Would you even want to install a portable RV deck if you have a damaged roof deck? Your priority would be to repair the roof of your recreational vehicle and to prevent water leakage. The most common reason for roof leaks is a damaged roof. Thus, it is essential to repair the roof to prevent damage to the interiors and the growth of molds, etc.
Now, you must be aware that the roofs of different types of RV models differ significantly. While there are some roofs that you can walk on, and then there are others that you can’t walk on. So, plenty of different materials are used to construct the roof of RVs.
Therefore, let’s learn what the RV roofs are constructed from and how they can be repaired.
What are RV Roofs Constructed Of?
RV roofs need to be lightweight, so the common choice of material is plywood. The plywood further needs to be made waterproof with the help of ridge roof materials or flexible materials.
Ridged roof materials include the use of aluminum or fiberglass. Both the waterproofing materials are expensive and add to the overall weight of the roof, but they are certainly more durable. These materials are also difficult to repair.
On the other hand, flexible roofing materials such as rubber (TPO and EDPM), vinyl, and PVC are cost-effective and easy to repair. But they are prone to damage, especially from penetrative materials.
Best Way to Repair Damaged RV Roof Deck
The RV roof damage might have different severity levels, ranging from shallow tears to serious water leakage problems. The worse the damage, the more intensive repair is needed. While some roofs may have cracks or tears, others might have a seal stripping off from them.
So, first and foremost, you have to identify the damage and then determine what kind of repair it requires and how much cost it would incur.
There may be different methods of repairing a damaged RV roof, but to fix a scratch or leak, you may employ the following methods.
Caulking is applicable when you are dealing with problems like roof penetrations and seam overlaps. You will need a specialized caulking gun to apply the caulking material. Each tube has a compatibility description that you must read before applying it. Your manufacturer also might have some specific sealant and caulking material recommendations. Whatever you use, be careful not to use silicone as it peels off and fails to stick to the roofing material appropriately.
Sealants and caulking are useful when you don’t have to deal with a tear and just minor cracks, but when there is a big tear in the roof, you must deal with it using tape. There are many kinds of tapes available, but one can rely on the eternal bond to mask a gash on the RV roof. Although it’s a bit expensive, it can adhere to most waterproofing materials easily. It is also extremely long-lasting.
Sealants are useful when there are cracks in the RV roof. You must also inspect the air conditioning units and ladder railing. Sealants can be applied by professionals or even by novices. Sealants are basically the application of liquid material over a minor crack, hole, or roof that dries and solidifies into a rubber coating. The application of sealant can offer additional protection to your existing RV roof. RV armor and liquid rubbers are such sealant materials.
4. Seam Repair
Seams can be repaired easily with the application of sealant material. When you are dealing with rubber or fiberglass roofs, employing a self-leveling sealant is sufficient to repair seams. But, in the case of an airstream roof, you would need some other sealant, such as Dicor’s Metal RV Roof Coating.
5. Replacing Rotten Wood
If you are dealing with a far worse situation than minor cracks, holes, or tears, which are rotten plywood planks, you must replace them to prevent leaks and further damage to your RV structure, appliances, and belongings. For this, you will need to peel the cover, determine the thickness of the wood, how much area is rotten, find the joists and beams, and then begin the ultimate replacement of the rotten plywood.
Once you have replaced the roof plywood, make sure to tape and seal it completely.
Generally, the cost of roof replacement will be around $300 to $325 per linear foot. However, this figure might be impacted by several other factors like which state you live in and what is the cost of materials there.
Now, you are aware of the various ways in which RV roof repairs are possible. You must remember to inspect your RV roof every six months to ensure there are no major damages that can cause big-time trouble later.
Knowing the material your RV roof is made up of is crucial in determining what kind of cleaning and sealing materials you must use. This is because you don’t want to cause more damage to your RV roof by using the wrong materials.
As already mentioned, the cost of repairing the roof can vary largely as per the state where you live. While using sealants, you must also exercise caution while removing old tapes and adhesives.