Liquid Roof EPDM Roof Sealant for RV’s and EternaBond Sealant Tape — Special Travel Sites

November 3, 2013 By admin

I thought about waiting for another year to do a roof coating on my 2001 Newmar Dutchstar 38 1/2 ft. motorhome.  I typically wash off the roof every six months using Murphy’s Oil Soap and it has helped over the years.  Reminding myself that the roof was already about 14 years old, and after looking over the roof carefully, I made the painful decision to go ahead with the project.  I did not have any leaks and I wanted to keep it that way.  I did quantities of research on different roof coatings and even considered replacing the entire roof.  However, replacing the roof was cost prohibitive as the best guess was somewhere between $3500-4000 for this option.  In reading many of the blogs, I finally decided to utilize a product called Liquid Roof and a sealant tape called EternaBond.

All of the comments on the blogs and literature I read seemed to support the fact that this product would suit my purpose and last for an appropriate period of time (Five year warranty).  The other item, the EternaBond tape, appeared to be something which would be easily applied instead of using tubes of something like Dicor caulki ng.

The first thing I needed to do was measure the roof.  I measured lengths along the screw cap areas and added additional footage for all the short pieces of the EternaBond tape I would need.   I calculated that two 50’ rolls of tape would suffice IF I had not gotten some of it wet. (Later)  As for the Liquid Roof, I measured up the square footage of the entire roof and subtracted a small portion for where the air conditioners were sitting.  I calculated that I would need five gallons.  I purchased the Liquid Roof and EternaBond tape through Amazon as they seemed to have the best prices.  I also purchased a gallon of denatured alcohol to do a final washing on the surface to clear any oils or moisture at the local Lowe’s.

The next thing to do is hire some help.  A young man named Robert who works in the RV park agreed to accept this challenge.  He probably didn’t realize he was going to get to do all the grunt work.  By grunt work, I mean attempting to remove as much of the old caulking as possible.  This was probably the biggest part of the job as the pictures in the slide show will depict.  Robert did a great job on this by getting most of the old stuff off so we could later apply the EternaBond tape over the top of any remaining caulk.

In the meantime, I removed the air conditioners and we set them aside.  I needed to get a coat of material under the area where the units sat and also replace the gaskets.  I had to unhook some of the wiring so a few shots of the wiring with a digital camera would remind me later how to hook them back up.  I then covered the holes with plastic so we could wash down the entire roof with soap and water.  After this was done, we took a lunch break allowing the roof to dry (or so I thought).

After returning from lunch the roof looked dry as the air temperature was in the high 80s.  We proceeded to lay down some of the EternaBond tape along the cap screw cover.  About half way down the right side, Robert ran into some water at one spot.  We dried it and continued to lay down the tape.  The next thing I notice is that some of the tape seems to be lifting up.  More water had seeped out from under the cap screw cover.  I had to rip out several feet of the tape and throw it away as it had gotten wet.  In the meantime Robert is still laying down the tape and is now on the left side of the motorhome.  Everything looked good on that side, well, at least until the next morning.  The next day I found some of the tape on the left side had lifted also and I had to rip up some more of the tape.  I probably wasted about 30 ft. total.  This required me to go to the local RV store and pay an exorbitant price for more tape.

On the second day after I replaced more of the EternaBond tape, I mixed up one gallon of the Liquid Roof with the catalyst.  I wanted to get a coating around some of the areas that we would not be able to cover with a large roller or squeegee.  I also coated under the air conditioner areas at this time.  I used less than a half-gallon, so I closed up the can tightly and put it in the refrigerator with the understanding (reading literature) that it would stop curing if under 57 degrees F.  I also had this material sitting in a Styrofoam cooler with ice packs when I was using it on the roof.  Four days later when I opened this can, I found it was just about at the point of not being able to use.  I mixed the stuff with the paint mixer again so I could get it a little more pliable.  One point here, don’t raise the paint mixer out of the can while it is turning!  I’ll leave that to everyone’s imagination.

Prior to starting the final coating process I reinstalled the air conditioners and hooked up the wiring.  They worked!  I also had to replace two vent covers and the cover over the refrigerator vent.  The sun works magic on these plastic parts.

With Robert helping again, we began laying down the material in the large areas.  Before we did the application, we used a sponge mop and denatured alcohol to do a final wash of each area marked off (about 45 sq. ft.).  We then used a squeegee and a ¼” nap roller to spread out the material.  The first, partially cured, gallon was a challenge.  We did manage to get it down and spread and thank goodness the next three gallons were a little easier to spread, although still a challenge.  Using a roller alone would not have done the trick.

As we got closer to the end, I was happy with the way it was looking.  We ended the project by using only four gallons as it spread well.  We did put down a good coat so I don’t think we stretched the material too much.  I also read this on the blogs and talked to someone else who had used the product and was given the same story, the material spreads further than advertised.  I would suggest that you do not try to do this job alone.  It’s too much of a task to attempt it alone, especially if you are age challenged like some of us.  That’s why I hired Robert. Let the young ones do the hard stuff.  Besides, I was too busy taking pictures.

The slide show depicts the stages of the process and the final appearance.  Where Robert is right at the back of the motorhome was the final few feet of the laydown.  Fortunately, he did not paint himself in a corner; rather he kept his eyes on where the ladder was.

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