Are You Ready To Attempt a Travel Trailer Roof Repair?

Your travel trailer is your home-away-from-home. It’s where you eat, sleep, cook and relax when you’re on the road. That’s why it’s so important to regularly inspect, maintain and repair your unit before taking it anywhere. One of the areas of your trailer that is especially susceptible to wear and damage is the roof. Consider for a moment all of the elements to which it is regularly subjected: rain, wind, snow, hail, dust, dirt, mildew and harsh sun. If your trailer roof is not properly maintained, you may find yourself relaxing, with pots and pans scattered around, collecting dripping water. Travel trailer roof repair is not as expensive or complicated as you might imagine, so don’t let the thought of attempting it frighten you. Here are some things to remember.

Carefully Inspect All Areas of the Roof.

Liquid Roof Repair

Liquid Roof Repair

If you decide to go up on the trailer roof, please be extremely careful! You want to spend your time camping, not recuperating. Travel trailers are almost always on the road, unlike larger RVs which often remain stationary for extended periods of time. The continuous movement poses a unique set of concerns. It’s important to take your time when inspecting your trailer roof. If done properly, a roof repair can last for years, so the extra time that you invest now will pay dividends down the road. Look for any obvious cracks or breaks in the roof’s surface. Next, inspect the areas around the roof vents, watching for separations and loose caulking. Don’t forget to look closely at the roof edges too. After you’ve identified any problem areas, it’s time to begin your travel trailer roof repair.

Preparing the Surfaces Before Beginning a Travel Trailer Roof Repair

It is extremely important that the prep work be done carefully so that the repair materials will adhere properly. As with the inspection, the extra time that you spend now will go a long way toward ensuring a lasting repair. You’ll need to begin by sweeping the loose dirt, leaves and debris off of the roof. Next, you’re going to want to thoroughly wash the areas to be repaired. If your roof’s surface is metal or fiberglass, rough sand to 3” out from the edge of the repair area and rewash as necessary.

Repair Material Options for a Travel Trailer Roof Repair

There are a lot of different companies offering a variety of repair solutions, so which one is the right one to use for your travel trailer roof repair? Keeping in mind the amount of movement that a travel trailer undergoes, it is highly recommended that you choose a repair material that will hold up well under any conditions. Many people prefer a repair material and sealant made from synthetic rubber. Often referred to as EPDM material, this rubber repair can be applied to most roofing materials and will withstand years of punishing conditions.

Performing the Actual Travel Trailer Roof Repair

For metal or fiberglass repairs, cover the repair area with butyl adhesive tape. Next, place polyester reinforcing fabric over the butyl tape. If you want a straight edge finish, place regular masking tape around the outside perimeter of the area. Finally, apply the liquid roof material with a paint brush and allow it to set. You can remove the regular masking tape in about 24 hours.

There you go! You now have a beautiful travel trailer roof repair that will last for years. For best results, always inspect the roof of your trailer before and after each camping season. Happy camping!

The Basics of EPDM Roof Repair

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer. That’s a really long way of saying it’s a synthetic rubber. It became extremely popular due to its application in repairing roofs. EPDM roof repair provides many advantages over conventional methods. Keep reading to learn the basics of EPDM roof repair.

How Does It Work?

EPDM roof repair works by applying the rubber to any problem areas, providing a nearly impenetrable seal. Oftentimes, however, it’s simply used as a precaution—covering roofs before any damage can be done.

Once applied, EPDM forms an extremely durable layer of protection that is waterproof, amongst other things.

Applying EPDM to a Flat Roof

If you’re using an EPDM roof repair application for a flat-topped roof, you’ll first want to begin by cleaning the surface off. Many people use EPDM for the entire roof to work as a kind of sealant. In this scenario, the entire thing will need to be cleaned first.

While the climate is probably temperate if you’re working on a roof, it’s worth pointing out that it should be between 40 F and 70 F outside, otherwise you’ll have issues with applying the synthetic rubber.

Once the roof is cleaned, apply a primer. A paint brush is best for this job, but if you’re doing the entire roof, you’ll want to use a roller and an extension to make things easier.

With the primer applied, start in an area that won’t present any odd angles. You’ll want to handle all these areas first, as it’s simply easier to do. Odd corners can be addressed when you finish by cutting the sheets and applying them where need be.

Applying EPDM to a Conventional Home Roof

You can also utilize EPDM roof repair on a residential home, as well. However, you wouldn’t want to cover the whole thing as in the above example. You’d have to remove all the shingles first, if you truly wanted to. EPDM is just a good way to take care of a stubborn leak, especially if you’re worried it will begin to cause sloping issues for your roof.

Start off by finding exactly where the leak is coming from. Just as in the above example, you’ll want to clean off the area affected. Do this by removing all the shingles on and around the affected area. Depending on the size of the sheet you’re using, this may mean more shingles than are actually compromised.

Instead of using a primer, like above, you’ll apply a fiberglass enforced felt skin that works well with the adhesive qualities of EPDM. Then, use one fastener per 2 square feet on the installation. When using EPDM on a residential job, seams aren’t an issue, so you need not bother.

One of the best parts about fixing a roof with EPDM is how fast it sets. If you finish your job by the afternoon, it will be ready for a storm later that night. Due to its durability, you also shouldn’t have to address the problem again for about 20 years.

A Semi Annual RV Roof Inspection Helps Prevent Leaks

A semi-annual RV roof inspection should become a regular part of your maintenance routine. Here you can learn about the things to look for and repair.

There are some differences depending on the type of roofing material. Older roofs were constructed of sheet metal or fiberglass. If you have one of the older vehicles, you should inspect the seams around anything that protrudes from the roof. Examples include vents, antennas and pipes.

The seams should be sealed using a sealant created specifically for this purpose and for this type of roof. Sealing and resealing on a regular basis reduces the risk of leaking.

You should not seal the area around a rooftop air conditioning unit because the condensation drains are located beneath the unit. If you seal around this area, the condensation will leak into the interior of the vehicle.

Newer RVs will have either TPO or EPDM rubber roofing. TPO is said to require no semi-annual cleaning or treatment but the roof should still be inspected for signs of wear. The seams of the material and the entire roof can be sealed using products specially formulated for use on TPO. The sealants may extend the life of the material.

Liquid EPDM rubber roofing manufacturers recommend a semi-annual inspection at a minimum. Some manufacturers recommend quarterly inspections, when the seasons change. Special cleansers, sealants and liquid rubber coatings are available for EPDM roofs. No silicone or petroleum-based products should be used on EPDM.

Liquid roof and EPDM rubber roofs for RV repair should also be treated with a UV blocker to prevent chalking. Liquid Rubber is the best solution for this purpose. It will resist chalking for years once it has been applied.

Regardless of the type of roof, the main purpose of the inspection is to check areas that are prone to leak and make any necessary repairs before leaking occurs. You should inspect all seams and any previously caulked or sealed areas on your RV roof.

The vent covers should be inspected on all RV Roof. Any cover with a dull finish or a brittle appearance should be replaced before you head out on the road. They may seem stable while the vehicle is parked. But at highway speeds they can break apart.

Remember to check the rubber roofing on your RV roof of any slide-outs while you are at it to look for cracking, holes or other signs of wear. Slide-outs are common leak locations. Some of the seals can be caulked using silicone. Check your owner’s manual to be sure. EPDM rubber is one of the best solution for your RV roof repair.