How do you repair an enclosed trailer roof?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you repair an enclosed trailer roof? We will also explain how you can replace an enclosed trailer roof seal and how to repair a joint in the walls of your enclosed trailer. Additionally, we will talk about the importance of proper roof maintenance. 

How do you repair an enclosed trailer roof?

For small damages, follow these steps to repair an enclosed trailer roof:

  1. Remove the roof areas of the enclosed trailer that have been damaged. Cut them out with the saw, blade, or unscrew the entire panels from their brackets, as needed.
  1. Next, carefully dry the inside of the ceiling. Inspect the wood formwork joists for damage from wood rot or signs of mould and mildew. Spray and clean any mould areas. For wood rot, remove the soft, rotten wood and coat it with a good wood rot stabilizer with the paintbrush.
  1. Measure and cut the cut panels to be replaced. Use the old panel pieces that were removed as a template to make the cuts if possible. Place the new panels in the opening in the ceiling where the damaged areas were removed. Secure in place against the roof frame in the same way the old panels were installed

How to repair a crack in an enclosed trailer roof seal?

It is possible to repair a crack in a roof seal in three simple steps:

  1.  Start by cleaning the surface with a cleaner and degreaser so that the surface is clean and non-greasy.
  1. Wait until the surface is completely dry before starting the next step.
  1. Add sealant for rubber membrane roofs and let dry.

How to replace an enclosed trailer roof seal?

To replace an enclosed trailer roof gasket follow these steps:

  1. Scrape the sealant with a plastic spatula, removing only what comes off well.
  1. Clean the surface with a degreasing cleaner so that the surface is clean and non-greasy.
  1. Wait until the surface is completely dry before starting the next step.
  1. Add sealant for Dicor brand rubber membrane roofs and let dry.

How to repair a joint on the walls of your enclosed trailer?

When you have identified the areas to be repaired on the enclosed trailer walls:

  1. Scrape the sealant using a plastic spatula (Do not use a metal spatula to avoid damaging the surface of your enclosed trailer)
  1. Then clean the surface with a degreaser cleaner so that the surface is clean and non-greasy.
  1. Wait until the surface is completely dry before starting the next step
  1. Finally, redo the joint with a silicone sealant. 

How much does it cost to replace a roof on an enclosed trailer?

On average, the cost to replace a roof is $300 per linear foot. This means that for replacing the entire roof of a 30 feet long vehicle you could pay $9000 (labour cost and materials included in the price). 

The costs to replace a roof will vary considerably due to the different types of materials used. See the table below for more information*. 

Type of trailer roofCosts per square footTotal costs for 255 square feet
EPDM$4-$8 $1,020-$2,040
Thermoplastic Polyolefin$5.50-$6 $1,400-$1,530
Fibreglass$2-$4 $510-$1,020
Aluminium$3 $770

*The labour cost and additional costs are not included in the total cost

As long as you properly maintain and inspect your trailer’s roof, you will not need to replace the entire panels. Of course, accidents can happen and depending on how you store it and how often you are using the trailer, its roof can last you between 10 and 25 years.

How often should you inspect the roof of an enclosed trailer?

You should do a roof inspection on the inside and outside of your enclosed trailer at least once a year. It is also a standard procedure to follow before moving forward and repairing your enclosed trailer roof.

Your goal is to find and repair a roof leak as soon as possible so that you can save your wallet and your enclosed trailer from costly damage. The roof is the perfect place for water leaks. We must repair a trailer or motorhome roof as soon as the inspection shows us a leak.

Because it is the best place for water leaks to form. Water naturally flows downward and a tiny leak on the roof could turn into a major structural problem. Imagine for a moment the impact a drop of water would have every minute (through a leak as small as the hole of a needle). 

Carefully check the condition of the gasket on each of the protruding installations on the roof. All cracks and thin spots can be repaired with the appropriate equipment. If the gasket chips or crumbles in any way, then the old coating must be removed. 

On metal roofs, use a 1-inch scraper with a firm blade, like the ones used by mechanics to remove old gaskets. For the rubber roofs, make a plastic scraper of the same size that will not cut the rubber membrane. If you heat the old coating with a heat gun, it will come off quite easily.

It is best to inspect the roof of your enclosed trailer regularly to keep it in good condition. You can do a full inspection of your roof at the beginning and end of every season. If you are taking a long vacation, you should inspect the roof of your enclosed trailer at the time of rental more often.

Interior inspections of the enclosed trailer roof

The first place to inspect the roof of your enclosed trailer for leaks is to go from the inside. Check the roof of the motorhome, and if you notice new or old water stains, then you know there is a leak near those stains.

However, some leaks will not appear on the ceiling because there are leaks caused by pipes and drains, so you should check your interior walls. You can identify these leaks if you have a soft floor or stains on the walls of your enclosed trailer. Now you have a better idea of ​​where the hole is before going up to the roof.

Exterior inspections of the enclosed trailer roof

You can use a ladder to climb onto the roof of your enclosed trailer, but consider whether the roof can support your weight. When you’re at the top, you should look for signs of cracks, soft spots, or depressions around the ceiling. Pay attention to areas near air conditioning and ventilation systems because these parts are prone to leaks. As time goes on, the sealants around these areas tend to dry out and chip.

Make sure not to step on the soft spots on the roof as this area has used up a lot of water and it is no longer safe to stand on it.

The bottom line

As you have seen, these small jobs are easy to perform and do not require special knowledge. You should repeat this maintenance when winterizing your enclosed trailer and this every year.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on How do you repair an enclosed trailer roof?

How long does an enclosed trailer roof last?

An enclosed trailer roof can last up to 20, even 25 years. It is not uncommon to experience some leaks around half that time, but the better you take care of it the fewer problems. It is best to inspect the roof of your enclosed trailer regularly to keep it in good condition. You can do a full inspection of your roof at the beginning and end of every season. If you are taking a long vacation, you should inspect the roof of your enclosed trailer at the time of rental more often.

What is the best type of roof for an enclosed trailer?

The best type of roof for your enclosed trailer is the rubber EPDM roof. They cost less to repair, are easier to maintain and have a warranty of up to 10 years. 

How often should a trailer roof be resealed?

It is recommended to reseal the trailer roof every 10 years, but of course, this will depend on various factors (e.g. where you keep your RV and the weather conditions it was exposed to). 

How do you clean an enclosed trailer roof?

To understand how to clean the enclosed trailer roof, you have to know how to recognize the types of stains on the camper roof. The pop-up camper exterior is subjected to climatic conditions, to the sun, to rain, to temperature variations, to pollution… It is especially subjected to leaks throughout its life.

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