Is It Safe To Use RV Leak Repair Tape On Your RV Roof?
A water leak in your RV is one of the worst things to find. The only thing worse is not finding it!
RVs are exposed to the elements year-round and are subject to the stresses of travel. This, along with age, results in dried-out cracked seals and surfaces.
A leak can result in major damage, mold, and expensive repairs. One of the most common ways to fix leaks is with RV leak repair tape. It’s a cheap, easy way to cover up a leak.
What is RV leak repair tape?
Slight differences in the tape will be found from manufacturer to manufacturer. Whichever the brand, it is essentially a roll of really strong, sticky tape, approximately 4″ wide that sticks to multiple surfaces and provides a watertight seal. You can find a quality roll online for about $10-20.
Most claim to stick to any surface, even rough or slightly dirty surfaces. They are designed to stay adhered through a wide range of temperatures and are not affected by moisture.
Some have an aluminum-like surface similar to HVAC tape. There are also some with a rubberized surface.
The draw is its ease of use. Simply stick it on the area that is leaking. No mixing two-part compounds or messy tubes of silicone to apply and level out.
How does it work?
RV leak repair tape is actually a great product that all RVers should keep a roll of in their rig.
The vast majority of reviews from multiple sales platforms are positive from both a value and total satisfaction point.
Providing it is applied as per the manufacturer’s instructions, this product does work to stop leaks.
So, is it safe to use for water leaks?
As mentioned above, these products do a good job when it comes to leaks. That being said, are they safe to use in all situations and as a permanent repair?
If you are out camping and notice a leak, or you’re in a situation where you require repairs for a leak but need a quick (temporary) fix, then RV leak repair tape is a great option.
However, anytime you notice a water leak, it is important to investigate and look for all potential damage to be repaired correctly.
Often when a leak is noticed, it has already been leaking for a while. Damage beyond the leak location may have also already begun. Water can creep and find its way to locations far from where the water is entering.
So, while using RV leak repair tape to seal a leak should stop the leak, it doesn’t address any other possible damage. If you simply tape over the leak, no more water should get in. BUT the moisture that has already entered will not come out either.
In situations where you know the leak location has just happened, RV leak repair tape is great. Say you tear part of your roof with a tree branch while parking, you could repair it immediately with RV leak repair tape and feel confident that there is no other damage and water has not entered the area.
If you notice a leak on a rainy day while on vacation, the area can be tapped. However, as soon as possible, the tape should be removed and the area checked for the full extent of the damage. This may include the removal of roof-mounted accessories, moldings, or even interior panels.
Is it safe to use after repairs are complete?
Once you are confident that any water damage has been fixed and there are no chances of mold developing or any structural issues, the leak area can be closed up.
RV leak repair tape is an easy fix, but should only be considered in certain areas.
Any area that has added stresses or is a part of the structural integrity of your RV should be repaired using the appropriate materials. This may include corner seams on walls, or around window and door frames.
Areas that are uneven or have changes in thickness may be better repaired with self-leveling RV sealants. Such areas might include roof-mounted vents.
If you live and travel in dry areas with moderate temperature change, RV leak repair tape will be a safer choice than RVs that will be exposed to areas with more rain and freezing temperatures.
The most important thing with RV water leaks is to make sure you find the extent of the leak and make the necessary repairs rather than just cover it up.
Having a roll of RV leak repair tape in your RV is a solid idea, whether you intend to use it for a long-term repair or just to get you through a wet weekend.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. 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.