Of all the materials used for recreational vehicle roofs, RV roof coating is perhaps the most common material found on today’s vehicles. There are two main types of Liquid roofing: EPDM, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, and TPO, or Thermal Polyolefin. Both are synthetic rubber compounds, but each has its own unique formula, as well as special requirements for maintenance and repairs. You should always consult your RV owner’s manual to determine what type of roof you have and how to best care for it.
If the roof of your RV was replaced with a different material than what was installed by the manufacturer, you may not have this guide on your side. Fortunately, liquid roofing is fairly low maintenance and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. This durability makes it an economical choice, which is why many manufacturers stick to the RV roof coating, even with an abundance of modern technology and potential opportunities for new roofing solutions. It works, so why change it?
How to Maintain EPDM Roofing
If you install the roof correctly, an EPDM roof is not going to require a lot of maintenance in the early years. Over time, EPDM may need additional resealing of seams and fixture edges, but this is typical regardless of the type of roof that you choose. EPDM is a low maintenance product, but it doesn’t respond well to solvents and oils. Therefore, you should always choose RV cleaning products and RV roof coating materials that are safe for use specifically with this type of material. Otherwise, you could cause extensive damage and ruin the resale value of your RV.
How to Maintain TPO Roofing
TPO roofing provides a durable, sturdy sheet-style installation that is popular among many RVers. It is a newer product than EPDM, but there is some information about maintaining the TPO roof on your RV. For starters, this roof will need more maintenance than an EPDM roof because the seams need regular treatments with adhesive to ensure proper sealing. This constant replacing of the seals can cause additional wear on the seams and result in premature deterioration. However, the increasing availability of TPO-friendly products designed to enhance longevity is helping to combat this. Make sure that you choose roofing materials and coatings that are designed to work with TPO materials.
Liquid Roofing Offers Even Less Maintenance
Liquid RV roofing is growing in popularity because it is versatile, convenient, and cost-effective. The liquid roof creates an additional flexible seal around all of the seams and fixtures on the roof of your RV, adding strength to the caulking that you add to seal everything. Plus, this product self-levels when it is poured, which can eliminate pesky pooling that can lead to damage and water leaks. Liquid roofing is a great choice for those who want the least maintenance and the easiest application. This method requires minimal tools and effort, compared to TPO and EPDM sheet roofing, which require much more time and a variety of tools that the average person might not have on hand.
Annual Cleaning and Inspections
Regardless of whether you choose an RV roof coating or another material for the roof of your RV, regular inspection and cleaning will be your best defense against damage. You should visually inspect the roof of your RV at least twice a year. If it is not stored in a climate-controlled environment or is exposed to extreme temperatures on a regular basis, more frequent inspections may be a good idea.
You should also clean your roof once or twice a year. A simple cleaning with soap and water (or other cleaning products designed for your roof material) can remove dirt, debris, bird droppings, and other items that could cause unnecessary damage or wear to the roof surface. Make sure that you are only using cleaning products designed for the type of roof that you have. Otherwise, as mentioned above, you could do more harm than good.