How to Repair RV Water Damage

How to Repair RV Water Damage
RVs suffer a lot of exposure to elements and it seems almost inevitable that some caulking fails, a small hole gets poked in the roof, a pipe starts leaking or a seam opens and water gets into the RV's interior. Such leaks will cause water damage, such as mold or rot. That damage will continue to be a problem even after the offending leak has been repaired and must be taken care of in its own right.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)
  • Screws
  • Replacement materials (wallpaper, carpet, plywood)
Step 1
Inspect your RV for leaks. Some are not obvious and you might have missed something during your last repair. Look around the roof for discoloration or soft spots. Check under the sink and in other locations where there are water tubes and pipes. Look at the walls around the windows and doors. Be meticulous about your inspection.
Step 2
Examine the materials that are covering the ceiling and floor, such as panels or carpeting. Water damage might have rendered a ceiling panel unusable or caused the carpeting to mold.
Step 3
Check the plywood construction of the RV for signs of rot. If a ceiling panel or bit of rug is bad, it is a good bet what is underneath it is, too. The floor, ceiling and some of the walls are made of plywood, and your actions in Step 2 should have exposed it.
Step 4
Repair damaged plywood with sanding and refinishing. Some lightly rotted or damaged plywood sections can be saved. Scrape away the rotted bits with a buck knife and sand down the newly cleaned area with a sanding block and medium-grit sandpaper. Apply wood hardener to the affected area with a brush and then leave that to dry overnight. Return the next day and fill in the scraped out depression or hole in the plywood with wood putty. Allow that to dry overnight and sand it with medium-grit sandpaper.
Step 5
Replace plywood sections too damaged to save. In the ceiling, for example, there will usually be a plywood planks nailed or screwed into the roof frame behind the ceiling panels. Remove ceiling panels until you have access to the entire rotten plywood plank, and then unscrew it or pry it out with a crowbar. Measure and cut a new plank with a saw and measuring tape. Install it with a hammer and nails or screwdriver and screws.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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