Eternabond tape. Does it stop RV roof leaks?

RV owners wage a constant battle on roof leaks. Finding a solution is the holy grail of every serious RVer and RV forums are full of suggestions and other RV owner’s favorite remedy. Caulking dries out in the sun and the smallest crack can lead to extensive roof damage in a short time. On a trip or about to leave for a trip is not the time to strip and reapplying old caulking. Eternabond tape is one of the most common, quick, go to products to stop a leak.

Eternabond tape is not the best solution

Eternabond tape, or similar roof patch products found in the local RV store, are extremely sticky. Rolls of the tape are about 4 inches wide and come on rolls of several feet. Sales people in RV parts departments across the country recommend these tapes for leaks everyday. Sales people rarely have practical experience with the products they sell and don’t always know the end result. FlexArmor locations see the end result of using these tapes on leak areas.

The damage can be extensive

Trapped water is found underneath these tapes when a roof is prepared for spraying FlexArmor. The only instances there is no water is when the tape was applied at the factory before the RV had ever been exposed to the outside. Even when there hasn’t been a leak, the tape makes an air pocket that contains moisture and with temperature changes, condensation occurs. Sealant tapes as a leak preventative measure actually cause water damage.

Water can’t get in…or out

The patch tapes do prevent water from getting into your roof. Water that is already in your roof and not cannot evaporate is the newest threat the tapes cause to your roof. Applying the tapes over an known leak traps the water and keeps the underlying wood wet.  Trapping the moisture causes more damage to the roof than a crack in the caulking. Water coming in a crack has the ability to evaporate. Wood slowly rots in this situation. Trapping the water with sealant tapes rapidly increases the rate at which the wood deteriorates. An owner thinks they have solved their problem but receive a shock several months later when they discover extensive wood rot.

When is Eternabond tape a solution?

These tapes are good for emergency repairs in the field. Tree limb tore your roof? Your skylight broke? Placing a sealant tape over the tears will save your trip and will remove the need to worry about water getting in. Permanent roof repairs should take place as soon as your trip is over.


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