How to Remove RV Roof Sealant?

how to remove rv roof sealant

As you are planning for a journey with your recreational vehicle, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. If the weather changes, you can feel secure inside the RV. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to check your RV’s condition.

You’ve done your check-up and notice something worrisome – cracks on roof sealants. If you still want to take your chances, there is a high possibility that something will leak into your RV. To prevent problems, it is important to reseal the portions and it starts with learning how to remove RV roof sealant.

Step-by-Step to Remove RV Roof Sealant

Step 1: Things to Know and Prepare


There are specific sealants used on certain types of roofing material. Knowing what sealant is used is very crucial on how to deal with them. If you have determined the sealant, then you can check what chemicals or approaches are used to remove them.

If the sealants used are reaching the end of their lifetime, they tend to crack after being hardened. You might be tempted to use a scraper, but it can get messy and even damage your roof’s surface. In this article, we will not be assuming a specific roofing material, and with that, here are the things you need to prepare.

  • For protective equipment
  • Gloves = to safely handle tools and chemicals
  • Goggles = to prevent any foreign objects from entering the eyes
  • For tools
  • Scraping tools = depend on how efficient they are when used
  • Metal brush = used for further removal of hard adhesive particles
  • Degreasing agents = depend on what type of roof you are having and how sensitive it is to chemical reactions
  • For polishing
  • Dishwashing liquid = is used to clean the scraped and degreased surface
  • Acetone or similar liquids = are used to further polish the surface in preparation for the resealing

Step 2: Check the Surroundings

If your RV is parked outside without cover, it will be better to work at a time when rain is not expected. Make sure you view the weather forecast ahead before proceeding.

If your RV is parked inside your garage, then you can safely remove the sealants anytime you want. As you are about to remove the sealants, make sure the roof is clean and no debris from the garage’s ceiling or a nearby tree is expected to fall on the surface.

Inspect the coverage of the RV’s roof to know what extent you will be working on. It is suggested to start from one side to the other so you won’t contaminate the cleaned surface.

Step 3: Apply Elbow Grease


Once you are ready, it is time to put on some hard labor. There are manual scrapers and motorized scrapers. Work with whatever you have, as long as it will not damage the paint or the roof’s surface.

To soften the old sealants, apply an ample amount of degreasing agent, and continue scraping. Remove the debris and check if the surfaces applied with the old sealant are spotless enough.

For areas around the bolts, a metal brush might be a better tool to scrape the sealant particles still sticking. Make sure that the roof surface will not be damaged. Once everything is rid of the old sealant, it is time to prepare for the application of a new one.

Step 4: Prepare for Application of New Sealant


To clean up the surfaces, use a dishwashing solution. Soak the cleaning rag or sponge and start wiping any residue left. Rinse with water and let it dry.

When it is dry enough, apply a certain amount of acetone on a certain part to be polished. Do not apply acetone or related products when it can’t be wiped directly since it will just evaporate easily.

The goal here is to polish the roof surfaces. Once you are done, have it totally dry before applying the new sealant.


Removal of sealants from an RV seems easy enough. Although there are quite many considerations and preparations, however, the task is simple overall. You can now apply the new sealant and move on to your journey once it is done.

Make sure you stay patient in doing the removal. Small details might affect the effectiveness of the re-application of the sealants and the state of your roof’s surface as well. The success of your work determines how your RV can survive through such unexpected weather changes.

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