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Roof repair for the tightwad in me


MoonTimber

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I think I'm going to have a little time in the next two weeks to seal my suspect roof. As mentioned in another post, the correct way to do this is to pull up the rubbery layer (EDPM?), find any soft wood, yank it out, replace it, then replace the EPDM. But my RV isn't worth that much work. Even if it were in great condition it probably wouldn't resell for more than $6500. On top of that we're only planning to keep it for a year before we upgrade, so I don't want to spend the next ten weekends repairing it or dumping money into it that I'll never get back. I'm looking for advice on the least expensive methods for sealing any potential leaks on the roof that don't involve a lot of time consuming labor. At the same time, I don't want to do something that's going to have to be redone six months from now. I'm looking for suggestions on products and tricks. I'm also hoping for a little guidance in case there is something critical to making the repairs last more than a year. For example, do I need to get some kind of cleaner and scrub that roof first?

 

Here is a pic of my ugly roof which I've shared before:

 

IMG_1467KS.jpg

 

 

When I walked around up there it looked like there was a potential for leaks at the edges, at the seams where the EPDM meets, at the bolt holes for that storage container, and where the ladder is mounted to the roof. I also need to fix two possible window leaks, but that's a separate project. I hopped over to Amazon and did a quick search on repair products.

 

I saw Eternabond Roof Tape (4" wide) for $56:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002RSIK4G/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=23242NYAHPMOI&coliid=I1K1U7IJHETLB4

 

They also have a 4 pack of Dicor Lap Sealant $32.97:

http://www.amazon.com/Pack-Dicor-Self-leveling-Lap-Sealant/dp/B00G6KGPFM/ref=sr_1_4?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1429137060&sr=1-4&keywords=rv+roof+sealant

 

and Geocel instant roof repair $34:

http://www.amazon.com/Geocel-24201V-Flex-Instant-Repair/dp/B003VAUM9A/ref=sr_1_8?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1429137146&sr=1-8&keywords=rv+roof+sealant

 

But I don't know which products to avoid or what is really popular. I like the idea of the tape. Seems like I can just find spots that are suspect and cover 'em with the tape. No messy brushes, goop, or brush strokes. But does the tape last more than a few months? And what about getting into a crevice like where the ladder connects to the roof? Perhaps a combination of the tape and the Dicor? But then which Dicor do I want?

 

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions. I think I'd be willing to spend up to $200 on the roof if I can get the work done in a few hours. So how would you do this if you wanted to get it all done in one afternoon and you needed to save your cash for a new set of tires?

 

 

 

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I think you might have answered your own question. If you say that you won't get any more out of the rig with or without the roof repair, why not just put a for sale sign in the window and sell it? Let the next guy worry about the work and expense of repairing the roof for what would be to him a "new toy". I think that's what I would do.

 

Ray

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why not just put a for sale sign in the window and sell it? Let the next guy worry about the work and expense of repairing the roof for what would be to him a "new toy". I think that's what I would do.

 

I would tend to agree with Ray. Just prepping the roof for spot repairs with lap sealant n eternabond strips is going to be a couple days of work. The majority of that old caulking would need to be removed to do a proper job. Of course... I'm of the school of "any job worth doing is worth doing right". I would also feel guilty passing off a haphazard roof job onto a new owner.

 

I would put it up for sale, be happy with 'anything' I could get back out of it, and let the new owner decide to what extent they want to affect repairs.

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I think you might have answered your own question. If you say that you won't get any more out of the rig with or without the roof repair, why not just put a for sale sign in the window and sell it? Let the next guy worry about the work and expense of repairing the roof for what would be to him a "new toy". I think that's what I would do.

 

Ray

 

RIght now we can't afford an upgrade. We bought this about two months ago for $4500 and then figured how much work it needed. We looked at selling it, but for $4500 we'd probably end up with another rig that needs just as much work. We think in our area we need to spend a minimum of $10,000 to get something that doesn't need repairs. I don't have another $6000 in play money, but I can spend a thousand or fifteen hundred over the course of the year so we can make use of it until our next tax return. I think I can get $6000 to $7000 if we do some repairs, but I don't think spending the energy and money on replacing the roof would be a good investment. On top of that we don't really know what we want. Part of our plan was to take our young children on few trips in this old clunker so we can figure out what features are important before we look for another one. For example, one thing I've already learned to look for next time is something that can tow more than 3500lbs.

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ugly or not if it isn't leaking anywhere now don't try to clean it just use it and keep an eye on all joints edges and such items as you have mentioned. Most places that are close to horizontal will be best touched up with the self leveling dicor. That is my suggestion based on your stated use timetable of the rig. I am no expert for sure but I suspect there can be too much cleaning of roofs.

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I would tend to agree with Ray. Just prepping the roof for spot repairs with lap sealant n eternabond strips is going to be a couple days of work. The majority of that old caulking would need to be removed to do a proper job. Of course... I'm of the school of "any job worth doing is worth doing right". I would also feel guilty passing off a haphazard roof job onto a new owner.

 

I would put it up for sale, be happy with 'anything' I could get back out of it, and let the new owner decide to what extent they want to affect repairs.

 

I understand your thinking on this, but that doesn't get me out of the quandary.

 

Unlike the person who sold it to me, I would feel compelled to tell prospective buyers that I suspect the roof isn't water tight. If I tell someone about that and the rest of the mechanical repairs I think it needs, It's very unlikely that I'd get my $4500 back -- never mind the taxes and registration fees and the insurance or the cost of the repairs I've already done. If I want my money back I'd have to keep my mouth shut and let some innocent unsuspecting person get suckered into it. I can't do that. The golden rule means I need to tell someone else exactly what I'd want them to tell me, which is that this rig needs a lot more work than it appears to need.

 

While I'm sure ripping up the roof would be best, I'm also confident that a patch job would be good enough. The correct way to fix a flat bicycle tire is to replace the tube, but a halfway decent patch might last you several years. That's what I'm attempting. I don't even know for certain that it leaks. I just want to get up there and put something on every spot that looks suspicious before I work on the two windows that I think really need it.

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ugly or not if it isn't leaking anywhere now don't try to clean it just use it and keep an eye on all joints edges and such items as you have mentioned. Most places that are close to horizontal will be best touched up with the self leveling dicor. That is my suggestion based on your stated use timetable of the rig. I am no expert for sure but I suspect there can be too much cleaning of roofs.

 

This is the kind of help I'm looking for! In my shoes you would just get the self leveling Dicor and spend an afternoon touching up spots that looked questionable? You wouldn't bother with the other products?

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Just my opinion. If your not going to strip the roof, which I agree with, you only have three options and doing a half good job is not one of them. When out in the RV you should not have to worry each time it rains. Spending a few days and a few hundred dollars to remove the sealant around all possible leak spots and resealing them with Dicor or other compatable sealant would be worth the peace of mind.

If you don't wait until the last minute then you can take your time and make it a enjoyable process. Search YouTube foe how to videos.

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Selah has good points. I would say to cross check my advice and at some point you will have to decide which ones to do immediatly and which ones to watch. Without seeing it live and up close I can only think there are some I might not touch until it looks really necessary to go preemptive. It is all an educated guess sort of thing. I want my roof not to leak but I am not too concerned with how pretty it is. Mine is on a 97TT and so far so good.

 

OK on reviewing your picture again I have to say I would be concerned as it sure looks like it has had some kind of treatent or something done to it and I would worry that what they used would confllict with the epdm and sealant under it. Also I would look and any seams they use a sealant on and what kind of sealant they used. I would only clean spots I was going to try and seal in whatever way is needed to get the sealant to adhere.

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Since you say it is not leaking, and assuming you are in the same boat as me, where your roof is thin and near the end of its life, and there are no soft spots under your roof when you walk around on it, the below might be your best bet. Bear in mind it uses a cleaner that softens the roof chemically so the coating bonds. This is for use before it starts leaking and becoming rotten from trapped moisture. This is only for a roof before it leaks. Having receipts for the good stuff will make it easier to sell late too. Whether you want to reproof, or repair, start with the videos and written directions at Dior.

 

Dicor, a major manufacturer of both EPDM and Brit Tek TPO RV roofs actually makes a kit to do what you want for $500.00 give or take that I'm putting on my new to me fiver. RV roofing sealants consist of only two that are made to work on them and neither is silly-cone. For roof penetrations before the flashing or vent or antenna is put on you first put a layer of butyl rubber tape under it, then snug it down to the roof so it just squeezes out around the vent cover or pipe flashing/trim, and trim with plastic putty scraper. Then you layer on self leveling lap sealant up around an inch up the sides and down around the entire flange/flash/trim and out around the flanges about two inches. It is self leveling.

 

This kit, made by the folks that make your roofing material, is all you need: https://dicorproducts.com/catalog/roof-products/restore-products/roof-renew-kit/

 

 

Go here and watch the videos made by the folks who made your roof material.: https://dicorproducts.com/videos-5/

 

There are lots of folks that sound knowledgeable or will tell you anecdotally that the product they used worked. Stick with the manufacturer's products. Co a good looking, and extended life for less work and expense, I'm going with the kit.

 

When you look at the cheap coatings with no cleaner/chemical bond step, they are still half to two thirds the price of the warranted good stuff here. Two days work.

 

Good luck!

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This is what I would do...for what its worth.

1. Get some self leveling dicor and the eternabond tape.

2. Scrape off the rough existing caulking using a plastic scraper not metal and be careful of the corners of the scraper . You dont want to put a hole in the roof membrane.

3. Clean thoroughly the roof only in the places that you are working on.

4. Apply the self leveling dicor to the areas around the skylights and ladders, etc. Dicor is great stuff and seals well on a clean grease free surface.

5. Apply the eternabond tape along the edges of the roof wherever it looks like it could be leaking or the existing caulking is rough.

 

6. Get out there and use that rig and relax and enjoy yourself.

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Let me share what I did:

 

I went with a product called http://www.liquid-roof.com/

 

I watched the videos a couple of times. I ordered the product and gathered up the tools necessary. I sat my two 15 year old grand kids down (they are twins), showed them the videos.

 

We discussed the importance of really, really cleaning the roof well. The next morning, after the dew had burned off we mixed up the product and one squeegeed the product on, while the other went after and ran the roller to smooth it out. Then the first took a paint brush and did the edges.

 

Now, I not saying they didn't get it all over themselves. Their mother was horrified, but it DID come off!

 

We made memories, they had a good time, and my roof got done for about $ 575.00 (I paid them exorbitantly).

 

It has been several months and it still looks new.

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Look at his photo close, it's already been coated with something. It looks like a very poorly done job but it has been coated, I would just seal any spots with lap sealant that look bad and hope for the best. Your first concern should be replacing that missing vent cover.

 

Denny

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Since . . . Dicor, a major manufacturer of both EPDM and Brit Tek TPO RV roofs actually makes a kit to do what you want for $500.00 give or take that I'm putting on my new to me fiver. RV roofing sealants consist of only two that are made to work on them and neither is silly-cone. For roof penetrations before the flashing or vent or antenna is put on you first put a layer of butyl rubber tape under it, then snug it down to the roof so it just squeezes out around the vent cover or pipe flashing/trim, and trim with plastic putty scraper. Then you layer on self leveling lap sealant up around an inch up the sides and down around the entire flange/flash/trim and out around the flanges about two inches. It is self leveling.

 

This kit, made by the folks that make your roofing material, is all you need: https://dicorproducts.com/catalog/roof-products/restore-products/roof-renew-kit/

. . . Good luck!

 

I think I want to go the route that JimAlberta listed. But I'm giving this some thought. It's not as invasive or labor intensive as pulling up the old stuff and replacing it, but it does seem like I could be extremely confident that it's waterproof when I'm done. I found the kit you linked to on Amazon for $390.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dicor-RP-RRK-30-Roof-Renew-Kit/dp/B003VASSDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429214529&sr=8-1&keywords=dicor+RP-RRK-30

 

That's about $200 more than I wanted to spend, but it's not nearly as expensive as redoing the roof from scratch. I'm thinking about it. One bit that has me unsure though. Since I don't know what the previous owner slapped on the roof, can I be confident that the Dicor will bond properly?

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This is what I would do...for what its worth.

1. Get some self leveling dicor and the eternabond tape.

2. Scrape off the rough existing caulking using a plastic scraper not metal and be careful of the corners of the scraper . You dont want to put a hole in the roof membrane.

3. Clean thoroughly the roof only in the places that you are working on.

4. Apply the self leveling dicor to the areas around the skylights and ladders, etc. Dicor is great stuff and seals well on a clean grease free surface.

5. Apply the eternabond tape along the edges of the roof wherever it looks like it could be leaking or the existing caulking is rough.

 

6. Get out there and use that rig and relax and enjoy yourself.

 

I've budgeted $200 from my last paycheck for this project. There are a lot of really great opinions coming back on this, but I think this is what I had in mind.

 

Dicor sells a rubber roof cleaner:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BRJURG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=23242NYAHPMOI&coliid=I1CFPUQBUF54MK

 

Should I buy that to spot clean everywhere I'm putting down tape and the self leveling stuff? Or do I just use some soapy water and a sponge?

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Look at his photo close, it's already been coated with something. It looks like a very poorly done job but it has been coated, I would just seal any spots with lap sealant that look bad and hope for the best. Your first concern should be replacing that missing vent cover.

 

Denny

 

My error for not clarifying the photo: I took that picture while I was replacing the badly damaged vent cover. I have another post somewhere on this forum with before and after photos.

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Spic and Span and a stiff bristle brush are going to do a good job of cleaning and be easy to rinse down so whatever you do next will stick.

 

We used two brushes, one with a long handle so we could stand and another hand brush for getting up close to stuff.

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Cheapest way to stop the leaks before you sell it. Nothing that $20 at Walmart can not fix. Or you might be able to find a used tarp on Craigslist for like $5 if your really feeling thrifty.

 

Tarp_on.jpg

 

thumb_IMG_2616.JPG

 

I know I should be embarrassed, but this is actually the high tech rain proofing we went with two weeks ago. It really looks out of place in my neighborhood. Thankfully it's behind a privacy gate and my neighbors aren't teasing me yet. A 19 X 30 tarp from Harbor Freight is $29.99 (on sale). We don't know if the roof is leaking but we wanted to to be safe. It might rain again once more this month. Once I put on some Dicor products the Tarp will get an honorary medal for serving under the duress of laughter. I may put it on Craigslist.

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Spic and Span and a stiff bristle brush are going to do a good job of cleaning and be easy to rinse down so whatever you do next will stick.

 

We used two brushes, one with a long handle so we could stand and another hand brush for getting up close to stuff.

 

Hey that's a good idea. I think I have a brush somewhere that I can mount on a broom handle.

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I think I want to go the route that JimAlberta listed. But I'm giving this some thought. It's not as invasive or labor intensive as pulling up the old stuff and replacing it, but it does seem like I could be extremely confident that it's waterproof when I'm done. I found the kit you linked to on Amazon for $390.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dicor-RP-RRK-30-Roof-Renew-Kit/dp/B003VASSDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429214529&sr=8-1&keywords=dicor+RP-RRK-30

 

That's about $200 more than I wanted to spend, but it's not nearly as expensive as redoing the roof from scratch. I'm thinking about it. One bit that has me unsure though. Since I don't know what the previous owner slapped on the roof, can I be confident that the Dicor will bond properly?

 

I think you will find surprising help if you go to the Dicor website and get their phone number and call them, then just ask for tech support. They were very generous with their support when I last called to clarify some things. I was being advised by everyone to use a particular cleaner which on checking had petroleum distillates in it. Their tech was glad I called before damaging my roof. It's part of the warranty terms.

 

Anyway call them with your particulars and see what they say. They're great.

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Dawn dishwashing soap works pretty good as it is a good degreaser. Just rinse it off or wipe with a rag soaked in clean water after.

 

Another hint....start at the front of the motorhome and work back towards the ladder...then you wont be stepping on the new repaired areas.

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Dawn dishwashing soap works pretty good as it is a good degreaser. Just rinse it off or wipe with a rag soaked in clean water after.

 

Another hint....start at the front of the motorhome and work back towards the ladder...then you wont be stepping on the new repaired areas.

 

I'm fond of Comet/spicnspan, but I bought enough Dawn a few weeks ago to last us a year (according to my wife) and Dawn is easier to wipe away. So I'm going to use Dawn for spot cleaning with a bucket, brush, and a rag. The 4" tape on the seams, and the self leveling stuff on any suspicious spots that are hard to get to.

 

One last question before I order everything. There are gobs of stuff on the ladder where it joins the roof. Would it be better to take a razor and cut that until I see the bolts, then start from scratch, or just put on another layer of goop? They don't typically put the EPDM over the bolts do they?

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