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Leaky Roof? A Comparison of the Cost of RV Roof Replacement Versus DIY Repair

Leaky Roof? A Comparison of the Cost of RV Roof Replacement Versus DIY Repair

Owning an RV is all about freedom and adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of maintenance responsibilities. One issue that many RV owners face is a leaky roof.

For today's post, we'll break down the cost of RV roof replacement and compare it to DIY repair options so you can make a well informed decision. 


Understanding RV Roof Replacement

Before diving into the cost of RV roof replacement, let's first understand what it entails. RV roof replacement typically involves removing the old roof material (usually EPDM or rubber), repairing any water or structural damage, and installing a new roof. This process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it's necessary if the roof is severely damaged or has reached the end of its lifespan.

Cost Breakdown of RV Roof Replacement

The cost of RV roof replacement can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your RV, the extent of damage, and labor costs. Here's a rough breakdown of the expenses involved in replacing an RV rubber roof:

  • Hidden Water Damage Repairs: If there's moisture damage requiring the replacement of structural studs, panels, or insulation, you can expect to spend anywhere from $600 to $800 CAD in materials and labor.

  • UV Damaged Fixtures: All fixtures on the roof, such as vents and pipe caps, will need to be removed and replaced if they have extensive UV damage. This can cost around $300 CAD and up.

  • Disposal Fees: The old roof and water-damaged material will have to be disposed of, with fees ranging from $150 to $300 CAD.

  • EPDM Rubber Roof Material: The cost of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) material can range from $7 to $9 CAD per square foot. For a hypothetical 8 x 29ft RV rubber roof, the material cost would be approximately $2,256 CAD.

  • Bonding Compound: A primer/bonding compound is used to bond the rubber roof to the plywood or paneled roof. For an 8 x 29ft roof, you would need around 1 gallon, costing about $160 CAD.

  • Resealing Materials: After replacing the roof, it's essential to reseal it with a high-quality RV roof sealant. One such option is RV Flex Repair One Weekend Roof Kits, which cost $649.95 before tax.

  • Labor Costs: Labor costs can vary depending on the technician's hourly rate ($95 to $150 CAD per hour) and the time it takes to complete the roof replacement (8 to 10 hours). In this example, labor costs are estimated at $1,500 CAD.

  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Additional costs may include shipping, freight, and painting supplies, totaling around $200 CAD.

Taking all these factors into account, the total cost of RV roof replacement in this example is approximately $6,215.95 CAD before tax.

DIY RV Roof Repair: A More Affordable Option?

While the cost of RV roof replacement can be high, many RV owners opt for DIY repairs when possible. For basic RV roof repair, you may not need to consult a professional, as long as you're relatively handy and willing to learn. Here are some situations where DIY repair may be appropriate:

Sealing Joints and Seams

Over time, the joints and seams on your RV roof may crack and need to be repaired. This is usually a simple job that can be done with sealant tape or liquid sealant applied like caulking. Even if you're unsure about your abilities, you can find online videos that demonstrate how to perform this fix. This includes information on removing old sealant and applying new sealant every few years or whenever you replace the roof.

Inspecting Impact Damage

You want to start by inspecting the roof of your RV. If your RV roof has sustained impact damage that caused structural issues, it's essential to inspect the extent of the problem before deciding on a course of action. In some cases, you may be able to perform a DIY repair, but for more severe damage, it's best to consult a professional.

The Bottom Line

The reality is that while the cost of RV roof replacement can be significant, DIY repair options may provide a more affordable solution for minor issues. Regular maintenance and inspection of your RV roof can help prevent more extensive damage and prolong the life of the roof. 

Remember, it's essential to assess your comfort level and abilities when deciding whether to attempt a DIY repair or consult a professional. For more information on RV roof repair and maintenance, visit the RV Flex Repair blog for helpful tips and resources.

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