The most common complaint you will hear from RVers about their motorhome is a leaking roof. A leaking roof is a silent destroyer that can go unnoticed if you don’t pay attention to your RV roof. Your RV roof keeps your items safe from getting rained on. Most motorhomes suffered from a leaky roof that causes headaches to regular RVers. But you can prevent all this from happening if you know how to fix your RV’s roof.
Yes, you can fix your RV roof if you know how to inspect and what causes such an RV roof leak. No matter what type of RV roof you have, prevention is the best plan you can apply for roof protection.
When the RV is not in use, prevention can be accomplished by having a good RV cover. Check out the guys over at HEXautoparts to get a good deal out of your RV covers and more.
In this article, we’ll discuss the two most common types of RV roof; the EPDM Rubber roof and the TPO roof and how to fix a roof leak.
Inspection For RV Roof Leaks
You should do a roof inspection on the inside and outside of your RV. It’s 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.
It’s 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 you’re taking an extended vacation, you should inspect your RV roof at lease more often.
The first place to inspect your RV roof for leaks is to go from inside. Check the RV’s ceiling, and if you notice new or old water stains, then you know there’s a leak close to that stains.
However, some leaks will not show up on the ceiling because there are leaks caused by pipes and drains, so you should check your interior walls. You can identify these leaks by having a soft floor or stains on your RV walls. Now you have a better idea of where the hole is before going up for the roof.
You can use a ladder to head up to your RV roof, but keep in mind if the roof can support your weight. When you’re already on the top, you should look for signs of cracking, soft spots or depressions around the roof. Pay attention to areas near the HVAC systems and vents because these portions are prone to leaking. As time passes, the sealants around these areas tend to dry out and chip.
Be sure not to step of soft spots on the roof as this area has taken much water and is not safe anymore to stand on it.
Types Of RV Roofs
There is four primary RV roofing material used on an RV, the EPDM RV roof, the TPO roof, Fiberglass, and the Aluminum Roof. It’s essential to understand the different types of RV roofing because each type needs maintenance and care accordingly.
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EPDM RV Roof
EPDM RV roof is an easy to install rubber roofing that is synthetic and least expensive compared to other roofing types. One advantage of EPDM roofs are, it is durable and lightweight. It also fits well and minimizes the overall weight of an RV. The EPDM roofs are scratch-resistant and don’t chip off or dent easily. Only small repairs are needed for EPDM roofs like applying liquid roof sealant, adhesives or latex tapes.
TPO Rubber Roof
TPO Rubber roof is a single-ply synthetic rubber roof that is used to cover flat roofs. It is widely used in most roofing projects or products because it’s a low price. The advantage of TPO roofing is its white color that reflects and stops heat build-up inside the RV. You can attach this type of roofing by using adhesive or fastening TPO roof directly to the deck. Additionally, the TPO roof resists corrosion and mildew growth over a long time.
How To Fix The RV Roof
It’s imperative to always check your RV roof for holes and leaks, as when the rainy days, your RV is well prepared. And in this section, we’ll discuss how to fix the RV roof so that you can prevent any further damage to your RV.
EPDM Rubber roof
EPDM roofs usually last for ten years and are almost maintenance-free. You don’t have to do anything or apply UV protectant to the surface of the roof routinely. The structure of an EPDM rubber roof is thick, that it provides a leakproof roof.
However, as time passes, the surface of the EPDM develops a chalky look around it. EPDM residue will streak down to the side of your rig as the rain washes it off. At a certain point, the layer that protects the rubber roof starts to degrade, and it’s now beginning to deteriorate, which makes it prone to leaks.
When a leak starts to build up from your roof, you need to caulk first your roof and then apply a sealant to cover the area. Follow the ‘Inspection for RV roof leaks’ section we mentioned to address the problem to your RV roof. You can use high-rated EPDM coating products to cover and seal the hole on your roof.
If a leak starts to drip from the rubber roof inside to your RV, you can quickly fix the problem by using a sealant to coat the roof. Again, follow the instructions we mentioned in the ‘Inspection for RV roof leaks’ section to determine which area leaks.
You can also use a special sealant to cover and seal TPO roof leaks. TPO roof allows you to use heated glue to adhere to the rubber roof to the roof down to the seams m, which will harden as it cools. This method will create a tight seal that is unlikely to pass a leak from your roof. TPO roofing can be painted to strengthen the layer of your rubber roof.
What Causes For RV Roof To Leak
Now that we’ve discussed how to fix the RV roof, we also need to know in the first place how they get started. Is the recreational vehicle’s 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.
There are several reasons for an RV roof leak and different ways to resolve the problem. Before making any repairs, you need to identify your RV roof. In that order, you will know how to fix the RV roof and repair them easily and quickly. Remember that your RV can last for decades if you know how to maintain and take care of your RV. Get more tips on RV repair.