Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away. Don't Come Back, EVER! - Checking For Leaks Before They Become A Problem.

Ready For The RV Season!
    Before last week's hideous heat and humidity wave we had torrential, constant rain for well over a week. I have a friend that calls that kind of rain, "frog strangling." I love that phrase, and the description was pretty close to reality as I saw a frog carried away down the street past my house. Remember, lots of humans pay good money for the same experience at water parks. He'll be fine. Your RV, maybe not as well. In any extended rain event like these, it's always a good idea to get inside your RV and check for ANY leaks. Not just the roof, but when the rain is coming in from the sides due to harsh winds, check everywhere you can think of. You'll be happy you did.

A/C Controller/Lights/Vents, Check Them All!
First, try and get inside without making too much of a mess at the door! I try and open the door and get inside as fast as I can do so safely and leave my shoes and umbrella on the lowest step next to the door. The idea is to find leaks, not detect the water you brought inside! I begin by running my hands around every opening in the ceiling. Roof vents, plumbing vent pipes, skylights and then around all the edges where it joins the wall. Then INSIDE the cabinets where you don't normally look. Next up, every opening on every wall. I start with the windows. They can loosen over time and with large temperature extremes. I wrote an article about tightening them up when I found a leak. Check your main and other doors. The seals get squashed and deformed over time so sometimes they don't seal properly. Not only could this cause a leak, but if it's large enough you'll lose heated and cooled air. My RV has a driver's side door, so that gets checked as well. That one needed some adjustment at the hinges to seal properly, but no leaks.

Carpeted Ceilings Show Water Ingress!
If you're lucky and have followed some basic roof and seal maintenance you won't find any water intrusion. If not, there are some things you can do to try and find the leak. If you see water "stripes" on any hard surfaces or there are discolored spots on your wall, ceilings and carpets....especially below the windows, you may have a problem. The sooner it is addressed the less chance it will have to cause damage that will be difficult and expensive to repair. I believe water is the number one culprit in the deterioration of RVs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are in an area that experiences winter or you store your RV for long periods of time, make sure to check on it a few times during storage, especially if there has been a lot of precipitation.

Old Solar Panels, New Vent Seal
A while back I was surprised to find the areas around two sides of my vent fans were damp. Not completely wet, just damp. Turned out the sealing compound on the roof had cracked and water was seeping in. You couldn't really tell from on top, but it was coming in. Thankfully it wasn't a HUGE job to remove and replace the vent/fans and reseal. Then there was the time a chunk of tree smashed my shower skylight. No problem finding out where the water was coming from that time! But the fix wasn't nearly as easy. It didn't help that my skylight wasn't a standard size nor shape.

You can tackle any job with patience and a good attention to detail. Don't rush, and research/prepare before you begin. You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish on your own.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


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