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Old 03-08-2016, 10:02 AM   #1
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Rubber Roof Cleaner/Protectant

Just wondering what everyone uses for cleaners and protectants for rubber roofs. In a recent thread i read about Mr. Clean magic eraser as a cleaner. Currently our roof seems pretty clean but I'm willing to re-clean and then apply a recommended protectant.

As always thanks for the opinions.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #2
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You can use a lot of things to clean a rubber roof, but the most important thing is that you avoid any cleaning product with petroleum or citrus ingredients because they will damage your roof. I stay away from all acidic ingredients just to be safe. Vinegar is a great, natural cleaner and disinfectant for inside the RV, but I don't trust it on rubber. I just use dish soap and a sponge myself, sometimes a scrub brush when I really need it.

I haven't yet used any sealer or protectant products yet, but in a year or so I will start looking into them. Sorry I can't be of help there :/
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:20 PM   #3
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Here is a video from Dicor that may help answer your question.

https://www.youtube.com watch
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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Just use some car washing soap, a little bleach, a soft brush. Rinse roof first, soap it up and let it sit so the bleach will work, then rinse rinse rinse.

No need for any "preservatives". I seldom take advice from companies who revenue is based on selling you their products.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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Any good household detergent and a brush is the basic answer. A medium bristle brush and lot of bleach in the detergent are helpful if there is deep dirt in the pores or any mold. The EPDM is easily capable of handling strong detergents and bleach as well as moderate brushing. Just avoid wetting ti with petroleum products, e.g. mineral spirits)

Dicor, the major manufacturer of EPDM products for RVs, give these recommendations:

BriteTEK Roof Membrane | Dicor Products | Official Website

You really don't need to "protect" it, but the so-called protectants have some wax in it that may reduce the normal chalking of an EPDM rubber roof for a while. Or you can use any liquid floor wax to get the same effect, e.g. Mop & Glo or equivalent.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:27 AM   #6
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OK, confused newbie here. We are in the process of looking for an RV, older due to our limited budget/no financing wish. Consequently we often encounter rubber roofs. Many a seller will say "the roof has just been re-sealed". Recently a seller was saying he didn't know how many more coats the roof might take before a tear-off and re-roofing would be necessary (first time we had heard that!).

To clarify - are you saying that in general sealants are not necessary? Does that advice change if the unit is stored outside (in our case, in the Florida sun)? Is the sealant essentially a UV protectant or something else/more?

Thanks for any feedback to help me clear my mind on this issue
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdzgon View Post
OK, confused newbie here. We are in the process of looking for an RV, older due to our limited budget/no financing wish. Consequently we often encounter rubber roofs. Many a seller will say "the roof has just been re-sealed". Recently a seller was saying he didn't know how many more coats the roof might take before a tear-off and re-roofing would be necessary (first time we had heard that!).

To clarify - are you saying that in general sealants are not necessary? Does that advice change if the unit is stored outside (in our case, in the Florida sun)? Is the sealant essentially a UV protectant or something else/more?

Thanks for any feedback to help me clear my mind on this issue
Chances are the seller had a unit which had an aluminum roof which does require more maintenance. Not all RV's have rubber roofs.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
OK, confused newbie here. We are in the process of looking for an RV, older due to our limited budget/no financing wish. Consequently we often encounter rubber roofs. Many a seller will say "the roof has just been re-sealed". Recently a seller was saying he didn't know how many more coats the roof might take before a tear-off and re-roofing would be necessary (first time we had heard that!).
I purchased my current RV two years ago. I was told the roof was fiberglass The previous owner advised me that the roof was due for a re-application of sealer. I was power washing the roof one day preparing it for reapplication of sealer and large pieces of this stuff kept pealing off.
I did much study and found that the previous owner got taken advantage of by one of the many dishonest RV service centers in the country. It has a BriteTek Roof membrane.(rubber) They applied a polymeric sealer over the top of the rubber roof. I have painfully and slowly removed about 80% of the coating off. I will eventually get all of it. I am being careful not to damage the rubber roof.
My point is, be careful what some service place tries to sell you. Do the research yourself. The internet is a very powerful tool and a great learning place. You have started at the best place on the internet for RV advise. iRV2
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:30 PM   #9
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Aerospace 303 protectant is what I use. SPF 40.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSC9901 View Post
Just wondering what everyone uses for cleaners and protectants for rubber roofs. In a recent thread i read about Mr. Clean magic eraser as a cleaner. Currently our roof seems pretty clean but I'm willing to re-clean and then apply a recommended protectant.

As always thanks for the opinions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdzgon View Post
OK, confused newbie here. We are in the process of looking for an RV, older due to our limited budget/no financing wish. Consequently we often encounter rubber roofs. Many a seller will say "the roof has just been re-sealed". Recently a seller was saying he didn't know how many more coats the roof might take before a tear-off and re-roofing would be necessary (first time we had heard that!).

To clarify - are you saying that in general sealants are not necessary? Does that advice change if the unit is stored outside (in our case, in the Florida sun)? Is the sealant essentially a UV protectant or something else/more?

Thanks for any feedback to help me clear my mind on this issue

As you can read, about 95% of taking care of a rubber roof is really only a good washing with soap and water and, whatever kind of brush you see fit. Then a good rinse. As for a "protectant" well, none of those rubber roof manufacturers state anything is needed for protection.

But, that's not to say that they can't be "renovated' so to speak. About 99% of them are BLACK rubber with a form of a white coating on them. And, that white coating can and, often sort of wears off. What you'll see then is blotchy spots of black and white and, eventually, almost all black up there. Well, we all know what will and does happen with an all black roof! We're talking some serious increase in heat, inside the coach.

Well, our previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder 34V with the F-53 Chassis and V-10 had a rubber roof that was that worn out. So, long story short, my son and I followed all the required procedure for applying the Dicor roof treatment on that black rubber roof. We did it all in one day. A long, hot, 95 degree day at that. We started at 7:00 in the morning and, finished at 5:00 that afternoon. Here's what it looked like when done.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:06 PM   #11
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I think you might be confusing a sealant or protectant for the whole roof vs having the roof openings such as vents and skylights resealed with caulk/dicor seam sealant. I would first make sure the roof you are looking at is in fact rubber/edpm or is it tpo/thermo plastic olefin. Both are good products, the latter probably more desirable as it doesnt leave chalky streaks down the side of the rv. Both roofs require little more than scrubbing with the mildest cleaner you can use to remove any stains. You can use one of the protectants that they sell at rv stores and apply it once or twice a year if it makes you feel better. The most important thing is the condition of the caulk/sealant around the roof openings. Make sure it is not cracking, shrinking or pulling away. You should inspect the roof at least once a year to make sure the sealant is in good shape and reapply or touch up as necessary.
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:18 PM   #12
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I bought a cleaner / protectant made by Camco last summer and cleaned my rubber roof. The cleaner did a great job and who really knows how much protectant you really applied? I was pleased with the way the roof looked when I was done though. Total price was under $10. I still bought groceries that week.
I also bought a soft brush to scrub the roof with. I've forgotten what I paid for it but it didn't break me either. Plan on spending some time up there. The roof is only as clean as you are willing to clean it. I was lucky as the previous owner was fussy with his maintenance schedule. It was quite clean to start with.
When I was done with the roof I washed the entire MH to remove all the soap etc. left over from the roof cleaning.
Personally I prefer using products made for the job by a respected brand. To save a couple bucks experimenting with voodoo concoctions just doesn't sit well with me. I firmly believe an upstanding company who has been around for a while won't intentionally market a product which won't perform up to expectations.
Lynn
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
Just use some car washing soap, a little bleach, a soft brush. Rinse roof first, soap it up and let it sit so the bleach will work, then rinse rinse rinse.

No need for any "preservatives". I seldom take advice from companies who revenue is based on selling you their products.
I tend to disagree,
Having been in the industrial equipment industry for most of my career, I have been witness to this attitude many times while investigating failures due to improper care and attention to equipment. And then, blame the manufacture for a faulty product. Nobody knows your stuff better than the person who designed and built it.
The manufacturer has nothing to gain by selling you a maintenance product that is not designed to get the maximum service like from your equipment.
Yes, it might be at a premium price but you can be assured it is the right product for the job.
IMHO,,,,
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:35 PM   #14
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I'm not sure what is considered voodoo but when I had my hurricane Thor wrote me and said to use spic and span in a bucket of water to clean the roof, no special products needed. As I'm reading the manual for my new Bay Star it says to use either a Dicor cleaner or a mild laundry detergent and bleach for stubborn stains. It also says to use baby shampoo and some household vinegar to wash the mh with as it does not leave a residue and will help with water spotting.

If it makes one feel better about using a special product and it works, then great. Lots of ways to wash things.
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