I agonized over this project long enough. A roof cleaning for Shaneeda was necessary and I was the only one that was going to do it.
Why was roof cleaning needed? Well, because every time the least little bit of rain fell, that rain would drag white chalky junk off the roof and onto the sides of the motorhome. Ugly. I would feel terrible about it and spend the next couple of hours wiping her down and restoring her beauty. I needed a less needy RV in my life.
A priority was to avoid messing up the nice finish I put on the sides of the motorhome. To achieve this, I avoided the use of any chemicals. Instead, I just used water and a brush – and elbow grease. I thought about using a pressure washer but I was a bit afraid of damaging the surface and or forcing water entry into the motorhome.
In the end, it probably didn’t take very long for the scrubbing. Maybe thirty minutes, probably less. I just wet the thing down and started scrubbing with an automotive brush on a long handle – everywhere. Rinse… scrub… rinse… scrub… rinse… scrub… repeat. This brush is not a stiff/harsh brush – I didn’t want to damage the roof, just get the chalk and grime off.
The roof now looked pretty good. I would not say that it was perfect but certainly much better. I found I needed to be careful in spots as the white coating was worn thru and the black coating underneath (not sure what it is) was showing thru. Continued scrubbing in this area caused the black to come off and I figured that was a bad thing.
Now the roof was clean but all the chalk and other junk was all of the sides of the motorhome. So a thorough cleaning was in order. I wiped her down and we were back to looking good.
I know a lot of folks will disagree with my solution. Please understand that I am a cheapskate. With the condition of the roof as noted above, a quality re-coating of the roof would probably be best. Even Rhino Linings now has a product for this. However; all of them are expensive, in my opinion. I think it is important to note that my roof does not leak. Spending $500-$1000 (or lots more) on an EDPM coating just wasn’t in the books.
I read on a forum that people were having good success coating their roof with the same stuff we put on the exterior walls – ZEP Floor Finish. The idea is that it seals water out as well as locks all the stuff on the roof… well… on the roof.
I gave it a shot. The floor finish is easy to remove so there was very little risk. For the first coat, I used a paint roller pan, paint roller on a long handle, and gave the roof a good coating. For the second coat, I used a brush around all the components on the roof and just poured a splash of the product on the roof and used the roller to spread it out.
The roof cleaning seems to have worked. It is certainly sealed. I can run my hand over it and pickup nothing. It rained a day after finishing the project and I am very pleased to report that there are no white streaks!! In fact, you really cannot even tell it rained by looking at Shaneeda – she is still looking fine! Obviously, this will be a long term test. I don’t have any expectations for how long the coating of floor finish will last but time will certainly tell.
The whole roof cleaning and sealing process, including washing/wiping the entire exterior, probably took a grand total of about five or six hours. Not too shabby to have a clean roof!