What You Should Know about RV Roof Coatings

What would you say is the most critical part of your RV? Is it the engine? Maybe it’s the HVAC system. Perhaps it’s the size of the fresh water and waste water tanks. All of these are certainly important, but the roof is even more so. If the roof is in good shape and prevents water from leaking in, you’ll enjoy a comfortable trip no matter where you might be bound.

However, if the roof is aging, or already suffers from leaks, it’s a different story. RV roof coatings can be used to breathe fresh life into your existing roof, sealing leaks and giving you years more enjoyment out of the vehicle. Of course, they’re not all the same.

Compatibility with the Existing Roof Material

One of the most important considerations when comparing RV roof coatings is compatibility with the original material used to construct the RV’s roof. Manufacturers use several different materials, and not all coating products are compatible with each type. While you have plenty of options, Liquid Roof is one of the few that can be applied to just about any existing roofing surface with a little bit of prep work.

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When Does It Become Waterproof?

One of the most widely used RV roof coatings in the industry is a liquid acrylic elastomer product. Lightweight and relatively durable, these products offer some benefits. However, they are not immediately waterproof. This means that any exposure to moisture during or right after application can cause serious problems. Liquid Roof does not have this issue, and is waterproof as soon as it is applied to the roof of your RV.

Strength and Durability

It is important to realize that while you can find a broad range of RV roof coatings on the market, not all of them offer the same strength and durability. You’ll need to make sure that the product you choose offers good resistance to standing water/ponding, and that it is able to hold up well to the following:

  • Freezing temperatures
  • Severe precipitation
  • High heat
  • Direct sunlight
  • UV exposure

Does It Shrink?

Some RV roof coatings on the market are applied easily enough, but they shrink as they cure. This can complicate matters, meaning that you need to apply more of the product than you would with another option. Liquid Roof does not shrink as it cures, ensuring that the areas to which it is applied remain protected even after it has finished drying. It can also be applied in just a single layer (called a ply), which reduces the amount you must use.

Flexibility Is Important

Finally, make sure that any UV roof coatings you’re considering maintain their flexibility after they have dried. Liquid Roof maintains its flexibility, but other products can become stiff and brittle after curing. This makes them much more easily damaged, and can reduce the lifespan of your roof.

As you can see, Liquid Roof is one of the best options for anyone considering RV roof coatings to repair or replace their existing roof.

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.

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.

Liquid Roof Repair for Your RV

If you own an RV, you want to make sure it is in good shape. That means quite a few things, actually. You need to be sure it runs correctly, and you need to be sure that it provides you with the shelter you need. If you have leaks, then you have a problem, and you need to fix it sooner rather than later. In order to fix the issues, you might want to consider getting a product such as Liquid Roof for the repair to the RV, as it can make your leaks a thing of the past.

How Does It Work?

The Liquid Roof repair actually works similarly to many of the other types of sealants out there. However, the product is far more efficient and long lasting than the sealants of the past. This type of EPDM coating is able to withstand temperature extremes, and it can deal with all manner of weather while still providing that necessary protective layer to your RV.

It goes on similarly to paint. In fact, you will be using the same materials – a roller and a brush – to apply it to your roof. You will first clean off the roof thoroughly to make sure there is no grit or debris on it, and then you will use the roller to coat the larger areas. Then, you will use the brush to get into any crevices or cracks, and to get around the sides of vents and the like. It is for the finer details of applying the coating.

Once you have it applied, you then need to wait for the Liquid Roof repair product to dry and cure. Once it does so, you will find that it is highly durable. The product has the potential to last for decades as long as you applied it correctly. This doesn’t give you the excuse to ignore checking and maintaining your roof though. You should still check once in a while (at least two times per year) to see if there are any issues.

Most of the time, you will not find problems with the Liquid Roof repair material. In fact, these types of products can last for a couple of decades without any issue. This is as long or longer than many people even own their RV.

It Is Cost Effective

Another one of the benefits of the product is that it is cost effective. Even though it might cost more than some of the other sealants now, Liquid Roof repair is the way to go since you will only need to apply it one time. Compare that to other types of sealants that you will have to reapply ever year or two. It is easy to see which option is the best when it comes to overall affordability over the life of your RV.

If you want to make sure your RV stays in great shape for as long as you own it, make sure that you choose Liquid Roof repair.