Cleaning your RV Roof – RV 101 the Basics

Whenever I discuss RV roof care and maintenance I like to start with the basics, washing the RV roof. There are lots of RV roof cleaning products available to the RV owner. You may want to try a couple of different cleaning products to see what works best for you. The product I personally use for cleaning the RV roof is Dicor’s Rubber Roof Cleaner Let’s head up on the roof and see how it’s done.

Caution: Safety first, whenever you are working on your RV roof exercise caution. A fall can result in serious injury or worse.

Dicor’s rubber roof cleaner is formulated specifically for RV roofing and is safe for regular use on all RV roofing and exterior surfaces. Note: Never use products that contain petroleum distillates, citric ingredients or harsh abrasives on your RV roof.

Start by rinsing the RV roof to remove any loose dirt or debris. If there is a lot of debris on the roof, like small branches or leaves, you can sweep the roof off before rinsing. I like to start at the front and work towards the back of the RV.

Caution: watch out for obstacles on the RV’s roof that are behind you, and the roof can be slippery when it’s wet.

You can use a sponge, a medium bristle brush, or a wash mitt to clean the roof. I prefer using a medium bristle brush with a handle attached to it. Spray the roof cleaner directly onto dirty surface areas. Scrub the surface in a circular motion. I like to work in 4X4-foot sections at a time.

After you clean an area, rinse it off with water. As you rinse the dirty water and used cleaner off of the roof, rinse the sides of the RV to prevent any staining. I find it works best to have somebody on the ground who can keep the sides, front and rear of the RV rinsed off.

Work from the front of the RV to the rear. It may be necessary to repeat the cleaning process on dirty roof surfaces or stubborn stains. If an area of the roof is really dirty, or difficult to clean I find that using a wash mitt with some good old-fashioned elbow grease works the best.

Note: Lots of folks ask me if you can use a pressure washer on your RV roof. You can, but it should be a small portable type pressure washer, and do not get the tip of the nozzle too close to the surface where it could cause damage to the roofing material or sealants.

Another question I get asked is, should you use some type of RV roof protectant product after the roof is clean. My answer is it can’t hurt, just make sure the protectant is compatible with your roofing material.

Just like RV roof cleaners, there are lots of RV roof protectant products like Protect-All and Dicor’s Roof Gard.  These products are designed to protect the roof from UV rays and to help prevent oxidation and protect the roofing material from drying out.  Try a couple different products until you find one you like.

If you use a roof protectant product after cleaning the RV roof, allow the roof to dry completely. Again, I personally like to use Dicor products.  I start at the front of the RV, just like when cleaning the roof. After the roof is dry, spray the treatment directly on the clean roof surface. To provide even coverage it works best to wipe the area with a soft clean cloth or a sponge mop. Work in 4X4-foot sections, until you are back at the ladder.

That’s really all there is to cleaning and protecting you RV roof. This simple preventive care and maintenance procedure can add to the lifespan of your RV roof. You can reapply the roof treatment after each cleaning. This article focuses on cleaning your RV roof, but I also recommend inspecting all of the RV roof’s seams and sealants every time you clean the roof.

Happy Camping,

Mark J. Polk

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