It’s an RV owner’s worst nightmare: you’re up on the roof of your vehicle, doing your regular preventative maintenance by cleaning things up, and you stumble across a strange, discolored spot. Leaning down, you probe the spot with your hand – and it gives a little too much. The bad news is you just found a leak. The good news? You can get it patched – and you can even do it yourself.
Cause for Concern
Roof leaks on RVs can cause massive damage if they’re left undetected and untreated for long periods of time. Low-hanging branches can do a number on your roof if you drive under them without realizing, and the sealant around things like windows, vents, or air conditioners tend to be common places for a leak to begin. Water infiltrating under the roof can soak your RV’s insulation, rendering it ineffective and providing a place for mold to grow; if it makes its way down into your vehicle’s subfloor you can end up with the kind of dry rot that could total your RV if left unchecked. That says nothing for the kind of damage water can do to the interior of an RV’s cabin – and that’s why it’s so important to not just check for leaks regularly but to patch any leaks you find as soon as possible.
Liquid Roof Coatings – the Best in the Business
As dangerous as it could be, a roof leak isn’t the end of the world thanks to the industry standard when it comes to patching those leaks. Liquid roof coatings containing a synthetic rubber called EPDM are ideal for keeping the roof of your RV sealed and protected from the elements. EPDM, which is a common roofing material for commercial-grade buildings with flat roofs, is a polymer of ethylene, propylene, and diene, and you can simply paint it onto the roof of your RV where it will dry into a thick, solid rubber layer that prevents water from coming in – and it’s durable enough to last you for years.
Just a Bit of Hard Work
However, you can’t just slap a few coats of EPDM-based liquid roof onto your RV and hope for the best. The material works wonders, but the surface you’re going to be applying it to has to be clean and dry for it to work its particular magic. That means a good, strong power-washing, either by you or someone you pay to do it for you, the removal of any flaking paint or failed old sealant, and re-caulking any gaps larger than one-sixteenth of an inch. Scrubbing off any rust that might have accumulated with a sturdy wire brush isn’t a bad idea either. After that, feel free to apply that liquid roof coating with a paint roller – but don’t cut any corners if you don’t want to have another leak down the road!