RV Roofing Materials – Roof Repair Products
Repairing an RV Roof
One of the general maintenance issues that RV owners persistently face is a leaking roof. Water always finds its way into an RV due to falling branches, freezing rain, or other sources. Unfortunately, water and RVs do not work together well, and even a tiny leak can lead to disastrous consequences in your RV. Therefore, in this article you will find some tips and guidance on RV roofing materials in the event you need to perform maintenance on your RV.
So, if you happen to detect a leak in your RV, it is best to fix it immediately. This short guide will teach you the importance of repairing a leaky roof and will even show you a few tips for fixing leaks and holes in your roof.
Determining What Type of Roof You Have
When you are ready to start repairing or replacing your RV roof, the first step is to find the exact type of roof you have. The most common types of roofs on RVs are rubber, metal, and fiberglass.
If your RV has a rubber roof, you will need to use a particular type of repair material made for rubber roofs. This material will help to seal any cracks or holes in the roof and prevent further damage.
RV metal roofs require a sealant that can withstand high temperatures and not cause the metal to rust.
For RV fiberglass roofs, you should use a repair kit made specifically for fiberglass roofs.
What to Consider When Choosing an RV Roof Type
Manufacturers design RV roofs to be solid and durable, but there are some things you should consider when choosing the best roof for your RV.
It is vital to consider the climate in which you will be using your RV. If the area you live in has a lot of sun and heat, you will want to choose a roof that reflects heat well. A dark roof absorbs heat, making your RV very hot inside. However, on the other hand, if the area you live in has a lot of snow and cold weather, you will want to choose a roof that is good at insulating your RV from the cold.
The ease of maintaining the roof is another consideration. Some roofs require regular cleaning and sealing, while others are low-maintenance.
Different Types of Roofing Materials
There are several roofing materials; you must apply or attach each differently. In general, use products designed specifically for RV roof repairs, not products you would use for traditional houses or buildings. Usually, you can’t find the appropriate roofing materials for your RV at your local hardware store. So, forewarned, it would be a colossal mistake that will most likely reduce the resale value of your RV.
Preventing water leaks before they occur is far less costly than repairing them. It is not only the summer rain that can lead to water damage problems. Like in your home, mold develops in your RV from water leaks. Traveling around during winter, you will also have to deal with the freeze and thaw patterns. As you very well know, water expands upon freezing.
This expansion causes seams to expand, thus creating cracks in joints of the roof and entryways into the interior of your RV. Occasionally inspect your roof thoroughly for cracks, punctures, or damage ahead of the winter freezing temperatures. If there is any damage present, quickly get your RV roof repaired.
Rubber-coated roof surfaces are generally durable and long-lasting with proper care and maintenance. Use roofing supplies designated specifically for your RV. RV manufacturers use either EPDM or TPO for rubber roofing. We will take a look at both.
How Long Does an RV Roof Last?
An RV roof can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on the material used. The most common materials for RV roofs are rubber, fiberglass, and metal.
Rubber roofs are the most affordable option and usually last around 10 years. Fiberglass roofs are more expensive but can last up to 20 years. Metal roofs are the most expensive option but can last up to 30 years.
You will need to perform regular maintenance to extend the lifespan of your roof regardless of the type of roof you have. To preserve the integrity and lifespan, regularly clean the roof and check for any cracks or damage.
Can I Replace My RV Roof Myself?
It is possible to replace your RV roof yourself, but not recommended. There are many RV roof types, and the materials needed for each type vary. If you are unfamiliar with the types of RV roofs and the material required for your specific roof, you could end up causing more damage than doing good.
If you decide to replace your RV roof, do plenty of research beforehand and have all the necessary tools and materials. Having a helper on hand is also essential, as replacing an RV roof can be a two-person job. Most importantly, take your time and be careful; rushing the job could lead to mistakes that could be costly to fix.
RV EPDM Roofing Materials
After installation, EPDM roofs are usually maintenance-free, at least for the first ten years. EPDM rubber roofs do not require a lot of attention other than routine washing with soap and water here and there. Because of EPDMs unique structure, the rooftop does not need you to routinely apply any UV protectant or a secondary coat to its surface.
However, using harsh chemicals or petroleum-based products on an EPDM rubber roof will cause irreparable damage and constitute a costly mistake. If you are buying a used RV with a rubber roof, check to see if it looks swollen, uneven, or loose. If any of these issues are present, you may want to choose a different RV!
Over time, the EPDM surface will develop a chalky look to it, and you may get some white streaking down the side of your RV, caused by EPDM residue washing off the roof when it rains. The chalky look is typical and protects the rubber roof from degrading beyond a certain point. An EPDM roof does have a lifespan, and eventually, it will require some maintenance to re-seal or replace it.
RV TPO Roof Coating
TPO roofing materials are different than EPDM roofs, as TPO roof surfaces have somewhat of a shiny look and are more rigid than EPDM. TPO roofs are less rubbery and have more plasticity.
Washing occasionally with mild soap and water is all you need to do to care for a TPO roof. You can use Protect-All Rubber Roof Treatment or Murphy’s Oil Soap for your TPO rubber roof. According to Alpha Systems, the manufacturer, Murphy’s Oil Soap helps keep the TPO membrane moisturized. Washing generally makes the roof surface look better; however, routine washing does not extend the roof’s lifespan.
RV Metal Roof Structure
RV Rubber Roofing Materials
Rubber is an excellent option if you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting roofing material for your RV. Below are some of the main benefits of rubber roofing:
1. Rubber is a very strong and durable material that can withstand heavy traffic and weather conditions.
2. It is also flexible, expanding and contracting as needed without cracking or breaking.
3. Rubber roofs are easy to install and repair, so you can do it yourself if needed.
4. They are also relatively lightweight so they won’t add much extra weight to your RV.
5. Rubber roofs are UV-resistant, so they won’t fade or deteriorate over time from exposure to sunlight.
RV PVC Roof
There are several benefits to using PVC in roofing applications. PVC is a durable and weather-resistant material that is easy to install and maintain. PVC roofs are also energy efficient, reflect heat, and resist UV radiation.
The material is lightweight, flexible, and easy to maintain. You can use PVC roofing for both residential and commercial applications.
What Does it Cost to Repair a RV Roof?
Depending on the roofing material, the cost to repair an RV roof can range from $100 to $1,000.
Rubber roofs are the most common RV roof type and are the least expensive to repair. You can patch a rubber roof for as little as $100. However, for extensive damage, you may need to replace the entire roof, which can cost up to $1,000.
Fiberglass roofs are more expensive to repair than rubber roofs. A small patch job may cost around $200, while a complete replacement can cost up to $2,000.
Aluminum roofs are the most expensive type of RV roof to repair.
Conclusion: RV Roofing Repair
Inspect your RV on a routine basis to maintain its integrity and overall appearance of your RV. You can easily forget about your RV’s roof, and it may be a hassle to occasionally climb on top of your RV to check it out, but you must do so.
Like just about anything else that gets exposed to the cold winter and hot summer days can cause damage to your RV’s roof over time, thus creating cracks from weakened joints allowing water to enter the inside and cause interior damage.