5 Must Know Tips for Successful RV Roof Repair Project

RV roofs are lightweight, durable and resistant to the elements, but that doesn’t mean they’re impenetrable. It actually takes surprisingly little to damage your RV’s roof. Strong winds might blow a branch down, punching through the roof and creating a serious leak. Over time, mold and mildew might compromise your roof’s integrity as well. RV roof repair can be tricky, particularly if you’re doing it yourself, but there are several tips that can make the process easier.

RV and Motor Home Roof Leaks

RV and Motor Home Roof Repair Project

RV Roof Tip-1 : Find the Leak First

Your leak might be obvious. That branch sticking out the top of your RV? That’s the most likely culprit. However, it’s also possible that the source of the leak isn’t that obvious. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get up on top of the RV to inspect things. If your RV is older, chances are it has a metal roof. However, if it’s a newer model (manufactured within the last 10 years or so), it probably has an EPDM (rubber) roof. Don’t walk on metal roofs without first putting down supports – plywood slats work. EDPM roofs can be walked on with care.

RV Roof Tip-2 : Find the Defect

There’s a difference between RV leaks repair and just sealing leak temporarily. If there’s a defect causing the leak, such as a puncture, you’ll need to make an actual repair to the underlying structure of the roof. If the rubber coating over the roof is damaged, you can use RV rubber roof repair to seal it. If there’s a defect or damage, repair it first, then seal the damaged area with RV roof repair rubber.

RV Roof Tip-3 : Small Leaks

If you notice a very small water leak from your RV’s roof, you can handle it without too much trouble. These leaks generally involve nothing more than a minor problem with the rubber roof or one of the seals. In these instances, a couple of coats of RV rubber roof repair sealant will be all that’s necessary. However, before you do anything, make sure the leak really is minor.

RV Roof Tip-4 : A Note on Bubbling

It’s normal to see some bubbling on your RV’s roof. However, that doesn’t mean these are defects or flaws. Rather than trying to cut out the bubble, just repair the leak. Bubbles will usually go away on their own over time. In fact, it’s somewhat normal to see bubbles form in the rubber leak repair material itself. These will shrink and disappear shortly.

RV Roof Tip-5 : Buy the Right Products

As a final note, you should make sure you’re actually buying products made for RV roof repair. There are products designed for residential and commercial use that are similar, but you need to make sure that you’re purchasing rubber roof repair material designed for use with RVs. RVs uses EPDM roofing material, and it takes the right type of material to repair leaks here.

RV roof repair doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. A handy owner can usually tackle basic RV roof repair needs on their own. However, know when a problem is too big for you, and get professional help.

For complete training and guide see RV Roof Repair Training Video.

What Is an EPDM Roofing System?

You’ll find an incredible number of roofing systems out there today, from conventional shingles to tile, slate and more. One that you might not be aware of is EPDM roofing. It’s primarily designed for commercial and industrial use, but it’s beginning to see use in numerous other areas, including RVs and travel trailers, flat residential roofing and other low-slope roofing applications. What is EPDM and why should you know about it?

What’s EPDM All About?

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer – rubber, in other words. However, this isn’t the same rubber found in car tires or toy balls. This rubber is specially designed and engineered for several characteristics, including:

  • The ability to maintain elasticity over time, even with exposure to high heat and UV rays
  • The ability to withstand moisture, even in ponding situations, such as those found on commercial and industrial roofs
  • The ability to be easily installed and sealed

EPDM comes in long sheets, and each sheet must be sealed to the one beside it. This is done with a rubber roofing sealant. The same sealant can be used to make spot repairs to the EPDM material if it’s punctured or develops a leak.

Not Just Commercial Applications

While EPDM roofing has been heavily used in commercial and industrial applications, it’s also being adopted by the residential housing industry. There are several products on the market that can be used with residential homes and they are particularly beneficial for flat and very low slope roofs, such as carports and other areas where there is little to no roof pitch. This includes dormers, home extensions, garages, garden sheds and other outbuildings, and a great many others.

RVs and Travel Trailers

An EPDM roofing system is very lightweight, but very resistant to weathering, which makes it an ideal solution for use in RV and travel trailer manufacture. If you have purchased an RV or trailer in the past decade or so, chances are good that it has an EPDM roof, rather than a metal roof. In fact, most RVs stopped using metal roofs a long time ago because of the problems inherent with rust and corrosion. Because EPDM can be easily repaired and replaced, EPDM roofing solutions offer more affordable maintenance and greater longevity for RVs and travel trailers.

Repairing EPDM Roofing

As mentioned, one of the reasons that EPDM roofing has been so heavily adopted is its ease of repair. Unlike conventional roofing systems, EPDM roofing solutions can be repaired with liquid rubber in most instances. Even serious damage only requires installing new rubber roofing in most instances. However, because of its resistance to weathering, it lasts much longer than other roofing systems on the market.

EPDM roofing systems are strong, durable and affordable, providing commercial, industrial and residential buildings with quality roofing that stands the test of time. If your home or business is in need of new roofing, contact a reputable roofing company that specializes in EPDM roofing installation.

Are EPDM Roofing Solutions Right for Your Home?

Home roofing systems have evolved considerably in recent years, with newer shingle systems offering 25 years of life. Metal roofs can offer up to 50 years of life. However, none of these is foolproof, and they’re also subject to leaks. Metal roofs can rust, and shingle roofs can be easily damaged by high winds. Metal dents when impacted by hail. Is there another option? Actually, EPDM roofing might be the best option for your home. What should you know?

How Does EPDM Differ from Conventional Roofing?

There are several important differences between EPDM and conventional roofing. First, it’s a rubber material that must be installed directly to the roofing substrate. It’s not made of metal, and there are no shingles. It’s made of various sheets of specially designed rubber, adhered to one another using liquid rubber. It’s highly resistant to all types of weathering, and is specially designed to maintain its elasticity even when exposed to high heat and UV rays for year after year.

EPDM has been widely adopted throughout the construction industry, but sees more use in commercial and industrial applications than in residential construction. With that being said, new technologies are enabling it to be used in many different areas of home construction, particularly in covering carports, garages, outbuildings and the like. It’s especially effective for use on flat roofs, because of its waterproof properties.

Interestingly, most roofing materials aren’t waterproof. They only need to be water resistant. In a conventional home design, the roof is sloped so that water runs down and off. In these situations, water resistance is all that’s needed. Shingles (or whatever other roofing might be in place) must only resist the water until it stops raining and the roof dries. However, in a flat roof, that can take a long time. What’s more, low spots in the roof will collect water, called ponding. These areas keep the roofing submerged for long periods, creating the ideal situations for a leak to form. Once a leak starts, the substrate is weakened and there’s a greater chance for further leaking and damage.

With EPDM roofing solutions, ponding is not a problem. The roofing material is completely waterproof, so standing water cannot penetrate into the substrate no matter how long it stays in place. For homeowners with flat roofs, this is a significant advance.

Repairing EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing systems are subject to damage, just as any other roofing material would be. However, it’s better at resisting some – high winds, for instance – which reduces some potential for repairs. In instances where damage is unavoidable (a falling tree limb is a good example), repairing EPDM roofing is very simple. Once any damage to the substrate has been repaired, a couple of coats of liquid rubber will seal the roof again and protect it like new.

EPDM roofing systems offer significant advantages to homeowners. However, they must be installed by licensed contractors – this is not a DIY project. Contact a reputable roofer to have your home inspected to determine if EPDM is the right material for you.

A Down and Dirty Guide to Repairing Roof Leaks

So your roof has sprung a leak? That’s a bummer. We hope you haven’t been ignoring it. You see, sometimes people see a leak in their roof and think it’s not a big deal. It only rains so often; how much damage can that leak be doing? The answer is that leak can do a lot of damage even if it’s small. Even worse, the leak may not actually be small at all. Just because you’re only seeing a few drips here and there doesn’t mean that the water isn’t going somewhere else where you can’t see it. And that’s the real issue. Once water is allowed to get into the structure of your building, bad things can and will happen; it’s only a matter of time.

So, if you’ve discovered a leak, then don’t delay in taking action to rectify the situation. It may be a small problem now, but it will only become a bigger,more serious problem later if you fail to act.

All right, You’ve Convinced Me; What Should I Do?

This is going to depend on how handy you are. But, because a roof leak is such a potentially serious problem, it’s advisable that you seek the assistance of a professional contractor. If, for example, that leak has managed to rot out part of the wooden structure of your building, you’re going to want to know. A licensed contractor is the person with the expertise that can help you in this situation.

But, I’m a DIY Person!

Well, then, prepare to strap in, because you’re going to have to do a few things to fix that leak!

  • Locate the roof leak: This can be much easier said than done. With a flat roof, the site of the leak within the building should, generally speaking, closely correspond with the source of the leak on the outside. With an angled roof, however, this is much more difficult, as water might seep down the inside of the angled roof before it drips, pools, and then drips down again into a room.
  • Determine what you need: A roof leak can start anywhere. It might be caused by bad flashings, it might simply be a small hole somewhere, it might even be a rotted out shingle. Depending on what’s determined to be causing the leak, you’re going to need different materials.
  • Repair the roof leaks: Once you have all of the necessary materials, it’s time to make the repairs. Since you’re going to be outside, make sure that you pick a good day to make the repairs on. Also, if you’re going to be using any dangerous chemicals or flames (as you might with an asphalt-based roofing system) makes sure that you’re taking all of the necessary safety precautions.

This is, as you can tell, only meant as a general outline of what you’ll need to do. The methods employed to fix roof leaks vary widely depending on the roofing system. So, like we said, if you’re unsure; consult a contractor!

Don’t Sweat a Leaky RV Roof

If you’re the owner of a mobile home or RV, congratulations! You’re a member of a class of people that proudly make wherever they roam their home. As your RV is your home, you’ll need to take great care in keeping up with its maintenance. You wouldn’t, after all, want negligence be the cause of some unfortunate damage derailing your cross-country adventures!

Among the most nefarious problems you might encounter in your RV is a leaky roof. Of course, it might seem as if it’s not big deal. It’s just a few drops every now and again when it rains; how bad can that be? The answer is that it can be incredibly bad! While a leak will almost always start small, they only grow over time. As they grow, they begin to pose more and more serious danger to the longevity of your RV or mobile home. A small leak today may grow into a serious structural problem caused by rot later! For this reason, it’s absolutely essential that you take action immediately when you discover your RV rubber roof is leaking.

How Can I Conduct RV Roof Repair

This is why we said don’t sweat it! RV roof repair can be an incredibly simple process, provided you take action immediately once you’ve noticed a leak. Of course, your best option will be to get in touch with a licensed RV rubber roof contractor who can assist you with making repairs. But, if you’re the do-it-yourself type, then here are the steps you’ll need to take in order to conduct an RV rubber roof repair:

  • Step 1: First you’re going to need to get your hands on the tools that you’ll need. Among those tools, you’ll need liquid roof, which you’ll use to cover the site of the leak. You’ll also need an EPDM roller, which you’ll use to apply the aforementioned liquid roof. Finally, you may need some masking tape and other cleaning products.
  • Step 2: Those cleaning products could be important, because the second step is actually cleaning your RV’s roof. In order for the liquid roof to bond adequately to your existing RV roofing system, the roof will need to be clear of dirt, debris and grime.
  • Step 3: Once the RV rubber roof is clean, you’ll then need to apply the liquid roof. Using the EPDM roller spread the rubber roof as evenly as possible over the site of the leak. It’s important that it be spread evenly, as an uneven spread could lead to problems down the line.
  • Step 4: Finally, you’re going to need to let this liquid roof dry. In order for the liquid roof to dry appropriately, you’ll have to leave it alone for a period of 24-hours. But, after that time window has elapsed, you’re done!

As you can see, making repairs to your RV’s rubber roof can be incredibly simple. Of course, you might not be the handy type, in which case it may be advisable to leave such repairs to professionals. But, you’re likely to find that such repairs for your RV’s rubber roof should be relatively inexpensive.