RiversideTrailer is reader-supported. When you buy via our links, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more

How to Remove RV Roof Sealant: 3 Most Effective Methods

how to remove rv roof sealant

I was planning to revamp my RV roof, but I discovered a lot of hard caulk from my previous application. If you’re in the same situation, the first thing to do when resealing RV roof is to remove your old camper roof sealant.

There are many ways on how to remove RV roof sealant, but the typical one is to scrape it. You can also use a power tool to make the process faster and more efficient. If you want to effortlessly remove silicone roof sealant, try using a solvent.

Learn the exact steps for each method below.

Method 1: The Traditional Scrape

remove-proflex-rv-sealant

The easiest way to remove an old self-leveling RV roof sealant is to use a scraper. The weather is crucial for this method because doing this on a very cold day may require a heat gun to soften the caulk.

What To Prepare

  • Metal crowbar with a flat edge (for fiberglass roofs) or a plastic scraper
  • Heat gun or hair dryer when the weather is cold
  • Non-chlorinated cleaner or alcohol
  • Rag

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Scrape The Old Sealant

  • Scrape the sealant off from the surface of your RV roof.
  • When the weather is cold, heat the hard caulk with a hair dryer or heat gun to soften it.
  • If you have a rubber roof, protect the membrane with a gentler tool like a plastic scraper. You can use this tool for your aluminum roof, but some elbow grease may be needed to speed up the process.

Know how to use a heating gun to remove an old caulk by watching this video.

Step 2: Clean RV Roof Of Any Residue

Some sealant might still be there after scraping the roof off. To get a clean result, we’ll use a special cleaner.

  • Wet the rag with a non-chlorinated cleaner or alcohol to remove the stubborn caulk that’s left from the scraper.
  • Wipe the rag over the remaining sealant. This should prep the surface for a new sealant.
  • If you’re using isopropyl alcohol, give it time to evaporate because it will react with Dicor roof sealant products otherwise.

Method 2: Use A Power Tool

A more efficient way to remove old caulking from travel trailer is to use an oscillating tool.

What To Prepare

  • Oscillating tool with a scraper
  • Wire wheel
  • Power drill
  • Degreaser

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Run The Oscillating Tool

The oscillating tool is a lot quicker than a scraper in removing hard sealant. If you have a rubber roof, try to look for an oscillating tool with a flexible blade and be gentle to protect its soft membrane.

  • Turn the power of the unit on and start at a slow speed.
  • Angle the tool, make sure to use the blade to remove RV roof vent sealant.
  • Increase the speed of the unit and keep it moving until the sealant is removed.

Step 2: Get Around Narrow Areas

The oscillating tool removes the old sealant really quickly, but it won’t remove those around the screws and narrow areas. The best tools for these tight areas are a wire wheel and a degreaser.

  • Insert the wire wheel into your power drill.
  • Run the wire wheel on the areas where there are still sealant residues present.
  • If you find some silicone, try to remove that with the wire wheel as well.

Method 3: Special Solvent

camper-roof-sealant

Silicone-based sealants, like Proflex, are the trickiest to remove with any tool. Fortunately, I discovered that you could easily remove Proflex RV sealant with mineral spirits or turpentine. These solvents might not be ideal for fiberglass, so check the label before use.

What To Prepare

  • Silicone remover solvent
  • Silicone removal tool or a razor blade
  • Cloth
  • Water
  • Nylon scrubber for metal roofs

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Apply Silicone Remover

rv-roof-vent-sealant

Before you apply the solvent, make sure that the area is dry.

  • Apply the silicone remover solvent. Let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve the sealant for easy removal.
  • When you come back, you might see the silicone sealant swollen. This makes it easier to remove it with a gentle scrape.
  • Use the silicone removal tool to remove the silicone sealant. The stainless steel blade will cut through the swollen caulk. If you can’t find this tool, use a razor blade to scrape this horrible messy stuff.

Step 2: Clean Away Any Residue

clean-rv-roof

At this point, you might see scraps left from the sealant. You want to clean them off to give a nice finish and to prepare the surface for the new sealant.

  • Wet the cloth with water and wipe the surface to remove any residue.
  • If there are still bits left, use a nylon scrubber or a bristle brush.
  • Rinse the roof off with a water hose. You don’t want to damage the paint on your RV.

Additional Tips in Removing RV Roof Sealant

  • Use gloves to protect your hands from abrasives and solvents.
  • Try to do this task on a warm day so that the caulk has softened a little and makes scraping a little easier.
  • Besides metal, be gentle in scraping other surface materials to prevent scratches and other damages.

Conclusion

I hope you know how to remove RV roof sealant after reading this article. It’s actually quite easy – use a scraper, a power tool, or a solvent. The key is being careful not to damage the roof and keeping it clean for the next sealant.

Let us know what you think about these methods of removing RV roof sealant. If you find this helpful, please share the information with your friends.

5/5 - (2 votes)