5 Things to Look for in a Quality RV Roof Sealer

Sealing your RV roof is a routine part of the ownership process. Typically, when you apply a sealer or coating to the roof, it will last for about three to five years under normal wear and tear. This may vary from one RV to the next, of course. For example, someone who uses their RV on a regular basis and exposes it to many more potential dangers may need to recoat their roof every two or three years. On the other hand, the people who rarely use their RV and keep it in climate-controlled storage may be able to get away with not resealing for five or six years.

Again, this all depends on the condition that your roof is in and the products that you choose. Finding the best RV roof sealer is not an impossible task, but it is one that takes your undivided attention. The following list should help you with choosing the right RV roof sealer, no matter what type of RV you have.

  1. Base Material: Most RV roof sealers are either silicone-based or in liquid EPDM form. Therefore, they will be ready to go when they arrive, saving you the trouble of a lot of extra prep work. Today, EPDM remains a popular choice, and as a base material, it can make a great sealer. Silicone is also a good choice, although it doesn’t have the same benefits as EPDM in some cases. Elastomeric coatings are a type of EPDM with an elastic finish for added protection and durability.
  2. Application Method: The sealing process should be quick and easy, and many seasoned RV owners will tell you that it can easily be a weekend project if you do it right. Therefore, you need to choose products that offer a simple application. Typically, the options for sealants and recoating include liquid products that are either rolled on or sprayed on.
  3. Flexibility: While you want to protect your RV roof from the elements, you also need to make sure that the material will bend and flex with potential damage or debris hitting it. The flexibility will also be helpful to prevent cracking in the event of extreme temperature changes. After all, if you’re looking to get the protection that you need, it’s more than sealing the cracks.
  4. Guarantees: While there is never a guarantee that nothing will go wrong, the leading brands and best products on the market will offer some type of guarantee or warranty on their product. These are the ones that you want to use because then you will have peace of mind that no matter what happens, you have extra protection on your side.
  5. Color or Finish: Although it might seem arbitrary at first, the color of your RV roof sealer will make a difference. For corners and flashing seams, a clear silicone might be preferred. In most cases, people choose a white finish because it will reflect the sun’s rays and extreme temperatures, making the RV more comfortable on the inside while providing top-rate protection outside.

DIY or Do You Need Help?

Typically, applying an RV roof sealer is something that can be done by just about anyone. All of the products come with easy application instructions and don’t take much work at all. Some people might not feel comfortable doing the work themselves, but you can definitely save some money on professional labor if you do. As mentioned above, resealing your RV roof is a regular part of maintenance for as long as you own the RV, so you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to do it right.

What are Elastomeric Roof Coatings?

There are a number of different roofing options available today, so sorting through all of them and trying to make sense of the different products can prove to be a challenge for many people. Fortunately, it’s not really that difficult to learn what’s out there so long as you are willing to look. Elastomeric roof coatings are made of a composite rubber/polymer compound, much like other rubber roof coatings, but they also have some additional features and benefits.

Elastomeric isn’t just a fancy name—this material actually has an elastic finish that will seal and protect a roof to keep the underlying material safe from the elements or further damage. This material has a lot of benefits to its use, including its elasticity, which makes it ideal for seasonal climates where a roof would need to endure the harsh effects of the changing seasons. The coating itself is made of polymers and acrylics and combined with titanium dioxide or other white pigments to create a reflexive, opaque finished result.

The Benefits of Elastomeric Roof Coatings

An elastomeric coating is going to offer much more flexibility than other rubber roofing materials that you can find. in addition to that, it can be used on many types of roofing, and will offer a long-lasting solution that won’t need as much attention as many other coating materials. This type of coating can also provide advantages like:

  • Mildew and fungi resistance
  • Seamless finish for a better appearance and stronger roof
  • Specific benefits for certain roof materials, such as providing UV and ozone protection for polyurethane foam roofing
  • Lower cooling costs because the surface reflects heat
  • Easy to use and apply
  • Non-toxic and VOC compliant

These are some of the biggest benefits that lead people to consider upgrading their roof coating to an elastomeric product. There are others to be had, and some may even depend on the type of roof you are going to be coating. Check it out for yourself and see what kind of benefits you can find.

Can This Liquid Rubber Coating Be Applied to Any Roof?

Elastomeric coatings can be applied to almost any type of flat roof. However, they may not be the right choice for every single roof or situation. Before you make a decision about any of your liquid rubber roofing choices, it can help to talk to a professional about your options and see what is going to be best. In some cases, Elastomeric coatings might be a great choice. In rare cases, it might not be ideal. How do you know? Although there are plenty of different opinions out there, your best bet is to talk to a roofing professional who can help you decide whether this is the best coating for your roof.

Some common roofing materials that can benefit from this type of liquid rubber coating include:

  • Metal roofs
  • Concrete roofs
  • EPDM rubber roofs
  • PUF roofs
  • Bitumen
  • Modified Bitumen (BUR)

Learn How to Get More Out of Your Roof

Now that you know a little more about elastomeric roof coatings, you will be able to go out and find what you need for your commercial or residential roof. While you’re exploring your options, feel free to take the time to learn about other liquid rubber products to ensure that you choose the best roof coatings for your needs, whether that is an elastomeric sealer or not. Whether you are recoating an EPDM rubber roof or covering the metal roof of a warehouse, this coating can offer much more protection than you might get from a basic liquid rubber roof coating. Plus, with a variety of products available, there is sure to be one that’s perfect for your roof.

Tips to Getting the Most Out of EPDM Rubber

Whether you’re reroofing your business or your home, or you’re trying to find a way to create a unique fish pond without using a plastic liner, EPDM rubber should be your material of choice. It’s easy to apply, is watertight when fully cured, and offers a wide range of benefits. Unlike other types of rubber, it’s even safe for fish. However, there are things you’ll need to know in order to get the most out of this material. We’ll cover some important tips below.

EPDM Rubber Installation Tips

We’ll start with installation tips to help ensure that you get a good, even coating of EPDM rubber and that it goes on smooth and easy.

Use the Right Tools: You can use a wide range of tools to apply EPDM rubber, but two of the most commonly used and most helpful are paint rollers and sprayers. Rollers allow you to apply an even coating across a roof (or other surface) with ease. We recommend longer handles for easier application, too. Sprayers are also very convenient, particularly for very large roofs and hard to reach areas where a roller or brush might not fit very easily.

One Coat Is Enough: If you’ve spent much time painting, then you’re probably thinking that EPDM rubber will need more than one coat in order to withstand weathering and to look good. That’s usually not the case. In most situations, a single coat will be more than enough. Too many coats will add excess weight to your roof and will also adversely affect curing time.

Waterproof: While many products require curing time before they are waterproof, that is not the case with EPDM rubber. It’s actually waterproof after just a few minutes. However, don’t equate waterproof with fully cured. It will take roughly a week for the coating to completely cure in optimal temperatures and humidity ranges.

Extend the Lifespan

Once applied, you need to ensure that your EPDM rubber coating will stand the test of time. A few basic tips will help you extend its lifespan.

Maintain It: There’s very little that you need to do in the way of maintenance for EPDM rubber, but there are a few things that will help ensure you get the best longevity possible. Twice per year, you should inspect the area. Look for signs of damage or possible leaks. In most cases, minor repairs can be made by simply applying another coat of rubber over the damage. In addition to your visual inspection, you’ll need to remove debris from the area, as well. These can form dams that cause water to back up, and can even help foster mold and mildew growth.

Flashing and Edging: During your inspections, pay close attention to any flashing or edging. If these come loose or are damaged, it could lead to damage of the rubber coating. If you’re required to replace edging or flashing, make sure that the membrane is turned down over the fascia with the metal cover installed over the top.

In Conclusion

EPDM rubber is highly durable and can be used in a very wide range of situations, from commercial roofs to waterproofing in basements. It’s economical, incredibly durable, and readily available. However, like any other product, there are things you need to know to get the most out of it. The information above will help you maximize the lifespan of your rubber application, enjoy ease of installation, and prevent leaks that might damage the substrate under the rubber coating.

5 Tips to Help You Identify and Repair Roof Leaks in Rubber Roof Coatings

Your roof is a vital component of your home. It protects your interior from the elements, from harsh sunlight, and from temperature extremes. It also helps hold the entire structure together. If you have an EPDM rubber roof, you enjoy significant benefits over other types of roofing systems, such as asphalt shingles. However, you are still subject to leaks, and those can be challenging to locate. In this post, we want to address several tips to help you identify and then repair roof leaks in rubber roof coatings.

Start from the Inside

Finding a leak can be hard, unless it’s so bad that water is visibly dripping from the ceiling of your home, which usually isn’t the case. Often, it is easiest to spot signs of a roof leak from the inside of your home, rather than from the outside. Look at ceilings throughout your home, as well as the walls. You’re looking for darker discolorations, often red or brown. These are signs that water has made it to the sheetrock, penetrated the material, and then dried. If you see any of these markings, you certainly have a leak. However, it might not be directly above the area where the discoloration appears, as water can enter through the roof, run down the underlayment, and then drip down far from where it originally entered the home.

Get Up in the Attic

To find leaks in rubber roof coatings, you will eventually need to get up in your attic or crawl space. This gets you one step closer to the source of the leak and will allow you to further investigate the situation. Once in the attic, go to where you saw the water stains on the ceiling or wall. Use a flashlight to locate water stains on wood or to find wet insulation (which can be challenging to spot on its own).

Follow the Trail

Once you have found where the water is coming from, it’s time to follow the trail. In some instances, you may find that there’s a puncture in the roof and underlayment directly above the space where you noticed the water damage in your home’s interior, but this is not usually the case. You’ll often have to follow the trail from that point to where the water actually entered the home. Remember that water always runs downhill, and it always follows the path of least resistance. With that in mind, try to trace its path back to the point of origin.

Inspect the Top for Damage

In some cases, this may lead you to obvious damage. If you spot a hole in your roof, that’s more than likely going to be the source of your leak. However, you may not find any large gap in the roof. Instead, you’ll find a point between two pieces of roofing underlayment where water entered. To find out what’s really going on, you’ll need to get on top of the roof.

Getting up on the roof of your home is always a dangerous proposition, so be careful. Make sure to have a helper handy in case you fall and need help. Using a ladder, climb up on your roof and go to the area where you believe the water entered the structure. Check for punctures through the rubber, or areas where caulking might be missing. Damaged flashing can also allow water into your home.

Use Liquid Rubber for Repairs

Once the source of the leak is located, rubber roof coatings can be repaired with Liquid Rubber. A single layer of Liquid Rubber gives you a waterproof seal immediately, preventing further water incursion into your home.

EPDM vs PVC: What’s Right for Your Roofing Needs?

If you are the owner of a flat-roofed or low-slope roof structure, you already know that your roofing needs are far different from those with buildings featuring traditional, more steeply sloped rooftops. Your roofing has to be resistant to everything from extremes of temperatures and the risks of pooling water, snow and ice to structural movement. This is why the issue of EPDM vs PVC so frequently emerges.

Why the EPDM vs. PVC Issue?

You will see a lot of EPDM vs PVC comparisons when you start to search for roofing because these are the two most commonly chosen materials for flat roofs. EPDM is a rubber material made mostly with oil based ingredients. PVC is a vinyl-like material made of chlorine and ethylene.

Are there pros and cons to each? Absolutely, and it is imperative to run that EPDM vs PVC comparison as you narrow down your choices for your new or replacement roof on a flat-top or low slope building. Let’s start with the EPDM and its many pros and cons.

EPDM vs. PVC: The Pros and Cons of EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM is a synthetic rubber and is treated with a range of chemicals to help stabilize the material and make it long-lasting, flexible and durable. Typically, EPDM is UV stable, meaning that it can be exposed for many years to the intense powers of sunlight without degrading or breaking down. It is also able to withstand extremes in weather such as incredibly hot summers and intensely cold winters without turning brittle or breaking down.

EPDM is able to flex enough to support structural movement, too. And perhaps one of the most important “pros” for the EPDM roofing is the fact that there is no special equipment or skill needed to install it. It does ask for a great deal of prep in terms of cleaning and/or installing a new roof decking on which the material is applied. However, with good brushes, rollers and patience even a novice can do a good job.

Lastly, it is the most affordable type of single-ply membrane-style roofing and has been in use for decades.

EPDM vs. PVC: The Pros and Cons of PVC

A more recent innovation in single-ply, membrane-style roofing is PVC roofing. However, one of the major “pros” of the PVC roofing is that it is actually made of three layers of material that feature PVC material reinforced with polyester “scrim” between. It is, however, described as a single-ply membrane. This means it is considered a bit more flexible and stable with high break and tear resistance. It is identical to EPDM in that it has UV resistance and can remain stable under extremes of heat or cold. PVC is also quite resistant to fire and chemicals, and typically inhibits the growth of any fungi or plant materials.

And also just like EPDM, the PVC materials are designed to be watertight and leak free for many decades after installation. This material also requires attention to prep when it is installed, and it requires “hot air welded seams” rather than an adhesive to bond together properly. This is why the PVC roofing is also a job for professionals who know how to handle the machines and materials properly.

This tends to boost the price of a installation, making EPDM the lower priced option with the added benefit of a DIY installation if desired.

In the debate of EPDM vs. PVC we now know that PVC is just as durable but requires experts to install the material properly. If you are looking for a long-lasting, easy to install and affordable roofing material for a flat roof, the EPDM materials may be the ideal choice.