Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We have started removing the metal strip on the top side of the camper. This metal strip holds the roofing on the edges to the camper. We first removed the rubber gasket and then started removing the screws. However some of the screws stripped out and could not be unscrewed with a screw driver. We had to get a small blade and cut the screws into to remove. You may also have to use a pry bar to help with the removal of these screws. The metal strip on the top of the roof on the front of the camper was also removed. We had to cut the caulking off to remove these screws. We are now ready to remove all of the old roofing membrane. This will be difficult since the membrane is so deterioated that it is in pieces. We will let you know how this goes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We have finially strated putting on a new roof on the RV that has been sitting here all fall. The first thing we removed off the old RV roof was the air-conditionare unit. You do this by removing the cover on the top of the air-conditionare. Then you go inside and take off inside cover and remove 4 bolts. This unataches the unit from the camper. You then unplug the wires and the unit is ready to lift off the roof. However on this unit we did have trouble getting it off. There is a foam gasket that attaches to the air-unit between the unit and the roof. On this seal silicone calk was also used. This make it very difficult when we tried to push the unit through the roof. We had to use pry bars to help lossen the seal. Once we broke the seal loose we removed the air-unit. We then started takeing off the vents. Each vent was fastened to the deck with screws going through the metal on the vent into the wood deck. It was then caulked over to prevent leaks. These also gave us a little trouble because of the extra caulking used during installation. We have already found bad deck board that will need to be replaced on the rv roof. We removed the other vents without any problems. We are ready now to remover the metal strip on the front of the trailer. Thats hold the rubber down to the deck. Should have more info tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

repair rv roof

I was up at the lake winterizing our 36 foot montana camper yesterday and when I got up on the roof to sweep off the leaves, I noticed that where the front roof joined the metal there was a crack in the caulking. This is exactly the area we have talked about in the past. The EPDM rubber roof was glued down to the trailer and the metal was brought over the top and screwed down with a metal bar and then caulk was applied to seal the screws and metal bar. We have discussed before that this is a bad design. The factory could have used 6" cover tape during the original installation and I would not have had roofing problems. All I had with me was a tube of caulk, so I washed the area throughly and applied the caulk. However this is only a tempory repair. Next I am up I will install a new 6" cover strip of tape to make a perment repair. I will finially start the roof replacement on this RV camper. We will be putting a new RV rubber roof on this camper and taking pictures of it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

rv roof repairs

We are just about ready to start our replacement on our RV rubber roof. This epdm rubber roof was leaking in several places. The worst was on the front where the metal joined the rubber roof. This area is usually one of the first places your RV rubber roof will leak. Sometimes you can just repair this area and not have to replace your entire roof. On one of my campers I had to repair this area and the camper was only seven years old. To make a permant repair on this area, I first cleaned with water. I changed rags constantly because the rags were dirty, not with dirt but with a chalk substance comming from the rubber roof. So be sure to keep using clean rags. If you do not clean this area enough your repair tape will not stick correctly. Once you have cleaned the epdm roofing membrane you need to apply a tape primer activator to the roof and the metal where the roof joins. Once you have coated this area with primer let dry then do it again. Then using 6" wide epdm cover tape put three inches on the metal and three on the rubber roof. Then roll with a roller the tape into the primer. This will make a permanent repair. I have been busy the last few weeks and it looks like it will now be the last of October before we do the RV roof replacement.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

roofing maintance continued

The last time we talked about rv roofing maintance we discussed why you should wash or not wash your roof. A lot of people in the RV industry tell you to wash your roof yearly and use a coating on your roof. This practice did not come directly from the manufactures. In a commerical application you would simply install the white on black EPDM membrane and leave it alone. Sure you might do a yearly inspection to look for holes or problems, but I can assure you they would never recomend that you wash your roof . This roofing product is made to withstand UV sunlight and exposure to the outside elements. A big concern I have about dealers recommending that roofs be cleaned yearly, is that a large percentage of RV owners are elderly and anytime that you work on a roof, there is a danger of falling. We need to remember the EPDM white on black roofing was designed to be a low maintance product. I own two different RVs with EPDM white on black roofing on them one is 14 years old and the other is 7 years old. I have never washed either roof and they are left outside all of the time. Rember once you start coating a roof it turns into an ongoing project. This could also prove costly over several years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

rv roof replacement

Back in July I told you that we were going to replace a roof on a 32 foor Layton RV. I said we would give you more information about the install and product. It has been a long hot summer so we have putting it off. Well it is now almost fall and we are ready. We have recieved our RV roofing kit. We purchased it from rv-roof-top-com and had it delievered to our home. This kit was their 35 foot kit which has everything we need to replace the old roof. I will begin this work within the next two weeks and will keep you up to date on how the installation is going.

Monday, September 19, 2011

roofing maintance

I have just returned from the annual RV Show in Hershey Pa. This is one of the largest RV shows in the country. There were over 900 RVs on display. There were also over 100 venders that supplied the RV market. If you are looking for a RV this is a great show to see so many different models of RVs. One thing I learned while at this show was the misinformation concerning RV roofs. Most RVs have a EPDM Rubber Roof or one that is smooth fiberglass. Most of the misinfromaiton is about the EPDM roofs. I don't think this wrong information is intentional but never the less it is out there. Over the next couple of weeks I will talk about the proper way to care and repair a EPDM rubber roof. I know we have talked about this before but I was shocked by the information I recieved about caring for your EPDM roof. One of the biggest concerns I had was with all of the people telling RV owners to wash their roofs each year. To understand why this is not a good idea we will have to deal with the manufacturers sugguestions and care for their products. To begin with there are only two different manufactures of White on Black EPDM roofing in the United States. There are Carlisle and Firestone. This may supprise you, since you never hear their name associated with the roofs on RVs. They only make the membrane and sell it to different distrubitors who sell to dealers and then to the public. The EPDM roofing product was developed for the commerical roofing market. It was sold in two colors black and white. These roofing products were sold all over the country and there are billions of square feet of EPDM roofing on roofs today. The warrantys varied from ten to twenty years. The black EPDM dominates the commerical roofintg market today but is not used in the RV market because of heat related issues. So we will deal specifically with the white EPDM roofing. White EPDM roofing tends to chalk. What I mean by this is that you will notice in a few years streaks running down the side of your camper. This occurs because the sunlight and UV rays shine on the membrane and causes this to happen. This will happen to almost any white rubber product when exposed to direct sunlight. So don't be to alarmed when you see this happen. The manufactures of this membrane have never recommended to clean it yearly. There is a reason for this. When you clean this membrane you are washing off the material that has chalked and crased. This exposed a new layer to direct sunlight and it will also chalk. In a round about way you are washing away some of your roof. I know that dealers say wash your roof and then coat it. We will deal with this in next post.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I just thought I would let everyone know that I have a friend who has a 34' RV that needs a total roof replacement. I am in the process of ordering the materials for him. I am also going to help them tear off the old roof and install a new white on black EDPM rubber roofing membrane. I will make post about the materials I use and how hard or easy the installation process is. An estimate of $2,650 was given to hire a dealer put on a new roof on this RV. I have found the materials on line for about $500 plus shipping. I will try to keep up with all of the cost and time involved with this project and report it. I hope this information will help some of you decide if you can do this install yourself and if it will save you much money.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

epdm repair

I have talked about epdm roofing installations and coatings but I don't think I have made a strong enough warnings about coatings. I have said make sure your coating is compatable with epdm roofing, which is true. But I still run across people who try to repair this roof with an asphalt type of coating which will only work for a short time and then will attack the epdm membrane and cause failure. I just want to say never, never, never use an asphalt type product to repair a epdm rubber roofing system. If you do when your roof leaks again and you have to do permenant repairs it will only cost you more money.

Monday, February 28, 2011

If you have a flat or low sloped roof on your house that is leaking and you need to fix this area, I would sugguest using epdm rubber roofing. If you do this yourself you can save a lot of money. In most instances you would take off the old roofing down to the wood deck and glue epdm roofing to the deck. It is always better to fully adhear the rubber to the deck. This will give you a good long term roof. Almost all epdm rubber roofing failures are related to the installation and I have found out from over twenty years of experance that a fully-adheared roof gives you less problems. Before you order your rubber roofing measure the roof and if possible buy it in one piece. This way you don't have to make any seams. But if you have to order your roof in pieces it will be easier to make your seams with a butly seam tape. This tape was developed to work with epdm roofing. You can make your seams with glue but this is more difficult and takes more experance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We are now in the middle of winter in most of the country. Of course if you are in an area where the temperatures are freezing, your roof is probably not leaking. But you probably know if it has been leaking in the past. Now is a good time to make plans to repair your roof or rv while most business are not busy. The economy seems to be picking up and most suppliers of roofing products are raising their prices. This usually happens around April. So you might want to measure your roof and determine which products you need and order them now. The only thing you need to note is that be sure the temperatures are above freezing for the shipping of these products to you. You can work with your supplier to determine if the conditions are right to ship to you. Be sure to store your adhesive in a place that it will not freeze untill you need it. Be sure to check with your supplier before you install, to make sure what temperatures the product will work in.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There seems to be a lot of confusing with all of the coatings that are advertised for covering rv roofs. Some of these coatings are not compatable with EPDM roofs which have been installed for over 15 years on rvs. Always be sure that your coating is compatable with your roof. You could make your roof repair worse with the wrong materials. You need to be sure that anytime you apply coatings you spend extra time and effort cleaning you existing roof. After you have cleaned your existing roof and think it is clean it wouldn't be a bad idea to do it again. Then carefully examine your existing roof for major defects. Remember even if you do a good job coating your EPDM roof, your coating is only as good as the surface you coated. The biggest problem I have with any coatings is the application process. Most instructions will tell that a gallon is to cover a certain square footage. They tell you it should be a certain thickness on the roof to work properly. I can tell you from experience it is very difficult to spread a coating on a roof with a paint roller and keep the same thickness all over the roof. You will be heavy in some areas and thin in others. The insturctions on the can will tell you to measure a certain square footage and to apply a certain amount of coating in this area to see if you are using enough or too much. If you do coat an area to thin this will fail in time. The only plus side I see to using coatings is that you don't have to remover your air-conditionar or vents.
folks I am sorry that I have ingnored this blog since july of 2010. I hope to spend more time and provide more information in 2011. I did have a question posted in 2010 about bicycle patch kits and why would'nt they work for EPDM roofing. A bicycle tire tube is mostly made of butyl rubber which is easier to stick a patch to than EPDM. The thickness of the intertube is usually under .020mil. The thickness of the EPDM roofing is usually .045 mil. So a patch kit designed for EPDM would be thicker and work better. I am not saying that bicycle patch would not work for small holes but it would not be recommended by the manufacture. Remember however you patch your rubber roof to be sure to clean it thourghly. This is the single most important thing you can do to make any patch stick.