How to: RV Roof Repair

Whether you live in your motorhome full-time, or simply use it for weekend getaways and family vacations, the roof is the one element that really takes a beating year after year. With all of the expense and effort involved in maintaining and using your recreational vehicle, the idea of having to repair the roof can be a bit intimidating.

Surprisingly, though, RV roof repair and protection doesn’t have to be traumatic – for you or your wallet. There are a number of steps you can take to fix any existing issues and prevent future problems. Of course, if you have large holes or other serious damage, you should consider having a professional take care of these before taking over routine care and maintenance yourself.

Minor RV roof repair, however, is relatively simple and can be accomplished by using appropriate products in the right order, and performing the necessary preparation steps in between.

What You’ll Need for RV Roof Repair

The exact items you’ll need to make minor repairs (and apply liquid roof if necessary) will depend on the type of roof you have. In general, you’ll typically need at least the following:

  • An extra fine scrubbing pad, like a 3M Scotch Bright Pad
  • An EPDM roller (for rolling in the repair tape and applying the new surface)
  • A scraper or joint knife
  • A razor knife or shears
  • Repair tape such as EternaBond
  • EPDM liquid roof (if applying a whole new membrane)

Prepare the Surface for RV Roof Repair

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to remove any grease or oil from the roof’s surface. Clean away any trace of wax or silicone sealant, and cut away excess caulking. Next, prepare any areas which need re-caulking, and which will lie underneath the repair tape, by scrubbing the seams with an abrasive plastic scrubber. Then fill these areas in with a non-silicone caulk.

If you’re planning a liquid roof application, you’ll need to clean your roof of dirt and oxidation. Using your extra fine scrubbing pad, clean the entire surface until it’s free of these irregularities. There are spray cleaners available for this task if you prefer. For unusually large surfaces, use a power washer to make the job easier and faster.

Begin the RV Roof Repair

Once the surface is clean and dry, apply the repair tape to the seams and any small gaps, punctures, or other holes. Be sure to tape any flashing or other vent joints which have weak or damaged areas. If there are places on the roof which have worn down to the wood, you’ll need to apply an EPDM primer to these areas.

Next you can begin the job of rolling on the liquid roof. If you’re simply making localized RV roof repairs, this shouldn’t take too long. If you’re doing the entire roof, you can expect to invest at least a couple of hours in the project. The surface should form a membrane in about 24 hours, with a full cure in seven days.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy the results of your RV roof repair!