RV.Net Open Roads Forum: EPDM Rubber Roofs - The Cause of Stubborn Black Streaks

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > EPDM Rubber Roofs - The Cause of Stubborn Black Streaks

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 7  
Next
Sponsored By:
Wounded by the Dish

Southern US

Senior Member

Joined: 05/20/2003

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read at least twenty times in this forum how black streaks are just dirt running off the roof in a light rain. Keep the roof clean and no black streaks. I think that is wrong.

Incidentally, I am not looking for suggestions as to what to use to remove the black streaks. I have read every post on this forum concerning products to use for removal. I am just talking about the cause of the really hard to remove streaks.

I think EPDM rubber roof material is the culprit. I think it releases something that causes a different, much harder to remove kind of black streak. The dirt may be why it’s black, but it can’t be why it sticks so tenaciously. Here are the facts I thought about that lead me to this conclusion:

  • My black streaks have become harder and harder to remove over time. When the trailer was new, Camco Black Streak Remover from Wal-Mart took them right off. After a year, it took them off with a little bit of wiping, maybe four or five strokes. After a year and a half they would not come off completely, so I bought a different brand of Black Streak Remover at Wal-Mart. That wouldn’t take them off completely. It got most of it, as had the Camco cleaner, but not all of it.

  • I have been hand washing my cars (with painted roofs) for many decades and have never seen dirt that would not come off any kind of paint or clear coat using only a sponge and water. Tar and bugs required detergent, solvent and/or elbow grease, but dirt always came off with a wet sponge. The black streaks on my trailer are the hardest to remove stains I’ve ever encountered anywhere, even though the sides are just aluminum with paint on top.

  • I’ve read here about many people who use Windex to remove black streaks. Windex never was able to remove my black streaks, even when I cleaned them the first time. I wonder if these people using Windex have fiberglass or Brite-Tek roofs, or consider removal of most of the stain acceptable.

  • People have posted that Newmar RVs with Brite-Tek roofs do not cause impossible to remove black streaks.

  • People have posted that their fiberglass roofs do not make impossible to remove black streaks.

  • My Komfort trailer of twenty years ago never got any black streaks on the sides. It had a painted aluminum roof. I had it for two or three years, hardly ever washed it and it looked fine. My present trailer has the same material on the sides, but a rubber roof on top. The difference is the roof material.

  • People have posted that it’s only dew or a very light rain that causes the streaks. I have gutters running the entire length of my trailer. I also have streaks from one end to the other. This indicates that moderate or heavy rain overflowing my gutters is causing the streaks, and not just dew or a light rain. All have been impossible to remove completely the last six months (trailer almost two years old now). There is something besides dirt and water in what is running off the roof!

I think the sun or just time is causing the EPDM to break down, releasing something that causes dirt to stick tenaciously to paint. Maybe it’s like vinyl giving off vapor that causes that haze on the insides of windshields. Here in Texas the sun is intense, perhaps producing streaks that are harder to remove than in the north. My streaks will not come off completely. My idea as to the cause is just an idea, but what I feel quite sure about is that it’s the EPDM rubber roof that’s at the root of the problem. It is the only thing that’s different from the cars I’ve washed over the years, including cars with painted aluminum parts on them.

If the rubber roof is putting out a substance that causes the dirt to stick to the paint, there ought to be something that will remove or neutralize that substance at the source. Whatever that is, that's what we should be using to wash our roofs. I just have no clue what it might be.

I am actually considering painting my roof to cover up this evil material. Anyone tried paint or some other material? Or I could put on six-inch gutters, or Vaseline my glasses so I can’t see the streaks! Or pay triple my present rent to store the trailer under cover. [emoticon]

HiTech

Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 03/22/2002

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 11/11/04 10:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The roof oxidizes over time, causing the black runoff. Cleaning it (with cleaner recommended by the roof manufacturer!) removes the oxidation before it runs down the RV sides.

Take a look at THIS thread for some good information.

Jim

Stan Birch

Newmarket, Ontario

Senior Member

Joined: 07/06/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 11/11/04 11:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While EPDM roofs tend to provide a better surface for black streaks to adhere to than polished fiberglass or Brite-tek roofs, EPDM doesn't *create* black streaks. Black streaks are caused by settled airborn pollution.

There are a whole lot of ultra-expensive magical snake-oil kind of
black streak removers on the market, which are little more than re-packaged laundry detergent. I've yet to discover a black streak that wouldn't yield to mild solution of Tide Laundry Detergent; albiet that really subborn stuff might respond better to a concentrated laundry-detergent paste. It's not merely a wipe-on wipe-off kind of thing. You do have to give it time to do it's job.

Beyond that, black streak removal doesn't provide the slightest challenge.


'99 Winnebago Adventurer 32T, Ford V-10
'00 Yamaha XT 225

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

Senior Member

Joined: 06/07/2004

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 11:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Or pay triple my present rent to store the trailer under cover. [emoticon]


This is a great post - and I agree that there's more than just "dirt" at work....

But I'll save you some bucks.....our 2004 Motorhome is stored indoors. In late August, I scrubbed the roof, to try to stop the streaks; and after camping in an October rainstorm, the black streaks are back. They REALLY stand out against our white sides :-(

Our MH has smooth fiberglass sides - and the Black Streak Remover that I use still requires much elbow grease...sigh. Even with a good coating of super-slippery ProtectAll.

Thanks for mentioning that your rain gutters don't really help - I was considering adding them to mine.

I'm afraid it's going to take some sort of chemist to explain why this particular brand of dirt can adhere so well!!

Deb


Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
2001 Rockwood Premier 1904 Popup Camper
I never know what we'll be pulling it with!

jmrkav

Livingston, Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 10/25/2002

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 11:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I had rubber roofs, I found waxing the trailer often was the only help to removing the black streaks. I have not had good luck with the commercial cleaners and have found Stans recommendation the best way to remove them. It will take the wax off so you will have to immediately re wax. Rubber roofs do breakdown with time and it seems the longer you own one the worse it gets. That's why I love my Newmar with the TPO roofing. I can't stand to have black streaks all down the sides of my trailer. I'm doing a lot less work now.

Momma

Eastern Oregon

Senior Member

Joined: 07/06/2003

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 11:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the reasons you are having trouble getting the streaks off the sides is when you first washed it you washed off the protective coating on the side walls. thus leaving the black streaks a better foot hold so they are harder to take off each time after that.

tempforce

Oregun Pacific Wonderland (in the summers)

Senior Member

Joined: 04/26/2002

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 06:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i use simple green to clean off the black streaks, and wax afterwards with a car wax with teflon in it.
during the rainy season, i sprinkle spic and span on the roof and leave it. to help bleach and soak the roof, to help prevent the black streak of ugly, in appearing.
this even helps in removing the black oil stain from the myrtle tree, here in coos county oregon.
(one of the two places known on the planet, where these trees grow).


somewhere in the texas 'lost pines'
currently without rv.
'13' Ford Fusion
'83' Ford Ranger with a 2.2 Diesel.
'56' Ford F100, 4.6 32 valve v8, crown vic front suspension.
downsizing from a 1 ton diesel and a 32' trailer, to a 19-21' trailer for the '56'.

Stan Birch

Newmarket, Ontario

Senior Member

Joined: 07/06/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 11/11/04 12:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

One of the reasons you are having trouble getting the streaks off the sides is when you first washed it you washed off the protective coating on the side walls.

Protective coating on the side walls? Are you serious?

CoachmenKen

Wake Forest, NC

Senior Member

Joined: 08/04/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 11/11/04 02:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thought it had alot to do with acid rain, whatever is floating around in the air laying on the roof, then the rain washing it down, maybe a combo of many things. I do know I see the same, impossible to remove black streaks on a vinyl garden window in my kitchen. The streak remover will not clean it completely.

Ken


Ken & Dawn
Our DVGRR Golden rescue Daisy

Currently looking for a TT after doing the Class A thing

skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

Senior Member

Joined: 12/17/2003

View Profile



Posted: 11/11/04 02:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I do get some black streaks from my roof run off, most of mine occurs where gutters don't allow it. It comes from under aluminum siding and the most stubborn of all is around my city water hook up. I believe (caution untested theory here) that when you remove the black streaks you don't actually get the whole thing and when it comes back it is accumulative. Over time, more and more of the stain is left after cleaning. The real secret to keeping them away is to remove them as soon as possible. The longer they sit the harder they are to remove.

Let me commend the other posters to this thread in as much as no one yet has suggest using Bounce Fabric Softner[emoticon] Finally one topic that someone does not think it is the answer.


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population


This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 7  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > EPDM Rubber Roofs - The Cause of Stubborn Black Streaks
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2018 CWI, Inc. © 2018 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS