How to Clean a RV Rubber Roof
Alongside the freedom and adventure of RV ownership comes the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep for its various components. As it endures the elements on your journeys, the roof of your RV is subjected to pounding rain, blazing heat, even possibly snow and ice. Preventing problems is far better than emergency fixups in the pouring rain!
With proper cleaning and repair, the roof of your RV should last about 20 years. Generally speaking, you should clean the roof of your RV every 3 months or so, with more frequent cleaning if you’re actively traveling. Pay close attention to the caulking to avoid leaks.
Good RV roof maintenance requires knowing which type of roof you have; rubber-coated, fiberglass, or aluminum. Rubber is the most popular RV roof coating material as it is inexpensive and lightweight. If you have a rubber RV roof, check to see whether yours is made of either Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) or Thermal Polyolefin (TPO). EPDM roofs may need to be resealed every 3-4 years, regardless of upkeep attention.
The cleaner you use on your RV roof is important. EPDM roofs have less solvent and oil resistance than TPO. For this reason, most manufacturers warn against using harsh, abrasive cleaners or petroleum distillates to clean them. You should also avoid using citrus-based cleaners or mineral oils, which could dissolve your EPDM rubber membrane.
A safer cleaning option for you and your RV, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's formula doesn't use harsh chemicals. It won't leave behind harmful residue that can degrade your RV roofing.
Directions for Cleaning a Rubber RV Roof
Use care when working on an RV roof to avoid falls. Be sure to follow manufacturer and warranty instructions for roof access and cleaning.
- Mix your cleaning solution. Mix 6 ounces of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 8 cups (half-gallon) of cold water in a bucket or large container.
- Sweep roof. Clear the RV roof of any debris, leaves, or loose dirt with a broom.
- Rinse. Use a hose to spray down the roof and wet the sides of the RV to avoid clean streaks if cleaner runs down the sides.
- Apply cleaner. Use a mop or soft car cleaning brush and bucket to apply Simple Green solution to the RV roof. Work in sections so the cleaning solution doesn’t dry before being rinsed off. (Drying makes it much harder to remove.)
- Scrub. Agitate any stains, grime, or residue with your mop or brush.
- Rinse. Hose down the roof section and, at the end, the entirety of the roof and sides of the RV.