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Old 11-18-2019, 07:08 PM   #1
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Clean Fiberglass Roof???

I am in the process of polishing and sealing the exterior paint on my Class A RV. However, that white chalky stuff from the fiberglass roof keeps going down the sides of my RV.


So how do I:
  1. Clean/remove the existing white stuff on the roof? Power washer? etc.?
  2. Seal or otherwise protect the fiberglass roof so it doesn't immediately start chalking up, again? I am thinking some kind of car wax/sealant, but I have heard it makes your roof really slippery.
Frankly, I don't care how the roof looks, I just want to stop that white stuff from going down the sides of my RV. After a good wash, can I just apply some sealant like NuFinish and not even bother to remove it?
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:33 PM   #2
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Clean the roof, then paint with Henry's.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:42 PM   #3
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What you are talking about is Oxidation of the old roof coating. I just did a complete roof reseal and repaint on my coach. I used Simple Green to remove the grease and all contaminates by mixing by the mfg recommendations on 1 gallon bottle. After I washed it to what I wanted for clean I the used Scotch Brite 3M red pads to sand the whole fiberglass roof. YES the whole roof. I attached the pads to my drywall sander pole so I could stand up and sand the roof an not work on my knees. This will produce A lot of powder so have an air hose handy.

After sanding I resealed all my vents with Eternabond tape and dicor self leveling under the tape. I then used Rust Oleum Marine top Side Gloss white paint, 2 coats, Yes 2 coats. Since I put that much time in it I wanted the best coverage.. Used just under 1 gallon for my coach.. Pic of finished product
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:48 PM   #4
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Nice job. Are there any experiences after using a coating similar to these with using 3M VBS tape to attach solar panels? Did you scrape the coating off or just trust the strength of the coating bond to the underlying fiberglass?
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:49 PM   #5
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I think you'll get streaks due to pollution (I think mostly diesel semi-truck exhaust residue) depositing on the roof and washing off whenever it rains no matter what you do. At least I do. I have not had chalking issues but here's my routine ...

On my 2015 Vista I clean the roof a few times per year with soapy water using some bug/tar remover and/or Goof-Off to remove stubborn things like tree sap. I don't try to get the pollution off the lap sealant anymore. I damp dry with a few old towels to get remaining oily diesel soot pollution residue off the roof. About once a year I hand apply and hand buff using the same wax I use on the sidewalls and front/rear caps. The wax layer seems to seal the gelcoat and prevent the chalking and seems to last about a year before I have to repeat.

At least for me it's about going over the whole roof a few times a year to make sure there's no problems that need to be addressed that would lead to water intrusion or something coming off suddenly.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:46 PM   #6
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My Winnie will be 16 yrs old next month since I took delivery. For many, many yrs I used 303 Protectant approx twice a year on the roof and tires and rubber trim on windshield. It went on easy and stopped the white streaks for a while. Last year I had a professional detail the entire rig. He recommended a "hard wax" and said 303 would only last about 6 weeks. So I sealed the roof with RejeX, the same polish I've used on the paint since 2007. After 1 year, there are no white streaks and it's very easy to clean. It will be slippery when wet, so if I go up there, I wait til the dew dries. OBTY, folks complement me how well the coach looks and don't believe that it's 16 yrs old. It's almost always in the sun 24/7/365 since I've been fulltiming since 2007.

Good luck,
Bill
YIKES! ... on edit, I see they can't sell this product in Kalifornia, seems all the good stuff is outlawed here. That was news to me since I've had 1 gal container shipped here twice, last time in 2017.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
Are there any experiences after using a coating similar to these with using 3M VBS tape to attach solar panels?
Wow. I had not even thought about that. I will installing solar panels in the next few months, and will be using 3M VHB tape.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmevis View Post
I am in the process of polishing and sealing the exterior paint on my Class A RV. However, that white chalky stuff from the fiberglass roof keeps going down the sides of my RV.


So how do I:
  1. Clean/remove the existing white stuff on the roof? Power washer? etc.?
  2. Seal or otherwise protect the fiberglass roof so it doesn't immediately start chalking up, again? I am thinking some kind of car wax/sealant, but I have heard it makes your roof really slippery.
Frankly, I don't care how the roof looks, I just want to stop that white stuff from going down the sides of my RV. After a good wash, can I just apply some sealant like NuFinish and not even bother to remove it?
Dmevis,
First off, how long has it been since ANY roof cleaning as been done, months, years? Second, ANY roof, no matter what it's made of, will eventually degrade if left UNMAINTENANCED! The exception being an all aluminum roof, they just get ugly but don't cause streaking. Third, do not, REPEAT, do not paint it with ANYTHING. It's a fiberglass roof.

All that is needed is a good, thorough cleaning. Do not be afraid to get up there and DO SOME WORK!!!! Nothing is easy when it comes to quality motorhome maintenance. Your roof, can take a good cleaning with a good quality brush, some soap and some cleanser. Yes, I said CLEANSER! The goal here is to get all those years (if it's been years) of NEGLECT scrubbed off. What you will have after that is a good, clean, ready to protect, fiberglass roof.

I did it that way, 7 years ago. We picked our coach up just over 8 years ago with 40K miles on it. It's an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP and it was about 7 or so years old. It had never, ever had any roof I maintenance done on it. So, I got out the stiff brush, some dawn dish soap and CLEANSER and went to work. After about 30 minutes, that roof was crystal clean. After that, I went to work BUFFING IT, with a professional buffer, a wool pad, and 3M Rubbing compound. You see what it looks like after in the pics below.

That was 8 years ago and over 50K miles ago. I don't have one single streak coming down my full body BLue/Grey paint, when it rains, not one. The only steaking I get is due to dust or road dirt, 'cause we've been traveling. That's a given.

As for being slippery, well, DUHHHHHHHHH! No one says to get up there and have a dance party when it's raining. This is all common sense. Although some don't have that. Anyway, of course it's gonna be slippery when you're washing it. Geeeze, all you have to do is be careful. Duner (Bill) used 303 on his and, lots of folks use that stuff for multipurpose application when it comes to RVs. I've not ever really got into that stuff. But, some swear by it.

When mine was all done with the machine buffing, I used just some basic auto wax, KIT wax was what I used. Cheap stuff but, it lasted a while. The roof still looks good. NO STREAKS. Yes, it's work, but, all that work I did, was done in two days and, it's lasted for over 8 years. I'm about to do it all again.
Scott

P.S. Notice the reflection of the tubing for the cover over the RV, yeah, it shined!
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:49 AM   #9
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Just did our coach. Our roof was doing the same as yours. Oxidizing and running down the sides and windows making a mess of the whole coach. Anyway.....being a former fiberglass boat owner I knew just what to do and dreaded having to do it to our coach. I did invest in a new polisher, TCP global 7inch with hook and loop foam pads from Amazon. After a good washing I used a red pad with Meguiars Marine Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover on the roof followed by Marine Cleaner wax with a Orange pad on the roof and then the remainder of the coach. Took me about 5 half days to do the entire coach. This is the proper and only solution to care for oxidized gel coating. There are no short cuts and is labor intensive but our coach looks great!
Next time I will use the 3M Marine Restorer and Wax designed for heavy Oxidation and not wait so long. There is also a wash to remove oxidation but the gel coat will still have to be cut and waxed. Our coach is shinny just like FIRE UP,s.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:59 PM   #10
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Gave in

O.K., in the end, I gave in and did the right thing. I polished the roof with an aggressive pad and course cut compound. Then I waxed it with NuPolish wax. It wasn't as hard or as lengthy a process as I thought it would be. Hopefully, this will take care of things for a while.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:17 PM   #11
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Lot of terrible advice here...wax the roof once a year like others have said.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:28 PM   #12
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I wax once a year
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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I used 3M Liquid 09005 Marine Restorer & Wax the first time to get the roof clean. That was a lot of work. Might be worth buying a power tool for the job. Be careful to keep things clean and change out your pads frequently.

I use Meguiars-G18216-Ultimate-Liquid-Wax every 6 months to keep it from oxidizing. It seems last longer than anything else I have tried. I still get some oxidation because my polishing sponge has some white on it but it isn't bad. The Mequiars is pretty slick so dirt comes of very easily and so will you if you aren't careful.

Painting it would probably make polishing easier but to do it right would be seriously expensive.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:40 PM   #14
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We purchased a new 2018 Vista 27PE 2 months ago. It had been on the dealers lot from the start and never had the roof washed. Houston has lots of stuff in the air so it was real dirty and slightly chalked/oxidized.
I knew it was going to be a task but wanted to start out and do things right from the start.We had a used pusher that was 3rd hand and owners didn't give it a hole lot of love thru it's 15 year life except me & I built a cover to store it under also.
Anyway, got up there on my knees and started blocking off areas and scrubbing with Maguire's auto soap, brush, sponge and nylon scrub pad. I used the scrub pad for the bad areas. Took me about 4 hours to do it right. I scrubbed the drain rails and upper part of the toppers & awning while I had good access to them. Talk about sore the next day : O
Made a trip to Walmart & bought some StarBright fiberglass wax & cleaner. I've had good luck with this brand over the years on my boats & RV.
There are 3 kinds, heavy oxidation, medium and light.
I had to use the medium in a few places on the roof and sides of the Vista especially where the water runs off the roof and down the sides. The rest I used the lite oxidation formula.
The roof wax job took me 6 hours but the results were worth the effort. I just thought I was sore after the wash. I knew I was out of shape some but I used muscles that I normally use on this job.
All in all it took me 5 days to do the whole RV to my satisfaction. Glad the 40' pusher is gone : )
I may do a 2nd coat on the roof in April just to start off the season fresh.
I recommend the StarBright products to remove oxidation for sure.
Mikee
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