Leaks and water seepage are two of the most common problems faced by RV owners. Even if you take care of your RV as best as you can, there are chances that the water may seep through the roof or even minute cracks in your windows and doorways.
Water damage to an RV can be very costly. Not only is it a health concern, but it can also damage the machinery, which will cost a lot in repairs. Continuous water seepage into the RV can cause serious respiratory issues for the people who use the RV often as it accelerates the growth of black mold and nasty fungi.
Most of the insurance plans also don’t cover water damage caused to the RV. This means that you will have to bear the cost yourself, and it costs a lot. Therefore, it is best to inspect your RV roof often to see if there are any cracks that are causing water to seep through to the interiors. This is your only chance of avoiding hefty costs that come along when you go to get the RV repaired.
If you wish to avoid this serious and costly problem, then you have to really be detail-oriented and responsible when it comes to your RV. You need to inspect your rig regularly and thoroughly to ensure that things don’t get out of control. The sooner you detect the problem, the lesser will be the damage.
Not sure how to inspect your RV roof for leaks?
Here are some simple and effective steps to help you out.
1. Be Thorough
Checking your RV for leaks and water damage is not as simple as checking the walls of your home. There is no collapsing ceiling or a cracked wall in this case, which makes it even more difficult to check for leaks.
One has to be really thorough when checking for leaks in an RV. To do this, you will have to run your hands along the roof of the RV, both from the inside and outside. Don’t just check the roofs; also check the same for your door jamb, slide-out seam and window seals. Also, don’t ignore the seals around the roof as this is the main problem most of the time.
Press your hand gently against the roof and check for any holes and soft spots. An otherwise perfect looking seam may also be leaking water inside your RV. Therefore, you have to be very careful in checking the interior and exterior of the roof.
Get on the roof and get as close and personal to the RV as you can because this is the only way you will be able to check for leaks and identify the problem areas. If you find any leaks, get it repaired immediately to avoid any further cost.
2. Inspect Regularly
If you think that your work is done when you have checked the roof once, then you’re wrong. You have to be very vigilant and check the RV regularly. You should plan a thorough inspection before and after you make a trip on your RV. If you are living in the RV for extended periods of time, you may have to conduct these inspections on a more regular basis.
You also need to inspect the RV even if it is not in use and parked in the open. The roof can be damaged even in storage. Thus, you have to be very careful. Dripping and discoloration are some tell-tale signs of water damage. Look for these when you are inspecting your RV.
It is important to catch these issues earlier on as delaying it will only cause more damage to your RV. This translates to serious expenses that come with the RV repair.
3. Learn to Make Simple Repairs
While major roof damage needs to be taken care of by an expert, you should learn how to handle small repairs yourself. It is not as difficult as it sounds. Your RV is guaranteed to have some water leakage issue every now and then and you cannot spend so much money each time the issue is identified. Therefore, learn to do it yourself as long as the problem isn’t too much to handle yourself.
Figure out the kind of material that is used in the roof. Get some repair materials and compatible chemicals. Also, get some sealants to seal the cracks. The roof can be made from aluminum, fiberglass or any other materials. You can check the manual to be sure about the material and then purchase compatible materials to fix the roof. Silicone sealants are commonly used in RV roof repairs, but they should never be used with a rubber roof.
Small leaks can be patched up easily and quickly when you have the right materials and tools. This comes in handy when you are on the road and don’t have an expert nearby to work on your RV roof. These simple repairs can keep the RV protected until you reach an expert and get the roof repaired from them.
4. Avoid Purchasing Very Old RVs
While the decision to purchase an RV strictly depends on your budget and preferences, it is best to avoid purchasing very old RVs. They are more likely to have leaks and endure serious water damage when they are old. It is best to get an expert for RV inspection before you make any final decision about purchasing the RV.
While buying a slightly newer RV may cost a little more upfront, it will still be a better choice than buying an old RV with a host of leaking issues. Even small leaks can lead to major damage that can cost a lot of money. Therefore, you must inspect the roof well before you decide to buy an RV.
5. Camp Smart to Avoid Any Serious Damage to Your RV Roof
While roof damage is common in RVs, there are some precautions you can take to avoid it. An RV, like any other vehicle, undergoes wear and tear with its use and age. But the damages can be minimized if you are careful and vigilant.
To keep your roof protected from cracks and other damages that let water seep through it, you should be careful while driving. Avoid smashing the roof into low hanging branches as they can cause small cracks in the roof that can cause a lot of water damage. They may seem like harmless scratches on the paint only but can develop into a major water leakage issue later on.
Also, avoid parking your RV directly under trees. It can cause damage caused by birds as well as sticky sap. Check the weather forecast before starting any journey. Try to avoid hailstorms and rain as much as you can as they can damage the roof of your RV.
Don’t Ignore Water Damage
You may think it’s harmless. After all, it is just a little water seepage. But it can quickly turn into something very serious if you ignore it for long. You should always regularly inspect your RV for water damage, or a simple crack in the roof of your RV can turn into a major expense. Check for any bubbles that might be there on the roof because of water seeping through the top layer of the paint. Be vigilant and check the interior and exterior of the roof and the entire RV effectively.
Pay special attention to the roof when you are going on a trip where you expect rainfall. Also, check it thoroughly when you come back from the trip. It is important to get the issues fixed as soon as you can. If it is a minor one, you may try to do it yourself, but make sure that you are using the right materials and tools. If the water damage seems too much to handle on your own, get services of an expert for your RV roof repair.
Also, make sure that you get a thorough RV inspection before you purchase it. There are expert RV inspectors out there who can help you out with this. They will conduct a thorough inspection of the RV and will tell you about any water damage issues that may need to be addressed immediately. You can then decide whether purchasing this RV will be the best decision or not.
These simple tips can help you keep your RV in the best shape. Just like you cannot leave a roof leak at your home unattended, you can also not ignore one in your RV roof. There are appliances in your RV that can be seriously damaged if water is dripping from the roof onto them. In addition to this, there are also plenty of health hazards of continuous seepage and mold and fungi will grow inside the RV. It can lead to serious respiratory issues as well. Therefore, make sure you inspect your RV for water damages regularly.