Fundamentals of Finding Roof Leaks

By purchasing an RV you know you’re in for years’ worth of fun and adventure, but at the same time there is maintenance and repairs that will also be necessary over that time. We often focus on the fun aspects about owning an RV, but it’s important to be aware of how to deal with the unfortunate issues as they pop up. In this story we’ll take a close look at tips for finding roof leaks, so that you can find the leak before it becomes a massive and expensive problem.

Early Detection is Key

Just as you may suspect, early detection of roof leaks is key. In fact, the earlier you can detect it, the better it will be for you. Water leakage is not only frustrating but it can create massive problems. It can play havoc on the electrical system in your RV, the flooring, walls, appliances, furniture, and more. Before you know it you’re looking at a costly bill to not only repair the leak, but also replace all the damaged items. A good tip is to set up a maintenance schedule on a twice yearly basis, where you take the time to do a thorough investigation for leaks.

Do a Visual Inspection

A visual inspection is an absolute must, but keep in mind you need to check indoors and outdoors. Begin by giving your RV a good cleaning on the outside. A power washer, or mild cleaner and brush can usually take care of all the dirt and debris that builds on the roof.

Once it is all cleaned, you’re ready to start the inspection. This means checking all the exterior seams and sealants, in particular around the windows, door, and on the entire surface ofthe roof. The interior should also be inspected because if the water is coming in, you’re bound to see damage to the interior. Keys to look for are rust, discoloration, bubbling or wrinkling in the wall, and in extreme cases there may be mold growing.

Even if you don’t find any leaks, you may want to snap photos of key areas that are prone to leaks. Keep a file of these photos so you can go back and look at them each time you do an inspection. This is a great way to stay on top of any changes. You can also add notes to your photos, or just in a separate document. It can be hard to remember how something looked six months ago, so why not take that worry off your plate and jot down your observations at each inspection.

Do a Physical Inspection

A physical inspection is equally important. A physical inspection means you are actually feeling the roof surface. Does anything feel uneven? Are there any “soft spots”? Any tears or cracks? Sometimes these things are obvious in a visual inspection, which is why it’s important to also feel the surface.

When to Call the Pros

Of course sometimes it’s necessary to call in the professionals to search for leaks as they have tools such as an air pressure machine, which can make leak detection faster and more accurate.