Sealing Up Roof Leaks

Reader Contribution by Robyn Dolan
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Today I’m pulling from my recent archives. I have since traded in the tiny trailer, but here is a post that was waiting, about sealing up my roof leaks.

Weatherstrip putty only lasts so long, as I recently discovered. We have been in Southern California for a couple of months, and the rains helped us to discover a new leak on the roof and one of the windows. So after replacing some of the rope caulking, I sealed up every crack and seam on the roof of the tiny trailer with elastomeric rubber roofing sealant. Elastomeric is wonderful stuff. Before moving out to the homestead with my older three children, we spent several months on the road with a camper on the back of the truck. I bought the camper for $400 and made several repairs to it, including an intensive roof seal with elastomeric. The rest of the camper is sitting on the homestead, slowly falling apart, but the roof is still not leaking! That is quite possibly a record, even for elastomeric.

Elastomeric comes in a paint can and goes on with a putty knife, or other spreader. First clean your surface with soap and water, remove old sealant if necessary, and scrape off any stuck on stuff. Then take your putty knife and scoop the elastomeric out of the can, glop it on seams, cracks or holes, and spread it to fill in and seal to the surface. It is very thick, about the consistency of frosting. It does take some time to cure, but will then swell and contract with the weather, and usually does not crack. I am sorely tempted to plaster the entire roof of the homestead with it, but maybe I’ll just stick with the asphalt shingles for now. elastomeric is really designed for RVs and trailers. 

I also sealed up several other leaks with elastomeric. Since the trailer is so small, the roof only required about 1/4 of the gallon can I bought, so there was plenty left. I had to remove several non-working running lights and sealed up the remaining holes with elastomeric. The front corners of the trailer were getting pretty ragged and would not hold to the wood supports very well in places. I glued them down/together with elastomeric. The plastic sink and shower pan were getting brittle and cracked so I sealed up those spots with elastomeric. I still have half a gallon left. No use for it in the new trailer, so far. Any ideas?

I hope you will come visit my website, Mrs. D’s Traveling Homestead, for more updates on our mobile homesteading, roadschooling and simple living adventures. Please also check out my book: The Working Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling.

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