Should I Be Concerned with Small Debris in my Roof Material?

We often get asked about the effect of debris stuck on RV roofs. To get the best out of your RV, it’s essential that you have a comprehensive maintenance regime. In particular, keeping your roof clean, inspecting it regularly, and conducting necessary repairs can all help to prevent leaks and extensive interior damage. While there are several steps you can take yourself to fulfill these requirements, some tasks may need one of our RV service professionals. So feel free to contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

What To Do About Debris on Your RV’s Roof

It’s easy for debris to gather on the roof of your camper, especially if you’re parked under trees or in a rural area. That’s why it’s important to check your roof often and sweep it clean to remove debris before it gets stuck. If leaves, branches, or other small items get lodged in your rubber roof, it can damage the structure’s integrity and result in leaks. In a worst-case scenario, you could find yourself dealing with water damage in your RV’s interior due to a leaking roof, a prospect that can be very expensive to put right again.

If you can’t remove the debris on the roof by sweeping, you may need to use a solution to clean your RV’s roof more thoroughly. The appropriate cleaning products to use will depend on your roof type. Remember that many RVs have rubber roofs, which can get damaged by cleaning agents that are too abrasive. You may also have a fiberglass roof that requires a specific cleaning solution.

Do You Have Bubbles on Your RV’s Roof?

Another common maintenance concern RV owners raise is the sudden appearance of roof bubbles. There are several possible explanations for this problem. The first is that there may be a small tear in the roof’s membrane that has allowed a small quantity of moisture to gather underneath, causing the bubble to form. When this occurs, the bubble is likely to grow over time, so it’s critical that you monitor it often to see if this is the case.

The second cause could be a screw pushing up on the roof from below. This issue can also have severe consequences in the long run since it could result in the roof tearing and water getting inside. The last possible source of your problem could be that some of the adhesive holding the rubber roof has disintegrated, causing the membrane to loosen. In this case, a simple fix would be to make a small tear in the membrane to repair the affected area.

General RV Roof Maintenance Tips

One of the most important maintenance rules you should follow is to inspect your roof thoroughly at least twice a year. During the inspection, you should pay particular attention to signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, discolored areas, bulges, and other signs of damage. Look carefully along the caulked seals of skylights, edges, and other roof sections to ensure that none of the seals have come loose or are degrading. Worn seals are one of the most common sources of leaks.

Do you tend to park your RV under trees? If so, conducting these inspections more often, for instance, up to four times a year, is a good idea. That’s because leaves and sap from the trees can cause damage if they’re not removed from your roof as soon as possible.

Cleaning Your RV Roof

If you’re cleaning a rubber roof, using a rubber roof cleaner and a soft-bristled brush is crucial. Chemical cleaners and rough bristles can damage the integrity of your roof, causing it to deteriorate faster, then leak. Before you clean the roof with your chosen product, use a leaf blower or broom to remove all loose debris.

After clearing debris, clean your roof thoroughly, focusing on small, 3-foot by 3-foot squares. Once the roof’s clean, don’t forget to rinse it well with a garden hose. This step is important because it removes any soap residue, which can erode parts of your roof over time if it isn’t removed properly. Another problem that arises from leaving soap residue is that it can cause your roof’s shine to wear off, leaving your RV with an unpleasant appearance.

As you may have a metal, fiberglass, or plastic roof on your camper, it’s vital to remember that roofs made from different materials require varying cleaning supplies. So be sure to check before purchasing your chosen cleaning product to avoid causing unnecessary damage.

Protecting Your RV Roof

Along with keeping your roof clean and inspecting it regularly, you can take protective measures to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays and the weather. You can apply a roof protectant to shield against sun rays, which can cause roofs to wear down over time. Like the cleaning products discussed above, protectants vary according to the type of roof you have on your RV, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations before using one.

Another helpful tip is to buy a cover for your RV if it’s in long-term storage. Covers protect the roof and walls from damage due to rain, snow, and other inclement weather. An even better solution is to store your RV indoors if you can, although this option may not be available for everyone. Indoor storage is especially recommended over the winter when the weather is most likely to damage your vehicle.

Get Your RV Maintained at Bretz RV & Marine

If you need professionals to take care of a maintenance or repair job, we’re here to help. At Bretz RV & Marine, we have the equipment and know-how to have your camper looking as good as new for a season of outdoor fun and relaxation. We can also advise you on how to perform your own maintenance and cleaning. So don’t hesitate to contact us today with your questions or to arrange a service appointment at one of our locations in Montana or Idaho.

Orange and white class-a motorhome surrounded by snow by Frankie is licensed with Unsplash License

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