Best RV Roof Sealants and Coatings: Top Picks for Cracked Roofs
Seal up cracks, keep out water, and save on power with these RV roof coatings
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PUBLISHED ON June 22, 2019
A well-loved RV is a well-used RV, and with use comes exposure to sun, water, and other elements. This can lead to cracks and splits in the roof membrane of your recreational vehicle over time, which can become costly repairs if you don’t nip them in the bud. To keep things sealed up and leak-proof, read on to find the best RV roof sealant and coating for your needs.
- Best OverallHeng’s Rubber Roof CoatingSummarySummaryA favorite among RV owners, thanks to the high quality of the formulation. If you’re looking to re-coat your roof, this is a great pick for you.ProsProsIdeal for sealing up cracks and tears, and upping the integrity of your RV’s roof. Non-polluting, non-toxic, and easy to work with. Stands up to UV rays and expands and contracts in the heat.ConsConsAs an acrylic formulation, it’s not as durable as a single coat silicone product would be. That translates to a re-coating every couple of years.
- Best ValueDicor EPDM Self-Leveling SealantSummarySummaryGreat for sealing up vents, covering up screw heads, or fixing cracks in your RV’s roof. A top-seller among motorhome enthusiasts.ProsProsAdheres to a number of different surfaces, compatible with EPDM and TPO sheeting, and blends well with most RV roofs. Also self-levels and is super easy to use.ConsConsComes in a pretty small tube. If you’re planning to seal up your entire RV, you’ll have to invest in a couple.
- Honorable MentionFlex Seal Liquid Rubber in a CanSummarySummaryA true multi-purpose workhorse that’s a great pick for you if you want to seal up your RV’s roof (and a couple of other places around the house).ProsProsThe extra smooth formulation is easy to apply, UV-resistant, non-flammable, and stands up to corrosion, rust, and chemicals. Thinner consistency requires a couple of coats to reach its full potential.ConsConsThe fact that it requires three or more coats to reach its full efficacy makes this product a little pricey.
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Benefits of RV Roof Sealant & Coating
- Structural protection. First and foremost, sealing up any cracks that have already occurred and preventing new ones with roof sealant is an investment in the structure and longevity of your RV. A layer of rubber roof sealant will also help prevent any warping from the heat and will save you money in the long run by helping to prevent costly RV roof repairs.
- Temperature regulation. A roof coating forms a protective barrier that helps to regulate the temperature inside your RV, which will keep things cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. As an added perk, you’ll likely end up using less power, since you won’t have to crank up the air conditioning or heating.
- Reduced wear and tear. The roof surface of your RV takes a real beating over time. With repeated exposure to the elements, your RV’s roof can start to show signs of wear and tear. Having rubber roofing atop it helps keep that wear and tear to a minimum.
- Energy use reduction. RVs use a lot of energy when in use, even on short trips. An RV roof coating can help reduce these costs due to the added insulation it provides to your vehicle. Less power used, more money saved.
- Reduced costs. In the same vein, keeping your RV in tip-top shape by protecting the roof from damage and the structure from warping, you’re saving a lot on roof maintenance down the line. That’ll help keep more cash in your wallet.
Types of RV Roof Sealant & Coating
One of the more durable options for coating your RV’s roof, urethane is a popular choice among RV enthusiasts and mobile homeowners alike. Their structure works well to protect against falling branches and other small debris, as well as generally protecting your roof from the elements. Some things to keep in mind are the higher application costs and the overall time investment when you first do it, as urethane needs at least two coats to work effectively.
A good stop-gap solution, acrylic coatings are among the cheaper options out there. They’re truly great for preventing further damage to your roof and structure and do still manage to reflect a decent amount of sunlight. They also work really well to seal up any leaks in your roof and keep water out effectively. Acrylic doesn’t last as long as other coating options, and also takes a lot of time and effort to apply.
The most expensive option out there, silicone is also the most durable. It will work extremely well against weather degradation, wind and sun damage, as well as ponding water. Its structure allows it to stay very elastic, leaving it intact over long periods of time. The downside of silicone is that it gets dirty fairly easily, but regularly washing your RV should take care of any issues associated with dirt.
A leader in the RV industry, Dicor Products makes everything you need to keep your RV in great shape. Based in Elkhart, Ind., Dicor has been in business for almost 40 years, and have continually worked on improving their products. Some of their top sellers are the EPDM Self-Leveling Lap Sealant and the Rubber Roof Acrylic Coating.
Based in Ontario, Canada, Liquid Rubber makes a number of different RV sealant and coating options, including the popular liquid roof coating formulation. All their products are manufactured to high standards, so you know what you’re getting. Bestsellers include the Brilliant White RV Roof Coating and Sealant.
RV Roof Sealant & Coating Pricing
- Under $15: You’ll find mainly roof sealant products at this price point. The quality of the formulations varies quite a bit, but it’s possible to find good quality at a great price. Packages will also be smaller than at other price points.
- $15-$40: The mid-range is home to a wide variety of products, from sealants to coatings, in a number of different formulations. The quality is usually good to very good, but still, keep an eye out for the brand you’re buying from.
- Over $40: Complete roof coating kits come at this price point, as well as a couple of pricier formulation-only options. Top quality comes at a bit of a higher price, but you’ll get what you paid for. Durable silicones tend to be in this price range.
It’s important to remember that sealant and coating are two similar products that serve different purposes. If you’re looking for a product that insulates your RV, protects from weather damage in a number of different weather conditions, and adds structural integrity, you’ll want an RV coating product. If, on the other hand, you want to fix cracks or leaks in the roof, or another patchwork that involves small areas, a sealant is a better choice for the job.
We’ve touched on this before, but we’ll say it again. The material your coating or sealant is made of makes a big difference in terms of how it performs. When it comes to pasting sealant and tape sealant, the formulation itself matters less than the overall quality of the product, but RV roof coatings are made from vastly different materials. The best, in terms of weather resistance, is silicone, but acrylic and urethane also serve their purposes.
Ease of Application
Formulations differ quite a bit in how they’re applied, how long they take to dry, and how many coats they need to work most effectively. Silicone is one of the easiest products to work with. It dries quickly, needs only one coat, and is easy to apply. Acrylic and urethane products vary, but many require at least a primer coat and multiple coats of the product to reach full capacity.
- Packaging Size: Keep in mind how much of your roof needs to be repaired or how much you want to coat. That’ll help you decide if you want to invest in a big bucket of a coating or if a roll of sealant tape will do the job.
- Color: Sealant and coating products come in a couple of different colors, including clear and white. Choose whichever matches your needs best, and keep in mind that bright colors reflect more sunlight.
- Water Resistance: All sealant and coating products should be water-resistant, but the reality is that some are better at keeping the water out than others. Keep that in mind when you’re selecting between products.
- UV Stabilization: Likewise, RV roof sealant and coating products should all be UV stabilized to prevent degradation in the sun. Again, some products are better formulated for this than others, so look for “UV Stable” on the label.
Best RV Roof Sealant & Coating Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating
A favorite among mobile home and RV owners alike, this Heng’s roof coating is one of the best out there. Designed for use over RV rubber roofs, it’s ideal for sealing up and tears and cracks, and for waterproofing air conditioners and vents. The UV resistant formulation makes it stand up to the summer heat. Once applied, the coating will expand and contract with your RV’s roof to resist cracking and degradation. It’s also non-polluting and non-toxic, so you’re protecting your health and the environment while using the product.
The bright white colors make this a great pick for replacing Motor Coach rubber roofs. Overall, the product is really easy to work with, requiring fewer coats than the competition. The formulation is also safe to use in sunlight and won’t bubble or crack even when freshly applied. A primer will help the formula go on even more smoothly, but it’s not required, saving you money in the re-coating process.
What we weren’t completely sold on was the fact that it’s an acrylic formulation, which means that it’s not going to be as long lasting as a silicone one. It’s still a great product that does the job extremely well, but keep in mind that a couple of years down the line, you’ll have to re-coat your RV’s roof again.
Best Value: Dicor EPDM Self-Leveling Sealant
This Dicor sealant works extremely well for creating a secure, secondary seal along your RV roof’s edges, vents, and screw heads. Made to adhere to a number of different surfaces, including wood, vinyl, aluminum, galvanized metal, fiberglass, and more, it’s a great fit for a wide range of different RVs. It’s also compatible with EPDM and TPO sheeting, and the sealant’s white color makes it blend well with most RV roofs.
As a self-leveling sealant, it’s best for use on horizontal surfaces, as the formulation is too runny to be used vertically. When using this product, remember to use a larger amount to cover screw heads, so that the product can spread out and level. If you’ve got a leak or are hoping to prevent them by sealing up all possible nooks and crannies, this is the product for you.
One major downside is the size of the tube it comes in. If you’ve got a large RV and want to seal the whole roof, it could take up to 5 or more tubes to finish the job. But, on the other hand, water damage will be more expensive to fix than sealing everything up properly. It’s also worth mentioning that the formulation has a learning curve before you’ll be a pro at applying it.
Honorable Mention: Flex Seal Liquid Rubber in a Can
Our honorable mention pick is definitely a work-horse. Not only can it be used to coat your RV roof, but it’s also suitable for any other use case where you want to lay down a watertight and flexible rubberized coating. The formulation is designed to go on extra smooth. It can be rolled, poured, or brushed on, and levels out quickly. It seals out water and moisture and is mildew resistant.
Another great feature is that the formulation is UV-resistant and non-flammable, plus it’s non-toxic and safe for use around plants and animals. It also prevents rust and corrosion and stands up to chemicals. If you need something that can really take a beating, this might just be the pick for you. It’s a bit thinner in consistency than some other products out there, but that just makes it easier to work with.
Keep in mind that you’ll need about three coats to properly recoat your RV’s roof. That’s not the best news when you consider that the product is also on the pricier side. However, you’ll end up with a durable rubberized roof, so the investment should pay off in the end.
- It’s a good idea to apply thin coats of acrylic or urethane RV roof coating instead of one thick one. This’ll help the product work more effectively.
- Use a caulking gun to apply a sealant for easy coat application. Some sealant products already come in similar packaging just for that very reason. If yours doesn’t, fill it over into a caulking gun and make the task of fixing your RV roof an easy one.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash your RV before applying any sealant or coating products. You want to make sure that everything, especially the roof, is clean and dry, and follow any additional prepping steps accompanying your product’s instructions.
- It’s a good idea to work in a shaded and well-ventilated area to allow the product to set properly. Too much heat and sunlight can warp the roof a bit, making the coating uneven.
- The easiest way to repair roof leaks is with sealant tape. It’s quick, easy to use, and, most importantly, incredibly effective at getting the job done.
Q: What’s the best way to apply RV roof coating?
A: It’s a fairly simple process that’s definitely suited to DIY. You’ll want to start by making sure your RV is clean and take any other prepping steps mentioned in the product you purchased to coat your roof. It’s also helpful to wipe down the whole roof with denatured alcohol after removing any old sealant to ensure a clean surface on which to adhere to the new coating. Then, just follow the instructions included with your coating.
Q: What formulations should I look for?
A: You have a couple of different options. An EPDM rubber coating product works for most RVs and is a weather-resistant elastomeric formulation that works really well. KST coatings are also a good choice since they feature a lot of the same properties and handle UV rays with ease. If you have a fiberglass roof, you’ll want something made specifically for that type of roofing material to ensure that everything is well-sealed.
Q: How many coats do I need to use to repair my RV’s roof?
A: Not as many as you think since less is truly more when it comes to sealing up cracks in your RV’s roof. If you’re doing a complete coating, the number of coats it takes to do that will vary depending on the product type you’re using, and also on the type of RV you have. For instance, urethane and acrylic coatings require the use of a primer, as well as several coats overall.
Q: How does sealant differ from coating?
A: The quick and easy answer is that sealants are typically used for repairing cracks and sealing up roof joints to prevent water leaks, while coatings cover the whole roof and work as insulators and weather protectors. They can be used together or separately.
Q: What can I use to clean the roof coating once it’s applied and in use?
A: You can use a number of different detergents and cleaners, but keep in mind that anything containing petroleum, harsh abrasives, or citrus ingredients will damage the coating. When it comes to how frequently you should clean your rubber roof, about three to four times a year should do.
Q: Can I use a pressure washer to clean my RV’s roof?
A: Using a pressure washer before coating your roof is a great way to get rid of any build-up and lingering dirt, but once the coating has been applied, you should stick to gentler streams of water for cleaning purposes. Pressure washers can damage the seals, the coating, and even the paint job.
Our top pick for sealing up and recoating your RV’s roof is the Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating. It works like a charm, stands up to the elements, and features a non-toxic formulation.
If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, consider the Dicor EPDM Self-Leveling Sealant. It’s a powerful product that will seal up cracks and leaks.