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Frequently Asked Questions about EPDM Rubber Roofs

EPDM Rubber Roofs
The FAQ's: 
Question:
Is it necessary to protect my rubber roof against UV light?
Answer:
No.

Question:
What do I need to do to care for my rubber roof?
Answer:
Periodic cleaning (See DICOR Care & Maintenance instructions).

Question:
One manufacturer told me their roof treatment product had only a minor percentage of petroleum distillates, something like 20 or 30 percent. Does the percentage matter?
Answer:
Usually percentages given are based on weight. Since petroleum distillates are significantly lighter than water, in reality 30 percent by weight might be 40% or more by volume. But it really doesn't matter. THERE IS NO LEVEL OF PETROLEUM DISTILLATES THAT IS RECOMMENDED.

Question:
If I use a roof treatment product containing petroleum distillates on my rubber roof, can that void my warranty?
Answer:
Yes.

Question:
If I'm going to buy a used RV and it has a rubber roof, how can I tell if the previous owner used petroleum distillates and damaged the rubber roof? What would the damage look like?
Answer:
Two things: First, swelling. Uneven thicknessis of material. Second, loose areas. Petroleum distillates soak in and cause the adhesive to loosen and the membrane to balloon. Then, when the swelling goes down and the membrane flattens out again, it may never again adhere properly or completely.

Question:
Dicor's Care & Maintenance instructions says you can use mineral spirits on stubborn stains. Isn't mineral spirits a petroleum distillate?
Answer:
Yes. But note the instructions say to use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and then only to remove a stubborn stain; to never use a petroleum distillate (even a solvent as mild as mineral spirits) directly on the membrane, in a large area or allow it to soak in. In no way is "treating" the roof membrane with a product containing petroleum distillates recommended or condoned.

Question:
Oxidation: My roof seems to oxidize and run down the sides when it rains. What's going on?
Answer:
First, EPDM roofing membrane does oxidize slowly, it's supposed to. In a dozen years it may oxidize 10% of its thickness. This is normal. Cleaning as recommended will help greatly. At least four times a year, more often if your local conditions and experience warrant.

Question:
The rubber roofing wraps over slightly on both sides of my RV and you can see it from the ground. It gets dirty and doesn't look good. What can I do about this?
Answer:
Clean the area and treat it with a product that will repel soiling and is safe for EPDM. One product that performs and lasts well, is safe for EPDM and is commonly available at RV stores is 303® Aerospace Protectant™.

Dicor Corporation
Brite-Ply Roof Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of your recreational vehicle, including your Brite-Ply roof is important for trouble-free performance. Normal maintenance is simple, easy, and requires no special material.

Keep your roof clean. Clean your roof at least four (4) times annually. For normal cleaning: 
Use RC100 or a mild laundry detergent. (See CAUTION below.) 
Rinse complete roof with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris. 
Using a medium bristle brush, along with the cleaner mixed with water, scrub the entire roof. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to avoid residue build-up on the roof or sidewalls of the vehicle. 
For more difficult stains, you may use RC100, mentioned above, in a more concentrated mixture. For stubborn stains, use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. DO NOT use mineral spirits in a large area or allow it to soak into the membrane. Household bleach can also be used (fully concentrated) and allowed to soak in stubborn stain areas, then scrubbed with a medium bristle brush or a cloth. Rinse thoroughly. 
Recommended cleaner: RC100 Dicor Synthetic Roof & General Purpose Cleaner.

Caution: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof.

Use caution when working on top of your vehicle.
The wet Brite-Ply membrane may be extremely slippery.

Beware of areas where fruit or tree sap or harsh environmental fall-out may stay on the roof for an extended period of time. These conditions may result in un-removable stains. If you are in these conditions, you may have to increase the frequency of your cleaning or premature deterioration may occur.

COPYRIGHT 1997 by Dicor Corporation, Elkhart, Indiana 46515