How To Repair Rv Roof Leak
Fact checked by Joseph Varney
You probably find yourself distraught by a leaky RV roof a couple of times, right? In fact, this is what RV owners frequently complain about.
Most of the time, people end up selling their RVs with low chances of success. I mean, who would want to buy something that requires fixing? However, if they do sell, itll be for a very low price which isnt enough to pay for the years you spent taking care of your mobile secondary home.
I understand this makes you want to learn how to do repairs. So, I made this DIY guide to help you learn how to repair an RV roof leak. Check it out.
Dont Store Your Rv Outside
Finally, you can prevent the vast majority of RV roof leaks if you store your vehicle indoors during the off-season. The top culprits of leaks are rain, snow, and shifting temperatures. We already mentioned using an RV cover and a carport when you park for short durations, but these can only do so much.
Harsh storms can eventually work their way through covers, and carports are open on most sides. This exposes your RV to a variety of climate risks, and it would eventually develop a leak.
In order to avoid this, its best to store your RV indoors if you can. As mentioned above, some people have garages that can accommodate these vehicles. If this isnt plausible for you, look into climate-controlled storage options in your area. They might be a bit pricey, but youll save yourself the hassle of dealing with water damage.
Overall, its possible to prevent RV roof leaks as long as you take the right precautions and keep a close eye on your roof. Fix minor flaws as soon as they form, and be consistent with your maintenance routines.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but youll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.
Different Types Of Camper / Rv Roofs
Heres a quick list of the 9 different types of roofs we can have on our RVs and Campers.
These are the 9 types of roofing we will go over in order to point out how to fix each of them.
Lets go into details here on how to fix a leaking roof for each of the 9 types of roofs:
You May Like: How Do I Install A Metal Roof
Replace Rotted/damaged Wooden Beams And Identify The Source Of The Leaks
Once the support beams have been exposed, check the interior of your RV for water damage. Look for any wood that is wet or rotting and see if water is pooling anywhere. Measure the beams carefully and replace any damaged ones with fresh supports.
Try to make the repairs as close as possible to the original in terms of size and placement, because this will make it easier to put everything back together.
Apply Wood Hardener To Damaged Wood
Apply a fresh coat of wood hardener to wood that may have come into contact with the water. You can do this by spraying or painting, depending on your choice of hardener. Wear a breathing mask throughout the process and make sure that all windows are open for ventilation purposes.
Allow at least 24 hours for the wood hardener to dry completely. The hardener will, as the name suggests, keep the wood hard for longer, aside from preventing wood rot.
Also Check: How To Check If A Roofer Is Licensed Uk
What Have We Decided About Flex Seal Rv Roof Repairs
Many RVers have used Flex Seal for repairing leaks in their RVs. From reading RV forums, it is clear that some were very happy with the results while others had nothing good to say. Relying on Flex Seal as a permanent solution to a leaky RV roof may not be a good idea. It could be argued that Flex Seal is not designed for RV roof repairs. However, many of the negative reviews seem to stem from those expecting Flex Seal to be a permanent repair.
The ready availability of Flex Seal at major retailers, as-seen-onTV stores, and online, makes it very easy to keep a few cans of Flex Seal Liquid, Spray, or Shot on hand for emergencies. It might not hurt to have a roll of the tape as well. Flex Seal is also relatively inexpensive. You can apply it on almost any surface, in cold weather, hot weather, on dry surfaces, and wet surfaces. It does stop leaks and will certainly get you to a point where you have the time to shop for a more permanent roof repair for your RV.
Personally, I keep a roll of Eterna Bond Tape, Dicor Self Leveling Lap Sealant Caulk and another tube of Dicor Non Sag Lap Sealant Caulk on board my RV for any emergency repairs I have to make. Ive used flex seal and although I think it worked, it was really hard to work with. Have you used Flex Seal to make a repair on your RV Roof? Please share your comments about it below. You never know but your comment could help a fellow RVer! Check out some of our other articles about RV roofs and repairs below:
Simple Rv Roof Repair Hacks
RV roof repair is one of the best skills you can learn for maintaining your RV. Damage to an RV roof is easy to overlook but one of the most critical elements of camper maintenance.
Rubber roofs have become the standard in the RV industry. This is fortunate because rubber roofs are relatively easy to repair. As a result, roof maintenance and repair is one of the easier RV skills to learn. Well walk you through the basics.
Lets dig in!
Don’t Miss: Can You Replace Roof Without Replacing Gutters
How Do You Fix A Leaking Roof On An Rv
- Identify the source of the leak.
- Apply a temporary fix until you can make a permanent fix.
- Apply the permanent fix.
One thought to keep in mind is that there are a few different types of leaks you may develop and each type of leak will need a different fix.
Also, different RVs will have different types of roofs and each type of roof will require different materials to repair it.
In this post, Ill give you step-by-step instructions on how to fix 9 different types of RV roof types.
But first, we will look at what you do first as you find out the roof is leaking.
How To Find An Rv Roof Leak
There are two common types of RV roof leaks. The ones you see immediately and those that go unnoticed for weeks.
The latter will usually present itself in the form of a dark or wet spot that appears on your RV ceiling. It could prove difficult to pinpoint the exact point of entrance for these leaks because they will usually be very small. There may not even be a visible hole if the leak is small enough.
The best way to deal with these types of leaks is in broad strokes. If you are using tape or caulk to repair the leak, then be generous with distributing your chosen material. Even if you cant find the exact spot of the leak, you should be able to locate the general area and tape or caulk it accordingly.
If you are attempting a repair in the middle of a storm, it may be necessary to do a temporary patch job until you find a permanent solution.
Read Also: How Do You Finance A New Roof
How Do You Know If An Rv Has Water Damage
RVs are regularly exposed to a variety of weather elements such as rain, ice, or snow. If you travel through moist conditions such as these in your camper or RV, you must check for any signs of long-term water damage. Not sure how to do that? Just check for any of these tell-tale signs:
- Staining of soft spots such as overhead cabinets.
- Discoloration of cloth, paper, and wood materials.
- Growth of mold in corners and other areas within the RV.
- Certain areas on the roof are somewhat spongy.
- The bed area has traces of dampness and leaks.
When you spot any of these, pinpoint the source and work on it as soon as possible. This will help you minimize the repair costs and prevent the problem from spreading further into other parts of your self-contained RV.
Looking to get yourself a self-contained RV? Get all the info you need about it on What is a Self-Contained RV
The next point highlights the most measures you can take to control the damage and decrease the likelihood of contracting severe health complications.
How To Fix Rv Roof Problems
Fixing an RV leaky roof is now going to be easier than ever before. Here are three steps to follow
- Know the source of the leak
- Apply temporary fix
- Make a permanent fix
Bear in mind that each type of leak is different and requires different materials to fix it.
That said, what do you need to do in case you find out that your RV roof is leaking? A first step is a preventive action, of course. In this case, identify the leak to prevent the problem from getting worse.
So, how to inspect the leak?
One of the best ways of identifying leaks is to do a regular inspection. It can be done either from the interior or from the exterior of your RV.
Prior inspection for roof leaks can help you prevent problems from becoming anonymous. It is recommended that you should inspect your RV after one year. However, if you are using your RV outside regularly, it is wise to inspect the roof at least twice a year.
It is also a good idea to check your RV roof during weekends if you are going for a vacation.
It is the easiest place to start your inspection. Simply take a look at your RVs roof from the inside and identify possible damages. If you find any water stains, that means you have a roof leak somewhere.
But not all roof leakages appear on the ceiling. So, you need to check on the walls because some leaks can run to the side of your RV.
Apply temporary fixes
RV roof repair tips
DIY RV repairs
- Proper Cleaning
PATCHING A HOLE
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold From Leaking Roof
How Often Should I Check For Leaks
It makes sense to check before you decide to use it, and during the off-season, it doesnt hurt to check every 4-6 months.
In general, if youve sealed it right, you shouldnt have to replace it for another ten years, which will be a big weight off your shoulders. Be sure also to check other parts of the camper, like the caulking or trims along the RV, for cracks.
Regularly Clean The Roof
Another good way to prevent RV roof leaks is to regularly examine and clean your roof. Sometimes the problems start small, so its easy to miss them unless youre paying close attention. If you establish a consistent time to clean your RV and check it for leaks, you can save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.
Begin by climbing onto the roof or using a ladder. You need to be able to physically see the top in order for this process to be helpful. From your vantage point, examine the roof. Pay extra close attention to the seams because this is often where water will seep through.
Next, gently rinse off the roof to expose the base. You want to clean it thoroughly, but dont be too harsh because you could worsen any weak areas. Carefully apply soap and scrub any debris off the roof. Then you just need to rinse the soap off again and let the vehicle thoroughly dry.
Re-check the surface once youre done cleaning, just in case you created any holes or scratches.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is The Tesla Solar Roof
How To Paint A Fabric Ceiling In Rv
Its easy to paint fabric ceilings in RV, but there are a few things you need to know before you get started.
First, make sure the surface is clean and dry before you begin. Next, choose the right type of paint for the job. Latex or acrylic paints are best for most surfaces, but if youre painting over fabric, youll want to use fabric-specific paint. These paints adhere well to the material and resist fading and staining.
Once youve chosen the right paint, its time to start. Begin by painting the edges of the fabric ceiling with a brush or roller. Then, working in small sections, paint the rest of the roof with a roller. Make sure to paint in the same direction as the fabrics grain to avoid leaving brush strokes. Once the first coat of paint is dry, apply a second coat if necessary. Once the second coat is dry, youre done! Your newly painted fabric ceiling will add a touch of style to your RV.
Types Of Rubber Roofs
Rubber RV roofs have become increasingly popular.
These types of roofs are relatively light-weight and they age very well. Theyre also easy to apply to existing roof structures so many people will apply them right over top of their existing leaky roof.
There are three main types of rubber roofs that people like to use on their RVs.
The first is usually just a quick fix that comes in the form of Flex Seal. This product can be sprayed on like spray paint and Ive read many mixed reviews on the product.
This being said, there are more advanced liquid rubber roof products that you can buy to apply to your roof.
You May Like: How To Install Roof Ridge Vent
Recoat The Roof Surface
At some point during your RVs life, you will probably need to recoat the roof. This is a protective layer that covers the roofing material almost like paint.
Over time, the coating becomes chalky and may wear off. Although this is normal, its a clear sign that its time to recoat the roof.
The coating is important because it helps to increase the waterproof and weatherproof capability of the whole roof.
Be sure to keep in mind that you might need a specific type of coating depending on the type of roof material you have.
One method of recoating is an RV liquid roof, which is an EPDM coating that you paint onto the roof of your camper.
The liquid roof costs almost $90 per gallon, which covers about 42 square feet. For our 30-foot by 8 ½ foot camper example, wed need about six gallons to cover the roof.
You can save if you buy the material in larger quantities, such as four or five-gallon pails.
Once dry, the liquid roof barrier protects it from UV rays from the sun and also adds weatherproofing to block moisture and slow wear-and-tear from the elements.
Dont Miss: How Often Should A Roof Be Replaced
Restoring Rv Water Damage
There are various ways to prevent your RV from water damage. Constantly expecting your vehicle for leaks and faulty seals regularly, for instance, can already save you a great deal of inconvenience.
If water damage does happen, though, then know that there are ways in order to restore your RV to its former glory.Inspect for damaged parts to identify the source of the issue. Remove severely damaged parts. Clean off the moldy residue. And of course, replace the damaged parts with new ones. We wish you safe travels!
You May Like: What Is The Best Roofing Underlayment
Find The Source Of The Leak
The first thing youll want to do is locate the source of the leak. Depending on the leaks location, your solution may be different. Most leaks are on the roof, so start there.
To locate a leak on your RVs roof, grab a ladder. Some RVs are built to withstand your weight on top. These typically come with a ladder attached to the back or side to allow you to climb up. Some RVs, however, are not made to sustain much weight. If in doubt, refer to your manual. If your RVs roof is too weak, grab a safety ladder and climb up next to your RV.
Once you have a clear visual of the roof, inspect it for noticeable cracks or holes. If youre having a hard time, pay close attention to the areas around HVAC units or other roof-mounted accessories. The seals around these mounts tend to dry out and crack causing leaks into the RVs interior.
Another way to isolate your leak is to go inside the RV and look for any water damage or dark spots. Some leaks start inside the walls and drip down. So pay attention to the ceiling, walls, and floors.
Note: be proactive and inspect your RV for noticeable leaks or cracks at least twice a year. Once at the start of the season, and again when the season is over. This routine inspection can help you identify problems before they become unmanageable.
How To Deal With Rv Water Damage
Posted on August 29, 2020
One of the most significant kinds of damage that any recreational vehicle can suffer is water damage. Staining and discoloration are two major signs of water damage. Luckily, fixing the issue isnt as involved as you think. We have researched the steps you can follow to fix the water damage and prevent further problems such as the growth of toxic black mold.
Once youve identified the magnitude of the water damage, deal with the problem using the following simple steps:
These are pretty straightforward steps to follow. If you still need a little more explanation on each point, dont worry we got you covered. Besides expounding on the points above, well also elaborate on other topic-related issues we know youll find super useful. Lets start with the basics, shall we?
Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!
You May Like: How Much Plywood Do I Need For My Roof