit easier for you.

Have the Right Tools

First, you need to make sure you have the right tools and equipment on hand. You should have an electric drill, a paddle mixer so you can mix up the liquid and the catalyst, and a roller, such as the type that you would use for painting. Just make sure that it has a rubber squeegee. You should also have a paint brush, and some rags and xylene for cleaning up if you make a mess. You will have up to four hours to remove any splashes or drips that occur using the xylene and the rags. Even when you are careful, chances are good that you will make at least a little bit of a mess.

One Coat Is All You Need

You only need to apply a single coat of the EPDM Liquid Rubber to get the desired results. You need to make sure that you apply the coat evenly, and according to the instructions on the container. Keep in mind that different types of roofing surfaces will allow you to spread the liquid at different rates. For smooth surfaces, you will need about one gallon for every 40 square feet. If the surface is rougher, you will need to change your estimate, as you will get about 30 square feet for every gallon. Use this as a basic calculation of how much of the EPDM Liquid Rubber you will need.

Don’t Paint Yourself into a Corner

This is a common saying because it happens, sometimes literally. Always make sure that you have a way to get off the roof as you are painting. You want to paint yourself into a corner of the roof and have to wait until it dries to get down!

Consider Working with a Specialist

Even though it is quite possible to apply your EPDM Liquid Rubber to the roof on your own, as you can see from the simple instructions, you might want to consider working with a professional. If you don’t have the time to do a proper job, or if you don’t have the tools, or knowledge, then a professional can help to ease your mind. You don’t want to get halfway through the application only to realize that you have air bubbles and that the EPDM Liquid Rubber isn’t adhering properly. If you feel that you need some professional help for the roof, there’s no shame in that. Just make sure that you hire a roofer who has experience with the Liquid Rubber.

Regardless of whether you apply the EPDM Liquid Rubber on your own or have some help, it’s important to take action soon. You want to make sure that your roof is protected.

Maintaining Your RV Coatings

If you have taken the steps to get an RV coating, then you are in a very good position to make sure that your RV roof lasts a long time. These coatings, when cared for the right way, have the potential to last for decades. Of course, this means you actually do have to take care of them and not neglect them. Don’t worry; you will find that it’s actually very easy to keep your roof in tiptop shape. Let’s look at some of the basic things you need to do for your roof now that it has the RV coating.

Remove the Debris

First, make sure that you don’t let debris accumulate on the roof. If you keep the RV parked for a large part of the year, you might not even realize that you have a lot of leaves, twigs, and who knows what else building up on the roof. You don’t see it and you don’t notice it. When it rains, it gets wet and nasty, and it can end up being difficult to clean if you don’t keep up with it. In addition, you might find that resin and sap have accumulated on your vehicle’s roof if you are parked under or near a tree. This can be a pain to remove as well.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that you check for debris every couple of weeks when you keep an RV parked and it is not in use. In addition, be mindful of just where you are parking. If you park close to low hanging branches, they could actually hit and harm your roof during a storm.

Those who live in areas that get lots of snow understand just how important it is to make sure that they remove the snow from the roof of their house so it doesn’t cause damage. However, they will often forget to remove the snow from their RV roof. While the RV coatings can withstand the freezing temperatures without a problem, you still have to think about the weight. The weight of the snow could actually cause damage to the roof.

So, clean away the debris and the snow, and keep the surface of the roof clean. Once a year, you can use some soap and a sponge to remove the grime and grit on the roof. Doing this will also give you a chance to get a closer look at the roof to look for any damage. The RV coatings should reduce the chance for damage, but you will still want to keep an eye on your roof to be sure.

What Not to Do

There are also some things that you should not do with your roof. Namely, you do not want to use abrasives or stiff-bristled brushes on the RV coatings, as this can damage the rubber. Don’t use wax or products that contain oil on the roof either, as they could cause the rubber to swell.

Keep an eye on your roof, and it should last for decades.