How to Clean a RV Rubber Roof
What You Need
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Bucket or large container
- Mop or medium bristle brush
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 roof repair in the pouring rain!
With proper cleaning and maintenance, the roof of your RV should last about 20 years. Generally speaking, you should clean the top of your RV about four times a year, with more frequent roof cleaning if you’re actively traveling. Always pay close attention to the caulking, as any cracks or holes could lead to leaks.
Good RV roof maintenance requires knowing which type of roofing material you have; a rubber-coated, aluminum, or fiberglass roof. 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. Citrus-based cleaners and mineral oils are also not the best ways to clean an RV rubber roof, as these could dissolve your EPDM rubber membrane.
A safer cleaning option for cleaning and treating an RV rubber roof is Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's biodegradable* formula. Since it does not contain 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. Make sure car surface is cool before cleaning, and avoid mid-day cleaning to prevent the solution from drying before you can rinse it.
- 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 the roof. Clear the roof of any debris, leaves, or loose dirt with a broom.
- Rinse. Use a hose to spray down the roof and wet the RV sides to avoid clean streaks if the cleaner runs down the sides.
- Apply cleaner. Use a mop or medium bristle brush and bucket to apply your Simple Green solution to the RV roof. Apply the solution by scrubbing in circular motions, and work in sections, so it 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.