Our final few days in the Springs were busy. We knew it was time to re-seal our roof and had the materials on hand for several months waiting for enough time and weather to allow us to work. The extra few days in Colorado Springs were the perfect opportunity to do just that.
We have a rubber roof on our RV. The rubber is affixed to a flat plywood underlayment with some type of adhesive. That makes the top of the roof. This flat section is attached to a rounded aluminum piece that makes the corner and then connects to the exterior walls. An aluminum screw strip connects the roof to this corner piece and it is loaded with gobs of self-leveling caulk. Over the past three years we have added more goop to this hideous mess to make sure we stay as water tight as possible. With a flat roof and raised seams all the way around, we have a small, shallow pool of water on our roof each time it rains or whenever we run the AC. While a roof-top swimming pool sounds great, surely this cannot be the best way to keep water our of our home.
Time for some re-sealing. Our first attempt to removed the caulk involved power tools, but that quickly proved to be somewhat destructive to things other than the caulk. Our only other option was to remove it all by hand. That was quite a job! Armed with only plastic paint scrappers and garbage bags, we went to work. The entire removal process took five steps: clean the roof with soap and water, remove (most of) the caulk with a paint scraper, go over the area again with a plastic razor blade (to get bits missed on the first pass), clean again with soap and water, and finally do a light Clorox wash to prepare it for the tape. We did this in stages so that once the caulk was removed from one side of the roof, we could tape it immediately in case of rain. The whole job took us four days. Below is a picture of the caulk removal in process.
This is a picture of the seam once the caulk was removed and before the final cleanings.
Removing the caulk and cleaning was the difficult part. Applying the EternaBond Tape went much faster. It was very sticky and made a very permanent bond in just a few seconds, so you had to make sure you got it just where you wanted it the first time. Applying this to a flat surface would have been ideal. Our sharp corners and multiple angles made it a bit trickier.
Overall we were quiet pleased with the process. The dam around the edge of our roof is much lower and is much more water tight. We didn't expect the glue to get everywhere and that was a little disappointing. The dark colored glue sticking out over the edges is probably a good thing when it comes to sealing and adhesion, but Susan wasn't pleased with the messy look it gave. Why couldn't they make the glue white?
The edges of our roof are sealed along with our fridge vent and shower skylight. We also sealed a few smaller items and replaced our solar panel screws with stainless steel. We have a few more roof projects to take care of (removing more caulk and using more EternaBond) but we were able to get the most important items finished. The rest can be done piecemeal. Not the most exciting few days, but this is our life.
By the time we left Colorado we were very sore, very tired, and somewhat sunburned; but we were also very glad to have this project completed.