How to Repair RV Rubber Roofs
If you have to repair the RV roof because you hit a tree or the rooftop sealant is already damaged, keep in mind that an RV roof replacement is important to preserve the interior of the coach. Ignoring and delaying the RV rubber roof repair can cause leaks and mildew, rot, as well as expensive water damage in different parts of the roof. That is the reason why performing an RV rubber roof replacement or roof repair of fiberglass will come out cheaper in the long run. Repairing the rubber roof normally means a rubber membrane replacement, sealant, and sub-roof. There are tips you can follow that you can follow to make the repair successful.
When you walk on the RV rubber roof
Prior to repairing your RV’s rubber roof, it is necessary to check the surface so you will get the exact idea of where the issues are and what are needed to fix things. You need to walk properly along the roofline. The first thing to do is to lay plywood on the rubber roof seams or light wood material. If you are walking on the roof, there is an equal distribution of your weight across the boards and the RV’s roof rafters. If you are going to walk on the roof, you need very comfortable boots.
Reseal The Rubber Roof
If you see any spot in the seal that water can flow through to enter the RV, you need the roof to be resealed. The process begins with the removal of all curled, loose or faulty sealer from the roof. However, you should not make a mistake of using a scraper because this is not like other roofs. That will only cause more damage if you try to use a scraper to remove the seal. You can get rid of the flakey parts and put the new sealer on the old layer.
You have to buy a sealer and use a calking run to apply it. it would be good to wear rubber gloves to keep the sealer away from your skin. If you are not sure about which material to buy, ask the service center of your RV.
Repair The Defect First
It is not only a matter of putting the sealant and expects the leak to go away. You should always get to the root of the problem and if you are experiencing any problem at the seams, get a pry bar, get rid of the old trim and other water damage before anything else. If you fail to remove the water damage prior to fixing the rubber roof, rot will appear on the surface of the entire roof. You can put a liquid compound that can be bought in a lot of RV stores. Once you have put the trim back, you can start fixing the rubber roof.
The Damage Areas Can Be Repaired
To start repairing the surfaces, you can use a tape on the damaged areas. The tape will form a quick and permanent seal that is waterproof. What you need to do is to cut a piece of tape that is a little bigger than the damaged area. In order to apply the bond correctly, peel off the backing to show the adhesive. Press the adhesive side down on the edge of the damage. Then start slowly peeling off the backing of the tape as you press down the tape on the roof. It is significant to avoid mistakes slowly. The tape is so strong that when you have applied it, you cannot remove it anymore.
Avoid Any Holes
When the rubber of the RV roof needs to be repaired, you have to avoid any holes or cause more damage. Just because there is bubbling on the roof, it does not mean you have to experience the pressure again. You need to apply the coating of the rubber roof on the bubbles. If you accidentally open the hole, expect that you will have a lot of water leaking problems.
Repairing The Tear
You can clean the repair area, remove the silicones, and clean the surfaces. Apply the sealant on a leveled surface and then allow the caulk to cure. If there are any loose EPDM areas, use a sealant or bond stick. To reinforce the repair area, add fasteners and allow it to cure for 24 hours. Apply the roof seal with at least two inches of overlap to both sides of the area that needs to be repaired. This will cover the fasteners used.
Recoating The Whole Roof
You can recoat the whole roof using the RV roof coating if there are any leaks or damages. Pick a time when the weather is dry to recoat the roof and allot 48 hours for it to dry if you are doing the repair outdoors. Use any household detergent and water to clean the roof before coating it again. Once the roof has dried, apply the coating of the rubber roof with a roller paintbrush. Follow the instructions that came with the rubber roof coating to avoid mistakes.
Resealing The RV Roof Seams
After you are done with the RV repair, inspect the seal between the roof and walls. You should also check the components of the air conditioner, antennas, skylights, vents, and others. If the roof sealant does not look good anymore and has stopped doing the job for you, it could cause a leak. It is better to fix it now than to deal with more damages in the future.
Remember to always do maintenance on the rubber roof by always checking for cracks and seals. The roof entry has to be resealed after every 5 to 10 years that can cause any leaks when it rains hard.
Do not wait before repairing the rubber roof of your RV because it might be too late and you will end up dealing with more damages in the future.