What Is An Rv Roof Sealant And Why Do I Need It
Whichever roofing material you have on your RV, youll also need to apply a roof sealant every time you repair or replace your roof. Water damage is the most common source of roof damage on RVs, which is why you should regularly apply sealant even if you are not repairing or replacing your RV roof! RV owners are advised to apply roof sealant at least once a year, but if you regularly use your RV, you should apply it every six months.
One of the most popular brands of roof sealant is Dicor, and it is suited for both types of rubber, fiberglass, and aluminum. It comes in a tube for easy application, and it is priced at only $10 per tube. However, check your users manual before using Dicor or any roof sealant brand to make sure that the sealant is compatible to your RV roof.
Removing Vent Cover For Rv Refrigerator
My final goal of the day was to get the refrigerator vent cover off. I noticed RV sealant blobs at four points on the cover so assumed there must be screws under them. I pried them up and found Phillips screw heads .
I also noticed that there was a coat of RV roof coating over the vent cap. These coatings are painted on with a brush so clearly whoever did this coating just blobbed in on top of everything. I peeled most of it off, unscrewed the cover screws, and lifted off the cover.
Once the cap is off its more of the same. Cutting away more rubber and scraping off RV roof sealant and old caulk. Get comfortable because this sucker has 32 screws in it! Ugh.
Nearly every screw was in good enough condition to remove with a socket driver, but a couple were too rusty and needed to be twisted out with vice grip pliers. Then I pried off the vent, and it came off clean. I peeled off the remaining rubber roof from under the flange and then scraped off the old putty beneath. Ill clean it better if and when I decide to reuse it. Seems like its in decent shape so I probably will.
I scraped the framing inside the opening and discovered that the framing around the refrigerator vent is made of wood Then I covered it up with a scrap of wood so I wouldnt drop any junk into the fins on the back of the fridge!
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Repair Rv Roof Damage Asap
As soon as you notice leaks or other damage in the roof or its fixtures, repair them.
Its better to spend a few hundred dollars on a repair job now, than to have to pay nearly $10,000 to replace the whole roof.
Additionally, damage thats allowed to sit unaddressed can get worse, and lead to more issues or more extensive and expensive repairs.
The same goes for your rooftop systems, like the air conditioning unit. If it stops working, moisture can build up in the system and may strain the seal between the unit and the roof, or cause mold and mildew to develop.
How To Install The Epdm Roof
You are now prepped and ready for installation. Start by laying out the entire sheet of EPDM on the roof of your camper. This helps get everything lined up and helps relax the material.
Once it is laid into position, you need to decide how much of it you want to glue down at one time. Some folks do half a time and some do much less. I chose to break it up into smaller sections and it seemed to work pretty well for me.
Once you decide how much you want to glue down at once, its time to fold back a portion of roofing material. Once it is peeled back, you are ready to apply the acrylic adhesive. My kit came with RecPro RP-8010 acrylic water-based adhesive.
After thorough mixing, pour the adhesive onto the decking and use the roller to apply the adhesive. I used a paint roller with an extension fitted with a 1/4 nap roller head to apply an even coat of adhesive. Allow the adhesive to sit for a bit before positioning the EPDM material back into place.
Slowly work the EPDM material into position to minimize air pockets and wrinkles. Continue repeating this process as you work your way across the RV roof.
If you discover air pockets that need to be addressed, now is the time to fix them. The glue allows you a little time to reposition the material if needed, so be sure to take advantage of it. Any small air pockets can be addressed with a squeegee or shop broom. This also allows the roofing material, decking, and adhesive to form a nice smooth bond.
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Rubber And Fiberglass Roof Repair
Although most rubber roofs are guaranteed for 10-12 years and can easily last for 20 when well cared for, a snagged tree branch can tear the roofing membrane. Likewise, fiberglass roofs sometimes develop hairline cracks. The roof-to-wall and roof-to-cap transition joints are also susceptible to separation, and problems can crop up around roof vents, TV antennas and other accessories mounted to the RVs roof.
There are two products that make repairs to both rubber and fiberglass roofs a snap. EternaBond comes on a roll, like tape, and is easy to install. Clean the area thoroughly, roughing it up with a Scotch-Brite pad and clean the area with water. Then cut the tape to allow a 2-inch margin around the tear, press it into place, and use a small wallpaper-type roller to ensure the tape is affixed smoothly without any bubbles.
EternaBond tape can be purchased in many lengths, from 4 feet to 50 feet, for small tears to major roof/wall separations that run the full length of the RV. The tape shelf life, before application, is five years, so if you keep some on hand for emergencies, make a note of when you bought it.
If you need to replace the caulking around the vents and other accessories, use Dicor EPDM Lap Sealant. Simply clean the area of all dirt, particles and grease. Let it dry and then run a bead along the damaged area using a caulking gun. The sealant will flow and spread out. If it is cold, warm up the sealant before applying it so it can flow well.
Rv Roofs Arent All The Same
RV roofs come in an assortment of materials, and each must be attended to in a different way.
Does this make life difficult if youre worried youll apply the wrong material? Not if you follow the information described in this guide.
A good rule of thumb is that if the product is designed to be used on your sticks-and-bricks home, you probably shouldnt be using it on your RV.
So before you buy a 5-gallon bucket of a tar-based, silver-colored roof coating, bewareits a huge mistake that will most likely reduce the resale value of your RV.
RV roof maintenance will ensure you wont end up with a wavy roof like this. Photo via iRV2.com
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What Is The Best Sealer For Camper Roof
Best Overall: Dicor 95D40-35 Epdm Rubber Roof coating. Best For Metal or Fiberglass Roof: Dicor RP-MRC-1 Elastomeric Coating. Best For Spot Sealing: Hengs Rubber Roof coating for rV. Best For Leak Repair and Seam Sealing: EternaBond RSW white RoofSeal Sealant Tape. Best Budget-Friendly: Geocel GC24201 Pro Flex rV coating.
Rvnets Open Roads Forum
On RV.nets Open Roads we found some quotes for different length roofs.
A roof for our 33 foot RV after a ice storm it was about 7 grand.
33 motorhome 3 years ago insurance paid $6,000 for roof replacement
I know a guy that got an estimate of $8k to RV armor roof his 42 fifth wheel.
due to a tree limb. 28 TT with one air conditioner, one bath fan, two plumbing vents and the TV antenna $5,200.
In comparison, RV.Net Open Roads forum has a thread for newbies. Where someone posted a question about the cost of RV roof replacement, click here to see the full thread.
$7200 which included new fans, covers, new refrigerator vent, & skylight. They remove every thing from the roof & spray. No seams & they overlap the front cap to seal that seam.
I had my failed rubber roof replaced with RV Flex Armor 4 1/2 years ago. My rubber roof membrane was failing at 4 1/2 years old.
I will put Flex Armor on my next RV before I move into it. I wont trust another rubber roof for one day even if brand new.
Similarly, Bowsite.com has a thread asking about the cost of replacing an RV roof.
35 foot aspen trail travel trailer..6000.00
Somewhere in the $5000-$7000 range is realistic dependent on what may be damaged underneath of the rubber roof.
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How Much Does It Cost To Fix An Rv Roof Leak
One of the first questions people have about their leaky motorhome and travel trailer roof is how much it will cost to repair or replace. Camper roof replacements typically cost between $300 and $325 per linear foot. For example, if your RV is 30 feet long, it would cost between $9,000 and $9,750 to replace its roof.
How Important Is Roofing Membrane
If you recall from our post on the different types of RV roofs, the roofing membrane is the final fail-safe on your RV roof. From top to bottom, you have the roof cover layer, the roof decking layer, and then the roof membrane.
The membrane is a final seal to keep water out of your RV, regardless of whether you decide to repair, or replace it yourself, or ask a professional to do it for you. Be sure to request a membrane layer on your new RV roof.
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Purchase The Correct Camper Vent Cover Replacement
Breaking your bank is not necessary just to obtain a replacement RV vent cover or any other replacement parts. There are a variety of choices available in the market. All you have to do is to evaluate your options.
See to it that the travel trailer vent cover replacement you are going to buy will fit the old vent opening and match the type and model of hinges needed. If you are still doubtful, it will not hurt to bring the damaged one to the shop. It is always best to be specific than regret purchasing the wrong product.
Roof Repair : Sealing An Rv Roof
First is to clean the roof thoroughly, making sure you remove every dirt particle. Ensure the roof is completely dry and then scrub any old debris.
When cleaning the RV or motorhome roof, be careful to avoid creating holes on the roof.
Find out the best sealant for the type of roof you have. Use a soft cloth to apply the sealant, ensuring even distribution of the product. When you do it well, it will give you a new look at your RV.
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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:
How Much Does Replacing An Rv Roof Cost
- Post last modified:August 20, 2020
We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Do you want to know how much it costs to replace a roof on an RV? Doing research ahead of time will help you prepare. Luckily for you, we have already done the research. Below we listed what we found about the cost of replacing an RV roof.
The cost of replacing an RV roof will be around $300-$325 per linear foot. If your RV is 36 feet long, it would cost between $7,000 and $12,000 to replace the roof of your RV.
As we told you in our article on RV roofing types, there are several types of RV roofing materials. Click here to read the article. Because of those differences, your price estimate will vary depending on the type of roof you choose to replace the old roof.
Still not convinced? Let us explain further.
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Remove The Existing Rv Rubber Roof
Next, you need to remove the existing RV roof material. You may also need to remove a plywood sublayer.
For a rubber roof, you should be able to use a putty knife to scrape off the worn rubber material in sections.
If you need to replace part or all of the plywood on your RV roof, be sure to use care. You dont want to damage the subsequent layers of your RVs roof including the framing, insulation, and bottom plywood layer on the inside. You may need to use a putty knife and scrap away sections of the wood it will be glued to the Styrofoam insulation.
Carefully check for any signs of water damage at this stage. If there were leaks from the roof into your RV walls, you will want to address any damage or mold that might be hidden.
Diagram of RV roof layers from C.L.S. Allinone
Rv Roof Vents How To Install A Roof Vent
Vents are a necessary component of any enclosed trailer or RV, they allow the flow of fresh air and can help to eliminate odors. Your roof vents can break down overtime causing leaks, cracks, or they can stop moving air as well as it should be. The good news is that this is a simple project that you can tackle on your own when it is time to replace your roof vent or install a new vent, this is a DIY project that you can do.
The first thing you need to do is measure your vent opening, not the cover, but the whole opening, the standard vent opening is 14 ¼ x 14 ¼, however you should always verify the measurements just to make sure that the opening is the correct fit for the vent, just in case your roof vent goes against the norm. To help you in your measuring efforts, you can remove the garnish from your vent to measure the opening from the inside.
What Type Of Products To Use To Seal Rv Roof
Each RV roof seal will need a different outcome depending on the material used.
It is essential to make sure you consult with the dealer for the best product for your RV roof. Factors to consider are flexibility, durability, and suitability on the type of roof that you have.
There are multiple RV roof caulking products that one can use. Many of this can be bought in as less as $10 or so. Some of the popular oneâs out there include below:
- Dicor Sealant
- EternaBond roof sealant
- ToughGrade Rv Sealant
Most of these are easy to apply and are also compatible to roof materials on RV. They are also self leveling and lasts long.
Before you select any of this RV caulk, be sure to check what your RV manufacturers manual recommends.
It can make a difference.
Not all RV caulks are same and are also not recommended for all roof materials.
Prepare Your Rv Roof For Repair Or Replacement
The first step to any RV roof job is to clean the existing roof or repair area well. In order for the adhesive or catalyst material to bond with the roof material, all traces of oil, grease, grime, oxidation and silicone sealants must be removed.
If its just a small repair, feel free to use a rag and a solvent to scrub the area clean.
For larger repairs and full roof resealing jobs or replacements, it might be more effective to first power-wash, then scrub where necessary until the roof is completely clean.
With EPDM roofing, you will need to cut away any residual silicone caulking and remove any surface wax with a removing agent designed for this purpose.
Once the roof is dry after cleaning, you will likely need to apply an EPDM primer.
Even if you did a fantastic job cleaning the roof, its likely to still be dirty or stained in some areas, so using a EPDM primer will prepare the surface for a better bond between the roof and the tape.
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How To Repair Fiberglass Rv Roof
Some RVs come with fiberglass roofs. The way youll approach these repairs are slightly different than those of rubber roofs, especially when it comes to the supplies that you need.
Resealing fiberglass roofs
Similar to rubber roofs, the top coating on fiberglass roofs can oxidize over time, causing a flaky, chalky look. Before cleaning, scrape off any loose, curled pieces of the coating off. After that, rub fine to medium-grit sandpaper over the surface of the roof. A slightly abraded surface will allow the coating to adhere. Rinse again, and then apply the liquid sealant to the roof with a paintbrush or roller.
For sealing seams, apply a self-leveling sealant designed for fiberglass around joints as you would with a rubber roof.
Patching a hole or tear
In an emergency, you can fix a hole or tear in a fiberglass roof with a quick fiberglass repair patch. For a more permanent, sturdy fix, a little more work is needed.
Youll first need to sand down the damaged area until the damaged or frayed material is smooth. Make sure to wear the appropriate safety mask, goggles, and gloves, as fiberglass can irritate the lungs, eyes, and skin. Once the area is smooth and clean, youll apply fiberglass patches and resin, layer by layer, according to the repair kit instructions.
Finish the job with some sealant, and refinish the area as needed.