How To Fix Rv Roof Leaks
|Even the most durable built RV roof will wear out and eventually leak, but the good news is that most of the RV roof repairs are DIY meaning you can work on the repairs on your own if you have the right materials like RV Roof Magic. To stave off the long term damage of a leaking roof, you need to use RV Roof Magic.|
Does Camper Insurance Cover Leaks
Full coverage camper insurance will cover leaks.
However, they usually will not cover leaks if youve caused them. Meaning, if you leave a skylight open and water damage occurs you may not be covered.
If you tend to be forgetful, you may want to buy a skylight that automatically closes when exposed to water.
You can read more here about what a typical RV insurance cover.
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.
Don’t Miss: How Often Should A Roof Be Replaced
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:
How To Use Flex Seal
A leak in any of these RV roof materials can be repaired using Flex Seal. Again, the important thing while on the road is to stop the leak and prevent further water damage. Flex Seal is an excellent product for that purpose. Once you have completed your trip and you are in a position to schedule and complete a more permanent repair, you should go ahead and do so. Flex Seal is an excellent temporary fix for your water leak, but it is not a permanent repair.
Also Check: Rv Vinyl Roof Repair
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.
Inspection For Rv Roof Leaks
You should do a roof inspection on the inside and outside of your RV. Its a standard procedure to take before moving forward and fixing your RV roof.
You aim to find and fix a roof leak as early as possible so you can spare your wallet and your RV from expensive damages.
Its best to inspect your RV roof regularly to keep it in good condition. You can do a full inspection of your roof at the beginning and the end of the camping season. If youre taking an extended vacation, you should inspect your RV roof at lease more often.
Also Check: Travel Trailer Roof Repair Kits
Examine Your Rv Roof For Leaks
When it comes to RV maintenance and repairs, the roof should always be inspected carefully and regularly. As you inspect your roof, I recommend looking for any areas with cracks, thinning, or worn spots. Also, be sure to check the condition of any sealants or caulk on the roof and around any vents, doors, skylights, roof seams and moldings.
Four Types Of Flex Seal And How To Use Them On An Rv Roof
Flex Seal comes in three forms: Flex Seal Liquid, Flex Seal Spray, and Flex Seal Shot. Flex Seal Liquid and Spray both come in black, white and clear. Flex Shot comes in white and clear. The great thing is that you can use Flex Seal with many all RV roof materials.
Flex Seal Liquid
Flex Seal Liquid is liquid rubber in a can and, it will stop leaks fast. Flex Seal will protect your RVs roof surface from corrosion. It also will not melt, peel, or crack because of harsh weather conditions. Being a thick liquid, Flex Seal is incredibly versatile and can be rolled, dipped, brushed, or poured on surfaces. When it cures, you will have a waterproof layer of sturdy, flexible rubber.
Flex Seal Spray
Flex Seal Spray is the most commonly used spray-on liquid rubber sealer available. The convenient aerosol spray allows for the easy application of Flex Seal with no brushes or rollers required. However, be careful with the overspray. It can be a bit messy.
Flex Shot is a perfect solution for those tight, hard-to-reach places. It is ideal for caulking around your windows or air conditioner, etc. Its straightforward to use and will stop flowing the minute you release downward pressure on the bottle.
Flex Seal Tape
Flex Seal Tapecan be applied to the leaking area of a roof before using one of the other flex seal products above. For example, the tape is perfect for a tear in your roof that could be caused by hitting a tree branch.
Recommended Reading: Solar Shingles Cost Per Square Foot
How To Maintain Your Rv Roof
Even if youre repairing or replacing your RV roof yourself, the materials alone are going to cost several hundreds of dollars.
You can maximize the lifespan of your roof and minimize the frequency of re-coating by regularly cleaning it, checking frequently for leaks, repairing damage quickly, and keeping it covered.
Here are some RV roof maintenance tips as well as best practices you can follow for RV Roof Damage Prevention.
What Causes For Rv Roof To Leak
Now that weve discussed how to fix the RV roof, we also need to know in the first place how they get started. Is the recreational vehicles roof that weak? It only takes a couple of years of sun exposure to weakening the RV roof.
Eventually, sunlight will dry the rubber roof and make it brittle the stress of heat and cold expands the roof that causes to displace your RV roof. Over time, you can see the seams and cracks widen, and the water starts to enter the RV roof.
When you travel to colder regions of the US, you will have to deal with freezing and thaw problems caused by the leaking roof. The expansion that comes from freezing water creates a pathway for snow and cold temperature to enter your RV.
You May Like: How Much Do New Shingles Cost
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!
What Is The Best Rv Roof Sealant
The best sealant to use depends on the roof surface and the application. For EPDM, TPO and aluminum roofs, the recommended material is M-1 sealant .
If youre sealing around a roof vent or skylight, industry experts recommend using SB-140 butyl caulking .
For resealing RV windows, the experts again suggest M-1 sealant, but Duralink is also used and has excellent adhesion to glass.
If you are sealing around irregular surfaces, the best sealant to use is WebSeal tape.
It has a unique, woven fabric backing with microsealant composition so that it bonds perfectly on flat surfaces as well as around curves, angles, bolts and pipes.
Its also highly weather resistant, and remains flexible even in climates with temperatures as low as negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
You May Like: Cost To Reroof A House In California
Easy Steps To Fix A Leaking Rv Roof
We will now walk you through the 3 steps of fixing a leaking RV roof.
The first step has a preventive aspect as well. While we inspect the roof for leaks we will locate any existing leaks as well as make sure we stop any future leaks as well.
Lets start by diving into how we inspect the roof on the inside as well as on the outside of the RV.
Two Types Of Rubber Roof
There are two types of rubber RV roofs, the EPDM and the TPO roofs. EPDM and TPO rubber roofs are the most common materials used in motorhomes, travel trailers, and other RV vehicles.
EPDM rubber roofs are designed to oxidize over time. As the oxidization happens in your RVs roof, it only improves its durability against the sunlight. Study shows that only 10% of EPDM roofs overall thickness will deteriorate over 10 to 12 years. However, when the EPDM roofs start to wear off, streaks begin to appear on the side of the RV, which becomes slippery when wet.
On the other hand, the TPO roofs are designed to avoid such oxidization from the RV roof. This type of rubber roof shows no streaks and does not shed any layers.
Regardless of what type of rubber roof your RV has, caution should be exercised when conducting repairs on your RV roof.
Also Check: Hydrostop Cost Per Square Foot
Diy Rv Roof Repair Saves Time And Money
Most people whove been RVing for any amount of time have gotten used to the idea that theyll at least occasionally have to rely upon themselves for maintenance and repairs. Doing it yourself is certainly helpful when traveling through areas where RV services arent readily available.
Water damage, for example, is one of the worst things when it comes to delaying RV maintenance and repair. It happens fast when theres a problem with your roof.
Fixing the leak yourself can prevent or at least minimize water damage. Aside from that, theres a certain satisfaction in doing things yourself. Plus, saving money is certainly a bonus side effect. So, you see, learning these simple RV roof repair hacks can not only save you money but also keep you warm and dry out on the road.
How To Painlessly Prevent Rv Roof Leaks
By: Author Kyle & Olivia Brady
Home » How to Painlessly Prevent RV Roof Leaks
RV roof leaking is an issue no RV owner looks forward to. The leak can often go undetected until its too late to avoid more severe damage.
While some may feel its inevitable, leaks in your RV roof can be avoided with proper maintenance.
Here, well share some helpful tips weve learned in keeping our home on wheels dry. Following these suggestions, the next time youre in a heavy rainstorm, youll be worry-free about it raining inside!
Lets take a look!
Don’t Miss: Shed Eave Overhang
Keep Supplies On Hand
Having the right supplies to address potential leaks or damage to your roof can help prevent leaks. At a minimum, keep caulking and patching tape handy so that you can make necessary repairs yourself.
Most RV owners learn the more they can address simple maintenance issues, the less theyll have to spend on major repairs down the road.
How To Repair Or Replace Your Rv Roof
If you own an older RV of youve owned your camper for awhile, theres a good chance that youll need to replace the roof at least one time during its lifespan.
If you stay on top of repairs and maintenance, and fix any leaks quickly, you can minimize or postpone the need to replace the whole roof.
However, if there are multiple areas where the roof is damaged, or theres a single area with extensive damage that is compromising the rest of the roof, it may be time to replace it.
Don’t Miss: How Many Screws Per Sheet Of Metal Roofing
Eternabond Tape For Gouges And Tears
Eternabond tape is a long-lasting, easy repair for gouges or tears in an RV roof. Eternabond tape is made with resins and rubbers and infused with its own primer. Its easily applied with a small roller that removes any air bubbles and presses the sealant into tears or cracks.
Eternabond is a go-to for RV roof repairs. It lasts for years and can also be painted over. A 4-inch wide, 50-foot roll costs about $50-$60 but is a great investment for quick repairs while on the road.
Should You Call For Professional Help
Some jobs are just too big and too complicated for us to do at home. If you lack the experience or tools to complete a repair job like this, take your RV in to a local repair shop.
Its also a good idea to see if your insurance will cover the cost of repairs as a soft spot on your RV roof can cause major damage. Knowing how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof is a useful skill, but some problems are too big to handle alone.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is A Shingle Roof Per Square Foot
How Do I Know If My Roof Is Leaking
Water wicked into RV roof from cotton backing of vinyl roof.
Another common questions we get at shows and seminars. How can I tell if I have an RV roof leak?
This is a tough question and not always an easy one to answer. The best leak is one that you immediately see water coming in, it usually causes less damage because you know its there and can get it repaired. The downside to this type of leak, it can be tricky to find the leak unless you have an obvious hole.
The best way to know if you have an RV roof leak is to constantly inspect your roof. The most common RV roof leak is actually a seeping leak, you dont usually see signs inside the RV until the wood up top has rotted. Walking on your roof and being familiar with how it feels and normally looks is your best way to find a leak. Pay special attention to around components. The smallest crack in your caulking will let water in and over time, OSB and luans, typical woods used on RVs, start to wrinkly or come apart. Skylights are a high risk for leaks. The plastic is usually cracked around the screws and the cracks start to spread out allowing water intrusion. If you notice you are starting to get condensation between your two skylight layers, there is a high chance you have a leak.
Apply Caulk/sealant To The Leaking Area
Once you have identified the problematic area, you need to decide whether the damage is major or minor. It can be hard to tell without going under the surface, but you can judge based on the size of the soft spot and whether or not you have noticed any issues on the inside of the vehicle.
If the damage is pretty minor, you can fix it by applying caulk or sealant to the weak parts of the roof. Focus on sealing up any cracks where water could get in and cover the entire roof in a layer of sealant. Products like RV Roof Magic are good options to consider.
Read Also: Install Ondura Roof Panels
Thoroughly Dry The Rv
Next, you need to dry out the RV. If you live in a sunny and dry climate, you can open up the doors and windows of your RV and expose it to sunlight. Using a dehumidifier and heaters can also help speed up the process.
Wipe down damp surfaces with clean towels. You can also empty out the water holding tanks just to remove any remaining moisture in the vehicle. Some RV roof leak repair solutions just dont work if the surrounding material is wet, so you need to prepare the surface as well as you can.