Rubber Roof Care And Maintenance

This is a question that is usually asked after there has been damage to a customer’s roof.  What type of roof care and maintenance should I be doing for the rubber roof on my RV?  It is really sad, because if that question had been asked the day the RV was purchased they could of saved themselves a lot of money and heartache.

The most popular type of roof on an RV these days is a rubber roof.   When I say rubber roof I don’t mean latex rubber.  The roof membrane I am talking about is EPDM or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.  If your RV roof is taken care of properly this membrane is made to last for 20 years or longer.  They will usually hold a 10 to 12 year warranty on them.  Should you not follow proper roof care and maintenance guidelines that warranty is null and void.

Cleaning your roof 4 times a year is the only maintenance recommended by EPDM manufacturers.  Believe it or not the manufacturers do not require using any protective roof treatment or protector at all.  One thing they all agree on is to never use harsh abrasives, citric based cleaners, or cleaners or conditioners that contain petroleum solvents.  Using these products can harm your roof and void your warranty.  Each manufacturer will recommend their own brand of cleaner, but all approve mild laundry detergent as a good choice for cleaning your roof.

After years you will notice that your roof will be chalky looking.  This is normal.  Even though your EPDM rubber roof doesn’t need to be protected from the ultraviolet rays and the ozone if you feel you must protect it the manufactures approve 303 Aerospace Protectant safe to help resist staining and make future cleanings easier.  This can be expensive so you might consider treating the whole roof once a year and only the parts you can see from the ground the other times.

Don’t forget after cleaning your roof while you are still up there to inspect all the roof seams, around the vents, and any extrusion from the roof line through the rubber roofing.  Make sure all the caulking is still gap and void free.  Check your AC shroud for cracks, your refrigerator vent for cracks and even your TV/Satellite antenna.  If anything needs attention now is a good time to take care of this.  Should your caulking need to be touched up remember to only use self leveling caulking.  Never use silicone on the extrusions, around vents etc.

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