Understanding the Causes of RV Roof Leaks and How to Fix Them

Your RV cost you a significant chunk of change, and you expect it to last a long time. The good news is that, when properly cared for, RVs can last for many decades. However, if you do not care for and maintain that vehicle correctly, you could experience some significant issues. What’s more, those issues might crop up well before you expect them. One of the most insidious types of damage is to the roof, and RV roof leaks can be present in a vehicle that is only a few years old.

What Causes RV Roof Leaks in the First Place?

Before we tackle the topic of how to fix RV roof leaks, we need to discuss how they get started in the first place. Are the roofs of recreational vehicles really that weak that just a couple of years exposed to the sun can cause lasting damage? What you need to understand is that RV roof design and construction is really just a series of tradeoffs.

They need to be strong enough to hold up to prolonged exposure to the elements, but light enough that they don’t weigh down the structure and reduce fuel economy. One of the better materials to achieve those goals is rubber – it’s stretched over the wooden sub frame of your RV’s roof to waterproof it and protect it.

However, rubber roofs are not without their flaws. Sunlight will eventually dry that rubber out and make it brittle. Expansion and contraction due to heat and cold, and the stress placed on the roof by driving on the road will then create cracks. Over time, those tiny cracks will widen, and water can enter the substructure of the roof.

Fixing RV Roof Leaks

There are options to prevent RV roof leaks in the first place, such as keeping your vehicle stored out of the elements when not in use, but they are not practical for everyone. However, repairing RV roof leaks with a liquid rubber compound is not only feasible, but surprisingly simple, as well. For instance, RV Liquid Roof can be applied to your RV’s roof with nothing more than a roller. A single coat is all that is required, as well.

Once in place, it is immediately waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about leaks occurring while you wait for the rubber to cure. Once it has cured (a process that takes only a short time), it is also highly UV resistant. That means it will stand up to long years of exposure to harsh sunlight without becoming brittle and losing its elasticity.

As you can see, while there may be no realistic way for all owners to avoid RV roof leaks, there is a solution available that allows you to repair them quickly and easily. RV Liquid Roof is a high-quality roofing solution that can be applied quickly and easily on your own, provides immediate waterproofing, and industry-leading UV light resistance.

Avoiding Expensive RV Roof Repairs

Nobody wants to deal with the hassle that comes from getting their motorhome’s roof repaired. However, unless you treat your vehicle right, it could easily be a part of your future. The way to avoid this is by ensuring you do simple things that make it less likely the roof will end up with problems to begin with. We’ll go over a few of those here so you can implement them with your own RV.

Keep Things Safe

Something that most people do not do, but that they should do, is go over their owner’s manual. You need to be aware of the specifications of your vehicle, especially when related to how much weight it can carry. Carrying more weight than suggested can do damage to your roof. This applies even when below the maximum load if the weight is kept up for a long amount of time.

Regularly Carry Out Inspections

When driving your RV, you may not be aware of how much abuse it takes. Things like harsh weather, tree sap, and debris are often taking a toll on the roof of your motorhome. Therefore, it’s important to be sure you keep an eye on what is happening, so you can take care of it as quickly as possible. A quick application of RV roof repair for a small blemish is better than having to do intensive repairs.

A good rule of thumb is to inspect the roof of your motorhome every three or four months. If the RV is kept under trees for prolonged periods, you may want to check even more often. You don’t want to see a buildup of leaves, algae, or mold as those can lead to more problems. When you do the inspection, make sure to go over the seams well and look for any problem areas.

You should also inspect inside the RV at the same time. This applies even if you see no problems on the outside. You may find water stains on the inside that wouldn’t be seen outside. Check the tops of walls as water is often seen there first, when it is still possible to take care of easily.

Clean the Roof

While you’re taking the time to inspect the roof, it’s also an excellent time to clean off the roof, as well. You may find a problem that is forming but would not be visible without cleaning. Of course, you should ensure that whatever cleaning solution you use is appropriate for your roof or the liquid roofing sealant you use.

Deal with Problems ASAP

Even if you do everything correctly, problems can still crop up. The good thing is that if the problem is a leak, you can usually handle that on your own using RV roofing materials. However, the problem will get worse if you let it go so deal with it when it comes up. Have some liquid roof on hand for the time when it’s needed so more expensive, professional measures are not required.

RV Roof Repair Materials

No matter how well you keep your RV maintained and no matter how often you inspect it, problems always seem to happen. If you’ve noticed leaking in your roof, you need to stop it in its tracks before it gets worst. However, if you want to save some money and do the repairs yourself, that’s entirely possible. You simply need to know what materials are needed and how to use them once you have them in your custody.

Cleaning Tools

There are quite a few tools and materials that can come in handy for roof repair, but many of them are easy to find and some you may already own. While there are many jobs that may need taken care of, the same tools will work for most of them, so you can minimize some of your expenses.

The first set of tools that will come in handy are cleaning tools. You can’t repair a roof without cleaning it off and seeing what is going on. Because of that, it’s a good idea to have some sponges, wire brushes, scouring pads, and other things around.

Once you have those, you want to clean the roof off as best you can. All the dirt and debris needs to go, as do any loose pieces of rust or other things. Make sure you get the roof as clean as possible before you move forward with your repair. It will be worth it, even if it might seem time-consuming and frustrating while doing it.

Roof Repair Tools

Okay, so you have completed the cleaning and you’re ready to bust out what you need to do the repairs. If you’re going to be putting on a patch, you need patching material. If you’re replacing a vent or adding caulking, you need the proper materials to do so. As this can vary, consider what you need to do and what will do it in the easiest way. It can also help to make a list of items you might need for other repairs so you can have them on hand when the time comes.

After you have what you need, you can go ahead and complete any needed repairs. Make sure everything you need to complete is done, as the next step is a big one!

Roof Coating

After you’re done with all of that, your next task is to coat the roof with RV liquid roof. This is an excellent product that puts a barrier on your roof that keeps it safe from all sorts of things. This will give you the assurance that you won’t get leaks, which is important for many RV owners. The great thing is that applying it is simple and anyone can do it.

To apply, follow the instructions. You’ll need a stirring stick, and a roller is a good idea, as well. You apply the material just like paint, so you may need some brushes as well. Once you’ve coated the entire roof, you’re good to go. No more worrying about repairs for a good long time!

DIY RV Roof Coatings Save Money

You love your RV, and you want it to last for as long as possible. As your RV gets older, though, you know there will be certain inevitable repairs and maintenance that you need to do to keep it in good running order. You need to make sure the engine is working properly. You need to have fresh oil, and you need to be sure the tires are in good shape. One of the things that you tend not to think about until it is too late is the roof. However, if you suddenly found out that you had leaks in your roof, what would you do?

If you are like many RV owners, you would panic. You would start imagining just how much it would cost to take the RV to a professional for repair. It might be more than the RV is worth, and it could be more than you can afford. However, you do not have to imaging this doomsday scenario. Instead, consider using RV roof coatings instead. These coating could be just the thing your RV needs to take care of those leaks.

What Are the RV Roof Coatings?

These are elastomeric coatings that are applied to the top of your RV like paint. They can be rolled on with rollers and brushes, or they could be sprayed onto the roof. The coating is a type of rubber that creates a shield between the roof and the outer elements. It means that the leaks will vanish, so you can keep your RV in good shape for a lot longer.

These coating are so popular that many manufacturers today have them on the new RVs they sell. As someone who owns an older RV, it makes sense that you would want to add the RV roof coating, as well. Fortunately, it is easier and more affordable than you might think.

Easy Application of the Coating

You do not need to hire a professional to apply the coating to your RV. You can take care of the entire project on your own. This can save you a substantial amount of money, and it does not take too long to apply the coating, either. Since you are only covering an RV, you should be done in no time at all.

As soon as you have applied the coating, the waterproofing aspect of it goes to work. Even if it were to start raining right after the application goes on, it will still provide protection for your RV. After you clean the roof of the RV, you can make repairs to flashing, vents, and other areas if needed, and can then apply the coating with a roller or a sprayer.

Whether you have noticed a leak or not, the RV roof coatings can be a fantastic investment for your RV. Having the coating will ensure you do not have to worry about leaking, or damage from UV rays. It is a nice solution all around.

Know How to Use Your RV Roof Repair Materials

Do you have a problem with the roof in your RV? If you have noticed some leaking, then you can’t ignore it. This type of problem tends to get worse and worse, and the longer you wait the more difficult and expensive it will be to repair. Instead, you should make sure that you take care of the repairs right away. Fortunately, you do not always have to hire professionals to do it. In many cases, you can gather your own roof repair materials and get started. Of course, you need to know what to get and how to use those materials properly.

Which Roof Repair Materials Are Needed?

You will need to have quite a few tools and materials on hand when it comes to repairing your roof. Fortunately, they are generally quite easy to find, and you might already have some of them on hand. Even though each job is unique, you will find that you will use essentially the same tools for any RV roof repair.

Some of the first roof repair materials you will need to have are the cleaning items. This can include things such as 3M Scotch Brite Pads, sponges, and wire brushes. The first task is always to make sure the top of the roof is as clean as possible. You have to clear away all of the dirt and debris, as well as loose pieces of rust. It should be as immaculate as you can get it before you start the next stage of repair.

Once the cleaning is complete, you can move on to the other roof repair materials you need. If you are going to be putting on a patch, then you need the patching material. The same is true if you are replacing a vent or adding caulking. Again, each of the repairs will be somewhat different, so the exact roof repair materials you will be using can vary. Make a list of what types of repairs you will need to do before you get started so you can have all of them on hand for the repair.

After you have completed the fixes with your roof repair materials, you can then place an EPDM coating on your roof with Liquid Roof. This is one of the best materials in existence when it comes to providing a barrier on your roof that will keep it safe from all manner of problems. It will ensure that you do not have leaks, and it goes on quite easily. In addition to the coating, you will need to have the roof repair materials to apply it. You will need to stir the material, so a stirring stick is beneficial. You can put it on just like paint, so you will need a roller. It is a good idea to have some brushes to get around some of the smaller areas.

In many cases, simple roof repair is possible on your own, as long as you have the right materials and you are willing to learn what needs to be done.