One thing I wanted to accomplish before installing the solar panels was to apply a new coat of sealer on the RV roof. I went with the Dicor Coolcoat system as it seemed to get good reviews and it came up at half price online over the holidays. It claims to have micro-beads that absorb heat and keeps the interior 27% cooler. My main concern is extending the life of the EPDM rubber roof on Lexi.
The first step was removing the satellite and cable antennas on the front part of the roof. We aren’t really the type of people who head out to a tropical beach to sit inside and watch the Kardashians so this was a no brainer for us. Also, this is the area where I envision placing the solar panels. I used a rubber putty knife to carefully lift away the old sealant holding the antennas down. I started with a heat gun, but realized that I really didn’t need it.
I soon had everything removed and cut the old sealant down as close to the roof as possible. I cut a couple squares of aluminum sheeting to cover the two larger holes I had exposed. I squeezed generous amounts of Dicor self-leveling sealant onto the bottom sides of the plates before screwing them down. After installing the plates, I went around and sealed all of the edges and margins on the repairs. I let this settle for a week and then checked it over. A couple of spots where the sealant was over screw holes had “puffed up” just a little bit. Before panicking, I went online and read through several forums and found that others had encountered this problem as well. The general consensus seemed to be to leave it as is and not cut away the sealant or disturb the integrity of the repair. As the sealant cures, the patch will tighten up and stay sealed. So, I added another coat of sealant and then resealed all of the margins on the vents, ladder mounts and seams along the caps.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, the repairs seem to have cured fairly well. My friend Kevin works maintenance at a large industrial facility so I was able to take Lexi over there on a Sunday when no one was around and use his power washer to clean off the top. I arrived around 7:30 and taped off the sides of the roof where it connects to the walls. After the water from the power wash had completely dried, I loaded up my little pump sprayer and coated the roof with the part 1 cleaner/preparation solution from the Coolcoat kit. After leaving it on for 30 minutes, I climbed up and power washed it off nearly blowing myself off the roof in the process. Now, there was more wait time as the roof has to thoroughly dry before painting on the Coolcoat. I amused myself working on other little projects inside the RV.
I had bought a mixing bar to use for stirring the paint since the can said to stir for 5 minutes to make sure that all of the little ceramic beads were properly distributed throughout the coating. Unfortunately the diameter of the rod was too big for the chick on my drill, so I had to mix it by hand. It is a little thick and obviously a rubberized product. I hand painted all of the edges and around all of the vents and mounts, then busted out the long handled roller and rolled out the entire roof. I bought two cans and it seemed like I might have gotten away with one if I were to spread it thinly. Anyway, better to have excess and be sure everything is adequately covered. I allowed this to dry for an hour and then applied the second coat. While that was drying, I put away all of the ladders and tools, then aired up all of the tires for next week’s visit to the tire shop. The sun was close to setting as I pulled out of the complex so it was good that I had gotten an early start. The result is the shiniest white rubber roof in the neighborhood.