An RV is a major investment so, it only makes sense to take care of it. One area out of sight but that should not be out of mind is your RV roof. In this blog, we’ll include some details on inspecting, cleaning and maintaining your RV roof and some of the components you’ll see topside.
Before you undertaking this task, please understand getting onto the roof of an RV is not for everybody. If you can’t safely get onto your RV’s roof ask someone else to do this task for you. Every RV roof will need inspection and basic maintenance regularly. The amount of cleaning and inspection will depend on where you park your rig. For example, if your RV is parked under trees, exposed to freezing temperatures, high heat or direct sunlight, you’ll need to pay closer attention.
Inspect, Clean and Maintain Your Roof
SAFETY FIRST!!! Anytime you get on your RV roof, make certain that someone is around in case of emergency. Having a spotter is a good idea.
Once you climb the ladder, conduct an overall visual survey of the roof area to determine where you will step. Ensure you don’t step to close to the roof’s edge, onto sky lights or vent covers. They are plastic and not meant to support any weight. Also, avoid stepping on or leaning on solar panels or grabbing onto antennae or pipes.
What to Inspect
The roof should be free of debris and have no rubbings, cracks, tears or holes. Also, inspect the vent covers, skylights and roof air conditioners for cracks, chips and peeling. Inspect all Dicor Self-Leveling Sealant around the vents, skylights and rooftop components to ensure it is still pliable and in good condition. If the Dicor Roof Sealant is dried out, cracked, torn, peeling or missing, you’ll need to replace it to preserve the water tight integrity of your roof.
Cleaning your RV roof is typically a two-person chore. Get someone to assist you by handing the water hose, cleaning solution and cleaning tools to you. Transporting a 5-gallon capacity bucket, long-handle brush and specific rubber roof cleaning solution can be done by using a rope and bucket. Be careful not to damage or scratch the side of your RV while hoisting them. Hoist your Zero-G Lightweight kink-free hose to the roof top area with the same rope. Ensure you secure the hose to a roof top fixture with a bungee cord to keep it from slipping off the roof. It will also prevent you from struggling to hold it in place while you clean.
Carefully follow the direction of the cleaning product you have chosen to clean the rubber roof. Be conscious that the cleaning solution will be running down the sides of your RV. So, ensure you rinse the roof and sides of the RV thoroughly with plenty of water to prevent wax removal and streaking on the sides of the unit.
RV Maintenance Tip: Always make sure your cleaning solution is compatible with the rubber seals and gaskets of your RV.
Work in one small area at a time to ensure the cleaning solution does not dry onto the roof of the RV. Be very careful as you step because the cleaning solution combined with the water can make the rooftop very slippery. Avoid stepping close to the rooftop edges as you move around the RV.
Don’t forget to scrub the rooftops of all slideout tops as well as the main rooftop. Take care when rinsing the slide top areas so you don’t force excess water into the seal areas. If you have slide-toppers, its a good idea to clean and inspect those too. As well, inspect the slideout rooftops. You may have to get on your hands and knees to inspect them closely. When cleaning is complete, visually survey the entire roof top area one last time before you lower your cleaning supplies to the ground.
If you notice after cleaning any rubbings, cuts or tears in your RV roof rubber membrane, allow to dry and then piece on some white Eternabond roof tape over the blemishes. This preventative measure will help alleviate potential leaks or further damage.
RV Maintenance Tip: Knowing your RV Roof material will dictate what caulking product to use. Its always a good idea to have a Roof Repair Kit that includes a roll of white Eternabond roof tape. For a rubber membrane roof, you’ll want to use this roof sealant. If you’re RV has a fiberglass roof, you’ll need this formulated silicone caulk. Don’t forget, both will need a caulk gun.
Finally, inspecting and caring for your RV’s roof on a regular basis will help to eliminate the possiblity of serious leaks and failures. We may be a little overzealous with inspecting ours every month or so. It will assist in prolonging the life of your Rv and will enhance your RV adventures and enjoyment.
Since you’re up on your roof, read about our solar panels…