Roof question

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signcut

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I was on the roof this morning, cleaning some of the crud off, and came up with some questions about how to best clean it, and a few small (so far) issues to address...

First, how often do y'all clean it off? We've had this for a few months, and the roof looked kinda cruddy, to me, anyway. It may not need to be done often, and I'm not OCD enough to think it has to gleam, but I just figure that, as with plenty of things, cleaner is better. I'm using a cleaner I bought at the store; what do y'all recommend? Do you use a commercial cleaner, or is something else just as good, or better? Not a huge deal, but I like to DIY when it makes sense.  :)

I also spotted a few issues on top (which was a secondary reason to clean, to get a close-up view); some of the caulking at the very front of the roofing is cracked/cracking, and there is a pretty small pinhoole/cut on the roof as well. Being in Louisiana, it rains a lot, and I haven't found any spots where water seems to be getting through, but I'd like to address it before it gets worse! My experience has been that partial caulking is only a temporary solution that doesn't last anywhere near as long as you hoped; am I going to need to take off the entire strip of caulking to fix a couple of inches of damage? If so, then so, but I'd like to hear the experience and expertise of others first.

As for the pinhole, it's more like a little cut, about 1/16 inch; I assume that one patches it similar to a bicycle tire. Any recommendations as to a brand that has been good before, or one to avoid...?

(I'll post some pictures later; apparently my tablet can't handle it. Well, maybe it's me, but I'm perfectly comfortable blaming the tablet... lol)

ETA - Okay, the first photo is a before/after; it wasn't really filthy, just some dirt and stuff that had been sitting there. There is a nearby tree that drops plenty of twigs and stuff; I usually have been hosing off the top every few weeks. The second is the pinhole, which looks bigger than I remembered. I'm guessing that it was caused by a falling branch or something, although I don't recall anything that large being up top; it may have already been there when we bought the trailer. It is easy to miss, because of it's size. The last is a photo of the forward caulking; it doesn't appear to be 'bad', but it also looks to be something I'd rather do now, rather than wait and have more repairs to do later. It does show how nasty some of the discoloration was; I took it a little easier there because I didn't want to make the crack any worse before I knew what to do to fix it...
 

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sightseers

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As far as a repair goes,  That 4" wide EternaBond tape is about the best stuff you can get.

I cut it in strips and went over and around every seam on my roof 4 years ago,  and it still looks perfect.

Home Depot and Walmart both sell it.

Take your time and apply it carefully. you only get one chance to apply it and it's a mess to remove it.
 

gravesdiesel

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sightseers said:
As far as a repair goes,  That 4" wide EternaBond tape is about the best stuff you can get.

I cut it in strips and went over and around every seam on my roof 4 years ago,  and it still looks perfect.

Home Depot and Walmart both sell it.

Take your time and apply it carefully. you only get one chance to apply it and it's a mess to remove it.

Can you apply it over the existing caulk?
 
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sightseers

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gravesdiesel said:
Can you apply it over the existing caulk?

yes. that's what I did. 

That tape adhesive is so gooey it will bond to any clean dry surface.  I used simple green spray / scrub brush and a rag to dry it.
The adhesive appears to melt in with the sun.

(Hint) If you are doing a long seam it's best to have someone helping you lay it down.  If the tape accidentally touches anything.. it permanently sticks to it and the tape will be destroyed trying to remove it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Need to ask some questions. First, what kind of roof, i.e. EPDM rubber, TPO, fiberglass, or aluminum? Somewhat different deep cleaning methods and different patching to be sure. And what sort of crud? 

I'm not a fan of the products sold for cleaning RV roofs - most are just fancy labels on common cleaning ingredients and overpriced (it says RV, tight?).  For most cleaning, you can't go wrong with a good old-fashioned detergent, a strong dose of bleach, and a medium bristle brush.  That will remove most kinds of dirt from most surfaces, and is safe for all RV roof materials.  Rinse well, but you will probably have to wash the sides after all the crud runs down.  If you want afterwards, apply a coat of floor wax, or one of the products labeled "RV Roof Protect" or similar. Those will help the roof shed dirt in the future, for a few months anyway, and they aren't too slippery to walk on.

Mild cracking in the lap salant (caulk) is not unusual and a normal part of the drying process (shrinking). You can add caulk over any  deeper cracks once the roof is clean. Ditto for that pinhole.  Dicor self leveling lap sealant works well in most things. Eternabond (or similar such as Dicor DiSeal) is good for holes and tears too.  You can also use Eternabond to make new seams and around openings, but the surface has to be clean and not too rough - the tape needs a surface to adhere to. It is also challenging to fit the tape neatly around corners and complex curves.
 

Gizmo

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Second the detergent and bleach.  In my experience besides being less expensive, RV roof cleaning products I have tried on my first RV, at best worked equally as well, and others hardly at all.  IMHO I am not a believer in a spotless or immaculate roof, but feel every 6 or 12 months is a good idea mainly gives a good opportunity to get up close and personal with the roof to locate potential problems needing correction as you discovered.
 

blw2

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I haven't worked with eternabond a ton, just for a sidewall repair project I did
but I did a lot of research on it.  It looks like a great option for a lot of places
but it can be put on badly and maybe cause more problems than its worth since its hard to get off once its on.

I'd suggest spending some serious time on eternabond's web site, looking at the various products..they have several different types of tape
and they have tons of really good data sheets, instructions, and videos
 

darsben

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sightseers said:
As far as a repair goes,  That 4" wide EturnaBond tape is about the best stuff you can get.

I cut it in strips and went over and around every seam on my roof 4 years ago,  and it still looks perfect.

Home Depot and Walmart both sell it.

Take your time and apply it carefully. you only get one chance to apply it and it's a mess to remove it.

Home Depot and Lowe's do NOT  SELL Eternabond. They sell a generic  brand which sticks just as well initially, but does not last as long as Eternabond. I would not useit again.
 
S

sightseers

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Walmart.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eternabond-RV-Rubber-Roof-Repair-Tape-4-x-10-Roll-White/589967520?athcpid=589967520&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=466001f5-1599931a-74bf38a16638fa5a&athena=true
 

darsben

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sightseers said:
Walmart.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eternabond-RV-Rubber-Roof-Repair-Tape-4-x-10-Roll-White/589967520?athcpid=589967520&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=466001f5-1599931a-74bf38a16638fa5a&athena=true
A minor point. As with somethings on  Amazon,  the Eternabond is not sold BY Walmart.
mINOR POINT BUT DIFFERENT
 
S

sightseers

Guest
I ordered mine from Walmart and it had an Eternabond label on it.

from what I hear now days ....Lot's of Amazon things are knockoff.
 
S

sightseers

Guest
I did and when I went to checkout it was in my Walmart account shopping basket.  I usually do store pickup.

It's either Eternabond or it's false advertising.  they can't do that with a pair of Levi's. :eek:
 

darsben

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sightseers said:
I did and when I went to checkout it was in my Walmart account shopping basket.  I usually do store pickup.

It's either Eternabond or it's false advertising.  they can't do that with a pair of Levi's. :eek:
I am attaching a screen shot the page clearly states SOLD BY DTL DIRECT. You are buying it on the Walmart site but from an outside vendor just like EBAY does.
That is why instore pickup is not available
 

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maybe that's now, but 4 years ago I ordered it and I got my roll of Eternabond tape from Walmart.

Back then Home Depot did not have any product like this tape or I would have gotten it there.

I also found it at Granger supply co.  https://www.grainger.com/search?searchBar=true&searchQuery=eturnabond
 

darsben

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sightseers said:
maybe that's now, but 4 years ago I ordered it and I got my roll of Eternabond tape from Walmart.

Back then Home Depot did not have any product like this tape or I would have gotten it there.

I also found it at Granger supply co.  https://www.grainger.com/search?searchBar=true&searchQuery=eturnabond

I am dealing with today 
 
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sightseers

Guest
then you need to deal with a professional industrial material supply company like Graniger and there are others. Like I often had to do as a contractor.

Home Depot and Walmart are just the Harbor Freights of the supply industry selling Chinese copies of good products at lower prices.
 

signcut

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Need to ask some questions. First, what kind of roof, i.e. EPDM rubber, TPO, fiberglass, or aluminum? Somewhat different deep cleaning methods and different patching to be sure. And what sort of crud? 

I'm not a fan of the products sold for cleaning RV roofs - most are just fancy labels on common cleaning ingredients and overpriced (it says RV, tight?).  For most cleaning, you can't go wrong with a good old-fashioned detergent, a strong dose of bleach, and a medium bristle brush.  That will remove most kinds of dirt from most surfaces, and is safe for all RV roof materials.  Rinse well, but you will probably have to wash the sides after all the crud runs down.  If you want afterwards, apply a coat of floor wax, or one of the products labeled "RV Roof Protect" or similar. Those will help the roof shed dirt in the future, for a few months anyway, and they aren't too slippery to walk on.

Mild cracking in the lap salant (caulk) is not unusual and a normal part of the drying process (shrinking). You can add caulk over any  deeper cracks once the roof is clean. Ditto for that pinhole.  Dicor self leveling lap sealant works well in most things. Eternabond (or similar such as Dicor DiSeal) is good for holes and tears too.  You can also use Eternabond to make new seams and around openings, but the surface has to be clean and not too rough - the tape needs a surface to adhere to. It is also challenging to fit the tape neatly around corners and complex curves.

I'm going to say that this looks like rubber; it is definitely not fiberglass or aluminum. The 'crud' is mostly just debris from a nearby tree, twigs and such, but there is some pollen or something that comes off it that, after it rains, leaves some really nasty brown runnels down the backside corners. It came off fairly well with this spray I was using, advertised for RV roof cleaning. I didn't use bleach, because I was actually afraid that it might weaken the rubber, or make it more prone to drying out and/or cracking. But a semi-stiff bristle brush worked well enough, although it does make me think about getting a patio scrubber...  lol. I'm glad to hear that there is something that can be used to protect the roof, at least to some degree, for some period of time; I was starting to wonder how long this roofing material actually lasts.

I did post pictures on the OP; hopefully that will help with people helping...

:)
 

signcut

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Gizmo said:
Second the detergent and bleach.  In my experience besides being less expensive, RV roof cleaning products I have tried on my first RV, at best worked equally as well, and others hardly at all.  IMHO I am not a believer in a spotless or immaculate roof, but feel every 6 or 12 months is a good idea mainly gives a good opportunity to get up close and personal with the roof to locate potential problems needing correction as you discovered.

That often seems to be the case; this particular stuff seemed to work okay, but I was thinking that a detergent and elbow grease would have the same effect. That sound like a reasonable time frame; I don't love scrubbing on hands and knees enough to do it all the time... 

;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Washing a roof is a 30 minute job with a bucket of detergent and bleach, a long handled brush (no hands & knees!) and a hose. A couple times a year or "as needed". Probably add another 30 minutes to wash the sides of the rig after the roof is finished.
 

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