DIY RV Maintenance and Repair Projects: Liquid Roof Repair

If you’re like most RV owners, you appreciate the ability to handle your own maintenance and repair needs. After all, labor costs a fortune when you hire someone to do the work. The materials for most RV projects, including liquid roof repair, are fairly inexpensive and available at most home improvement stores and online RV supply stores. Therefore, if you are a somewhat handy person, you can save a lot of money on maintenance and repairs by doing the work yourself.

Liquid roof repair might sound intimidating, but it is actually one of the easiest types of roofing to work with on an RV. Keep reading to learn more about repairing your liquid RV roof.

Inspect the Roof Condition

Don’t even bother shopping for repair supplies and materials until you can get up on your RV roof and take a look at the damage for yourself. Use your smartphone camera to notate hard-to-find areas of damage or wear that need redone while you are inspecting the roof. Also, look at the amount of area that needs repaired. Usually, this roofing material holds up better than others, but it can still get damaged or be prone to wear over the years. Depending on the amount of damage or wear, and how old the RV roof is, it might be a better idea to do a full recoat than to just repair the affected areas.

Check the Owner’s Manual

If the roofing on your RV is the same material that was installed at the time of manufacture, there is probably important warranty information in the owner’s manual. This information will advise on proper cleaning and repair methods and products that can be employed without voiding the warranty.

If your roof has been replaced since the RV was first built, you should have the warranty information for that replacement somewhere. Even if you put on the liquid roof yourself, the product that you used has some kind of manufacturer’s warranty. Again, you’ll want to look into this to make sure that whatever you do doesn’t void any warranties or guarantees.

How to Choose Liquid Roof Repair Materials

Now that you are familiar with how to complete repairs or recoat your RV roof without voiding any warranties, you can pick up the products that you need and get to work. Choose liquid roof coatings and repair kits that work with your existing roofing material. You can find repair and patch kits or purchase the liquid roofing and accessories or tools you need separately, making it easy for you to get the right supplies for the job. As long as you have the correct type of materials, the rest of your purchasing decision will be based on things like:

  • Price
  • Brand Reputation
  • Application
  • Durability and Longevity

Recoating is More Common than Repairing

When dealing with a liquid roof, repairs are generally minimal because the material is designed to be durable, flexible, and hold up to all kinds of extremes and elements. This cost-effective roofing option generally needs a recoat before it needs repair, simply due to wearing down with age. Resealing or recoating a liquid roof is a routine part of ownership, and you can expect your roof to need a fresh coat every 3-5 years, depending on frequency of use, climate, and how your RV is stored.

If you do find yourself in the position of needing repairs on your liquid roof, the process should be a simple one. Just remember to start with a clean slate and remove all of the debris and damage so that your repair creates a strong, watertight seal. When done right, repairs should last a long time, or at the very least, until your next recoating job.

Basics of RV Roof Coating Repair

Finding out that you have a leak in your RV roof that is causing damage to your RV is one of the worst feelings in the world. If you are like many people, the first thing you are going to think about is just how much this is going to cost to fix. If you let it continue to worsen, you will eventually need a new roof, and you may need to make replacements to some of the interior elements of your RV. This could cost you many thousands of dollars. However, you do not have to let it get to that point. Instead, you can head off the problem as soon as you find it – or even as a preventative measure – when you use a permanent RV roof coating.

It Needs to Be Clean

The first thing you need to do is examine the roof of your RV. You want to be sure that you check the roof for any areas that might be leaking. It could be a problem with the vents, or it could be a hole in the roof, for example. Do a thorough examination and note all of the potential problem sites.

At that point, you will need to make sure you clean the top of the roof properly before getting started with any repairs. This requires cleaning the oil and grease away if there is any on the roof, along with silicone sealants and waxes that may have been used. Make sure you remove the dirt and wash the roof with water to get it prepared for the rest of the repairs. Power washing is possible if you have a large RV roof, but it can also be done by hand. This tends to be how many RV owners prepare their roofs.

Patching and Adding the Coating

Once the roof is clean, you can then go through and add patches to any of the areas that will need it. For example, if there are a couple of large holes or cracks, patching them before adding the Liquid Roof is a good idea. Simply follow the instructions from the manufacturer for applying the patch.

After the patches have been added, you can then use the Liquid Roof to continue with the RV roof coating repair. Again, you will want to follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Fortunately, it is easy to take care of the application on your own. It goes on similar to paint, and you will only need to add one coating. When you are applying it, try to make sure that you have an even coat. You can use rollers and paintbrushes to ensure that you get all areas of the roof.

With the coating on the roof, you can then rest a little easier knowing that it will go to work protecting the roof from leaks and sun damage right away. The curing times will vary based on the weather and temperature, but the protection starts immediately.

The process of getting your roof protected and back in shape is not always as complex as many think. If you are able to catch any problems early, the coating should help to provide you with all the protection you need. For those who have severely damaged roofs, or who need to have interior repairs made to the RV, it is best to consult with a professional. The sooner you take care of your RV roof problems the less it will cost. After all, issues with the roof are not simply going to go away on their own.

7 Things You May Not Know about RV Roof Repair Coatings

While your RV might allow you to enjoy the freedom to travel anywhere, anytime, you do need to maintain it. You’ll need regular oil changes, and to invest in new tires every now and then. You’ll need to wash and wax it, and replace the wiper blades from time to time. You’ll also need to resurface the roof periodically to prevent water leaks and systemic damage. RV roof repair coatings made from EPDM are the best solution here, but just how familiar are you with these products? Here are a few things you might not know about these coatings.

They’re the Same Material as Your Roof

You might assume that the material your RV’s roof is made from and the material roof repair coatings are made from are different. After all, one’s a solid, and the other is a liquid. However, chances are good that they are both EPDM, which is a type of rubber. It is the most common material for RV roof construction in the United States, although fiberglass and aluminum are sometimes used.

They’re Synthetic Rubber

The material you use to coat your RV’s roof and prevent leaks is made from rubber, but not the natural type. It’s a synthetic polymer, called EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer. Why synthetic rubber, though? There are plenty of compelling reasons. It offers much better UV resistance than natural rubber. It also adheres much better, and is longer lived. In short, it’s a superior solution in just about every way.

They Require Just One Coat

Roof repair coatings made with EPDM can be applied with just a single coat, just a few mil thick. That offers a number of benefits. First, it ensures that just a little bit of liquid EPDM can go a very long way. In fact, a single gallon can cover up to 200 square feet. Second, it means that you spend less time resealing your roof. Of course, it also helps you save money, too.

They Are Waterproof Immediately

Roof repair coatings made with advanced EPDM rubber are waterproof from the second they are applied. Unlike other materials on the market, EPDM coatings are impervious to water, although they do take a few hours to dry to the touch.

They Can Be Applied on Your Own

There is no need to worry about professional installation with roof repair coatings. As long as you are physically able to get on the roof of your RV, you can apply it yourself and save both time and money.

They Don’t Need Primer

With most roof sealants, you need to apply a primer first to ensure good adhesion. That’s not the case when applying an EPDM sealant to an EPDM roof. All you need to do is make sure the roof is thoroughly cleaned, and the material will adhere immediately. However, if you’re using EPDM roof coatings on a non-EPDM roof, you will need to use primer.

They Help You Keep Your Cool

Finally, roof repair coatings help you keep your cool. They reflect heat and UV rays back into the atmosphere, lowering the ambient temperature within your RV and reducing the need to use the AC. They also help to reduce the effect of heat on the substructure of your roof, prolonging its life and saving you money over time, as well.

As you can see, there are quite a few interesting things about EPDM RV roof sealant. Easily applied on your own, completely waterproof, incredibly durable, these coatings embody next generation technology and ensure that you’re able to protect your investment.

Easy Ways to Avoid Costly Forms of RV Roof Repair

No one wants to spend the time and energy on getting their RV’s roof repaired. But you’d never know it, judging by how some people treat their vehicles. If you don’t take the necessary steps along the way, RV roof repair will become inevitable. Continue reading to learn some simple things you can do to make sure that your RV doesn’t end up needing constant repairs to its roof.

Safety First
Before you ever do anything involving your RV’s roof, be sure you check the owner’s manual. You’ll want to be well informed about how much weight it can carry. Even if you’re well below the maximum amount that it mentions in the manual, it’s best not to spend any more time on top of your RV than you absolutely need to. The fact that you can see damage has been done means that there could be more elsewhere. Take the wrong step, and all of a sudden you could need professional help for your RV roof repair.

Inspect It Regularly
If you aren’t constantly looking, it can be easy to forget how much abuse your RV’s roof takes. From tree sap to rain to debris and much more, your RV is constantly being exposed to issues that could easily result in its roof needing repairs.

So the first step in avoiding RV roof repair costs is inspecting the roof every 3 to 4 months. If it stays parked under trees for prolonged periods of time, you’ll want to do this more often. Otherwise, you risk issues like algae and mold building up. Be sure that the seams get a close inspection every 6 months, as well.

This means checking the inside, too. Just because you don’t notice any issues from the outside, that doesn’t mean your RV isn’t in trouble. Water stains on the ceiling or towards the top of the walls are reliable signs that something has gone wrong.

Clean Regularly
Inspecting your RV’s roof is important, but so is keeping it nice and clean on a regular basis. Oftentimes, you can’t see the beginning of a problem forming, but cleaning your RV’s roof is a big step in stopping that issue in its tracks. Always be sure that you’re using products that have been specifically made for RVs.

Handle the Issue on Your Own
Sometimes, no matter what you do, problems arise. Fortunately, if it’s a leak, many will fall under the kinds of RV roof repairs that an amateur can handle on their own. You can save a lot of money this way, too. So, if you notice a leak, be sure to address it as soon as possible. Just like with cleaning supplies, though, you’ll want to make sure that you only use products that were made for an RV. For example, if you have a leak, you’ll want to use a sealant. Plenty are made for actual shingle-and-tar roofs, but that will only make matters worse in this scenario.

Fortunately, if your RV springs a leak, there’s plenty you can do to handle the matter on your own. Most people would like to avoid any RV roof repair with Liquid Roof as much as possible. As such, follow the above advice, and your roof will be less likely to need your help.

How to Maintain Your RV EPDM Roof

With proper care and maintenance, your RV EPDM roof can last for 20 years or more. That’s pretty much equivalent to the life of the vehicle itself. One of the benefits of EPDM Rubber roofing materials is that the care and maintenance required is minimal. Regular cleaning is the first step.

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the roof at least four times per year. The cleaner used should be one that is specifically designed for EPDM roofing and is free of petroleum distillates.

Products containing petroleum distillates, whether they are designed for cleaning or protecting, will cause the rubber to swell and loosen. There are many chemicals that fall under the category. The easiest way to tell for sure that the cleaner you are using does not contain any of the chemicals is to look for one that states on the label “free of petroleum distillates, safe for use on RV camper rubber roof.”

Cleaning is a relatively simple matter, but you should keep your safety in mind. If you are going to be getting up on the roof, you should be on your hands and knees to reduce your risk of falling.

The first step is to rinse the roof thoroughly with plain water at a relatively high pressure. Any branches or sharp objects should be removed by hand, if possible. While EPDM is tear resistant, sharp objects can cause scratches when they are pushed along the surface. Eventually the scratches can become tears.

Once all debris has been rinsed away, you will need to take a medium bristle brush, a bucket of safe cleanser diluted with water and get up on the roof. You need only scrub in areas where you see stains or dirt.

Keep your hose with you so that you can rinse while you are cleaning. Start in the corner farthest away from your exit point and work backwards to minimize the amount of time you spend on the wet surface.

After the roof is cleaned, you can use an EPDM protectant if you like. The protectant should be specifically designed for EPDM roofing, not for other types of materials. Some EPDM manufacturers also sell special protectants. While using the protectant is not essential, it may extend the life of the roof and reduce your need to restore or repair the roofing material.

Finally, proper care of your EPDM roof includes parking it in an area where the roof is protected as much as possible. Don’t park around fruit trees. The citric acid can deteriorate the material in between cleanings.