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Author Topic: Cleaning RV Roof  (Read 412 times)

jamespace17

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Cleaning RV Roof
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:27:48 AM »
We are cleaning the roof of our 20 yr old motorhome.  We have used bleach due to the heavy heavy oxidation..  It cleaned it beautifully.  we went back up to finish today and the surface is bubbling.. What could be happening and what do I do.Thanks
James Pace

satxron

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 09:48:15 AM »
TPO, EPDM Rubber, Metal, what is the surface. If it rubber or TPO bleach really shouldn't hurt it.  If it has some minor leaks under the membrane at vent or AC openings the moisture can run under the membrane. If it did that it gasses in heat and makes blister like bubbles. A 35' 20 year old MH probably has EPDM rubber. You may have actually bubbled up the last coating it got and not the roof membrane itself.

I dunno, Bleach if washed off well won't hurt the roof unless the roof is really thin and worn out. There are some real experts here, not me, that can tell you what it is. Can you post of picture of it?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 09:50:40 AM by satxron »

kdbgoat

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 09:54:40 AM »
Did you have any detergent mixed with the bleach?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

jamespace17

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 09:59:11 AM »
no detergent. 

jamespace17

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 10:02:41 AM »
Thanks Saxtron.  Makes sense.  going to let it dry and see what happens.  Fingers crossed.

Gods Country

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 10:07:54 AM »
I know people use bleach to clean rubber roofs, but not this guy.  There are plenty of affordable products intended for the purpose.

How dilute was the bleach?

RVfixer

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 11:06:14 AM »
On my last trailer and on my present trailer the rubber roof manufacture's instructions for cleaning the roof was to use a bleach solution with some dish detergent mixed it.  It also said to use an abrasive like Borax or Commet and a stiff brush for tough stains.  It CAUTIONED against using any product that contain petroleum distillates as that would cause the roof membrane to become detached from the wood and bubble up.  Any petroleum distillates detected in the roof membrane voids the warranty.  Nothing like reading instructions.

As far as many products available to clean rubber roofs...Camping World once sold a product for rubber roofs that I hear ruined a lot of roofs.  It said on the product that there was a "negligible" amount of petroleum distillates in the product.  The roof manufacturer states that "No amount is acceptable."  It's a diluted bleach and Dawn dish soap for me for years and years with no problems at all.   

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 01:00:57 PM »
In my opinion this paranoia about "petroleum distillates" is far overblown by RV owners. Dicor talks about distillate levels on the order of 30%, not trace amounts. Heck, even Dicor's own lap sealant contains a small amount of "petroleum distillates". A case of "do as we say, not as we do.".  They just don't want you to slop on mineral spirits or acetone that can soak through and loosen the adhesive. However, they also know that if they said "only a tiny amount" or some such, a few idiots would pour on a gallon and then say "whaa happened?".
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 01:09:40 PM »
Quote
We are cleaning the roof of our 20 yr old motorhome.  We have used bleach due to the heavy heavy oxidation..  It cleaned it beautifully.  we went back up to finish today and the surface is bubbling.. What could be happening and what do I do.

We really need to know what type of roof it was, both the base material and whether it was painted or coated with something. Many rigs of age 20 had EPDM rubber roofs, but the better models often had fiberglass or aluminum. Heck, Winnebago has been using fiberglass for roofs for that long and they aren't even a high-priced product.

I would always recommend caution with full strength bleach, but even 50/50 should be ok for any roof material, EPDM, TPO, fiberglass or Aluminum. The primary risk is that it penetrates the EPDM and loosens the adhesive.  Usually that causes loose areas rather than small bubbles, but I suppose any sort of bubble is possible.  However, strong bleach can peel or bubble coatings, including paint and elastomeric rubber coatings. I suspect you may have encountered one of those. Hopefully it will settle down as it dries. Metal or fiberglass roofs are typically painted, or a previous owner may have applied one of the many "roof coat" products available on the aftermarket.

Too late to do much except hope.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kdbgoat

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2017, 02:11:35 PM »
no detergent.

I was just wondering if you had also used a citrus based detergent. That's not recommended for an EPDM roof either.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

RVfixer

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 02:40:04 PM »
Gary...I don't dispute what you are saying but I'll stick with a diluted bleach and dish detergent solution that has worked well for me.  I have a friend/neighbor and another friend, that we see at our winter camp, that both had flapping rubber roofs.  One on a Four Winds class C and the other a TT.  Both, in different years, drove to the rubber roof manufacturer...somewhere up north...New Jersey maybe?  At the factor or repair facility (?) they both had a piece cut out of the rubber roof and tested.  They were told that if petroleum distillates were found that the warranty was void.  Neither had their warranty voided but that is what they were told.  One had to go back a second time and they stood behind the warranty.  He even argued and got some gas money. I don't remember what was wrong with the Camping World roof cleaner product that caused the rubber roofs to loosen, but I think I saw several posts on that on this forum some time back.

I wouldn't call myself paranoid...just following the manufacture's instructions, which work well.   

satxron

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Re: Cleaning RV Roof
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2017, 05:35:15 PM »
The link will show gassing on a EPDM roof.  If you made some small leaks in the cleaning from water going where it normally doesn't go that trapped water as it dries and gets heated in sun will gas. With nowhere to go it is trapped under the rubber. As it cools and or dries over time this will stop happening or become less pronounced. It won't hurt the EPDM.

https://static.rubber4roofs.co.uk/img/media-images/t/r/565c7b6f-3720-4efb-8834-035b0a6402d0.WyI2MDB4NjAwIiwic2NhbGUiXQ.JPG

This is normal if a small leak or leaks happen and the water has been trapped then heated. Like Gary said, wait it out for a bit and it will probably dry out.

Hoping it is not damage and just a simple thing and drying out. It could take some time.

 

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