Quick Update:Before we jump into talking about roof maintenance I thought I’d take a couple of moments and talk about the summer and what we have been up to. We are currently in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia at a very beautiful campground named “Endless Caverns”. We have begun working our way back South to Florida and have 3 more stops before we get there in Late August. It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost over. It really has flown by. We spent the last 3 weeks before getting here with our Family and Friends in Colonial Beach, VA. It was great seeing everyone and telling them of all the adventures we have had.
Preventative Maintenance, It’s worth your time! In the past we have spoken about how important it is to always make sure your RV is in tip top shape. One of the most important annual inspections you should perform is a roof inspection. Water damage to an RV is a real killer and once you have a leak sometimes it can be very difficult to identify the issue. So you want to insure that you prevent leaks from ever starting.
The inspection: The first thing you want to do is go up on your roof and inspect the overall soundness of the roof. Visually inspect to insure you don’t have any cracks in your rubber bladder. Even a very tiny crack can let water in and it will only get worse over time. Check around you’re A/C’s, roof vents, antenna and skylights. Look at where they meet the roof, are there any places that the eternabond tape is lifting up or coming away from the sides. Your eternabond tape is used as a sealer around the base of your skylights, A/C’s and over the seams of your roof. Usually the edges of the tape are sealed with lap sealant which is a self-leveling caulking.
You want to insure that none of the lap sealant has pulled away from the edges of the eternabond tape. Run your finger around the top of the tape where it meets your skylights, push on it little and see if it pulls away. Don’t be fooled in thinking that you have a good seal just because visually it looks fine.
If after inspection of your roof you do not find any issues or areas of concern it’s a good idea to take the time and give it a good cleaning. There are a number of products on the market for cleaning your roof or you can use a stiff brush with a water and soap solution. While you’re up there take a few moments to check the condition of your skylights and roof vents. Your roof vents are made of plastic and are in most cases in direct sunlight most of the time and they will become very brittle. Replacing them if necessary is very cheap usually less than $20.00 for RV roof vents and it’s easier to replace them now then have them break during a storm.
Repairing your roof if needed: Let’s say during your inspection you find some areas with some small hair line cracks or some of the eternabond tape is not in great shape, now what? The repairs for the most part are simple and you should be able to fix your areas of concern yourself. If you do not feel comfortable then find an RV dealer to make the repairs for you.
In this example we are going to fix a couple of small hairline cracks around the roof vent in the bathroom. So the first thing that you will want to do is carefully scrape off any loose tape be careful not to cause yourself more issues by getting in a hurry and gouging your roof.
Eternabond tape is extremely sticky so getting it off is going to be a little messy. Wearing gloves does not always work out as well as you would think because the tape will stick to them. Peel the loose tape back and remove it, also remove any of the loose lap sealant around the edges.
Now you want to clean the area make sure that you remove any loose debris around the base of the roof vent. Next using lap sealant put a small bead at the bottom edge where the vent meets the roof. This is just to insure that you fill in any small gaps before applying your eternabond tape. Next measure out a length of tape the length of the side of the Vent.
Carefully peel off about 2 inches of the backing, DO NOT peel it all off this tape is really sticky and peeling off the entire run of backing will just frustrate you so take your time. Now place the tape so that about half of it is going to cover the roof and the other half will go up the side of the vent. Slowly press the tape down making sure you get it all the way at the base where the vent meets your roof.
As you press the tape down and up the side slowly continue to remove the backing till you have the tape all along the side. Now run your fingers over it several times to insure a good tight bond. Next you will want to take lap sealant and run a small bead around the edges of the tape where the tape meets the roof. This helps to keep the tape from lifting up and also from water getting underneath it. There is no need to smooth the lap sealant out as its self-leveling. You want about a 1/8” bead all the way around the edge of the tape as well as along the top where it meets the roof vent.
Let it dry and you should be good to go.
Till next time – Safe Travels!I hope you found this article helpful
You might also like these related articles!
About the Bloggers: Matt and Vicki Hulbert are full time RVers who decided to begin a life on the road and enjoy the RVing lifestyle while still in their mid-40’s. With no real savings, no retirement to speak of and only a dream they took the plunge into this way of life. They like to consider their selves “21st Century Gypsies”, they figure it out as they go. It has not always been an easy road but they are living proof that with a dream, good work ethic and a little luck you too can achieve this wonderful lifestyle. Follow the adventures of Matt, Vicki and their 3 Pugs, see where their adventure takes them next. If you are one of those individuals or couples that are sitting there right now saying “one day” then maybe Matt and Vicki can help you find out that “ONE DAY” is TODAY and you too can start living the dream!
- Repairs & more Repairs
- Easy RV Repairs you Can Do Yourself
- 10 Helpful RV Hacks Every RVer Should Know