Tips for Maintaining Your RV Liquid Roof Coating

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.

The Pros and Cons of an RV Liquid Roof

The RV liquid roof, also known as a liquid EPDM roof, is one of the most well-known roofing products on the market today. This material has all the same characteristics and benefits of a traditional EPDM rubber roof once it cures, but is easier to apply due to its liquid form. Of course, there are pros and cons to consider with any roofing material, and this one is no exception. While there are a lot of products to choose from, here are some pros and cons to consider when thinking of investing in a liquid roofing product.

Pros:

  1. RV liquid roof products are versatile. They can be applied to just about any surface, including existing rubber roofing, fiberglass, plywood, and even fabric and metal. Application is quick and easy with a brush, squeegee, or roller.
  2. Liquid roofing is convenient. This product is instantly waterproof once it is cured, and only requires a single coat application for optimal protection. The products available today even have self-leveling properties to cut down on your labor.
  3. Liquid roof materials are the economical choice. A single gallon of liquid EPDM coating can cover as much as 40-45 square feet, and costs less than $100, in most cases. Plus, the coating dries white and will reflect sunlight, saving energy costs by keeping your RV cooler during the warm summer months.
  4. Liquid roofing is flexible and durable. Because this is a rubber-based liquid product, it will fill all the cracks and crevices for a watertight seal, and can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking or other damage.
  5. An RV liquid roof offers total protection. This roofing material resists UV rays and ozone emissions, and can withstand saltwater, acids, snow and ice, and more. The even application and self-leveling properties even help prevent pooling of water and ice that could lead to future damage or leaks.

Cons:

  1. Liquid roofing materials expire. If you are planning to use a liquid roof product, make sure that you only buy enough for your needs. If you have to buy extra, consider splitting the cost with someone who also needs a new RV roof. After about a year of being opened, the product tends to separate and will be unusable.
  2. Some RV owners complain that liquid roof application is difficult due to the thick, gooey texture of the product. This is mostly a personal preference, and will not affect how well it does or does not work for your roofing needs.

As you can see, the only real cons to this type of roofing material for an RV are matters of personal preference or misuse of the product. RV liquid roof products are made of high-quality materials and provide amazing performance to protect your RV from water, wind, UV rays, and all of the elements that it may face down the road. If it’s time to reseal or replace your RV roof, liquid EPDM might be just what you need.

Liquid Roof vs. Resealing

One of the biggest questions people ask, despite the many benefits of the RV liquid roof, is if they might just be better off resealing all of the cracks and seams on their roof periodically. Since you will have to remove all of the old sealant before putting down your new liquid roof anyway, this is a valid question. However, think of liquid roofing like a blanket. Instead of applying a product that will only cover the direct seams, you can apply a full liquid roof and provide even more protection for your RV.

As you can see, liquid roofing materials can provide a lot of benefits. If you are looking for an easy, versatile product that will get the job done right without costing a small fortune, this may be just what you need. Remember to familiarize yourself with the liquid roofing process before you get started for the best results.

RV Roof Coating and Basic Maintenance Tips

RV owners need to take proper care of their RV if they expect it to last a long time and to stay in great shape. You love the RV and you rely on it for your vacations and when you are traveling around the county. With proper care and maintenance, it means that the RV is going to last you for many years to come. The following are some important tips for the RV roof coating and simple maintenance tips that you will want to follow to keep your RV in great shape.

Inspection of the Roof

You should make sure that you are inspecting the roof several times a year – twice at a minimum. This will help you find any potential problems as early as possible before they get to become too expensive to repair. You need to be sure that you are closely inspecting all of the components of the roof. This includes getting up close to look for any cracks or holes that might be in the roof. It also requires that you look around the edges of vents, skylights, and similar areas.

Those areas are where holes have been cut in the roof by the manufacturer. Even though they have been sealed and likely have caulking around them, they are not impervious to problems. You might find that you need to replace the caulk to prevent water from entering the RV.

Inspect Inside the RV

It is also quite important that you look inside of the RV for any potential signs of leaks. The roof might not show any obvious signs of a leak from the top, but that doesn’t mean that water can’t still find its way inside. You will want to look around the edges of the walls where they meet the ceiling, around the skylight, and inside of the cabinets to see if you can spot any water staining, bubbling, or other issues that would indicate that you have a leak in the RV. If you do, then you are going to want to get back on the roof and look for issues, and you will certainly want to add an RV roof coating, which we will discuss later.

Regular Removal of Debris

All manner of debris can find its way onto the top of your roof. Whether it is fallen leaves, sap from trees, rocks, or branches, you need to take the time to remove them from your roof. Check out the roof regularly and sweep away any of the debris that you happen to find.

Cleaning the Roof

The roof should be cleaned thoroughly at least three or four times each year. By keeping the roof clean, it will ensure that sap, dirt, and other debris are not degrading the roof. It will also help to prevent staining, which can come from a buildup of mold, sap, and debris that is on the roof.

You can start by rinsing the roof with water to remove dirt, and then use a brush to scrub away the grit and grime, along with the sap that may have accumulated on the roof. You will want to use a specialized roof cleaner to make sure it is properly cleaned, and then rinse it with clean water.

Add RV Roof Coating

One of the best ways to maintain your roof, and to deal with any small leaks that you might have, is to add RV roof coating. It goes on very easily – much like paint – and it will provide waterproofing protection immediately. It will cure within a few days, and it can provide your roof with protection for years to come.

Is There Such a Thing as a Permanent RV Roof Coating?

The bad news is no RV roof coating is really permanent. No matter what a manufacturer may promise, there are just too many factors that can affect RV roof wear. The good news is there are products on the market that, when properly applied, can last for many years; call them semi-permanent if you’d like.

Factors That Prevent a Permanent Roof Coating

All RV roofs wear over time, even the EPDM rubber roofs that are becoming the standard of the industry. So many external forces come into play that cause even the best RV roofs to wear down. Low spots in the roof can develop, especially around vents, causing a condition known as ‘ponding’; a low spot where a puddle of water forms that lasts for more than 2 days. Extreme variations in temperature cause the rubber roof to expand and contract, weakening its structure. The sun’s extreme heat and ultraviolet rays take their toll too. No matter how good RV roof surfaces start out, they all need regular inspection and maintenance if you want to achieve anything close to a permanent RV roof coating.

RV Roof Coatings

RV Roof Coatings

Getting Close to a Permanent RV Roof Coating

If you check out all of the advertisements for RV roof coatings, the ones with the longest warranty periods have one common denominator; they all use a liquid EPDM rubber coating. That’s because EPDM rubber can withstand extremes of hot and cold, resist the sun’s ultraviolet rays, help insulate the coach and is waterproof, even if there’s ponding. Also, because these coatings are liquid when being applied, they are great for filling in any minor cracks in the roof’s surface.

Sifting Through the Claims

Are all EPDM liquid rubber coatings the same? All require that the surface be thoroughly cleaned and prepared before applying the coating. No liquid rubber will properly adhere to a surface that is dirty or that is covered with a detergent film. Some products can be applied by the do-it-yourself person, but are labor intensive, requiring two coats of sealant with several hours of drying time between each coat and they depend upon optimum weather conditions. Many people use a liquid EPDM roof coating that they can apply themselves and that only requires one coat; that saves time and money. The single coat product is waterproof the moment it is applied. That’s about as close to a permanent RV roof coating as you’re going to get.

Hiring a Professional

A few coating systems use the very same EPDM liquid rubber, but insist that their employees do all of the prep work and install, then they charge many thousands of dollars for the same job that you can do yourself on a weekend. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a professional roofer do the install. If you’re not comfortable getting up on your RV roof, then you definitely should hire someone to do it. You probably have several roofers in your area that are fully licensed and insured. Many will allow you to supply the coating material, so you can shop around, get the best price and reduce your total cost considerably. If you decide to hire someone local and can supply your own materials, you’re still going to save thousands of dollars over hiring an RV roof coating company that insists upon using their people and materials

You may not be able to get a truly permanent RV roof coating, but there are products out there that can help you get pretty darn close.

The Importance of an RV Liquid Roof Coating

Everyone That Owns an RV Needs to Protect the Roof

You normally won’t hear two neighbors having a lively discussion about an RV liquid roof coating, unless they are both RV owners. Every owner has a favorite product and method that they use to keep the roof of their coach looking like new. And every old-timer has a horror story about a roof defect that went unnoticed and caused extensive damage to the unit’s interior. That’s why all experienced RV owners inspect their camper roofs at regular intervals and repair any defects, no matter how small, immediately.

RV liquid Roof Coatings

RV liquid Roof Coatings

Why Choose an RV Liquid Roof Coating?

When it comes to protecting the roof of an RV, there are a lot of products to choose from, each claiming to have the answers to all of your problems. They can’t all be right, so an educated RV owner needs to do some homework. You’ll certainly want the coating to be durable; after all, resurfacing your RV roof isn’t something that you’re going to want to do very often. Even if you do the work yourself, the job is time and labor intensive and there is some cost involved. That’s why more and more RV owners are coating their existing roofs with an RV liquid roof coating made from EPDM, which is a synthetic rubber. That’s because EPDM rubber coatings have been proven to withstand both hot and cold temperature extremes, thus improving a roof’s insulating ability. Liquid EPDM remains flexible, which is extremely important when coating the roof of an RV that is always in motion. Best of all, a liquid rubber roof can be applied to almost any original equipment roof material, although some may require a coat of primer first. Check with the RV liquid roof coating manufacturer to see if your roof requires a primer before applying a liquid EPDM coating and if it does, have them recommend one.

What to Look for When Choosing an RV Liquid Roof Coating.

Of course cost is always a consideration, but be careful not to let it be the main one. You’re not saving money in the long run if you have to resurface the RV roof again in three years, instead of five or ten years. That doesn’t mean that the most expensive coating is necessarily the best either. Again, do your homework. Some coating brands require special cleaners and primers; that’s an expense. Others require two coats with hours of waiting time between each coat; that could end up costing you twice as much money and time. Check their warranties; if someone is offering a lifetime warranty, be a little skeptical. Anyone who’s owned an RV for any length of time can tell you that there’s no such thing as a roof coating that lasts forever. They probably have unreasonable maintenance requirements and loopholes that protect them from ever having to deliver on their promises. A good product will be one that is made from genuine EPDM rubber and that will work on most roof surfaces; again, a primer may still be required. Look for one that will provide an excellent seal with just one coat; why waste half a day waiting for a first coat to dry or pay again for a second coat. Besides, if their product can’t give your roof adequate protection in one coat, what’s to say that it can provide protection in two coats? Would you ever buy an interior wall paint that told you right off the bat that it couldn’t cover in one coat?

Things You Should Know About Liquid Roofing?

Liquid roof at its inception saw the use of natural bitumen being mixed with straw, jute, rag felt and various other man-made things in order to provide a useful, functional roofing solution. It was not until the early twentieth century that liquid roofing was finally being used on a wide-scale basis and this is when liquid roofing found its footing as a widely performed commercial activity. The earliest known liquid roof was executed using liquefied rubber. During 1960s and 1970s, other materials found their way into being used for the purpose of liquid roof, namely styrene butadienes, acrylics, acrylic emulsions and unsaturated polyesters. These methods of liquid roofing proved largely successful due to the fact that this improved the quality of roofing and appeared rather durable.

As technology progressed further, the first liquid based elastomeric roof coating was introduced in 1975, when it proved to be hugely popular. Elastomeric materials are those which are elastic in nature and tend to resemble rubber. These materials have the property of resuming their original shape when a deforming force is removed from it. Since the end of 1980s, the progression of technology saw the development of a single component moisture cured polyurethane which was then applied as a coating on roofs. Till today, this method forms the basis of most of the modern day liquid roof solutions.

The process of liquid roofing involves applying a liquid based coating which comes in the form of a fully bonded monolithic liquid. The coating is generally applied in hot form, and when it cures, it assumes the form of a rubber-like membrane which is elastomeric and waterproof in nature. The key advantage of liquid roofing is that its membrane is capable of stretching as and when needed and can return to its original shape without any problems. It should also be noted that when liquid roofing is used, it is generally reinforced with another material. Glass reinforced plastic is a popular choice as a secondary material to reinforce this liquid roof and this provides additional tensile strength, adding to its stretching capabilities even further. It can also be successfully applied on most of the roofing materials already in place, be it concrete, asphalt, felt or bitumen.

A liquid roof has many advantages, such as it is an extremely cost-effective way of constructing a new roof, or making an existing roof waterproof. It is highly durable and long lasting, since it can provide around 25 years of protection, given that the correct liquid roof method is used. Liquid roof solutions offer versatility which very few other solutions can compete against. It can be used in conjunction with high performance materials which can be independently tested in order to verify their strengths and compatibility. Another advantage is that it doesn’t involve the use of heat-based methods, like the ones involved with asphalt, bitumen or felt membranes. The coatings are applied in cold form and therefore eliminate the hazards of fire risks.