Kazakhstan mountains as seen from Almaty's Botanical Gardens.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sherman's roof

Sherman (our motorhome) is 20 years old this summer.

That means that the rubber membrane roof material that keeps the water out is also 20 years old, and near the end of it's useful life. In fact, even the Dicor company that makes  the roofing material says that their roof membrane is guaranteed for 10 years, but will likely last 20 years.

So that leaves two options if we want to keep Sherman healthy.

When we adopted Sherman, he had just turned 13 years old. But (like a lot of RV's I've seen) his roof had not been well maintained by his previous owners. It was covered in mold stains and looked like it hadn't been washed in years.

Dicor says that the roof should be scrubbed three to four times per year. I've tried my best to do that.

Kevin, on top of Sherman, cleaning his roof.

I've also kept up with maintenance as far as replacing and touching up the roof caulking which also deteriorates over time.

But last year, after Sherman had sat in the hot Puerto Vallarta sun for six months, I noticed one section of the roofing membrane had started to develop small cracks. And this year, it looks even worse.

The first choice would be to actually replace that rubber roof membrane. But it's an expensive, time consuming job. Materials alone would be over $1,000 and you really do need to do it indoors. I could do it myself, but I expect that it would take me three or four days. The solar panels would all have to be removed, as well as the air conditioning unit and all the trim and vents. It's a big job.

The second option is to re-coat the roof.

This is what I'm going to do!

Dicor themselves actually make a product specifically designed for their rubber roof material. Their website says this product "extends the life and beauty and forms an excellent protective barrier".

It's a two stage process where you have to apply a special cleaner/activator, power wash it off, and then apply the coating itself. From what I've read, it's a full days job.

You can buy both products at Amazon in the United States at a good price...

DICOR Rubber Roof Cleaner/Activator - Part 1

DICOR Rubber Roof Acrylic Coating - Part 2

Here in Canada, those products are available on Amazon.ca, but they're way overpriced!

I have found them at another Canadian supplier at a reasonable price, and with free shipping. If that's where I get them, I'll tell you about it at the time.

I've read a lot of reviews from other do-it-yourselfers and this seems to be the way to go. Some people say they applied the product five years ago and it still looks great.

So, I guess I've got another project on my agenda. Total cost should be about $300 CAD (and a day's work!) so that's not too bad.


  1. We did that last year, it worked really well. Even my son (who was 13 at the time) helped with the coating part. It's alot like paint! Just remember to start at the front and work back, then you can still get down the ladder :) haha. There's lots of videos on how to apply on line too, which were actually helpful for us. I'm sure you will get it right away though, you're pretty handy !

    1. Glad to hear that you are happy with the results. Making sure you paint from front to back is something like NOT painting yourself into a corner! ;-)

  2. We have a metal roof on our 16 yr holiday rambler, still looks like new, and like you I check the caulking few times a year and touch up as needed.
    Good luck with the sealer.

    1. Proper maintenance is the key to making anything last! :-)

  3. This should be an interesting project. I'll enjoy reading about how you do it while I enjoy sitting under the fiberglass roof of my MH. ;c)

  4. Sounds like a $700 savings so you'll be making $70 an hour if it takes you 10 hours. As hand as you are, it should be a cinch.

    1. That's pretty much the way we are looking at it Sherry! I am sure glad that Kevin is very much a "Do It Yourselfer". :-)

  5. There are several products out there and another is Liquid Roof. I wonder what the difference is in quality and in price. I've seen some done here in Mexico with ThermoTek, where a mesh fiber material is laid down and then the rubber coating goes over the top.

    1. Kevin looked into the Liquid Roof and it was more expensive than the Dicor product so he is going stick with it. Thanks for the idea though!

  6. Will be interested to hear how it works out. We ended up completely re re - roofing ours with alluminium sheeting which was a brilliant job but a tad over the $300 !!!

    1. Yep, it would be just a "tad" bit more than using the DICOR product. I think we will stick with this, plus the reviews all sound good too!


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