Editor’s note: This information is provided by roof membrane manufacturer Dicor. While there’s plenty of “promotion” for their product included, some of the information and principles may be of assistance to our readers.
RV roof sealant repair and touch-up is a key part of roof maintenance that most people can do with a bit of care. Given the way your RV roof can take a beating from a wide range of weather and climate conditions, it’s a good idea to make regular inspections of how your roof is holding up in protecting your RV from potentially expensive water damage. Don’t let your roof become something that’s “out of sight, out of mind.”
Sealant inspection includes looking for any cracks and separations that may allow water to penetrate around vents, TV antennas, skylights and other roof appliances as well as roof edges. Look for dirt streaks that can indicate where water may be flowing under loose sealant, and places where sealant is clearly cracked, brittle, loose, curling up or pulling away from the edges and appliances.
If you find old sealant that has lifted or separated from the surface of the roof and can easily be removed, remove it. Otherwise it’s best to leave it alone and seal over the old sealant.
In this case, the resealing process begins with cleaning the repair area so the new sealant can adhere properly. Dicor Roof Cleaner is an excellent choice for such a task. Apply the roof cleaner directly to the area, scrub it down with a cloth, and rinse with water. Allow enough time for the sealant to dry, and then do a second cleaning with denatured alcohol by pouring some on a soft cloth and wiping that over the area as a final preparation.
An important note here: Do not pour denatured alcohol directly onto the roof or sealant, as such an application can cause damage.
To touch up and resurface sealants that are fairly level with the roof surface, like vents, roof caps and trim strips, use Dicor self-leveling lap sealant that is compatible with EPDM and most TPO roofing material. It also adheres well to aluminum, galvanized steel, vinyl and fiberglass.
To touch up around uneven surfaces or raised surfaces like TV antennas and skylights, you should use Dicor Products’ non-sag lap sealant for best results.
Using a standard caulking gun, run an adequate-sized bead (usually 3/16 to 3/8 inch) over the area you are touching up. If you are going over a crack or separation in the old sealant, you don’t need to apply as much sealant as you would for a new application.
If you are planning on coating your RV roof in the near future it is important to do such repairs one or two weeks before covering it with any kind of coating material in order for the sealant to have time to fully cure. Also plan your repairs for a time without any rain expected for the following 24 to 48 hours.
A final note of caution: If you are not comfortable with getting up on the roof to make these repairs, don’t do it! Your safety must always take priority. RV repair shops can make all of these touch-ups as part of your regular RV maintenance.
The main thing to remember is — taking care of some small cracks now can prevent big problems later.