April showers bring you more than May flowers? Now’s the time we begin finding small holes and brown rings from winter and spring water damage. And unfortunately, water damage can be one of the most costly RV repairs. But, the good news is that preventative measures can drastically reduce if not eliminate the potential for moisture damage.
- Keep a look out for any signs of water damage… small holes, flaws, brown rings
- Regularly inspect roof components and their seals by spraying a garden hose.
- Order an extra roof air conditioner gasket to have on-hand.
- Most RV roofs are now made with a synthetic roofing material such as EPDM (rubber roofing) or thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). It’s recommended that older RV roofs be replaced with EPDM or TPO as one-piece synthetic roofs drastically reduce opportunities for water damage. It may also improve your trade-in value.
- When you’re inspecting your roof, wear soft sole shoes, and lay down sheets of plywood or other surfaces to protect your soft roof while you move about.
- While you’re on the roof, look for low sinking areas that could pool water. This is a good reason to avoid stepping between rafters.
- Inspect each seam, and push down on each side to ensure it does not open up. Any crack is a potential water leak.
- Check out the area of roof that folded over the sidewalls and behind the molding. Apply sealant to any cranks or openings you discover but be aware that silicone sealants do now work with rubber roofs.
- Check the trim moldings while you’re looking at the roof’s edges. Look especially for open areas behind the rail or trim. Check screws for rust, and remove the entire piece of trim if you find rust. Poke around and check for soft wood.
- If you have steel or aluminum framework, scrape off the old sealant, and check for any cracks behind molding. Apply clear silicone or fresh putty tape, and reinstall molding. If you find a stripped screw, you’ll need to replace it with a large screw and reseal.
- Check the seals about the base of your sewer vents. Be sure to remove your vent cover and inspect the inside and around the vent pipe. If you find any gaps, plug with putty.
Roof vents/Caps/Air Conditioner/ Other components
- Closely inspect around the flange area of your roof vents. Check for cracks in the vent, and replace entire cover if necessary.
- Check the front and rear caps to ensure there are no gaps or cracks where the caps meat the roof and sidewalls.
- Periodically remove the inside discharge duct of your air conditioner and visually inspect the gasket. If it appears crushed, replace it.
- Be sure to regularly inspect any additional components you have installed in your roof, including solar panels, antennae, and skylights. Look for cracked or deteriorated seals and loose or rusty hardware. Be sure to remove any old caulking before applying a new seal.