Having an RV and using it for road trips and camping can bring an incomparable joy to anyone. It is one of the best ways to explore and enjoy the great outdoors on your own, with your significant other, or with family and friends. To make the most out of your RV, however, you need to make sure that it is well-maintained, which will minimize frustrations on the road.
While there are many aspects of the RV that require your attention, one of the most important is the roof. That being said, in the rest of this post, you will learn the basics of RV roof leak repair. From the first sign of a problem, you need to act as soon as possible. If not, it will get worse and will most probably be costlier to repair.
What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial
Before you get started, here are the materials that you have to prepare:
- Clean cloth
- Fiberglass repair tape
- Paint or elastomer
Step-by-Step Guide to RV Roof Leak Repair
Once you have gathered the materials that are needed, here are the specific steps that you need to follow in fixing a leaking RV roof.
- The first thing that you have to do is to clean the roof. When it is free of dirt and dust, it will be easier for the sealant to cling to the surface. If there is a previous sealant, remove it using a knife. Use a clean cloth to wipe the surface. Allow it to dry before you proceed. A wet surface may resist the sealant, so be sure that it is completely dry before applying a sealant.
- Now that you are done cleaning the area where there is a leak, it is time to proceed with the main task – sealing. If the leak is small, the best solution is to use a sealant that is commercially available. Wear gloves and apply sealant on the leak. Brush it to make sure that the entire area is covered.
- If in case there is a big hole that cannot be fixed by the usual sealant, you have to use a fiberglass repair tape. Spread sealant on the hole first, cover it with the fiberglass repair tape and apply more sealant. Allow it to dry.
- In some instances, caulking will be the best solution to fix the RV roof leak. This is especially an effective solution if the leak originates from a joint. Apply the caulk liberally on the crack and let it dry.
- Once you are done repairing the leak, you have to coat it. For sure, you do not want to have scars on the roof. They do not look great! You have to cover it with paint or elastomer to achieve a consistent look. Choose a coating with the same color as your old roof so that you will be able to achieve a uniform look. This will make it seem like you did not do anything at all!
In some cases, a repair will no longer be sufficient. You might find yourself frustrated after repairing the roof several times and ending up with the same problem. With this, it would be best to have the entire roof replaced. This can be costly and complicated, but it will be a good solution. When looking for a replacement, look for a material that is stronger than the old one.
In this section, you will learn some of the practical tips for repairing a leaking RV roof and how to make sure that it is well-maintained to prevent problems in the future.
Different Materials, Different Methods
The steps that have been mentioned above may generally apply to RV roof leak repair, but it is important to keep in mind that the approaches to fixing the problem will depend on the material that is used.
Rubber is one of the most common materials that you will see in RV roofs. It is popular because of its durability. When repairing a rubber roof, make sure to stay away from petroleum-based products as they can cause significant damage. There are repair kits that are specifically made for rubber roofs.
On the other hand, if the RV roof is made of metal, you can use most roof coatings that are used in the household. Nonetheless, if you need to do more than sealing, such as when there is structural damage, a seam tape will come handy, which will work like a duct tape.
Meanwhile, for a fiberglass RV roof, repair can be quite more complicated because the material is fragile. A small crack can instantly become bigger if it is not given immediate attention. Applying gel coat is necessary after sealing the leak, which is important to restore the gloss of the roof, making it look as good as new.
Regardless of the material that is used, the sealant and the coating must be UV-resistant. If not, they can be easily prone to damage as a result of exposure to the harsh heat of the sun.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Similar to other problems that you can experience in your RV, it is important to point out that regular care and maintenance is important. If you take care of your roof in the first place, you can prevent leaks, and hence, there is no need for repair. The more vigilant and careful you are, the less is the likelihood that you will have to deal with leaks.
One of the things that you should not do is to step on the roof. Your weight will add pressure on the surface, and hence, it can cause it to crack. This is especially true if the roof is made from a material that can easily crack.
Regular cleaning is also necessary. Nonetheless, you have to use the right cleaning products. Some may contain harsh ingredients that can damage the roof, so stay away from such. Again, consider the material of the roof to know the right cleaning products that you can use.
As you might have learned from the discussions in this post, RV roof leak repair can be a pretty straightforward task. You do not need to pay hefty fees for a pro to do the job. The steps are quite simple, and hence, it is one thing that you can accomplish on your own. The most important thing to remember is to repair it as soon as possible before the leak becomes worse.
Have you tried fixing a leaking RV roof before? Are there other tips that you would like to share? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.