Preventing RV roof leaks with dicor maintenance

Preventing RV Roof Leaks with Dicor Maintenance

Updated on January 29th, 2024

RV roof leaks are a continual fear for recreational vehicle owners, as the damage water can cause is often expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Water leakage from the RV roof can be severe, with large puddles forming inside your RV during rain or slow seepage that soaks into the ceiling or walls, causing mold and rot to develop before you notice the problem.

To prevent RV roof leaks, you need to be vigilant about maintaining the integrity of your roof surface against the elements. Dicor is one product that RVers use to keep their RV roof sealed so water can’t penetrate.

How to use Dicor to prevent a leaky RV roof will be much easier when you use the tips and tricks in this guide. With Dicor maintenance, you can stop worrying about RV leaks and focus on camping fun instead!

Why You Need Dicor RV Maintenance

A man preparing the RV roof for dicor RV maintenance

Many places around vents, antenna or solar panel brackets, and trim work are prone to gaps that allow water to leak into your RV interior.

Over time, roof coverings can form tiny holes or splits in the material that you may not see with the naked eye, which allows moisture penetration.

Depending on your RV roofing material, you’ll need to focus your leak-protection maintenance differently.

Trying to fix RV roof leaks with a commercial residential-type of caulk sealant won’t give you the results you expect since a recreational vehicle constantly flexes and vibrates as it travels or as occupants move inside.

While an exterior silicone sealant for windows or doors may work for a short time, it won’t be long before it begins to pull up, peel, or separate from your RV roof material. If you aren’t constantly checking your repair, it can quickly fail and let water seep into your RV before you are aware of the problem.

Dicor products work on all types of travel trailers, motorhomes, fifth wheel, or other camping trailer roof materials so that you can protect the fiberglass, rubber, and aluminum from leaks.

Each product has a unique formula to create a tight bond with different RV roof materials, so you can be confident the product will hold as advertised.

Some Dicor products are for coating the entire roof using a roller, while others are a caulk application. All are to stop air and water leaks and offer protection from UV rays that can deteriorate RV roof material.

Unfortunately, no product on the market will permanently fix RV roof damage or gaps that allow water to penetrate. Over time, exposure to the elements will dry out and wear down the roof sealant, which is why you need to inspect your RV regularly for signs it’s time to reapply.

Why do you need Dicor? Because the brand has been a leader for reliable roof sealant products in the RV industry for decades, and recreational vehicle owners can count on Dicor products to get the job done, whether you own a DIY teardrop trailer or a $1M diesel pusher motorcoach.

What are Dicor Products for RV Leak Protection?

DICOR CORP 501LSD-1 Self Leveling Lap Sealant - Dove Brite White
20 Reviews
DICOR CORP 501LSD-1 Self Leveling Lap Sealant – Dove Brite White
  • RV maintenance & repair miscellaneous this product is of good quality
  • Easy and flexible to use
  • Package Dimensions: 2 L x 32.9H x27.8W x(centimeters)
  • Country of Origin: United States

Applying the correct Dicor product for your RV is key to getting a waterproof seal. You can find Dicor products at RV or camping supply stores, Walmart, and many online retailers.

Here are the various options for RV roof repair that Dicor sells:

Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant

RV Wholesale Direct Dicor 501LSW-1, RV Rubber Roof Sealant Self Leveling Caulk, White, 4 Pack
  • Creates a secure, secondary seal along the roof’s edges, air vents, vent pipes and screw heads
  • Adheres firmly to aluminum, mortar, wood, vinyl, galvanized metal, fiberglass and concrete
  • Compatible with EPDM and TPO sheeting
  • Color: White
  • Self-Leveling (for horizontal surfaces)

Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant is found in the maintenance kits of thousands of RV owners because it does a great job quickly sealing off gaps where air or water can penetrate.

The product comes in a tube and uses a caulking gun for application, making it easy to store for future emergency applications.

The sealant has a more fluid texture, so it flows into cracks and will flatten out on the surface, so your RV roof doesn’t look bumpy when it dries.

The formulation is UV-stabilized, so it can withstand constant exposure to the sun without deteriorating much longer than other similar products.

The sealant is also made to adhere to any RV roofing material and sets and dries quickly. You can apply a roof coating over the sealant or use it underneath, both with impressive results.

Most RVers use this lap sealant along the edges of the camper roof and around any vents or pipes that pass through the ceiling. Many owners also add a dollop over screw heads to keep them from rusting or corroding.

Dicor 2 Part EPDM Rubber Roofing

Dicor RP-CRP-Q EPDM Rubber Roof Coating System – 1 Quart Roof Cleaner/Activator
  • USE: This roof coating system extends the life of an EPDM rubber roof on RVs..Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • EASY TO USE: Saves more than 25 percent in labor compared to competing products
  • SIZE: This 1-quart container offers a 125-square-foot coverage rate
  • FEATURES: Dries quickly; Cleaner/Activator prepares surface for full coating
  • CLEAN AND SAFE: Contains no harmful petroleum distillates, harsh abrasives or citric ingredients that can cause irreparable harm

The 2-part rubber roof coating includes the Dicor Cleaner and Activator that you use before you apply the Dicor Rubber Roof Coating.

This Dicor product rolls on over EPDM rubber roofs found on many recreational vehicles.

The two products combine to form a solid, elastic seal across the top of your RV that will stop leaks. Once the material cures, it can stretch enough without cracking or separating during travel, so the seal remains tight.

This type of coating is ideal for pin-hole leaks that are hard to locate, as the coating will seep into and fill any small holes or gaps. In addition, the coating is made to resist all weather conditions, including UV light, and has fire-retardant qualities.

Dicor also offers another option, CoolCoat Rubber Ceramic Insulating Coating, for the Part 2 portion of the application.

This RV rubber roof coating is more expensive but adds MicroCell components into the formulation. The MicroCells dissipate heat off the roof and reduce thermal transmission by a lab-tested 29%, so the interior of your RV stays cooler.

If you love to camp in hot, sunny locations, investing a few more dollars in upgrading to the Part 2 Dicor rubber roof coating with the MicroCells is worth it.

You apply this coating like ordinary paint with a roller and tray, and the product dries and cures quickly.

Dicor Fiberglass RV Roof Coating

Dicor RP-SELRCT-1 Signature Extended Life RV Roof Coating – Brown – Ideal for Protecting and…
  • USE: This Signature Silicone RV Roof Coating is ideal for maintenance when used with Dicor’s primer
  • ROOF COATING FEATURES: Permanently flexible; Unaffected by UV rays or temperature extremes
  • IMPROVED LOOK: Use this coating system with primer to upgrade the look of an old and worn RV roof
  • COLOR: Tan hue for stylish and beautiful RV roof
  • SIZE: 1 gallon

The Dicor Fiberglass RV Roof Coating and Fiberglass Clean and Prep are the products to turn to if your RV has a fiberglass roof.

The cleaner safely removes dirt and grease without damaging the fiberglass surface and preps the roof for better adhesion with the topcoat for a waterproof seal.

The coating formulation bonds tightly to the fiberglass material and leaves behind a bright white surface that reflects the sun and UV rays, so less heat transfers into your RV. The formulation is also resistant to mildew, algae, and mold growth, so your roof looks crisp and clean.

The coating is tough yet flexible, so it won’t crack or peel for many seasons, no matter how often you take RV trips. Another feature of the coating is how easy it is to rinse dirt off the roof during washings without the need to scrub.

After washing your camper roof with the cleanser, you apply the coating with a roller and tray. Let the first coat dry to the touch and then apply a second layer.

The product takes a full 24 hours to cure completely.

Dicor RV Metal Roof Primer and Coating

Dicor RP-MRRIP-Q Metal Roof Rust Inhibitive Primer – Arctic White, 1 Quart
  • USE: Helps control rust with the acrylic roof coating system
  • EASY TO USE: Simple to apply
  • COMPATIBILITY: For use with Dicor’s acrylic roof coating system for metal roofs
  • SIZE: 1 quart

If your RV has a metal roof, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning and then use both the Dicor Metal Roof Rust Inhibitive Primer and Dicor Elastomeric RV Metal Roof Coating for the ultimate seal against rain, heat, and UV rays.

Metal roof RVs get the hottest inside, so adding a roof coating that will reflect the sun will reduce interior heat levels during the summer, so your AC doesn’t have to work so hard.

The formulation of the Dicor primer and coating for metal RV roof material creates a super-strong bond so the layer won’t lift or split. In addition, the elastomeric finish after the coating cures will move with the RV during travel and temperature changes, so you can rest assured leaks won’t occur.

Another bonus is that the coating will reduce roof noise during rains and handle general wear, like walking across the surface or scratches from low-hanging branches when parking at campgrounds.

The primer and coating are applied with a roller and tray, with a brush necessary for getting around vents, piping, or brackets.

How to Tell When You Need to Reapply Dicor

A roof needs to be repaired with Dicor

After you apply any of your Dicor RV roof leak repair products, you’ll have many months of carefree protection, but inspecting your roof should still occur on a regular basis.

I check my RV roof for issues every two months, while others only do so every six months or yearly. A more frequent inspection is better to catch problems and immediately fix them so water leaks don’t cause damage.

Depending on your camping location and frequency, plus RV storage conditions, you may go years before seeing the Dicor roof coating or lap sealant begin to deteriorate.

The first sign the Dicor is getting near its end of life is tiny cracks or crazing that begin to appear on the surface.

After the cracks form, eventually, tiny flakes of the coating will begin to lift. If you don’t clean and reapply the coating at this time, the surface material will get very thin and possibly allow water to enter.

You also lose the UV protection and heat or sound buffer the coating provides as it thins out.

Be aware that the coating will not peel or flake off in large sections with the proper initial application. Over time, the coating just thins out or wears away, which means there isn’t a huge project to remove the old coating before applying a new one.

For the lap sealant, the product’s signs of deterioration or weakening are extreme dryness, where the caulk begins to shrink, crack, and even fall off in chunks. The lap sealant typically takes years for this to occur, especially if you store your RV indoors during the winter months.

Benefits of Dicor RV Roof Coatings

A roof after RV roof coatings with Dicor

The benefits of using Dicor RV Roof Coatings include:

Ease of Application

Tackling RV roof recoating doesn’t need to take several days when you use Dicor products. Roll-on coatings dry quickly, so you can add more layers on the same day and still have a low wait time for the material to cure completely.

If you want to apply some lap sealant before coating the entire RV roof, it sets fast enough to roll over it on the same day, typically with only an hour or so wait.

Protects Your RV Structure

If you don’t seal off your RV roof from leaks, it won’t take long for the studs, walls, ceiling, and flooring to sustain damage from moisture.

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Mold can set in behind the walls and go undetected for months or even years. Rot will undermine the structural integrity of your RV, which will allow more movement during travel, leading to loose trim, gaps in cabinetry, and doors and windows not operating correctly.

Mildewy smells can build, making it unpleasant to be inside your RV without ventilation.

Large leaks quickly destroy walls and flooring, leading to expensive and frustrating repairs.

Helps Regulate Interior RV Temperatures and Noise Levels

Adding a Dicor RV roof coating provides another layer of protection between interior occupants and the rain and sun.

The white coating, especially those with MicroCells, will reflect the sun’s rays to keep your RV cooler. In addition, the elastic surface seals the roof, which also helps slow heat loss during the winter.

The final result of this temperature-regulating RV roof coating is that it will reduce your propane or electricity usage because your furnace or air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable when camping.

Lastly, the rubbery coating buffers the sound of raindrops landing on your recreational vehicle roof, so it’s quieter inside.

Tips and Tricks to Use Dicor to Stop RV Roof Leaks

Applying Dicor stopped RV roof leaks

Make Sure Your RV Roof is Spotless

Before applying a Dicor Roof Coating, you must take the time to get the RV roof as clean as possible.

If you can’t find or afford to purchase a dedicated Dicor cleaner made for use with your roof coating type, I suggest washing the roof once with a degreaser cleaner and then again with plain dish soap and water. Finally, use a soft brush to get into all the nooks and crannies around trim, vents, and other roof attachments.

For stubborn dirt or grease, some people find using mineral spirits a quick way to clear away debris before using the Dicor lap sealant or roof coating.

A clean roof surface is extremely critical for the proper adhesion of a primer or topcoat acrylic layer. Skimping on the cleaning will result in your roof bubbling and peeling up after a short time, resulting in the very water leaks you’re trying to avoid.

Measure Your RV Roof Square Footage for Proper Coverage

Each gallon of the various Dicor roll-on roof coating products covers a different amount of square footage.

Knowing the dimensions of your RV roof is crucial to getting the correct amount for complete coverage for the best protection against leaks.

Most RVers find two or three layers of coating on the roof to give them the confidence they are safe from moisture and heat penetration.

Apply the Lap Sealant and Roof Coating in the Right Order on a Cool Day

A man applying a roof coating

Most RVers agree that it’s better to apply any lap sealant before you roll over the roof.

The coating adds another layer of protection over the lap sealant so it won’t dry out as fast, plus it will look cleaner when the entire roof is a single color if the lap sealant is not white.

Apply the coating during a cool portion of the day or in a shady area, as intense heat or sunlight can dry the material too quickly and interfere with proper curing.

For the coating, roll on a thin layer to begin, working from the back to the front of your RV roof. Once it dries, start again at the back, but work side to side, rolling on the coating perpendicular to the first layer for solid coverage.

As you work across the RV roof, use a brush in tight areas.

If you finish the job and still have a small portion of coating left, go ahead and roll it out over leak-prone areas in a third or even fourth coat.

Places around the air conditioner or in front of the trim where water pools up before it runs off your roof are excellent spots to build a thicker layer.

Final Thoughts

Preventing RV roof leaks with Dicor maintenance is part of being a responsible owner of a recreational vehicle. Luckily, all the Dicor products are reasonably priced so that you can fit them into your RV maintenance budget with little difficulty.

I hope this guide helps you find the right Dicor product for your RV roof protection needs to keep water and excessive heat out of your camper.

If RV roof leaks concern you, it’s incredible what a quality lap sealant and roof coating can do to make your RV life less stressful and more comfortable and enjoyable!

How to Prevent RV Roof Leaks (Dicor Maintenance)

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