Easy RV Roof Repair and Restoration with Bed Liner
Ask anyone with an RV camper and they will likely tell you that the roofs can be troublesome. Not only are they susceptible to leaking, but it often seems nearly impossible to get a grip on it. Thankfully, with the right sealant, it’s possible to perform easy RV roof repair and restoration without any experience. Stay tuned to find out how Durabak's RV roof coating can meet your RV roof needs with ease.
Why Do RV Roofs Leak?
There are several reasons you encounter leaks to your RV roof. Here are some of the most common culprits.
- Worn out caulk – on the roof of your RV, you have many skylights, vents and other elements that cut into the ceiling. Everywhere this occurs, it’s vital to have a watertight seal. This is done with the help of caulk, but over time, the caulk inevitably dries out. As it dries, it also shrinks away from the seams. Once this happens, it starts to crumble and your roof begins leaking.
- Roof racks – while the roof rack is a handy piece of equipment, it also leaves your RV vulnerable to leakage. You will notice water coming in where the screws are located if this is the culprit.
- Ladder mounts – in the same way the roof rack leads to leaking, you will find the same occurrence with ladders. They are necessary for gaining easy access to the roof, but the mount points leave your RV open to water exposure.
- Damage – if you encounter a falling tree branch or suffer hail damage, it’s likely that the roof has been compromised. Anything that has any amount of weight can hurt the RV roof and lead to water infiltration.
- Age – just as our body ages and deteriorates over time, so will the roof or an RV. As the roof becomes older, the materials start to weaken. Freezing temperatures, sunlight and excessive precipitation only make matters worse.
What is the RV Roof Made of?
If you want to maintain and repair your RV roof, it’s vital to know what it’s made of. There are three common materials you will find on the roof of an RV.
- Rubber – this is one of the most common materials. It is available in two different formats: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and TPO (Thermal Polyolefin).
- Fiberglass – this is hard to the touch, costs more than a rubber roof and adds extra weight as well. They do require less maintenance than a rubber roof.
- Aluminum – rarest of the three materials, it requires minimal maintenance but adds substantial weight.
RV Roof Leak Inspection
Prior to starting any easy RV roof repair, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect your rig to see what kind of damage you are looking at. Here are some tips that will steer you in the right direction.
- Inspect all the body and roof seams carefully.
- Keep your eyes open for discoloration or soft spots. Check the roof vents, ceilings, plumbing vents and any other areas where there are openings in the roof.
- Watch for wrinkles or discoloration to the wallpaper. You can feel the soft spots in these areas as well.
- Find your furnace, water heater, portable water fill, outside shower, or any other location where water is involved. Match up their position inside and check the walls surrounding those items for leakage.
- Open the overhead cabinets and inspect where the walls meet the ceiling for any signs of water leaks.
- Inspect your outside storage compartments for water damage.
- Some Class C motorhomes suffer from leaks in the bed area over the cab. Make sure you inspect under the mattress.
- Watch for delaminating. This is caused when water gets between the sidewall and fiberglass. You will notice that the fiberglass begins to separate from the sidewall.
How Much Does RV Roof Replacement Cost?
If you find yourself in need of a new RV roof, you are looking at a substantial amount of money. Estimates range above $10,000 to have a 40’ RV roof replaced, and that’s on the conservative side. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Winnebago, Holiday Rambler, Keystone, Coachman, Fleetwood or Jayco, you have a massive bill on your hands if you need to replace the roof.
That’s why it’s imperative that you maintain and care for the roof of your RV regularly. Preventative measures always bring more benefits that you could imagine. Compare it to brushing your teeth; keeping your mouth in tip-top shape costs you less than having cavities filled. Your roof deserves preventative maintenance and protection to avoid costly repair bills in the future.
DIY RV Roof Repair
If you’ve neglected your RV roof, you might have no choice but to repair it yourself. If you find yourself in this predicament with your Gulf Stream, Coleman, Lazy Daze, Thor or other motorhome, simply follow these steps.
- Clean the roof. You can’t allow any dust or dirt to remain.
- If there is existing sealant on the roof, then you need to remove it with a knife. Make sure you take a clean cloth to the surface for a complete clean. Make sure your roof is dry before proceeding.
- If the leak is small, you can use a sealant. Make sure you wear gloves and liberally apply sealant to the leak area. Brush it to make sure you cover the entire area.
- If you have a large hole that can’t be repaired with sealant, you will need to take more drastic measures. Sometimes, you can get away with using fiberglass repair tape for RVs. Just spread the sealant over the hole first, then cover it with the tape. When you are finished with that, you will need to apply a little more sealant and allow it to dry.
- There are times when caulking is required. If the leak occurs at a joint, this is typically a good way to repair it. Apply the caulk liberally and allow it to dry.
- Once you’ve finished repairing the RV roof leak, it’s time to coat and protect it. Not only will this provide a uniform appearance, but it also protects your roof from further leaks.
Sealing an RV Roof
When it comes time to coat and seal your RV roof, many people turn to paint to give the rooftop nice curb appeal. This works fine if all you want to do is cover up the nasty scars from your repair, but it won’t do anything to protect the roof from further damage.
You want to think about more than just the aesthetics of your RV roof. It’s also vital that you protect it from the weather, prevent rust damage and make sure your repairs last a lifetime.
That’s why choosing the right coating is so essential. When you plan to tackle easy RV roof repair, it doesn’t get any simpler than using Durabak.
Not only can you brush it on, roll it and spray it, but it applies to a multitude of surfaces with ease. It’s suitable for use in any weather condition and climate. Durabak won’t fade in the sun, is waterproof and salt-resistant as well. This is great if you plan to camp near the ocean regularly. The non-slip properties of Durabak also help you when you want to climb up on the roof for regular inspections.
Durabak comes in over 18 colors choices, so you can completely customize your look however you desire. Furthermore, the U.S. Navy trusts our product, so you know it’s good enough to go on your motorhome roof.
We Are Here To Help
Not only do you want to find an easy RV roof repair solution, but you want it to be the best. With Durabak, your investment remains protected. This allows you to continue enjoying family vacations and adventures without worrying about water damage.
If you want some guidance on how to protect your RV, or you want to discuss the best option for your camper, we are ready to help you. Give us a call at 303-690-7190 to discuss your next project.