Best RV Roof Sealants and Coatings: Top Picks for Cracked Roofs
A cost-effective and easier solution for dealing with RV roof damage.
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON April 13, 2021
An RV is a comfortable and serene place to escape to when you are looking to go off the grid and enjoy what nature has to offer. Getting caught in a heavy downpour with a leaking roof when you’re miles away from civilization can really put a damper on your vacation. However, with the availability of high-quality roof sealants and coatings, there’s no need to postpone fixing a leaking roof until it’s too late. Coating or sealing a damaged roof can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Whether you are looking to fix a leaking roof or simply performs some RV roof maintenance, we have a list of some of the best sealants and coatings to help solve your leaking problem.
Coming in a 1-gallon container, this is a non-toxic roof coating that effectively seals tears in rubber roofs, air conditioners, vents, and more.
- Thin formula that's easy to spread and clean up
- Resists cracking by expanding and contracting with the roof
- Dries into a UV-resistant coating
- Doesn’t cause pollution nor emit strong fumes
- Needs to be re-coated more frequently than silicone coatings
- Finished coat may be slightly grayish
Available in a 10-ounce tube, this sealant is designed to adhere firmly to fiberglass, wood, aluminum, mortar, vinyl, and concrete.
- UV-stabilized formula that resists discoloration or deterioration
- Doesn’t stain or discolor the material
- Remains flexible even after its fully cured
- Reduces roof vibrations
- You may need several tubes to seal up the entire RV
- Emits strong fumes
Available in a 4.75-gallon container, this is a white elastomeric roof coating that forms a rubber-like seal to help prolong the life of the roof.
- Maintains a durable coating on the roof despite moisture and UV rays
- Resists mildew and algae buildup
- Remains flexible at temperatures ranging from -10 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit
- Dries into a thin coat that tends to flake after some time
- Not as durable as most elastomeric coatings
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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
Just like paints, liquid sealants or coatings require a bit of surface preparation before you apply the sealant. You need to clean and prime the surface before applying the product, and due to their low viscosity, they may take a while to fully cure. It may take a few weeks before you can repaint the roof. You can either find silicone, acrylic, or urethane-based liquid sealants, with silicone being the most expensive but durable option.
Instead of worrying yourself with a lengthy surface preparation and coating process, you can opt to simply seal the leak with a tape that’s treated with an adhesive sealant. The sealant forms an airtight bond with the roof to block out moisture and consequently stop the leak. Most can expand and contract with the roof depending on the weather conditions, and can last for several years.
Founded by Robert Fergusson in 1921, Rust-Oleum is an Illinois-based manufacturer of protective paints for home, automotive, and industrial use. Its products help to prevent rust and corrosion, and they include brush-on or spray-on products that can be used on almost any surface. The Rust-Oleum LeakStop Rubber Coating is one of its best-rated products.
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 to $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.
- $40 and up: 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.
- Type of Roof Material. Rubber roofs (EPDM or TPO roofing) are the most common type of RV roofs so select a formulation that can adhere to rubber and is non-corrosive to the material. Any other material (fiberglass or metal) is typically compatible with an all-purpose sealant or coating, but always consult the product’s manual for the types of material it’s tailored for.
- Elasticity. To withstand temperature changes, you will need an elastic or flexible sealant or coating that can elongate or contract with the applied surface. Simply put, ensure that it has enough tensile strength to withstand being exposed to different temperature conditions.
- 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.
Best RV Roof Sealant & Coating Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- It’s a good idea to apply thin coats of acrylic or urethane RV roof coating instead of one thick one. This will 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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating earns our top spot for maximum adhesion that allows for an airtight coating on the roof. It helps to seal leaking roofs and resists damage from exposure to the sun. If you only have small leaks at the edges, then you can save some money by only getting the Dicor EPDM Self-Leveling Sealant. It’s great for sealing small leaks.