Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-timer, your RV literally provides a roof over your head and protection from the elements. In order to make sure you and your rig are safe, warm and dry you’ll need to be sure that your RV roof is in tip-top shape … especially with Fall and Winter weather just around the corner. Cleaning, inspecting and sealing your RV roof can add years to the life of your rig and help prevent costly repairs caused by water damage. Let’s take a look at some of the basics of RV roof repairs and maintenance.
RV Roof Material
In order to know what types of products you will need, you will first need to determine the type of roof that your RV has. The most common RV roof type by far is rubber, either as an EPDM RV roof (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or a TPO RV roof (Thermal Poly Olefin). Fibreglass RV roofs are next in line. While fibreglass is considered more low-maintenance than a rubber roof, it does add cost and weight to the RV itself. Perhaps the rarest material used for RV roofs is aluminum. While an aluminum RV roof is fairly low maintenance, it does add considerable weight to the rig itself.
Keep It Clean
Regardless of the material that your roof is made up of, the first step in RV roof maintenance is cleaning. Starting with a clean slate allows for a full and proper inspection of your roof in order to identify and repair any issues.
RV rubber roofs should be cleaned and inspected every 3 to 4 months to wipe away dirt, debris and prevent any mould from accumulating. Fibreglass and aluminum roofs should be cleaned and checked at least twice per year, but more often if you are parked or travelling in an area with high humidity or moisture. If you park your rig under trees, you will want to keep a close eye on the possible accumulation of sticky sap and leaves.
The first step to cleaning your RV roof is a quick sweep of any dirt and debris followed by a gentle hose down and scrub with a non-abrasive cleaner.
Keep It Protected
Once your RV roof is nice and clean, you want to keep it protected. There are a variety of RV roof treatments, protectants, waxes and polishes to choose from. Your climate, off-season storage options and type of roof will help you determine the level of protection and effort that you need to put in. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions to give your chosen products the proper time and temperature to cure, set, dry, etc.
Fibreglass RV roofs will need a special protectant so they don’t oxidize, or to remove existing oxidization. Without it, fibreglass RV roofs will lose their shine, feel rough to the touch and eventually start to flake or slough off white powder.
Keep It Repaired
From snagged tree branches to hairline cracks to regular wear and tear … your RV roof can sure take a beating between maintenance sessions. Now is the time to fully inspect your RV roof and make any necessary repairs before they become bigger issues.
One of your first checks should be for separation at roof-to-wall seams, skylights, vents, air conditioning units, etc. These cracks and gaps can be easily sealed with caulking, specialty seals and tapes. Always be sure to consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer to determine what type of RV roof caulk they recommend. There are different types of caulk available depending on the specific application needed and the climate you reside or travel within. Again, be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
If you have a rubber roof, this is also the time to identify any tears, scrapes or cracks in the rubber membrane so you can repair and seal them off to any further damage. Putties, tapes, patch kits, even entire roof membranes … RV Part Shop has everything you need!
If you are planning to store your rig outdoors in harsh weather, as most of us do, you may want to consider further protecting your roof with an RV cover. A good quality and well-fitting RV cover will protect your rig from snow, rain, sun and debris while allowing any moisture that accumulates to evaporate quickly. RV covers come in several sizes, so be sure to measure carefully for the optimal fit. Need help? Give us a call!
RV Part Shop has everything you need to keep the roof over your head clean, safe and protected. From regular maintenance to quick fixes on the go, choose from our wide assortment of RV Roof Maintenance and Roof Repair Products. Take advantage of our fast, free shipping* option to your home or directly to your RV site. Need help navigating our massive selection of items? Give us a call toll-free between 9 AM and 5 PM EST at 877-607-4446 or drop us a line at [email protected]