How To Reseal My RV Roof?
You’re probably not the only one that has asked the question of “How do I reseal my RV roof?” or maybe, “How often do I need to reseal my RV roof?” The reason I wanted to do this blog is because I’ve searched the web quite a bit and there isn’t a whole lot of information on the topic.
After all the searching I finally had to attend an RV Training Center half way across the country. not ideal, but it needed to be done! My aim is that this blog will give you the information you need to start fixing your leaky roof and seals.
How Often do I Need to Reseal my RV Roof?
First off, let me answer the popular question of “How often do I need to reseal my RV roof?” It’s case by case, roof by roof, of course, but the recommendation is to reseal your roof each and every year. Every 10 years it is recommended to replace the entire roof. Failure to do so will cause leaks. Have you ever had your ceiling leaking so much that you can take a shower inside every time it rains outside? We want to avoid that.
Leaking will ruin your wallpaper, ruin the walls, and spawn mold! If you’re buying a used RV, there’s a very high chance that the previous owner either did no work to repair, reseal, or replace the roof. The reason being that they probably didn’t know they needed to. Setting aside used RVs, even if you have a brand new RV it is still recommended to check it every year.
The Right Tools for the Right Job
As we all know it is very important to use the right kind of tools for any job. That said, first you will need a tool to remove the old sealant from the roof. I like to use a Gasket Scraper, which scrapes off the old sealant. You could also use a putty knife, which does the same thing. With either you will need to be careful of the edges catching the rubber roof because it can rip it. Some like to round off the edges of the putty knife to prevent your tool from catching on the sides of the roof.
Second, you will need the proper sealant. For roofs you will only want to use lap sealant self-leveling 501LSW. There are a couple manufactures that make this product. I usually use Dicor Products. You do not want to use silicone caulk or tars. The reason you do not want to use other sealants is because they become very hard to remove in the future and they also don’t have the self-leveling feature.
Third, you will need a good caulk gun. You can get one at Walmart or any hardware store. One thing that I prefer to have on a caulk gun is the Puncture tool. The Puncture tool punctures the seal of the caulk, allowing the caulk to come out of the bottle. Not a must, but definitely nice.
Lastly, if you have some tears or big rips in your roof you will need some roof patch. I use Eternabond, I’ve never strayed from using this product, so I wouldn’t be able to say how well the others work. I’ve never had to use another product because this one has always worked so well for me. However, there are a lot of different roof patches that you could choose from.
Use Your Scraper to Remove the Old Sealant
It will take a few hours to remove all of it from your roof. Remove as much as you can. Truthfully, it is nearly impossible to remove every bit of it. By removing all that you can, no matter how hard it may be, it will make it easier to apply the new sealant. So, whether you have the Gasket Scraper, a putty knife or something else, be careful. You don’t want to scrape up your trailer.
Apply a thumb sized bead of sealant evenly over all the areas you removed the old sealant. It will not hurt anything if you put a bit more sealant than you need. Most important is that you cover every edge well. We do not want you leaking anywhere! No indoor showers in the kitchen or bedroom!
If you have any tears or rips on your roof, you will need to use the roof tape to repair it. Cut off a section of the tape that will overlap the tear about an inch. Clean and dry the area before applying the tape to give it a good surface to stick to. I like to add a small bead of sealant around the edges of the tape after.
Hopefully this will help get you on your way to resealing your roof on your own. It is a very laborious work. It sounds easier than it really is as well. Good luck with your future roof jobs!
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