Which RV Roof Sealant Should You Use?
Our RVs provide a home away from home for us as we explore the country, visit friends and family and take off on new adventures.
But, like any vehicle, we must keep them in good operating condition. One of the most important parts of RV maintenance (that often gets overlooked) is the roof.
It is the very covering over us as we eat, sleep and recreate, but an RV roof looses its effectiveness if we neglect its care. Protecting us from the elements, the roof can take the brunt of Mother Nature’s abuse. But, it will eventually falter, allowing leaks and damage to disrupt our trips with immediate repair needs.
We can avoid many of those emergency repairs with regular roof maintenance.
In fact, most small patching jobs just require a bit of effort and an RV roof sealant of one type or another, saving us big headaches down the road.
What is RV Roof Sealant?
RV roof sealant is an adhesive in the form of a liquid or a tape. RV roof sealant seals leaks, seams, and cracks in an RVs roof.
When seams along the roof or punctured holes are open to the elements, water can find its way in. When that happens, RV repairs begin to multiply and expand. From water damage, mold, and rodent intrusion, you can tackle the root of the problem with roof sealant.
These adhesives come in the form of thick glue-type substances and tapes, tar and epoxies. The sealants all accomplish the same outcome! They close the gaps to protect your RV from water damage and mold.
How Often Should You Do RV Roof Maintenance?
It’s always a good idea to clean your roof three or four times a year. So it makes sense to do any routine maintenance at that same time. While you are scrubbing and washing the roof material, take the time to look at all of the following:
- Check your seams for any leaks or cracked sealants.
- Look for problems around the base of vents, air conditioning units, skylights and fans.
- While cleaning solar panels, check to see that their roof mounts have ample sealant around any holes drilled.
- Have you mounted a cell phone booster antenna or satellite on the roof? Anything mounted to the roof needs sealant.
Types of RV Roof Sealant:
- Eternabond Tape: This is best for cracks and small repairs. This very sticky, thick tape can be used on almost any material to make the structure waterproof. Eternabond tape works well covering long seams on an RV roof. Once the tape backing is taken off, it immediately sticks to the roof. So, make sure you have it placed exactly where you want it!
- Lap Sealant: Commonly known by its brand name, Dicor, this caulk-like substance can be injected with a caulk gun on seams. It is also used for sealing around screw holes, wires, antennas, and roof vents. It is more flexible than caulk and does not harden or break after long-term use.
- Rubber Roof Coating: This sealant comes in rubber sheets, tapes and patch kits, and can usually be found in one of two types of rubber: EPDM or TPO. It is best used for all-over roof sealing on existing rubber RV roofs.
Which Sealant is Best for my Roof?
The quick answer is, “it depends.” You’ll want to first look at your owners manual to see what the suggest (and what they avoid).
In choosing which sealant is best for your own roof repairs, take into consideration the type of material that constitutes your existing RV roof. Is it rubber? If the repairs needed are small, you can probably use a rubber patch kit like Diseal.
If you have a fiberglass roof, think about using Eternabond, especially if you have long sections of seams that need to be waterproofed, as Eternabond comes in a long tape form.
On either type of roof, if you have a few small holes or tears, your best bet for repairing them is Dicor lap sealant. And if you have a large section of rubber roof that needs to be replaced, you will be shopping for EPDM or TPO rubber sheeting.
If you make routine RV roof maintenance a habit, you will be able to discover and treat any leaking or damage problems before they become big issues. Adding RV roof sealants to your equipment list is a must for any well-prepared traveler, as your rig will be ready for all the adventures you have planned.
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