We’re looking at a new year, which usually means the rain is coming. With your RVs in storage, or just parked for the winter, we can’t stress enough the need to be sure your RV roof is watertight. The best choice for this inspection is to have an RV service or repair center do it for you at least once a year. If you want to do it yourself, there are a few things to remember.
The first step in any RV roof inspection is to get out the ladder and take a good look at the roof. Do this before you attempt to walk on it. If the roof is metal, especially the seamed type (with crosswise seams every 48-inches or so), then lay a plywood strip or some wide boards (lengthwise) to walk on. This way, the boards span the roof (support) rafters and distribute your weight evenly over several supports. Rubber–covered roofs have an underlying layer of material, usually a 3/16th to a half-inch plywood or chip board sheeting that evenly supports your weight. The membrane on a rubber roof is made of a very tough and durable material, but it is fairly thin and can be punctured by a sharp object. You can carefully walk on the surface, but first check your shoes for embedded stones and other sharp objects that could damage the roof covering.
An aluminum roof can and does last for many years if it is maintained properly. The same goes for rubber, fiberglass or any combination of the above materials. However, the sealants used on RVs have a much shorter life, needing to be replaced every three to four years, on average. Aluminum and fiberglass roofs use a fiber–impregnated roof coat material to seal the seams and accessory openings. These materials are applied with a paintbrush or putty knife and should be applied to a clean, prepared surface for best results. Any loose or flaking roof coat should be removed and the surface cleaned with soap and water.
Remember, it’s not the roof material that usually leaks. It is all the holes cut into it for various items– and the sealant used on these openings– that can leak.
Be safe and stay dry.
Final Touch Coach Works is located at 28532 Livingston Avenue in Valencia. For more information, please call 661-775-8375 and visit www.FinalTouchRV.com.
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