How to Repair RV Roof From The Inside (Repair Rotted Wood)

When you walk on your roof to check seals, etc., your foot may hit a spot that feels spongey. That feeling is telling you that you have a problem in that specific spot. You may be able to fix the problem from the inside but you also may not be able to hide the repair work when it is done.

It is possible to fix your RV’s roof from the inside. This repair is not highly recommended because of different factors. But if you do, you may have a lot more work involved than you want to do. The location of the repair may also dictate if you work from the inside out or not.

To learn more about this repair option, just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you have the best information before proceeding with your repair work.

Can You Repair an RV Roof From The Inside?


Yes, this is possible but the first thing you need to remember is, you are repairing your roof, not the ceiling. That means you may have to cut through solid and very good materials to get to the actual problem.

Also, this is not the proper way to repair any roof. It is possible that, when you are working from the inside, you will miss some damage or even the source of the problem.

What that means is that you do not solve the problem that caused the damage but let it remain so you will have to do the same work sometime in the near future.

A temporary roof fix from the inside is okay to do but you will still have to climb out onto your RV’s roof and do the actual work. Just keep in mind that there may be a lot more work involved coming from the inside as you will not have the line of sight you would have if you started from the outside.

The advantage of repairing your roof from the inside would be that you can spot leaks from the sunlight coming through the holes, etc. That makes patching easier to do. When you are done, you still have to put your ceiling back together again.

How To Fix The Inside Camper Roof

If there is a problem with the inside of your roof, then it started from the outside. But some repairs can be done from the inside and here are some steps to follow to help you:

1. Inspect the damaged area- leaks can come from any place and be well away from the damaged materials. You will have to assess the size of the damage, where the leak is, and what needs to be replaced or sealed.

2. Find the leak source- this is most important as if you let the source remain, you will have more damage to repair later on. This is tricky as the source could be on the other side of your RV, it could be in the middle, or just about anywhere.

3. Buy your materials- if you do not have them already, you will need to assess how much material you will need and which ones. Then go out and buy them. If you have them on hand, then you just need to get them.

4. Repair the damage- this will include sealing the leak as well as removing the damaged insulation, wood, and other materials. Then replace the damaged goods with new items.

5. Seal the leaks- you may still have to go outside to do this part of the repair. That is unless you want to tear up your entire ceiling to get to the source of the leak.

Repairing your roof from the inside is complicated because you do not have complete access to the source of the problem or all the damaged materials. Plus, you may not be able to repair the ceiling as well as the factory did when they built the RV.

You would be looking at the repair work all the time and it may not look that good. Of course, you can spare yourself all this trouble and hire a professional to do the job.

This option will cost more but your inside ceiling should look a lot better when the professional is done.

How do You Temporarily Patch a Roof From The Inside?


There are two good methods you can use to do this when the roof is leaking water.

1. Divert the water- this is done when the weather is still bad and there has been no let up in the rain. Most sealants need to be applied to dry surfaces before they will adhere to those surfaces.

Diverting the water has many methods depending on how big the leak is, where the leak is, and so on. You will need to pick the best method that works for your type of leak.

2. Seal the leak- When the area is dry you can simply use silicone caulking or some other caulk option and seal the leak from the inside. That is a matter of simply putting the caulk tube in the caulking gun, finding a convenient direction to work from, and then squeezing the trigger.

Make sure to keep the caulking gun moving at a steady pace, not too fast and not too slow, until the leak is sealed.

Both of these methods require that you strip away the interior ceiling to gain access to the leak. In the case of the first method, you may not be able to put that part of the ceiling back again until you permanently fix the problem.

Other methods include using drywall mud to seal the leak, placing duct tape over it, and so on. There are a variety of options depending on the size and location of the problem. You need to pick the best option for your roof issue.

How do You Fix Rotted Wood in an RV Roof?

This is something you may not want to attempt from the inside. There will be too many obstacles in your way to make that style of repair efficient. You can try if you want to but you are looking at tearing up a large portion of your ceiling to make the repair.

The first step in this task would be to assess the damage. You need to know how large the rotted wood section is before you get started collecting materials and tools.

The second step is to peel back your current roof (depending on the type of roofing material) and completely expose the damaged area. You will want to work on a day when there is no rain in the forecast for a few days.

The third step will be to start removing the damaged materials. This will include pulling nails and removing screws, insulation, and rotted wood. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may have to pull up vents, your AC unit, and so on.

The fourth step will be to start replacing the damaged wood with new wood. This can be limited to just the roofing plywood or it may include the joists as well. Make sure to check those roofing joists for damage before you get your materials.

The fifth step would be to put your roof, vents, etc., back into place and make sure everything is sealed and waterproofed. Those are the simplified instructions.

When it comes to damaged wood in the corners, the process is a lot simpler as you do not have to remove too much of the roof or any vents, etc., to do the repair work.

Basic carpentry is the only skill that you will need as well as being able to measure accurately. The key is not to create more damage while you make the repair.

Repairing a Roof Soft Spot


Sometimes there is only a little section of your roof that has rotted wood. The simplicity or complexity of this repair depends on its location. When the rotted wood is limited to the edges or the corners, these soft spots are very easy to repair.

But when they are in the middle of the roof, then you will find that the repair is more complex. The reason for that complexity is that you will have to cut into your roof exterior (depending on the type of roof you have).

The repair itself is simple once you get past the problem of the roofing material. After the roofing material is out of the way, the repair is just a matter of removing the damaged materials and replacing them with new materials.

The other drawback to this repair is when you have wires and other components hidden between the roof and the ceiling. Then your work is multiplied so you do not damage those components.

Once you are done repairing the soft spot, you have to put the roofing material back in place and seal it so that it is waterproof.

One tip: When putting the new roofing plywood in place, to help prevent future damage, you can always paint those pieces of plywood to help keep moisture away from the wood or wood chips.

How To Prevent Dry Rot in Your RV’s Roof?

Replacing dry rot can be a time-consuming and expensive task to do. However, there are ways you can employ to help keep this problem from developing. Here are some tips to help prevent dry rot on your roof:

1. Do regular inspections- this helps catch the problem when it is just starting. When you find it at this time, your repairs can be minimal and less expensive.

2. Check your seals- due to the weather and the sun, sometimes caulking does not last very long. Or your roof was scratched up by low-hanging tree branches or damaged in some other way.

It is a good idea to regularly check your seals to make sure they did not get a hole in them, dry out and shrink, or get peeled away. Resealing and keeping those seals in top condition keeps water and moisture from damaging your roof wood.

3. Reduce moisture levels- this can be done from the inside of your RV or trailer. All you need to do is buy a very good dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the inside of your RV.

The key to using this appliance is to make sure the dehumidifier is rated for your RV’s interior space.

4. Check your roof for standing water- a simple task and you can do it without leaving your ladder. If you spot some standing water on your RV’s roof, remove it right away.

5. Do not park around trees and bushes- if they are tall enough and their branches can reach your RV’s rooftop, then those branches can and will scratch up your roof. Those branches will damage it enough to let water or moisture inside.

When To Hire a Professional To do The Repair Work


There are some very obvious signs that will tell you that you should not do this repair work. When you spot those signs, it is time to hire a professional. Here are those signs:

1. You have no carpentry experience

2. You have experience but are rusty from not using your carpentry skills

3. You are not familiar with the roof repair needed for your type of roofing material

4. You have no confidence in your abilities to do a good job

5. When you are too old or disabled to climb a ladder

Some Additional Words

Repairing your RV’s damaged roof should not be done from the inside out. There are too many issues that could go wrong and you may not completely solve the problem.

The best way to fix your roof issues is to get up on the roof and work from the outside in. You have a better field of vision and it is easier to make the repairs. When you are too old, it is better to defer to younger bodies and better eyesight.

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