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 > Ruber Roof Cleaning

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Weaverville, NC

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Joined: 07/14/2004

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Posted: 08/12/04 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess I need to overcome my fear of heights. Camping World quoted me $395.00 to clean and protect my rubber roof on our 5er. Is this the going rate? Also recommended doing it 2 x a year.


Big Spring, TX

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Joined: 07/30/2003

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Posted: 08/12/04 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yea, for 800/yr, i'll clean and inspect your roof for you too.

Not that big of a deal.

Layne Mims
Big Spring, TX

2004 KZ Frontier 2809 Picts
GoinKZ Owners Group
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2 EU2000's, Jordan, Retrax, aeroflow covers, maxxair fan cover, atwood tongue jack, f/r quickdraw power stab jacks, watts press regulator, doran 12 tire monitoring system(dually+spare, trailer+spare), levelair air level bags.

Truth Justice


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Joined: 11/24/2003

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Posted: 08/12/04 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is some information about rubber roofs.


Subject: EPDM Roofs Service Announcement

Approximately 75% of all Recreational Vehicles now manufactured have EPDM Rubber Roofs. Because of the advent of 'rubber roof treatment' products in the last few years, the tremendous amount of misinformation and lack of understanding about this material and it's proper maintenance, 303 Products,
Inc. and Dicor Corporation (a leading supplier of EPDM roofing material) have recently published a public service announcement which details the facts...important information RVers need to know.
EPDM RUBBER: What it is and why it lasts so long.
PROPER CARE: What manufacturers actually recommend.
WATCH OUT! For RV products that can damage EPDM rubber and void your warranty!
How to keep your EPDM rubber roof clean and looking like new.
EPDM is one of the most versatile and long lasting materials ever manufactured for outdoor exposure.
Most RV industry experts consider EPDM rubber roofing membrane the most dependable, most cost effective and easiest to maintain roofing material there is. Yet today's average RVer is deluged with information, a great deal of it misinformation, about rubber roofs. Consequently, RVers are spending millions on unneeded products, many of which may be harmful to EPDM rubber roofs.
This Public Service Announcement details the truth about EPDM and reprints manufacturer's guidelines on cleaning and maintaining the EPDM rubber roofing membrane on your RV. If you have questions after reviewing the material, please contact Dicor Corporation, the RV industry's largest supplier of EPDM rubber roofing. Dicor’s address and phone numbers are provided.

Misinformation, Mistakes & Money
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Engineering specifications describe EPDM as "ideal for outdoor applications because of its excellent resistance to ultra-violet light, ozone, oxidants, and severe weather conditions."
EPDM rubber roofing membrane is made to last 20 years or longer and has a 10 to 12 year guarantee depending on the brand. The guarantee does not require the use of any protective `roof treatment' or 'roof protector' product and recommends only cleaning. Unlike natural rubber (latex) or rubber blends (tires & wiper blades), EPDM does not require periodic applications of any product to protect it from ultra-violet light or ozone.
The statement or implication that you should purchase and apply a product to "protect" your rubber roofing from the elements is misinformation. Buying and using such a product can be a mistake and may even damage the EPDM membrane.

Petroleum distillates - Not For EPDM
Petroleum distillates are incompatible and should never be used on a number of plastics...vinyl, most rubbers and particularly EPDM. Engineering specifications for EPDM rate its solvent and oil resistance as "POOR". Dicor's Care & Maintenance instructions warn: "CAUTION: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof".
One of the mildest of solvents is mineral spirits, and DICOR even warns against this: "DO NOT use mineral spirits in a large area or allow it to soak into the membrane.
Laboratory tests conducted in July of 1996 evaluated the effect of a leading RV "roof treatment" product on EPDM roofing membrane using standard sunlamp and immersion testing procedures. The "roof treatment", which contained petroleum distillates, caused a 630% mass change (swelling). In the summary/recommendations portion of the lab test the scientist noted they would not recommend the "roof treatment" and perhaps more tellingly noted, "Per the MSDS, this product contains petroleum distillates, a substance that is known to be incompatible with….EPDM sheeting".
For your rubber roof, for the EPDM seals around slide-outs / pop-ups, in the baggage compartments or for the EPDM door and trunk seals in your car, petroleum distillates are a huge "No No". And don't be fooled by names such as "organic solvent", "hydrocarbon carrier", etc Petroleum distillates by any other name should NEVER be applied to EPDM. If you aren't sure about a product, contact the manufacturer and have them send you a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Look under the section entitled "HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS". If it lists any petroleum distillates, do not use it on EPDM.
The FAQ's:
Q: Is it necessary to protect my rubber roof against UV light?
A: No.
Q: What do I need to do to care for my rubber roof?
A: Periodic cleaning (See DICOR Care 8 Maintenance instructions).
Q: One manufacturer told me their roof treatment product had only a minor percentage of petroleum distillates, something like 20 or 30 percent. Does the percentage matter?
A: Usually percentages given are based on weight. Since petroleum distillates are significantly lighter than water, in reality 30 percent by weight might be 40% or more by volume. But it really doesn't matter.
Q: If I use a roof treatment product containing petroleum distillates on my rubber roof, can that void my warranty?
A: Yes.
Q: If I'm going to buy a used RV and it has a rubber roof, how can I tell
if the previous owner used petroleum distillates and damaged the rubber roof? What would the damage look like?
A: Two things: First, swelling. Uneven thicknesses of material. Second, loose areas. Petroleum distillates soak in and cause the adhesive to loosen and the membrane to balloon. Then, when the swelling goes down and the membrane flattens out again, it may never again adhere properly or completely.
Q: Dicor’s Care & Maintenance instructions says you can use mineral spirits on stubborn stains. isn't mineral spirits a petroleum distillate?
A: Yes. But note the instructions say to use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and then only to remove a stubborn stain; to never use a petroleum distillate (even a solvent as mild as mineral spirits) directly on the membrane, in a large area or allow it to soak in. In no way is "treating" the roof membrane with a product containing petroleum distillates recommended or condoned.
Q: Oxidation: My roof seems to oxidize and run down the sides when it rains. What's going on?
A: First, EPDM roofing membrane does oxidize slowly, it's supposed to. In a dozen years it may oxidize 10% of its thickness. This is normal. Cleaning as recommended will help greatly. At least four times a year, more often if your local conditions and experience warrant.
Q: The rubber roofing wraps over slightly on both sides of my RV and you can see it from the ground. It gets dirty and doesn't look good. What can
I do about this?
A: Clean the area and treat it with a product that will repel soiling and is safe for EPDM. One product that performs and lasts well, is safe for EPDM and is commonly available at RV stores is 303 Protectant"
DicorTM Corporation
Brite-Ply Roof Care and Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of your recreational vehicle, including your Brite-Ply roof is important for trouble-free performance. Normal maintenance is simple, easy, and requires no special material.
(1) Keep your roof clean. Clean your roof at least four (4) times annually. For normal cleaning:
Use RC100 or a mild laundry detergent. (See CAUTION below.)
Rinse complete roof with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris.
'Using a medium bristle brush, along with the cleaner mixed with water, scrub the entire roof. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to avoid residue build-up on the roof or sidewalls of the vehicle.
For more difficult stains, you may use RC100, mentioned above, in a more concentrated mixture.
For stubborn stains, use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. DO NOT use mineral spirits in a large area or allow it to soak into the membrane. Household bleach can also be used (fully concentrated) and allowed to soak in stubborn stain areas, then scrubbed with a medium bristle brush or a cloth. Rinse thoroughly.
Recommended cleaner: RC100 Dicer Synthetic Roof & General Purpose Cleaner.
Caution: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof,
Use caution when working on top of your vehicle. The wet Brite-Ply membrane may be extremely slippery
(2) Beware of areas where fruit or tree sap or harsh environmental fall-out may stay on the roof for an extended period of time. These conditions may result in unremovable stains. If you are in these conditions, you may have to increase the frequency of your cleaning or premature deterioration may occur.

COPYRIGHT 1997 by Dicer Corporation, Elkhart, Indiana 46515

This Public Service Announcement is provided as a public service by:
PO Box 1806 PO Box 966
Elkhart, IN 46515 Pale Cedro, CA 96073 (219) 264-2699 (916) 549-5617 http://www.303-products.com

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Denver, CO

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Posted: 08/12/04 11:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gad Zooks! What are they using? Unobtainium?

I've got a little "FoH" too! But I just sucked it up and climbed up there with the hose and bucket and extention wand and scrubber and Murphy's Oil Soap. I wore my deck shoes and tried to stay in the middle of the roof. And moved around very carefully! So far, twice a year has been plenty of that particular exercise. The bruises from my knees knocking together are finally starting to fade.

BTW...no protectant used...just my opinion, but I think it's a waste of money.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

2003 GMC Sierra SLT ExtCab 3500 D/A 4X4
2003 Carriage Cameo LXI F34CK3



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Posted: 08/12/04 11:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[quote $395.00 to clean and protect my rubber roof on our 5er. recommended doing it 2 x a year.[/quote] I wont that job i need 800.00 bucks and i will do u a fine job.HA HA HA im afraid of heights also but i will do it for that kind of money Lois

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Tom & Lois Viars
Vacation Rentals By Owner in Beautiful Smoky Mountains Tn

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Posted: 08/12/04 02:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first time I did mine I fell off the ladder and ended up in plaster but I did it again a few weeks ago and hubby lifted me up on our forklift truck I have not walked on the roof it is only small so I can manage I would be very warry of walking on it and it is slippy

[blue]Ford RangerXLT Gulfstream Amerilite 21FMS

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Montreal (Qc) Adirondacks (NY) Myrtle Beach (SC)


Joined: 08/22/2002

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Posted: 08/12/04 05:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't want to scare you but the first time I washed mine I was on my hands and knees with a scrub brush using a rubber roof soap. When I did the slope over the bedroom I managed to get my knees into the soap and almost slid off the front of the 5er. I was saved by the MaxxAir cover!

Now I use a brush on a LONG stick and make sure there is no soap under my feet.

I'm absolutely useless at any heights greater than 2 feet [image] but I was able to overcome my fears and go on the roof all the time now (check my photos for proof!)

2014 Enterra 314RES (Cruiser RV) TT, Equal-i-zer 12K, Honda 2000 Genny
2022 Ford F-150 Sport 4X4


north lawrence ny usa

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Joined: 07/15/2004

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Posted: 08/12/04 05:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a dutchman classic fifth wheel. I was worried about walking on the roof to clean it for fear I would step through it. Are they pretty solid or do u have to walk in certain spots?



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Joined: 10/28/2003

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Posted: 08/12/04 12:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did mine last weekend took about an hour and a half and twice a year is enough for me and the high wire act. Stay in the miidle

'97 Doge 3500 Dually Ext Cab custom paint and interior
'99 Alpenlite 35' RL Shorecliff Triple slide 6.5 Onan">

Bill n Pat

Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Posted: 08/12/04 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I need to do mine before Labor Day weekend gets here.[emoticon] I use a small amount of regular car wash to do the roof and the camper. I start on the roof, staying in the middle and working my way from the front to the back carefully.[emoticon] I rinse it off as I go. Then I do the front, back and sides![emoticon]


Bill & Pat
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