Tips for Caring for and Maintaining RV Roof Coatings

RV roof coatings e.g. (Liquid RV Roof) offer many benefits, including cost-effectiveness, durability, weather tightness, and more. However, they can suffer from aging-related issues over time. The answer to these potential problems is to care for and maintain your RV coatings correctly. Not sure how to do that? We’ll walk you through what you should know below.

Visual Inspection

Several times per year, you need to visually inspect roof coatings for signs of damage. This is particularly true for RVs that are stored outside without any protection overhead. What signs should you look for that might indicate there is damage that must be addressed? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Ponding Water: This indicates that there is a low spot in the roof that is allowing water to collect. You will need to address this for the roof’s structural integrity.
  • Swelling: If you see areas of the roof that seem to have swollen, this is a sign that water has penetrated the underlying substrate and caused it to swell up. It may also be a sign that a petroleum distillate was used by a previous owner and has caused damage to the rubber roof.
  • Signs of Water Leaks Inside: If you notice dark stains on the ceiling or walls inside, this is a sure sign that the roof has been damaged in some way and water is leaking through/under the membrane.

Washing and Cleaning

While RV roof coatings are incredibly resistant to weathering and very strong, they do require regular cleaning. Our recommendations are to create a bi-annual cleaning program to help ensure that you’re taking the best care of your roof possible. What do you need to do? It’s not actually all that difficult. Here are the things to know:

  • Pick Up: Before you do anything, pick up any large debris, such as branches and sticks, pinecones, and other items that might scratch or damage the roof.
  • Sweep It: Use a soft bristled brush to sweep the debris, dust, and dirt off your roof.
  • Start at the Right Point: If your roof is flat, you can begin at any point you like. If your roof has peaks, sweep downward from them.
  • Motion: Use a side-to-side motion when sweeping your roof.
  • Check the Gutters: While you’re on the roof, make sure you check and clean your gutters out. Leaves, twigs, pinecones and needles – these are just a few of the things that can build up in your gutters, weighing them down and slowing the movement of water.
  • Water and Soap: Once you’ve swept your roof, you can then prepare to wash it. You’ll need a bucket of warm water and some gentle dish soap. Do not use harsh cleaners or you may damage rubber roof coatings.
  • The Brush: You need to use a soft bristled brush to clean your roof. Never use stiff bristled brushes or scouring pads, as these can damage the roof.
  • Washing: Gently wash the roof, scrubbing away dirt, mold, and mildew. Use smooth, circular motions to ensure you cover the entire area well.
  • Protect: Once you’ve cleaned the roof coatings, it may be wise to apply a protectant. This can help prevent staining, and it helps prevent visible edges from becoming unsightly. Make sure that any protectant you apply is rated specifically for use with EPDM, though.

Conclusion

In the end, RV roof coatings are actually quite easy to care for. You just need to take a proactive stance to ensure that your roof looks great, but is also protected from potential damage. A few minutes spent inspecting and cleaning your roof two to four times per year can provide a major return on your investment.