How To Fix A Soft Spot On Your RV Roof
Finding soft spots on an RV roof can be a cause for concern, but it’s not always a crisis. Sometimes these spots form naturally due to a lack of support in certain parts of the roof. However, if there is a risk of leaking, or you notice that the roof material is starting to crack, you’ll want to know how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof.
Most soft spots start off small, but they can develop into major issues if they aren’t fixed. If your roof has begun to sag or become weak in certain areas, this is often a sign that water is leaking into the vehicle. This could come from faulty plumbing or from rain that has worked its way under the surface.
Water damage is a huge problem for RVs, so it’s important to find and fix soft spots as soon as possible! Below we’ll give some tips and a step-by-step guide to help you know how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof.
How To Fix Minor Soft Spot Damage
Step 1: Inspect your RV roof thoroughly
When you want to know how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof, your first steps will be the same regardless of whether the issue is major or minor. Before you can fix anything, you need to know how bad the problem is. To do this, inspect your RV roof thoroughly and test it for soft spots.
Climb up with help from a ladder and lay a flat piece of plywood over the roof. This will help distribute your weight while you’re up there and will prevent the problems from becoming worse. You don’t want the roof to collapse under you!
Carefully press on the roof to check for soft spots. Look for places where water might pool and check for seams, rips, and cracks in the roof material.
Step 2: Apply caulk/sealant to the leaking area
Once you have identified the problematic area(s), you need to decide whether the damage is major or minor. It can be hard to tell without going under the surface, but you can judge based on the size of the soft spot and whether or not you have noticed any issues on the inside of the vehicle.
If the damage is pretty minor, you can fix it by applying caulk or sealant to the weak parts of the roof. Focus on sealing up any cracks where water could get in and cover the entire roof in a layer of sealant. Products like RV Roof Magic are good options to consider.
Step 3: Allow RV to dry, then cover
Give your roof time to dry and let the sealant set. This will usually take at least a few hours. Leave your RV in a bright, dry space while it dries.
Once everything has had time to set, you’ll want to protect your RV for the future. Think about better storage options that will keep it safe from rain and leaks. Use a good cover or consider storing it in a carport or garage. Following this approach will help you prevent and fix most minor soft spot damage.
How To Fix Major Soft Spot Damage
Step 1: Inspect your RV roof thoroughly
Follow the same steps listed above to inspect your roof. You’ll usually be able to tell when the damage is more severe due to the size of the soft spots or if you see a visible rip in the surface of the roof.
If the damage is more than you’re prepared to deal with, you should call an expert that knows how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof. Going in unprepared can cause more harm than good, especially if you really get under the surface.
Water damage is nothing to joke about, and it can wreak havoc on the structural integrity, wiring, plumbing, and overall safety of your RV. You’ll need to be prepared to do a thorough repair job or call professional help to do it instead.
Step 2: Remove all roof vents and fixtures
If you decide that you want to fix the damage yourself, you need to get under the top layer. In order to keep everything in the best possible condition, remove all vents and fixtures from your roof before beginning. You can use a heat gun around the fixtures to soften the roof coating and make it easier to pull them off. It’s also a good idea to sketch an outline of where every fixture goes so you can put the roof back together when the time comes (source).
Step 3: Remove top layer and insulation
Now it’s time to get under the surface. Scrape off the roof coating and remove any materials that block your access to the support beams in the RV. This usually includes insulation and a layer of plywood. Be careful to avoid cutting any electric wiring or plumbing while you are stripping away the layers.
Step 4: Replace rotted/damaged wooden beams and identify the source of the leaks
Once the support beams have been exposed, check the interior of your RV for water damage. Look for any wood that is wet or rotting and see if water is pooling anywhere. Measure the beams carefully and replace any damaged ones with fresh supports.
Try to make the repairs as close as possible to the original in terms of size and placement, because this will make it easier to put everything back together.
Step 5: Install new roof and insulation
Once the interior damage has been identified and fixed, you can start putting the roof back together again. Install new insulation to replace the stuff you pulled out and rewire the electrical system if necessary. Replace the outer roof layer with a new and undamaged model.
Step 6: Replace fixtures and apply roof sealant
Finally, you’ll want to replace the roof fixtures and lock them firmly in place. Caulk around any loose edges to prevent leaks from forming in the future. Then you can simply apply roof sealant to the surface and let it dry!
Now you know how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof. Consult with your user’s manual for any additional information about repairs or roof specifications.
Should you call for professional help?
Some jobs are just too big and too complicated for us to do at home. If you lack the experience or tools to complete a repair job like this, take your RV in to a local repair shop.
It’s also a good idea to see if your insurance will cover the cost of repairs as a soft spot on your RV roof can cause major damage. Knowing how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof is a useful skill, but some problems are too big to handle alone.
Track your RV maintenance and repairs
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.