Roof maintenance can save damage and inconvenience
. Few people consider a roof to be an appliance-- but it is, and a very important one, at that. After all, of what use is an RV that can't keep the rain off of your head? A roof requires the same care and attention as any other appliance if it is to give reliable service. Water can do great damage to an RV, particularly any areas made of wood. A little maintenance during periods of good weather can go a long way in keeping you dry during the winter months and/or during bad weather. It is easy simple work. The hardest part is not falling off the roof!
Pick a nice day.
Use a sturdy ladder to get up on the roof, using boards to distribute your weight as you move around. I find that with three or four pieces, each about a yard square, I can position them around as needed. This saves any possible roof damage.
Washing The Roof
A good first step is to wash the roof thoroughly, for several reasons. It makes a nicer place for you to work. It lets you see the areas that you will need to inspect. And, if you need to add sealant, you will have a clean surface to apply it to. Another reason to do this is to look for leaks. After you wash the RV roof, go around inside the RV to look for any signs of moisture. Look especially around the edges and in any cupboard space. Of course, if you find any leaks, you must repair the roof in the corresponding location. Assuming you find no leaks, go over every inch of seam on your roof. This is not really as hard or time consuming as it sounds, taking maybe half an hour. Have some sealant with you on the roof as you inspect. If any area even looks suspect, give it a dab of sealant.
There are two varieties of sealants, one which dries or cures more or less completely, and one that does not. Caulks tend to remain somewhat pliable, like putty, over their lifespan. Thay can be found with life expectancies of 25 to 35 years, or more. These are good for pre-painted surfaces or may be applied to finished surfaces. If being removed, old sealant must be dug out and scraped away. Silicone products cure to a hard, but rubbery surface. They can no longer be reshaped after curing. Old sealant of this variety is better cut and peeled away. Silicone should not be applied over caulks, because of the different ways they cure. The silicone will tend to pull away the caulk if it encounters any physical stress on the joint. Paint will never adhere to silicone materials, so it is usually used over finished surfaces only. You should use whichever type of sealant you already have on your roof. You will find yourself resting easier after doing the above maintenance on your roof, knowing that you can make it through another year staying dry. Doing this yearly can prevent any leaks form occuring-- ever. By the time you notice a leak, it has already done damage. It may not be the best time to go up on the roof either!