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Over time, the sealant on an RV’s roof can degrade and crack, allowing water to seep in and cause damage to the interior of the vehicle. Resealing the roof can help prevent this damage and extend the life of the RV, but how much does it cost?
Resealing a 36′ (11-meter) RV roof can cost anything between $200 and $600 if you’re doing it yourself and around $800 – $2000 if you hire a professional to do it for you. The actual cost, however, will depend on several factors, such as the size of your RV roof and the extent of damage on the roof.
In this article, I will provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with resealing an RV roof, both for professional services and a DIY approach.
The Cost of Resealing Your RV Roof: Hiring a Professional vs. DIY
Hiring a professional to reseal your RV roof is likely to be more expensive than doing it yourself, but it can also be more reliable and ensure that the job is done properly. If you’re an expert in this field, doing it yourself might be a good idea after all, but it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of professional hands.
To help you compare the costs of hiring a professional vs. doing it yourself, I have compiled a table showing the approximate costs for resealing RV roofs of different sizes.
|Size of RV Roof||Cost of Sealant and Materials (DIY)||Cost of Labor (Professional)||Total Cost (DIY)||Total Cost (Professional)|
|10’ x 8’ (3 x 2 meters)||$200||$300||$200||$500|
|12′ x 10′ (3.7 x 3 meters)||$300||$350||$300||$750|
|14′ x 12′ (4 x 3.7 meters)||$400||$400||$400||$800|
As you can see from the table, the cost of resealing your RV roof will depend on the size of the roof and whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. Doing it yourself can save you money, but it may also require more time and effort on your part.
Hiring a professional, on the other hand, can be more expensive, but it can ensure that the job is done correctly and save you time and hassle.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire a professional or do it yourself will depend on your budget, your level of expertise, and your personal preferences. However, I will say that most people could reseal their RV roof by themselves with a bit of reading first!
For example, here, you can learn when to apply new sealant directly on top of the old one if you see a crack in the sealant and want to reseal that part.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Resealing an RV Roof
Size of the RV Roof
Larger roofs will require more sealant and will take longer to reseal, which will increase the overall cost. If you hire a professional, the longer the work takes, the more you’ll spend unless you agree on a fixed price.
If you’re doing it yourself, time may not affect the cost, but the roof size will determine how much sealant is used, which can be expensive if a lot of sealant is needed. It’s important to measure the size of your RV roof accurately and consider the amount of sealant that will be needed to cover the entire surface.
Type of Sealant and amount of work needed
Different types of sealant have different properties and prices, and choosing the right type of sealant can make a significant difference to the overall cost of the project. For example, some sealants are more expensive but offer better protection against water and UV damage. Others are more affordable but may not be as durable.
What type of sealant you will need to use will depend a lot on what it is that you want to reseal and what type of material your RV roof is.
For example, if you just want to “patch up” a couple of cracks in your old lap sealant at a few spots on your RV roof, you will probably just need to get one tube of Dicor self-leveling lap sealant (Amazon affiliate link) that won’t cost you much at all and all you would need to do is clean the old one and apply some new on-top
But more on when you can apply new lap sealant on top of the old one and how to here in this article.
On the other hand, if you want to recoat the whole roof, redo all the seams and replace all the butyl tape and reseal all fixtures, well, you will need a lot more different types of sealants and much more time and money to do so, although it is still reasonable costs to do it yourself.
Before ordering a sealant, you should read this article where I talk about what sealants rv manufacturers use that are also some of my favorites!
And stay away from any silicone-based sealants except if it is for a recoat of an RV roof and there are no other options for your roof type; here, you can read 7 reasons why you shouldn’t use silicone and what to use instead.
What It Means to Reseal an RV Roof, and Why It’s Necessary
Resealing an RV roof means applying a new layer of sealant to protect the roof from water damage and leaks. This is an integral part of maintaining your RV, as the roof is exposed to harsh weather conditions and can suffer wear and tear over time.
Resealing the roof helps prevent water from trickling into the RV, which can cause damage to the vehicle’s interior and electrical systems. Resealing can also help extend the roof’s life by protecting it from UV rays, wind, and other environmental factors.
In addition, resealing the roof can help maintain your RV’s value. A well-maintained RV with a properly sealed roof will likely retain its value over time. This can be important if you plan to sell or trade-in your RV in the future. Overall, resealing will help you have a better experience living in the RV.
How Often Should You Reseal Your RV Roof?
It’s important to reseal the roof of your RV on a regular basis to maintain its condition and prevent water damage. How often you should reseal your RV roof will depend on several factors, including the type of sealant you use, the climate and weather conditions the roof is exposed to, and the state of the roof itself.
Generally, it’s recommended to inspect the RV roof twice a year or every time you wash it and then reseal the places in need about once a year, depending on wear and tear. I know it might feel like a lot, but you have all the information about that here.
Resealing or Coating, Which One Does Your RV Need?
When it comes to protecting your RV roof from the elements, you have two main options: sealing or coating. While both options serve similar purposes, they are not the same, and understanding the difference between them can help you make the best decision for your RV.
Sealing an RV roof involves mainly applying new caulking, lap sealant, adhesive sealant, or repair/sealant tape over a certain area. You can read more on how to reseal different RV roof types in this article, but it is mainly where you use a special sealant with a caulking gun to ensure the water stays on the outside.
If you install a new roof hatch, for example, you need to first seal it with butyl tape between the frame of the hatch and the roof, and then you would seal the edges of it with a lap sealant or adhesive sealant.
Coating an RV roof, on the other hand, is more like applying a thick protective “paint” that is painted or rolled onto the whole flat surface of your RV roof, so let’s say that you have a rubber roof that is old and is starting to deteriorate. If small holes start to appear or the color has changed, you could apply an RV roof coating to make it last a couple of years more instead of replacing the whole roof.
When Is It Necessary To Replace the RV Roof?
Sealants and coatings are an effective way to maintain and protect the roof of an RV, but they are not an eternal solution. Over time, if the roof of an RV is damaged to a point where sealants may not be able to provide adequate protection In these cases, a replacement roof may be necessary, just like you sometimes need to change the roof on the house.
There are a few key signs that it may be time to replace the roof of your RV instead of using sealants. One of the most recognizable ones is if you are consistently experiencing leaks, despite resealing it and recoating it.
Another sign that it may be time to replace your RV roof is if the roof is visibly degraded or damaged. This can include cracks, holes, or other signs of wear and tear. In these cases, sealants may not be effective, and a replacement roof may be necessary to prevent further damage to the RV.
Replacing the roof may need professional assistance, and the entire process could cost between $1,000 and $7,000. Here’s a YouTube video detailing how to replace your RV roof:
What Resealing Your RV Roof Means for Your Overall Experience
While it might put a dent in your pocket, resealing the roof of your RV, have several benefits for your overall experience as an RV owner:
- It prevents leaks and water damage: Resealing the roof prevents water from seeping into the interior of the RV. This can not only protect the interior of your RV from water damage, but it can also prevent mold and mildew, which can be a health hazard and cause unpleasant odors.
- It extends the life of your RV: By protecting the roof from the elements and preventing water damage, resealing can help to prevent the need for costly repairs or replacements down the line. This can save you money and ensure your RV remains in good condition for as long as possible.
- It can improve the overall appearance of your vehicle: The roof of an RV can become discolored or faded over time, which can be unsightly. Resealing the roof can restore its original color and shine, making your RV look newer and more attractive.
- It can improve insulation and energy efficiency: A properly sealed roof can prevent heat from escaping during the winter and cool air from escaping during the summer, which can help keep your RV’s interior comfortable and reduce the need for heating and cooling. This can save you money on your energy bills and make your RV more enjoyable to use.
In conclusion, the cost of resealing your RV will depend on several factors, but you should expect to spend between $200 and $1,000, or even more in some cases. If you’re not good with handy work, consider hiring a professional right out the gate since a small mistake on your part could quickly worsen the roof situation.