In the course of the service life of your RV, it is not impossible to have your roof slightly damaged and looking worn out. Similarly, if you purchase a new or second-hand RV, it is also essential to use a suitable sealant and coating to make your roof look posh and pristine.
Generally, roof sealants are usually applied as a preventive measure after purchasing a new RV or making a roof replacement. Additionally, they are also used when damage to the roof seals causes leaks and water damage to your RV.
This article holistically examines the types of RV roof sealants, their benefits, and how you can optimize them to get the best from them.
- Types of RV roof sealants
- Benefits of RV roof sealants
- Factors to consider in selecting the best RV roof sealant for you
- Tips for applying RV roof sealant
Types of RV roof sealants
Generally, there are two options when looking to seal your RV roofs: liquid sealants and sealing tapes. Liquid sealants are commonly used and are easy to apply. However, the surface to be coated needs to be prepared appropriately for maximum effect and may require additional coats to seal in properly.
Sealant tapes are great, especially for preventive maintenance. They can be applied on most surfaces thanks to the adhesive bond they are designed with. They are durable and resilient and can keep out moisture for several years. Below, we discuss an expanded categorization of products from these two main classes.
Geocel ProFlexRV Flexible Sealant
This is a liquid roof sealant that is available in a tube. It is very effective for use on metal and fiberglass types of RV roofs but should not be used on rubber RV roofs. They are affordable and develop strength quickly, and are used for corrective maintenance purposes on a damaged roof.
Pro Guard Liquid RV Roof Sealant
This is another liquid RV roof sealant that you can use to protect a new roof or use during repairs. It is available in gallons and will require a brush or a roller to spread it smoothly over the roof surface. It is durable and can withstand extreme service conditions such as UV rays, extreme temperatures, and rainfall. It is easy to apply, and within a few minutes of application, the roof is excellent and ready to go.
Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant
The use of this self-leveling lap sealant is widespread because it can bond to almost any surface. It can be used with TPO, EPDM rubber roofs, as well as fiberglass and metal RV roofs. Additionally, its tube design means you can squeeze it out from its tube bottle to cover obscure locations which other sealants may not touch effectively.
It is suitable for sealing damaged vents, roof edges, skylights, and vent pipes. It creates a tight bond with the sealing surface and produces a smooth and neat surface look.
Rust-Oleum LeakSeal Rubber Coating
While these are suited for residential roofing, they have a unique formula that makes them suitable for RV roofs. They are provided in small gallons and can be spread over the roof surface using a brush. They are preventive, and they protect RV roofs from damage from moisture or water ingress.
They are good for use around solar panel fittings, air vents, and air conditioning unit installations. They can be applied before painting and are also very good for protecting metallic RV roofs against rusting and corrosion. They are oil-based and are best used in conjunction with oil-based paints too.
Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating
This product is a favorite among most RV roof owners for sealing up damages to an RV roof. It is specially formulated such that the sealant contracts and expands with temperature changes leaving your RV roof immune to micro-holes that can develop from cracking. It is ideal for use on rubber-type RV roofs and protects your seams and vents from possible water damage.
EternaBond Tape Micro Sealant
This is a perfect example of a sealant tape you can use to keep your RV free of water damage. It has a gray adhesive surface that can bond strongly to the surface of your RV roof. It is effective for making quick fixes to your RV roof in case of sudden damages. It, however, may not be as effective when used to coat the entire RV roof surface as it may not effectively cover the hidden crevices.
Benefits of RV roof sealants
Although there are many types of RV roof sealants, the primary benefit of using them is to protect the roof from water damage. However, other additional benefits come along with this primary one.
When roof sealants are used as a preventive measure or to correct damage, they protect the roof. Using roof sealants is guaranteed to prolong the useful life of your RV and reduce the likelihood of any damage due to water. Their use is very economical, as it reduces the cost of future repairs and maintenance in the long run.
Another benefit that comes with RV roof sealants is temperature control which they offer. Most RV roof sealants reflect radiant heat and keep the inside of your RV roof cool during hot periods. They also keep your RV warm during the winter period allowing you to save up on the cost of warming your RV.
Factors to consider in selecting the best RV roof sealant for you
There are a few critical factors you should consider to arrive at the most appropriate RV roof sealant for you. While there are a plethora of options when it comes to RV roof sealants, you must select the choice that will optimally meet your sealing needs.
Type of roof material
There are many RV roof sealant products, but not all of them work great for all roof types. It is commonplace that a product often does not work great with rubber RV roofs due to its chemical compositions. If you use a sealant that is not suited for rubber roofs, it can cause further damage to your RV roof and require even more robust repairs.
It may require reading up on the specifications and manufacturer’s guide for the product to determine if the sealant is compatible with your RV roof.
Sealing or coating requirements
Sealing and coating, although quite similar and harmonious, are slightly different. While sealing involves protecting your RV roof from water damage, coating generally involves insulating it, making it more resistant to the weather elements alongside moisture protection. If your needs are simply to keep out water as in case of localized damage, a sealant may suffice.
However, if you require a general covering of your RV roof surface and insulation from UV rays and thermoregulation, etc., you should be looking at getting a coating product.
The elasticity of the seal
It is essential to factor in the elasticity of the seal formed by the RV roof sealant. As your RV will be perpetually exposed to harsh weather such as sunshine, snow, or rainfall, you need to ensure the sealant can withstand the elements. Ensure that the sealant can expand and contract as required and proportionately to the RV roof.
If a discrepancy exists between the materials change and the roof, it may serve as regions where moisture can attack the roof and cause damage. However, some locations may require a stronger and more rigid seal to support heavier weights in that region. Choosing the suitable sealant for the right location is best to avoid recurrent fixes.
Ease of Application
You should factor in the amount of effort and time required in their application in selecting products. Due to their constituents, products differ in how their application and preparation are required for optimum effectiveness. While some products are easier to work with and dry relatively quickly, such as Silicone, others do not.
Some require sufficient surface preparation and may require additional coats of the product. Furthermore, some may require periodic topping and re-application, while some may remain as they are at application permanently. It is necessary to be well informed about the application requirements of sealants before using them on your RV roof.
RV roof sealants are present in various product options, colors, packaging, and sizes. You should select the product that will meet your needs and specifications effectively and give you the desired finish. If you only require a localized coating, you should stick to products that will serve that need and avoid keeping products for long periods.
This is because most sealants are toxic and should be applied and left to dry, and not handled carelessly. If also you have a specific color need, you can get the desired color as roof sealants are available in many color offerings. Likewise, sealant products come in tubes as liquid pastes or in gallons to be coated with a brush to have the best product for your needs.
Tips for applying RV roof sealant
Before diving into the tips for applying a sealant to your RV roof, you should know when to apply a sealant and reseal your RV roof.
You should conduct routine inspections of your RV roof to arrest any slight damages or leaks that may occur before they become widespread. This routine maintenance is a sure way to reduce the cost of sealing your roof whenever damage occurs. There is always a difference in cost between fixing extensive damages and a small crack in your sealant before it spreads.
Likewise, you should examine not only a damaged area but the other seals on your RV roof.
The tips for applying a sealant to your RV roof are:
After selecting the RV roof sealant most appropriate for your RV’s roof, you will need to apply it sufficiently. The process of applying the sealant will vary depending on the product you have decided to use. However, you should generally start by preparing the surface by cleaning or washing properly and keeping it dry and ready for the sealant.
You should observe the instructions provided on the product manual and determine the required number of coats. If you have decided to complete applying your RV roof sealant as a DIY project, you may consider watching tutorial videos to prepare you for the process.
If you are using a product in a paste tube or you require a caulking gun to apply the sealant, you should cordon out the area you are applying to. While some come in the paste tube for easy application, some may require a caulking gun to apply it correctly. Generally, you should get the appropriate tools to simplify your application process.
If you are using a product with acrylic or urethane, you will need to apply in coats for optimum results. Applying the sealant in coats instead of one thick coat will allow the product to settle in and seep in properly to the RV roof and make it more durable. To do this effectively, you will require a brush or roller to sufficiently spread the sealant coats over the roof surface.
You should select a warm and dry day to apply your roof sealant and complete the application in a shaded and airy area to allow the product to dry properly. Avoid too much heat and sunlight that can cause the roof to warp and uneven the coating.
If you are using a sealant tape product, it requires less preparation and is suited for a fast and straightforward repair. It works swiftly and is ready to go with little application effort.
Generally, RV roof sealants can be applied as a DIY project, but you can consult a professional if you require the assistance of one.
Perhaps the major challenge faced by RV roofs is water damage. This does not have to be a constant source of worry for you, provided you select the best roof sealant for you. This article has carefully detailed the different types, benefits, and tips for applying RV roof sealants. This is a sure guide to getting the perfect RV sealant for you.