Keeping the roof clean will extend the life of sealants, promote proper operation of roof top components and eliminate black streaks that run down the sidewalls. For best results, clean the roof at least every other time you wash the RV.
Safety is imperative. If health conditions exist, or heights create dizziness, hire someone to maintain the roof. Refrain from overloading the rear ladder and wear clean soft sole shoes with a rubber grip to reduce slippage. Perform this task early, before the heat of the day.
Tools you will need to clean the roof include a broom, dust pan, debris bucket, sponge mop, bucket of mild soap, and a garden hose with an on demand spray gun. Some products are available to remove stubborn stains. Carefully read product labels to be sure it is safe for the RV surface, and always test the cleaner in a small area first to determine suitability.
Start by sweeping the surface with a broom to remove leaves, tree branches and loose dirt. Deposit debris into the dry bucket and remove the broom, dustpan and bucket from the roof.
Wash the roof surface in sections, beginning at the front of the RV. Wet the surface with a hose and wash using the mop soaked in soapy water. Rinse the mop often to remove dirt and thoroughly rinse each area with clear water. If grime build up is excessive, it may be necessary to use a pressure washer to clean the roof surface. Use mild soap and a hose on the solar panels and satellite dome. Avoid a direct stream of water into the air conditioner shroud. Once finished, remove all cleaning tools and allow the surface to thoroughly dry.
To eliminate roof grime from drying on the sidewalls, follow by washing the RV exterior. If time does not permit a complete cleaning, be sure to at least thoroughly rinse away all roof run off with clear water.
At least once every three months, carefully inspect roof seals. Sealant is generally located down the center, at both the rear and front caps, as well as around the base of all roof top components. How long sealant lasts depends on exposure to outdoor elements. Replace sealant that is cracked or missing. Only replace sealant after the roof is clean and dry, and when outdoor weather conditions are favorable or the RV is parked inside. Remove all old sealant before applying new, and allow the sealant to completely dry. To assure proper placement, do not drive the RV for 24 hours after applying sealant to allow adhesive time to adequately set.
Perform a close inspection of all roof top components including solar panels, air conditioner shroud, antenna, vent caps and the air horn. Tighten loose screws, and replace any bolts or screws that are corroded, stripped or missing. Remove the air conditioning shrouds to check for insect or bird nests around the blade areas.