Rubber Roof

by Fred on October 11, 2012

rubber roof

Why Should I Clean The EPDM Rubber Roof On My Class C Motorhomec

There are many Class C Motorhomes out there with a proven rubber roof technology called EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). This type of roof is on more Class C’s than any other type of roofing material. It has a long and proven track record of protecting many types of recreational vehicles.

If you do a cost-benefit analysis on EPDM, this rubber roof will come out looking pretty good. It is still one of the least expensive roofs; and if properly maintained, it will provide many years of roofing protection.

It will, however, require some attention on a regular basis if you want to achieve maximum longevity. Therefore, a little sprucing up will be required on occasion. With a little bit of luck you will never have to do any more than clean the thing.

The question is, how often should this be donec Well, like everything else out there, it depends. A quote from DICOR, a leading manufacturer of this EPDM rubber roof material, recommends the following: “To maintain your warranty, all that is required is periodic cleaning at least 3 to 4 times per year”.
As a rule of thumb, I want to stay off my rubber roof as much as possible for a host of reasons. Just being up there will track dirt, grime, and grease. This, of course, will mean that I must clean it more often. I simply do not want to grind this stuff into my rubber roof.

This tracking of dirt and grime occurs most often around the ladder. I’ve noticed that when I step out off of my ladder onto the rubber roof; I always step in the same spot each time. It has to do with the hand holds on the ladder. Getting on the thing is sort of a learned technique.

I am very methodical when I’m on my rubber roof. Anytime anyone is on top of an RV, safety has to be a priority. Focusing on some task and stepping off the thing is not the way anyone wants to end the day!

DICOR has also determined that there is no need to apply any type of protectant on the rubber roof. However, they don’t take issue with putting a protectant on an EPDM roof as long as it does not contain ANY petroleum distillates.

Petroleum causes a blistering effect that raises the EPDM up off of the wood sub frame. When this happens, there is a loss of adhesion. This can allow water intrusion.

Keeping a rubber roof clean is more than just about motorhome hygiene. When you take the grime off this roof, you can more easily inspect and see potential problem areas that could allow water penetration if left unchecked.

However, black mold spots that grow over time on this type of rubber roof are not a major concern. Just clean them off with a proper detergent. If you want, put on a coating of UV (ultra-violet) protectant. The stuff looks like white paint, and it will give it a nice finish.

Keeping your rubber roof clean is the most cost effective way to insure that you will have many fun packed and worry free years using the ole home on wheels.

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Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I put roofing compound or tar on a rubber roof to seal it?
    Got a leak somewhere in my rubber roof. I’d like to seal the whole roof to stop the leak, but would it work? I don’t know if the roof would expand and contract in different types of weather due to it being rubber, causing the seal to crack. The area of the roof is about 8′ x 10′.
    Is there a material out there i can use? Thanks for the help!

    • ANSWER:
      Rubber membrane roofs must be patched with rubber membrane material and cement. If you use a petroleum based patch it will attack the membrane and do more damage. Temporary repairs can be made to a rubber roof membrane with vinyl caulking. A properly patched penetration of a rubber membrane is typically stronger than the surrounding membrane and less prone to leaking again. The materials are readily available from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other home improvement suppliers. There are companies that specialize in membrane roofing systems also.

    How do I repair a “rubber roof?”?
    We had a rubber roof installed on our patio. The guy who did it was unexperienced and needless to say, it has leaked since. I would like to find a way to repair this, if possible.

    Can it be repaired? If so, how and with what?
    If not, I’m considering replacing the rubber. (The angle of the roof calls for either metal or rubber. I don’t want metal because of the noise when it rains so we’re doing the rubber roof.)

    In replacing the rubber, can I just lay another layer on top of the older rubber or do I have to take it up and replace the entire thing?

    • ANSWER:
      You may lay another rubber (EPDM) roof over the old one, as long as it is sloped in the right direction for drainage, and the damaged one is still relatively flat.

      I strongly suggest going to your local ABC Supply store. They are the largest supplier of exterior building products in the USA. has store locations. Sales associates will provide you with everything you need to get the job done right, will teach you how to do it at the store, and will go out of their way to help you.

    What is the design of chimney flashing on a 10 degree rubber roof?
    Should I step the flashing and glue it each time or would the seal be the rubber roof against the chimney. Where could I get a picture of how to build this flashing on a rubber roof.

    • ANSWER:
      cut the roofing so that it goes up the chimney sides, and then glue a “cap” flashing over that

    Has anyone replaced the rubber roof on a camper before?
    I need advice on replacing the rubber roof on an Econoline Camper. I would like to replace the entire roof, not just patch it. Has anyone ever replaced or patched this type of roof? Anything particular I need to know before I attempt it. Any tips/hints for making the job easier?

    • ANSWER:
      yes,,,,,,,,, even to motorcycle wheels

    Can I use those roof ice metling pellets on my flat, rubber roof?
    Living in Chicago area, we keep getting snow that is accumulating on the portion of my roof that is flat. The coating itself is rubber, can I buy some of those roof melt pellets that you toss up there without it harming the rubber material of the roof? I know calcium chloride (or potassium chloride) are the best at low temps and least damaging for driveways, etc, is it the same for roofs made of rubber?

    • ANSWER:
      yep salt will harm rubber
      so go with calcium chloride
      that’s what the state uses on asphalt, [ same as rubber ]

Do It Yourself Rubber Roof, How to Install Rubber Roof, EPDM Rubber Roof, RV Rubber Roof, RV Rubber Roof Repair, RV Rubber Roof Replacement, Rubber Roof Coating, Rubber Roofing Supplies,

rubber roof

Fred (380 Posts)

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