Preventing roof leaks — in a way you may not have considered


Courtesy: Motorhomes of Texas


Just about everyone who owns any type of RV has been told that they must periodically reseal all the areas on or near their roof to protect against potential leaks. There’s another potential leak source that is just as likely to cause problem leaks as those seams and vents. What is it?

It’s the seal of roof-mounted air conditioners. Those air conditioners sit on top of the RV but between them and the roof is a 14-inch by 14-inch gasket or seal. That seal is very thick — up to 4 inches — and the unit actually sits on top of the seal. Over time, the seal compresses under the air conditioner’s weight. With time and constant movement, the cooling unit can become loose in its mounting hole through the roof and voila! — a potential leak.

It’s usually very easy to access the bolts that snug the air conditioner to the roof. This is done by opening or removing the interior return grille on each unit, thus exposing three or four through-bolts and nuts. In turn, this hardware can then be snugged down with a socket, ratchet and extension — tools that almost everyone owns.

A leak created by a loose air conditioner can easily traverse the interior of the roof and drip out in areas far from the leak, complicating efforts to determine the source. Checking the tightness of your air conditioner should be on your list of maintenance items to be checked yearly. It could save you lots of dollars.

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