Can I use a pressure washer on my RV roof?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can I use a pressure washer on my RV roof? We will explain how to clean an RV roof step-by-step and what are the right tools and cleaning products to use.

Can I use a pressure washer on my RV roof?

It is not recommended to use a pressure washer on your RV roof, as you could damage some parts of it, especially if it is a fibreglass roof.  RV owners should clean their RV roof at least once a year to prevent the creation of permanent stains and harmful substances that become too embedded in the roof. 

It also helps prevent mould growth that grows on organic matter attached to your roof, especially if your RV is parked under trees for long periods of time: your roof could then become a ripe target for droppings. ‘birds, mulberry stains, tree sap, moulds, fungi, etc.

For the best cleaning technique, we suggest that you clean managing one area at a time as follows:

  1. First, rinse the area with a water hose with a large radiating nozzle and then allow it to drain. Then spray on the cleanser and scrub with a medium bristle brush. Then rinse and then continue to the next section.
  1. When you are on the roof, start at a corner, then move sideways to the other side, then forward and then back to the side where you started and so on, working your way up to the other end of the RV.
  1. Note that by working this way, you can also handle all of the work from a ladder or scaffolding without necessarily getting on the roof!
  1. Finally, if you have a few stubborn stains, you can try mineral spirits, but with GREAT CAUTION: do NOT use mineral spirits unless you carefully follow the instructions below. Mineral spirits are petroleum distillates and a rubber roof could react with swelling, deterioration and discolouration.

NEVER pour mineral spirits DIRECTLY ON THE ROOF! Always pour a SMALL amount onto a soft cloth (better less than too much!), Then use the cloth to scrub the stain, using only as much as needed and wipe with another cloth when the stain is gone.

Why and how often to clean the roof of your RV?

Roof cleaning should be carried out once or twice a year depending on various factors such as deposits left for example by tree sap or bird droppings – if your RV is often parked under a tree, or even in the operation of its duration of exposure to the sun.

In addition, cleaning the roof of your RV regularly helps prevent the proliferation of mould and fungus as well as the formation of indelible and unsightly stains.

By doing this cleaning once or twice a year, not only will you make your RV shine, but you will also make it easier for it to find a buyer if you want to put it up for sale because potential buyers will see that you have taken the largest one. care.

What products should you use to clean your RV roof?

While it is relatively easy to clean your roof, there are nevertheless a few rules to follow, the first being not to use just any cleaning product! Indeed, many RVs have a rubber roof (for example an EPDM or TPO membrane) which could discolour and swell under the effect of certain products.

Make sure you use a mild soap, suitable for the type of roof you have; do not use any petroleum-based cleaners or other abrasive products which, in addition to irreparably damaging your roof, will most likely void your RV warranty.

Check your owner’s manual for the correct type of cleaner.

Some tips for when you clean your RV roof

Cleaning the roof of your RV – especially if it is a good size! – may seem like a tedious task. Yet, by using the right tools and dividing the work into sections, you will be able to complete this cleaning in a very short time.

  • Tools: First, a garden hose or a pressure washer can be very useful for removing some of the dirt, but also for rinsing. You will also need a medium bristle brush or a rag if you want to do the cleaning by hand. Finally, you will need the correct cleaning product for the type of roof and materials.
  • Work division: You may decide to wash your entire roof at once, but it is best to divide it into sections, the number of which will vary depending on the area to be cleaned. This way, you are sure not to forget any spot, and also to be able to rinse it as you go.

Warning: If you are not using a roof ladder and climbing on the roof of your RV, make sure you have nothing under your feet, such as stones or other debris, which could damage the roof covering. Wearing shoe covers is recommended.

How to clean snow from the roof of an RV

When the winter season arrives, it is important to clear excess snow from the roof of your RV. Unsurprisingly, the additional weight of snow could seriously damage the structure of your RV, even collapsing the roof or damaging a skylight.

We suggest removing the snow as soon as it is 30 to 60 centimetres thick; however, if ice or ice has accumulated, remove it promptly. However, certain precautions are necessary to remove snow safely not only for you but also for your roof.

First of all, it is not recommended to climb directly on the roof before clearing snow; you risk falling or damaging the roof, given the additional weight already in place due to the snow.

It is advisable in this case to use a large broom to remove as much snow as possible. Once there is only a little snow left in the centre, you can pull yourself up onto the roof for easier removal (be careful!).

Do you use a shovel? Be careful: a too powerful blow of the shovel could damage the membrane of the roof! In this case, leave a thin layer of snow, which will prevent accidental shovel blows directly on the roof.

In conclusion

No matter the season, it is important to properly maintain the roof of your RV; this will ensure that your roof will be in good form for many years to come!

Do you have any comments, questions or tips about the maintenance of the RV roof? Please feel free to leave a comment!

FAQ on Can I use a pressure washer on my RV roof?

How to clean the roof of your motorhome?

To clean  the roof of your motorhome, you must:

  1. Wet the vehicle with a jet of water.
  2. Apply defoamer or antifungal if necessary, clean with a brush and rinse.
  3. Mix the detergent with water in a bucket.
  4. Dip the brush or sponge into the product and clean the roof.

How to repair the roof of a motorhome?

To repair the roof of a motorhome, you must fit a new layer of fibreglass and a topcoat, for example, lacquer or topcoat. If the roof of your aluminium motorhome has leaked on the seals, it is impossible to redo the seams.

Can you walk on a fibreglass RV roof?

You can walk on a fibreglass RV roof, as it is one of the strongest materials. However be careful, as fibreglass is also extremely slippery when wet. Never walk on an aluminium roof! 

References

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