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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Rubber Roof Maintenance

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lclevel

Norwood, La.

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Posted: 11/07/11 06:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi everyone!
This is my first post, but I’ve been lurking here a long time and have learned a lot.
I recently purchased a 2007 Jayco 29FBS TT which has a rubber roof. I’ve noticed that the rubber has a chalky substance on it and I’m assuming that’s normal as it ages. I’ve only had aluminum roofs over the years so rubber is new to me. Can you tell me what kind of maintenance is required and is there anything that I should pay careful attention to? Thanks.

tomman

out and about....

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Posted: 11/07/11 07:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use Protect Alls Rubber Roof Cleaner once a year. It gets rid of the chalkiness and leaves the roof a bit slickery.

QUICK83STANG

ches va

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Posted: 11/07/11 09:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check that "chalking" closely to see if you keep rubbing with a soft bristle brush and spick and span and it keeps coming off untill you see black rubber. This means your roof is on its way out and needs re-treated with an approved product from your manufacter.

downtheroad

Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 11/07/11 08:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The manual and manufacturer say to wash it once or twice a year with a mild house hold detergent like Murphy's Oil Soap, Spic n' Span or Dawn dish soap and use a soft bristle brush..

Most important is to inspect it regularly and reseal the openings and caps as need.

You can treat it if you want to with something like Dicor Rubber Roof Treatment. DO NOT use an kind of product that has petroleum distillates in it..
It's also a good idea to stay off the roof as much as possible.


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spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 11/07/11 08:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The chalky substance is normal. Maintenance is washing it when its dirty with an approved EPDM cleaner. Warranty is 10 years, they should last at least 15 or more if taken care of. Mine is 13 years old right now and in good shape. Previous owner tore a hole in the roof which I fixed, but the rest of the roof is fine.


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Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 11/07/11 08:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We wash ours with a long handle soft brush and Dawn, etc dish washing liquid.

Yesterday with ours well washed and dry we put on four coats of Red Max Pro #3 from Lowes after an accidental test and learning from the company it would not hurt an EPDM rubber roof.

I do not suggest you try this YET since only a handful have posted their experiences. Also all seams and openings should be sealed for the long term with Eternabond and I would only suggest that Eternabond is applied to very CLEAN roof.

The acrylic floor finish Red Max Pro #3 (ZEP Wet Look sister product) and today I noticed Johnson Was has a #3 acrylic floor finish product and this type chemical has been used on fiberglass boats for many years and RV use is becoming more popular too.

Again do not think about using this class product until you have redone your seams, etc. Just follow the testing results over time ot the RV roofs of others.

The factory rep I spoke to said while it will not damage a rubber roof that it may peel off over time but we know it wears off the fiber glass boats and RV's over time anyway and has to be recoated.

Again a soft brush and HAND dishwashing soap is the most common care given to any RV roof.

The goals I have for Red Max Pro use on the rubber roof is to make washing it a snap, keep black stuff from growing on it, tree leaves from staining it, the sides of RV looking better and make the roof finish last a little longer.

What stated all of this is my son spilled some RMP on the roof but "forgot" to tell me about it then a week later I found it and called Zep and got the good news while the product is made for inside use that it could not hurt the rubber roof. The spill was three months ago.

Again I do NOT suggest you used Red Max Pro #3 from Lowes or Zep Wet Look from Home Depot or other brands of acrylic floor finish at this time. I would not consider it until after seams period are sealed for the long term with Eternabond.

In a few years there will be longer term results posted by many. Some of us are closer to timing out than others.

lclevel

Norwood, La.

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Posted: 11/08/11 01:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone for all the replys!! Guess I'll be busy this weekend washing the roof and inspecting it closely. I don't have any leaks, and I want to do everything in my power to keep it that way.

FYI
One thing I noticed when I did a quick roof inspection last weekend, was that the TV antenna seems to be rubbing on the membrane while being towed, causing additional wear at the points of contact. I may have to put some type of buffer pad to prevent further wearing. It may be OK as is, but its an area that I'm going to watch closely. You may want to do the same.

Almot

Vancouver BC

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Posted: 11/08/11 01:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Speaking of EPDM material itself, there is basically no maintenance. Washing with mild soap won't hurt, so do it if you feel like. Will help notice major damage too, though you'll likely miss small cracks anyway. Most roof and wall damages are water-related and within first 10 years those almost always come not from damaged EPDM coat, but from leaky seams or condensate from inside. Rain leaks on seams can be prevented with Eterna tape and liquid EPDM, while protecting against condensation is more difficult. Note that I said "prevented" - original factory seams are destined to leak if not reinforced, it's not "if", but "when".

skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 11/07/11 01:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Manufacturer says all that is required is to wash the roof with mild detergent and soft brush a couple of times a year. Rubber roofs are designed to chalk off over time but they are guaranteed for 12 years in most cases. MUCH of the trouble with rubber roofs is caused by putting chemicals on them to "protect or preserve" them. Rubber roofs are very sensitive to what chemicals are used on them.


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batman99

at seasonal site

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Posted: 11/07/11 03:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tried Spic&Span cleaner (re: liquid in Orange bottle) to wash my TT's EDPM roof and wasn't overly impressed. Yes, I loved the price (at my local dollar store) but for instant cleaning ability I wasn't impressed.

For me, I use Protect Alls Rubber Roof Cleaner. Yes. Pricey. But, it is a very easy to use "and it works" product. Simply crawl on one's hands and knees (to also better distribute the body weight) with soft sponge knee pads on and wipe away in circle motions. Just like cleaning the kitchen floor - on one's hands and knees. Good physical exercise and best of all, one can do a visual "close up" inspections of roof seams, existing Dicor caulk and other high risk water leak areas.

While "on the roof", I also do AC unit inspections, areal cable inspections, roof vent inspections, clean the gutters and other "inspect and repair" tasks.

.

* This post was last edited 11/08/11 03:09pm by batman99 *   View edit history

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