Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Learning how to remove RV roof sealant can help you avoid issues with leaks the next time you’re out enjoying the RV lifestyle.
Many RV owners who have had their camper for any period of time know what it’s like to endure the pain of a roof leak. Few things are more frustrating for full time or part time RVers than sitting through a rainstorm with water dripping into your living room. Roof leaks can quickly turn a wonderful camping experience into a nightmare.
Luckily, there is something called roof sealant to patch and repair these pesky RV leaks. The only problem is that it can be tough to remove RV roof sealant once it’s on. If you apply too much roof sealant or if you want to perform a more permanent fix to your roof, you must first be able to remove the temporary sealant.
The best way to remove RV roof sealant is with a plastic putty knife or other dull-edged scraping tools. Things like crowbars and flat bars are not a good idea because they could easily scratch your RV roof if you’re not careful.
When using your putty knife to remove the sealant, be careful to move with slow, gentle motions and scrape underneath the sealant you wish to remove. Removing RV roof sealant takes some time, but it’s worth it in the end.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how to remove RV roof sealant, as well as its best uses. We will discuss what the best options are, how to apply it, and of course, how to remove roof sealant. So if you have any questions, keep reading, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
What to Use For RV Roof Sealant
When choosing your RV roof sealant, there are a few things to keep in mind. Different types of sealant are needed for different types of roofs. The level of damage is also important to keep in mind. Tapes and caulking may work for a tiny roof leak, but something more robust will be necessary for a large leak.
Products like Dicor sealant and Proguard liquid roof RV sealant are great for both repairs and recoating. If you feel like it’s time for your entire roof to get a fresh coat of sealant, then these two products will be perfect for you.
If you only want a temporary fix for a small leak, then silicone, EternaBond roof seal tape, or Flex Seal tape will get the job done for you. These three quick fixes are not practical for large leaks or resealing your roof, but they will plug a hole in the middle of a storm.
What is the Best RV Roof Sealant?
While there is certainly more than one product that will get whatever job you need done, some products are definitely better than others. The top RV roof sealant of 2021 to plug holes and gaps in your roof is Jetcoat Cool King Reflective Acrylic Roof Coating.
Jetcoat is a waterproof and watertight sealant designed to reduce energy costs and waterproof your RV’s roof. It’s easy to apply, can be used on nearly any RV roof surface, and is long-lasting to ensure you won’t have to reapply every year.
If you are willing to spend top dollar for a great self-leveling sealant, then Jetcoat is the way to go.
RV Sealant vs. Silicone
There is a debate amongst RV owners as to whether or not silicone is a valid form of roof leak repair. While it may not be the classiest way to stop a leak, silicone certainly has its place in the RV world. Take a look at the paragraphs below to decide whether RV roof sealant or silicone is the stopgap you need.
Pros and Cons of RV Roof Sealant
RV roof sealant will usually be the overall better choice for stopping roof leaks. It is longer lasting than silicone, has the ability to stop larger leaks, and does not have to be reapplied as often as silicone.
Having said this, RV roof sealant is also tough to remove once it’s applied. You also have to be careful about what kind of roof sealant you purchase because not all sealants are compatible with all RV roof types. You must know what type of roof you have and which RV sealant is compatible with that roof.
Pros and Cons of Silicone
Silicone or caulking is extremely popular amongst weekend and full time RVers alike. Silicone can be easily applied and is relatively cheap to purchase. One tube of silicone, which is more than enough to stop multiple roof leaks, can be purchased for under $10 at any hardware store.
Silicone is also fairly easy to remove compared to RV roof sealant. Once you get the pealing started with caulk cleaner, old caulk peels off of a surface similar to a banana peel on a banana. The downside of silicone is that you often have to inspect and reapply every couple of weeks or months to ensure that your camper’s roof doesn’t resume its leaking due to cracked, old caulk.
Where Can I Buy RV Roof Sealant?
RV roof sealant may not be as readily available as silicone, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find. Depending on the type of roof sealant you want, it can be purchased at stores like Lowe’s, Menards, Tractor Supply Company, and similar big-name DIY establishments.
RV roof sealant should also be readily available at hardware stores like Ace Hardware, Do-It-Best Hardware, and True Value. If you want a more heavy-duty roof sealant, you may need to check roof-specific stores as well to see if they have what you need.
Like all things, good sealant can also be readily purchased online at Amazon. If you don’t need your roof sealant urgently, then waiting a couple of days for Amazon to deliver it to you might be the best option. If you are desperate, however, then waiting for delivery may not be practical.
How to Use RV Roof Sealant
How to apply your RV roof sealant is completely dependent on what type of sealant you purchase and in what form. RV sealant can be purchased in a can, in a spray can or bottle, or as a tube for a caulk gun.
If you buy a tube of RV roof sealant or silicone, then you will need a caulk gun to apply it. Caulk guns can be purchased wherever you buy your silicone or sealant, and they are easy to use. You can also buy tubes of sealant and silicone in the form of a squeeze tube. These are perfect if you don’t have a caulk gun or if your caulk gun is broken.
Roof sealant purchased in a spray can or bottle should have specific instructions on the container about how to use it. Usually, you will be required to shake the can and then apply it wherever you see fit. The downside of spray-on sealant is that you may not reuse the leftover sealant if it should harden after use.
A paintbrush or paint roller will be needed to apply the RV sealant purchased in a can. Like painting, RV sealant in a can needs to be stirred and applied with a brush or roller to whatever degree of thickness you desire. If you want to reseal your entire roof, RV sealant in a can will be the way to go.
How to Clean RV Roof Sealant
RV roof sealant can be a messy job to deal with. The sealant will be sticky and sticks relatively quickly, so only apply it where you want it. In any case, it will be a good idea to have water, a damp rag, a sealant cleaner, protective equipment such as a long sleeve shirt, and a putty knife handy.
If you can get to your mishap quickly enough, then water and a damp rag may be enough to clean up your mess. If this doesn’t work, then mineral spirits or rubber roof cleaner can be used. Sealant cleaner, denatured alcohol, or mineral spirits will almost instantaneously make any paint or sealant removable and cleanable.
If you want to thoroughly clean your RV roof’s old sealant before applying a fresh coat, then some roof cleaner is an excellent product. With rubber roof cleaner, you will have the ability to put a new layer of RV roof sealant wherever you want. Rubber Roof Cleaner or a similar product will also allow your fresh coat of roof sealant to adhere properly to the top of the old coat more effectively.
How Much RV Roof Sealant Do I Need?
The amount of RV sealant that you need to apply depends on how bad your old roof is. If your RV is several years old and little to nothing has been done to maintain it, then you may need a generous dose of sealant. If you are sealing over a leak or crack in your roof, only apply as much as you need to cover it up.
Putting a little extra roof seal down will not hurt your roof at all, but it might be a good idea to save it for when you really need it. If you use silicone to stop a leaky roof or window, then only apply as much as you need.
Applying too much silicone can actually be counterproductive to accomplishing your end goal of a dry camper. Silicone is heavier and bulkier than sealant, and on a hot day, it can melt. If you put a large clump on top of a leak, the silicone’s own weight can cause it to move just enough to actually miss the hole completely.
RV Roof Coating for Leaks
For a small leak that is causing a slow drip inside your RV, it is recommended that you use silicone, tape sealant, or a small amount of RV coating or sealant. An entire can of RV roof coating is overkill for a small leak, and your money could be better spent in other areas.
How Long Does It Take for RV Sealant to Dry?
Once again, the amount of time it takes for your RV sealant or coating to dry depends on the product that you use. Some sealants have a quicker drying time than others. However, as a general rule, expect your RV sealant to take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to dry completely.
Another factor that affects drying time is the weather. If the atmosphere is damp or humid, your sealant will take closer to 24 hours to dry. If conditions are fair and the air is free of moisture, your wait time for drying will be on the shorter end.
If you are in the middle of a rainstorm and need to stop a leak, waterproof silicone will be your best friend. As long as the raindrops are not falling so hard that it physically moves the silicone, they should be set and dry in under an hour. For this reason alone, silicone should always be readily accessible in an RV.
Now you know a little more about how to remove RV roof sealant and how to properly use it. The best way to remove any form of RV roof sealant will be with a putty knife, mineral spirits, and rubber roof cleaner.
Combining these three things should take care of any sealant removal problems that lie ahead of you. With a little sweat and hard work, you are well on your way to taking care of any roof problems that come your way in your RVing experiences.