An RV is only as strong as its weakest link. That weakest link seems to be the sealant used to cover seams, including vents, AC, and other items on your RV’s roof. Using the right sealant will make sure you get the protection you want.
One motto has been silicone for fiberglass and Dico for TPO roofs. That is not a hard and fast rule as just about any sealant will work well on a TPO roof. The problem with using silicone is that it has to be removed first before re-sealing the same area. It does not stick to itself.
To learn more about this topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can seal up those seams and make sure your roof does not leak. Take a few minutes to get up to speed on this important topic.
Yes, you can and there are some very good products you can use to do the work. The first step would be to clean your roof as dirt and grime have a way of keeping the new sealant from bonding with the roof materials.
When you get up on the roof, be careful. When you are washing, the TPO membrane can get quite slippery. One false step and you will find yourself using the quick exit off the roof.
When you go to buy the new sealant read the labels carefully. While you can use a variety of caulking options, some may not be made for TPO roofs. Make sure it is okay to use that product first before spending the money.
One of the ways to get that product is to look at the top brands first. They usually have a variety of sealants and caulking that will work for any roofing material.
One of the reasons this question is asked, and it is asked a lot, is because TPO roofing material is one of the hardest materials to adhere to. According to some manufacturers, you would need to apply a primer or etching coat first, then the regular coat.
If you are not doing the work yourself, that can increase your costs. But you should listen to the manufacturers in this case as products from other companies do not adhere as well to some of the roofing materials.
For example, any roof made by Alpha needs to have Alpha lap sealant used on its seams. This has been confirmed by a dealer and Grand Design. Some people have gotten good results using Dicor when it is made for TPO roofs but Alpha and Grand Design remain firm on their recommendation.
For TPO roofs made by other companies, you can use Dicor lap sealant or a variation of this caulking. As long as it is made for TPO roofs, you can use any sealant from this brand.
Other owners have used Eternabond tape and that is a very good sealant to use. That tape is supposed to stick to anything. One salesman doing a walk-through said when it comes to using sealant on a TPO roof, just make sure it is self-leveling.
Some people have used Dicor sealant on their Alpha roof because Alpha does not make the sealant in the same color as they made that owner’s roofing material.
Superflex is made by Alpha so there should be no confusion there.
We have given you some brand names already and one that is missing from that list is Geocel Proflex. This brand is highly recommended and should work on your TPO roof.
But the real debate comes when someone mentions silicone caulking. Many people do not like using silicone even though it can work with the TPO roofing material. They have a very good reason for this rejection of this top option.
Silicone is so good that it does not stick to itself. You have to clean off all the old silicone even to patch one little area. Most of those owners who do not like silicone and won’t use it, do not want to do that extra work.
However, if you are not afraid of that extra work or are going to be selling or trading in your older RV, silicone may be the cheapest option to go with. That sounds kind of mean but it is an option when you are looking to save money on your repairs.
Just let the people know who is going to take your RV off your hands that you used silicone instead of Dicor or Alpha.
Yes, it seems that it does stick to this roofing material. We just explained why many owners refuse to use it when they have to seal small leaks or seams. But the extra work should not deter you from using this sealant option.
Silicone is great when you have a puddling of water problem. It has a low absorption rate and keeps that puddling water from finding its way inside your RV. But this is a temporary fix for when you have puddles of water on your roof for long periods of time, you have a bigger problem on your hands.
Another option would be an acrylic sealant. But this option is not good for water puddles on your roof. This option may be cheaper than silicone sealant. The key to adding any sealant though, no matter which brand or type, is to make sure you clean the area thoroughly first.
Then let the area dry completely before adding the sealant. You may have to put down a primer and a base coat first before getting the best seal for this roofing type.
There are a lot of brands out there that will do the job effectively and last for a long time. Some RV owners have different preferences and one set will go with Dicor, another will go with silicone, and a third group will use Eternabond or similar products.
They are all good but the best sealant for a TPO roof will be the one that is recommended by the manufacturer. They do the tests and they know which product will work the best on their roofing materials.
The example of Alpha earlier proves that to be true. You will find that different RV makers will buy their roofing materials from different companies. That means you have to make sure you know exactly what type of roofing material you have before you buy any sealant.
Or you can go with the majority of recommendations, buy Dicor or Eternabond or some other brand and apply that. You are not losing anything if you take this route.
As long as the sealant is made for a TPO roof you should be fine. But watch out for the discount brands, etc., Their formulas may not be the best and you may have issues with them.
This is a very good question. The answer will be that it is up to you and the condition of your TPO roof. It has been said that if the TPO roof has 25% or more saturation, you need to replace the roof.
Coating it is just delaying this option to a later date. You would also have to remove the old insulation as that will not be very good due to the excess moisture it absorbed.
What this means is that it will be a judgment and a budget call when you are facing this decision. Sometimes the coating is all you will need and the TPO roof will last a few more years.
If you have a 25% or more saturation issue, you may want to re-think using TPO again. It is all up to you.
1. Age- sealant is not eternal. It will wear out and you will find that if you do not replace the sealant your RV will suffer from water or mold damage.
2. RV Age- roofing systems wear out and get old. Plus, the constant wear, tear, and vibrations that take place will age that roof and create holes in the sealant.
3. Accidental damage- this category starts with walking on your roof and goes to extreme weather like hail, etc. Accidental damage can happen at any time
4. A screw came loose- it happens due to bumps in the road or road vibrations. When it does, you need to replace the screw and add sealant.
The best route to go is to see what the TPO roof manufacturer recommends and then go with that product. Unless it is too expensive or you can’t find it. Then you have some great options available at any RV outlet that sells sealant. Other RV owners will give you some great tips as well.