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Old 04-10-2014, 07:18 AM   #1
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Rubber roof cleaning?

My Bounder with a rubber roof has accumulated black spots after sitting under a tree for four months this past winter. Is there any product that will remove them? Is there any problem if they are not removed? A maintenance tech at Camping World told me that once they appear that there is nothing that will remove them.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
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I used "Barkeepers Friend" and removed most of mine but not totally. I than used Zep as a wax and will see how it goes
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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Look at Camping World. They carry an assortment of roof cleaners. Not sure about the black spots, but you should clean it....
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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I used "Barkeepers Friend" and removed most of mine but not totally. I than used Zep as a wax and will see how it goes
Mike D
I am concerned about using "Barkeepers Friend" on my rubber roof since it is a bit abrasive. Did you use it on a rubber roof? Did you notice any damage?
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Look at Camping World. They carry an assortment of roof cleaners. Not sure about the black spots, but you should clean it....
The guy at Camping World told me that there is nothing that can remove the black spots.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Has anyone ever used the Beast Wash form WadeMade?
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:37 AM   #7
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A strong detergent (e.g. Simple Green) with a healthy dose of bleach added will usually do the trick. A long handle, medium bristle brush makes it easier on you, though.

Black spots are mold that is down in the weave, so let the detergent/bleach soak in a bit and then brush it well. The cleaning will also remove a lot of chalk from the EPDM, so you will have to wash down the sides after doing the roof.

A coat of floor was afterwards will help keep it white and reduce chalking. Zep is popular, but Mop n Gl and similar also work. Multiple coats last longer.

The products sold in RV stores for washing or "treating" rubber roofs don't do anything that plain old detergent and a coat of was won't do for a lot less $$.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:44 AM   #8
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Thank you
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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Careful with that bleach. The rubber roof manufacturers caution against it. I have a friend who's brother (prior owner) used bleach to clean his rubber roof and 2-3 years later, there are bubbles all over it where it is failing....

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Most rubber roof manufacturers recommend using a medium bristle brush and a non-abrasive cleaner. For light cleaning, use warm water and a mild detergent like Dawn dishwashing liquid. For more difficult cleaning, there are commercial cleaning products designed specifically for rubber roofing.

Hard-to-clean areas like stubborn stains caused by leaves, sap, mold or mildew may require a second treatment. Use caution to prevent the cleaners from getting on the sides of the RV. Always rinse the sides, front and back of your RV before and after rinsing the roof to prevent cleaners from streaking or damaging the finish on your RV sidewalls Regardless of the type of rubber roof you have, NEVER use any cleaners or conditioners that contain petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives or citrus ingredients. These types of cleaners can cause permanent damage to rubber and vinyl surfaces. The first indication of rubber roofing coming in contact with petroleum products is a bubble forming. The thickness of the rubber is compromised and chances are it will never adhere to the roof decking again.
Dicor offers tips on caring for rubber roofs | RV Daily Report | Breaking RV Industry News and Campground Information
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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Bleach won't bubble EPDM. Well, maybe if poured on full strength and soaked in, but bleach in a cleaning solution won't bother it.

Nothing in the above quote (red print) mentions bleach.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:05 PM   #11
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I didn't notice any abrasion when using barkeepers friend but as I mentioned it also did not totally remove the algae in the crevasses but overall I was happy with the results. I also tried Diocor cleaner but they both worked about the same and barkeepers friend is only $2/can
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:51 PM   #12
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Oddly enough, I just washed my MH roof yesterday. I'd already tried most of the home-remedies mentioned on several camping forums with little success removing the black spots that looked like my roof had a severe case of black measles.
Yesterday I found a box of Dirtex powder pushed back on a shelf in the basement. I thought, what the hay I'm gonna try it too. I mixed per directions with hot water, climbed onto the roof with my old, almost worn-out, RV brush and went to work. I was amazed at how quickly and effortlessly the black spots and dirt washed away. Took me about an hour total. EDIT: my MH roof is fiberglass.
Sheepishly I must admit it took me another 1/2 hour to get a neighbors attention and come reset my ladder so I could get down off the MH roof. I had knocked it down with the hose.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Careful with that bleach. The rubber roof manufacturers caution against it. I have a friend who's brother (prior owner) used bleach to clean his rubber roof and 2-3 years later, there are bubbles all over it
The information that came with my MH when it was new from Dicor says you can use bleach full strength, which I have done to remove the black mold. I spray the bleach on, let it work for a few minutes, then scrub it with a green scrubbing pad. Rinse the roof and side walls real good, when the roof is dry I treat it with 303 protectant. My roof looks like new and feels like a babies behind. The mold is caused by dirt on the EPDM membrane. Cleaning and treating the roof a couple of times year will keep the black mold from growing.

Chuck
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:10 AM   #14
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I completely removed my black spots using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser mop and dish washing liquid.
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