How To Maintain TPO RV Roof (Repair, Clean – Helpful Guide)

You have to read the different web pages with a critical mind. Especially when it comes to TPO and rubber roofs on your RVs or trailers. There are a lot of differing opinions and not all are accurate or even close to being correct

For the Dicor TPO roof, this material only needs regular cleaning to stay in top shape. Of course, you can use Dicor’s cleaning products or you can use your own household cleaners, not bleach, etc., to clean your roof. Just watch the seams and repair them when needed.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know so you can clean your RV’s or trailer’s roof with ease. Roof products are the same and need different care to last a long time.

What is a TPO RV Roof?


The letters TPO stand for Thermoplastic Polyolefin. This is a chemical composition created by scientists to make RV and trailer roofs last a long time. It is a single-layer application and often TPO is used with the words ‘single-ply’.

Single ply is a technical way of saying one layer. What makes this style of the roof so popular among RV owners is that if installed properly it comes with a high wind rating and is UV resistant.

In addition to those features, it is also grease resistant making it one tough roof. Usually, you will get a 30-year warranty once it is applied to your RV or trailer. The color is generally white which should help reflect the heat off your RV.

The roof can come in other colors but you would need to talk to the dealer about those options. There are three main ways to put this material on your roof.

1. Mechanical application

2. Adhered with adhesives

3. Screwed on

The seams are glued on or heat welded and those are the weakest link in this tough and top roofing material. That is the area you need to watch the most and will be the part that needs the most maintenance.

How Long do RV TPO Roofs Last?

Like most similar questions of this nature, the longevity of a TPO roof depends. It depends on how it is treated, if lots of chemicals are used to clean it and what type of weather it has to endure among other factors.

The guarantee is supposed to last 30 years but warranties do not indicate longevity. They just tell you how much and how long you have coverage. Under normal circumstances, it may not be a surprise to see these roofs last 30 years.

The average is 10 to 20 years and that short lifespan would be due to different factors that shorten all roof lifespans. Most TPO roofs do not need maintenance. They just need to have regular cleaning with safe cleansers to remain in top shape.

The real question would be how long do the seams last? Those are the areas of your roof you should be most concerned about. The material for the seams and application materials holding them in place may not be as strong as the TPO material.

Those seams usually do not last as long as the roof will last.

How To Maintain a TPO RV Roof


Proper maintenance will be done when you do a proper inspection. You need to get up on your roof and look it over closely. Here are the items you are looking at and for:

1. Check for dirt and debris- when you find it and even if you don’t, give your roof a good sweeping. Get the items off your roof before they become a problem or find their way into your vents, etc.

2. Inspect all seams and flashing- you want to make sure these items are in good shape. These are the spots where the water will enter your home if they are not in good shape.

If you spot tears, holes, or other damage, repair them right away. The key is to not give rain or moisture any openings to enter and ruin your RV, etc.

3. Check your drainage systems- make sure they are in good shape, not blocked or damaged. If they are you can repair or clean them or hire a pro to do it for you.

4. Use protective coatings for your TPO roof- make sure these coatings are designed for this type of roof. No other product will work here and the chemicals inside those other products may do your TPO roof some damage.

5. Repair holes and punctures- if you see any in your investigation, make sure to fill them in asap. Don’t let them go as they can and will get bigger and cause you a lot of problems down the road.

Create a maintenance schedule so that you know when the right time is to go up on your roof and check things out. While you are up there, wash the roof so that it remains clean for a while.

Routine cleaning is one way to keep that TPO roof in top shape for many years.

TPO RV Roof Maintenance Tips

1. Pick a good detergent to use- most household laundry soaps or dish soaps will suffice if you cannot afford Dicor’s cleaners.

2. DO not use cleaners with harsh chemical ingredients in them. Those chemicals can damage the TPO roof and shorten its life.

3. Use a sponge mop for light cleaning but for bird droppings and other heavier dirt, use s soft-bristle brush to remove the dirt.

4. You can use bleach to clean up any mold you find on your roof. Just make sure it is properly diluted so you do not harm your roof. Or use an effective mold killer product instead of bleach. Just make sure it is not damaging to your roof.

5. When you find cracks in the roof, use Dicor’s lap sealant. That should be the best product for these repairs. Follow the instructions on the container to get the repairs done right.

6. Watch those seams. Make sure they are sealed well and nothing is peeling back. Re-seal those seams to hold them in place.

What do You Clean The TPO Roof With?


The brand name is not as important as if the product works or not. You can use any brand name cleaning product that does not damage the TPO material. As long as it is safe, you can use it no matter if it is an off-brand or a Chinese one.

The key will be to look at the ingredients and labels of the different cleaning products. They should all state that they are non-corrosive rubber cleaners. TPO is a form of rubber and some chemicals do not get along with that material.

Do not use a high-pressure washer. That much pressure can damage your TPO roof. Use a low-pressure washer with the settings on as low as practical. When you use a low-pressure washer, keep the wand about 12 inches away from the roofing material.

Also, just do one small section at a time. That way you know you washed the entire roof. If you don’t you can forget or the soap will dry and you will have to work harder to get that section clean again.

Can You Patch a TPO Roof?

For small repairs, you can use patches made for TPO roofs. The key to this minor repair would be to use high-quality and flexible elastic cement. This product will provide a waterproof seal and protect the RV or trailer’s interior construction materials.

Or you can use Dicor’s lap sealants. Since they make the TPO roof, their patch or repair products would be ideal to use. The instructions would be on all the containers. You can go to their website to see which of these products are best for your repair project.

Some people use a roof coating for major repairs. These coatings are good as long as they are made for TPO roofing materials. You can try Dicor to see if they have such products on hand. Or you can try the different big box stores, internet marketplaces, and other hardware outlets to find them.

The key to using those coatings is NOT to paint yourself in the opposite corner from your ladder or escape route. Even experienced roofers and painters get stuck once in a while and make this mistake.

How do You Repair a TPO RV Roof?


The trick is to do this one step at a time. The first step will be to get up on your roof and look at it systematically. Don’t skip sections but follow a route that covers the whole roof.

The second step will be to make note of all areas that need to be patched. After you have investigated and marked those areas, go and buy the proper sealant or patch materials.

Once you have returned from the store, clean the roof and let it dry. You do not want to have the roof dirty when you work on it. If the repairs are large, then go with the proper roof coating. This material will cover the area the best and save you a lot of time.

When you apply a coating or just patches, follow all instructions carefully. This is not something you want to repeat in the near future. Give the materials time to dry before moving your RV or trailer to its next destination.

Again, do your repairs one small section at a time. This way you know you got all the cracks, peeling, and punctures. The outlet where you buy the sealants etc., will also have the right tools for the job.

TPO RV Roof Repair Tips

1. Buy the right sealant and coatings- you want products that are specifically made for TPO roofing materials. Other products made for other roofing materials will not work here.

2.Cost- If you do not want to do this work or can’t do it, be prepared to pay a fairly high price for a professional to do it. Those costs can range between $600 and $1000 depending on your area.

This is not a task to leave to someone who is not experienced in roofing repairs. If you can supervise, then you will need to be on the roof with the inexperienced worker and make sure they do the job right.

3. Don’t wait- this type of damage is not something you can let go of and do another year. You need to tackle the holes, cracks, and other damage as soon as possible.

If you wait the problem gets worse and not only will the repair be more expensive and time-consuming, but it also may extend into your walls, etc.

4. Be systematic- Plan your repair roue in advance and stick to it. Don’t hopscotch from one spot to another. Mark where the repairs need to be and follow those marks till you are done.

5. Pay special attention to seams- this area is your roof’s weakest link. Make sure to spot any trouble before it gets too large. The roof may be in fine shape but those seams may be wearing out.

Pay special attention to the edges and any wrap overs you may have as well as vents and other similar parts on your roof. Holes and leaks pop up anywhere and everywhere

Some Final Words

TPO roofs are a very good type of roof to have on your RV. They need little maintenance and regular cleaning to keep them in top shape. Make a checklist out to systematically check your roof when it is inspection time.

That way you do not miss any small areas that may have a hole or a crack. To fix those spots, get the products made for TPO roofing material. That way your roof will last longer than you own the RV or trailer, etc.

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