Whether you’re new to owning an RV or you’ve spent several seasons camping in comfort, you may be asking, How do I take care of my RV roof?
It’s especially important to know the steps you need to take before you park your RV for an extended amount of time – say for fall or winter – so you don’t open your RV in the spring to find water damage that requires expensive repairs.
Some time and effort before you have issues can save you a lot more time and money down the road. Here Bish’s RV service professionals have put together a list of the things you can do to keep your RV roof safe from water damage or expensive repairs.
Step 1: Clean Your RV Roof
Your RV’s roof will collect dust, dirt, and debris over time. This is especially true if your RV roof is uncovered and below trees. This buildup can lead to mold and mildew, and it can keep anything you apply to protect the roof from doing its job.
So, before you do anything else, get up there, clear off the roof, and give it a good wash.
To clean the roof use a mild detergent – something like Dawn dish soap should work – and a soft brush. Gently scrub in a circular motion so you don’t cause any scratches or damage. After you’ve washed it down, rinse the roof thoroughly.
You can prevent nasty, damaging buildup by washing your roof off around every 3 months.
Step 2: Protect Your RV Roof from Sun Damage With a UV Protectant
Parking in the shade while you’re camping and covering your RV if it’s stored outside are always helpful, but not always possible. This is why we recommend applying UV protection to the roof.
A UV protective wax and sealant is like sunscreen for your RV. It will keep your roof from cracks and fading, just like sunscreen will for your skin. This protection isn’t just for looks. Cracks from UV damage can cause leaks and water damage, so sun protection can save you money and keep your RV in top shape longer.
How to Apply UV Protection to an RV:
Before you apply UV protection you’ll want to make sure your RV’s roof is completely dry. Moisture can keep the product from attaching and you won’t have the full protection you need.
The RV Geeks have put together a list of the most popular RV roof protectants. You may want to consider one of these to protect your roof.
How often you’ll add protection will depend on the type of product you buy, so consider that when you make your decision.
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Step 3: Condition Your RV Roof
Ever noticed that tight, slightly itchy feeling after you wash your face? That’s your skin begging you to throw on a moisturizer. Your RV’s roof also needs some moisture, or conditioner, after a good cleaning.
A good conditioner will keep the roof and seals flexible. If your seals lose flexibility they’ll become brittle and crack or break. And, once again, cracks in your roof can cause expensive water damage. No thanks!
Choose an RV roof conditioner that’s designed specially for RV roofs. Read the label to see if it’s right for your RV. If in doubt, work with an expert.
Psst! — Many roof conditioners are combined with UV protection – a 2 in 1 product can save you a step.
How you apply the conditioner will depend on which product you buy. You’ll likely spray it on and then spread it out over the roof.
Step 4: Seal to Keep the Water Out
The final and, possibly, most important step is to make sure your RV’s roof is properly sealed.
The original sealant can wear off or develop cracks over time. You can save yourself from the nightmare of water damage by checking and re-sealing these areas regularly.
Tip: Focus on the areas around vents, skylights, and anywhere else there might be openings on the roof. If you want the best results always use a quality sealant that’s designed for RVs. If you’re going to go the DIY route you can learn more about RV sealants and which products are best from the folks at Crazy Family Adventure.
RV Roof Maintenance at Bish’s RV
RV roof maintenance might seem overwhelming, but regular attention now can save you a lot of time and money later. Now you know what to do to protect your RV’s roof. When spring rolls around, you’ll be grateful for a dry and damage-free interior, ready for the adventures ahead!
Bish’s expert RV service techs can help with your roof maintenance and repairs if you don’t have the ability or time to do it yourself. You can schedule an appointment at a service center near you.
Save time with Bish’s mobile tech service in the Grand Strand, near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and in Western Michigan/Ludington. Mobile techs are equipped to do RV treatments and work on seals. If you’re in these areas you can schedule online or call to make an appointment.
The Grand Strand / Myrtle Beach:
The price will vary depending on the services you request and the size of your RV. Contact our service center/mobile tech team for your quote.
Buying your RV from Bish’s includes a free membership to our Diamond Club. This includes a free yearly inspection of your RV – including the roof. Regular inspection can spot issues before they become big problems.
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