The necessary maintenance and repair schedule for the roof of a recreational vehicle varies depending on the age of the vehicle. Many manufacturers have begun to use rubber or EPDM coated metal roofs, which typically require less maintenance.
Owners of older RVs can do the coating themselves to extend the life and reduce the need for future RV maintenance or RV roof repair. Regular inspection is the first step for any maintenance schedule. You can do the inspection when you are cleaning the roof.
Because the roofs are flat, they get dirty pretty quickly unless the vehicle is covered or garaged. Water tends to pull in some areas. When the water dries in the sun, you are basically left with a puddle of dirt.
Debris and dirt can etch into the roofing material, eventually causing rust. Rust leads to holes and leaks. Holes can be difficult to repair. So, the first preventative maintenance step is to keep the roof clean. You can sweep away the debris or use a power washer. Caution should be taken to avoid falling.
Even with the best cleaning schedule, rust sometimes happens. Cracks can form in the sealant, even if an EPDM coating was applied. Resealing may be necessary.
The first steps for resealing or applying an EPDM coating are usually the same. The roof needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dried with soap and water. Old coatings may need to be scraped off if they are cracked or curling. Rusty spots need to be sanded until they are smooth. Metal patches may need to be soldered on to repair holes.
If you still have the owner’s manual, you should consult it to learn about the proper procedure and the recommended materials for resealing the roof. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, you might need to make a visit to your local RV service center. Another option is to look for the information online.
Most RV centers and online parts stores sell RV roof sealer of various kinds for metal roofing. In addition to the sealer, you will need an application brush. The can will have directions for application and preparation steps similar to the ones mentioned above.
Most sealant manufacturers recommend that the application be done out of direct sunlight. This helps to ensure the temperature is not too high and the coating will cure properly.
It takes a day or two for the coating to cure. But your RV roof will be ready for your next vacation soon and you won’t have to worry about a leaky roof while you are relaxing.