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Old 10-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
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Cleaning the roof

Hubby got up on roof to give it a good washing before we do the was job. Don't think it had ever been cleaned before! We are the 3rd owner! Anyways he got lots of grime off but there are some little black spots all over. What type cleaner can be used on the roof to remove this. He didn't know if it was just from not being cleaned or if it was a mold. He was using hot water and car wash soap.
Thanks for any help you can give.
Bren

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Old 10-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Bren,
Good for him. I can speak from experience, IT'S HARD WORK!. The roofs on many Itascas and Winnes are fiberglass. And, like all fiberglass, it can SHINE! But, it's not done in ten minutes. It takes work, elbow grease and whatever else you want to name it. The first part is to get it clean of dirt, dust and normal bird and bee droppings etc. Then is when it gets fun.

Not many folks will do what only a handful of us have done to the tops our our coaches in this intensity and magnitude. You see, like any boat, trailer, outdoor appliance (picnic tables etc.) and more, it "oxidises". And, when that happens, you have to work some to bring it back to life. It can be done but, it's work.

The second phase is to determine just how bad of condition it's in so as to figure out what kind of action is needed to prepare it for wax. On mine, I had multiple places where the techs that installed the King dome and other fixtures up there, had left messy globs of silicone sealer. It was in spots all over that roof. What a bunch of air heads. Anyway, I had to literally scrape all of that silicone off with putty knife.

Once that was done, out came the Dewalt buffer. Not the random orbital type, the actual buffer with a wool pad on it that's used to rub out paint jobs on cars etc. I had some "cutting/polishing" compound hanging around that's been used on some of the paint jobs I've done. It worked flawlessly. It took me about two days, start to finish, end to end, on a 36' Itasca Horizon to machine polish that roof. When that was done, out came the wax. Another full day of waxing and it's done!

Now, absolutely NOTHING sticks to that roof. It can sit for weeks and all I have to do is rinse it with cool water and all the dust flows right off the roof. I go over it with a microfiber towel and it's spotless. In the pics below, you'll see the results. You can see the reflections of the tubular beams that are the frame of the cover over the coach. There's no coatings like Red Max or any other floor finish. It will NEVER have that stuff up there. If your hubby would like more info on how I did it, PM me and I'd be glad to assist.
Scott





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Old 10-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Nice job fire up, i am jealous and now have yet another chore for my 05 Meridian.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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We're in the "handful" that Scott mentions. We (and I actually get up there on the roof with DH) do regular cleaning and maintenance on the roof and we both get up there together (we're both rather light) and take our time and get every little spot cleaned off every month while we're up there.

As Scott implies, once the initial work is done, it's not that much of a chore to keep it looking nice and spotless. It's the initial job of when a roof has been neglected for awhile that is the big job. It now only takes us less than an hour each month (less than that if we both get up there) to make sure the roof is protected (303), spotless, and shiny.

To answer your question about black spot removal, we use Davis FSR. It removes just about any stain or spot on the roof without using anything abrasive.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Nice job fire up, i am jealous and now have yet another chore for my 05 Meridian.
Thank you, for the nice comments and to AmandaH, you certainly know what it takes to get the job done. At this age, I'm still not too afraid of some hard work. I just turned 60 and while it certainly is not something I'd like to do for a living or even a hobby, I'm fortunate enough to have built a "swap meet" style cover that the M/H sits under, alongside our home. So, doing this job, while intense as it was, was not overpowering.

I did wait too long into the summer season to attack this project. So, a little sweat (actually a lot) and, some accompanying music, I would work for an hour or so, take a nice break, (nap) then come out and do some more, another break (nap) and hit it again in the evening when it would cool down some. Same time same channel the next day. But, without a doubt, it's one of the best projects of maintenance I (or anyone else) can do for your coach.
Scott
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your help. Amanda we will look for the FSR. We are in small rural town so if not at Walmart will have to order or find something else.
Fire up, you work like my hubby! He's pushing 64 so works awhile then a short nap, work nap! He's also had heart transplant so is careful not to over do things.
Thanks again
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your help. Amanda we will look for the FSR. We are in small rural town so if not at Walmart will have to order or find something else.
Fire up, you work like my hubby! He's pushing 64 so works awhile then a short nap, work nap! He's also had heart transplant so is careful not to over do things.
Thanks again
You're certainly welcome. Now, one IMPORTANT point here. Absolutely NOTHING is worth another HEART issue. Of course you, and him, be guided by his doctors advice but, that roof, is not worth ANY possible recurrence of heart problems. There are or course, detail firms, individuals, companies, etc. out there that will do what you require for a fee on that roof.

Yes, it's good to remain somewhat active in our older age and, to some extent, after a heart issue but, just be aware, as I'm certain you are, of OVER DOING IT! Many of us like to do as much for ourselves as we can, even into the golden years. OK, enough preaching. Take it easy, be careful on the ladders and the top of the coach.

One more important point, once that roof is polished and completely waxed, as mine is, it is INCREDIBLY SLIPPERY UP THERE!!!!! So, keep that in mind please.
Scott
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:26 PM   #8
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upslady, yeah, I don't think you'll find FSR at Walmart. However, it is available at quite a few places online and is marketed towards boaters.

And, there are several other products that are very similar to it which I'm thinking will perform in the same manner. The reason we like the fiberglass stain removers that boaters use is that they are very effective at removing embedded stains without abrasives and without putting in a lot of elbow-grease scrubbing the stains off.

They also work well on embedded stains on gelcoat surfaces.

Take a look at these two similar stain removers:

Y-10

Sudbury


Yes, again, we agree with Scott. Be careful up on the roof ...especially when it's wet. Probably shouldn't even attempt to walk on a wet roof even though I've done it slowly and carefully right in the middle several times when it's been wet while in my bare feet. We wear boat shoes mostly but a good athletic shoe sole would probably be okay too when it's dry but we do most of the work on our hands and knees. We do not use a hose when we are up there. We "dry wash" it by taking a soapy solution in a bucket, rinse water in another bucket, and towels to dry. We apply 303 protectant while on our hands and knees too.

We are in our 60s also but doesn't stop us from doing our monthly maintenance/cleaning on the roof. Like I say, it takes us less than an hour now and since we are doing it on a religious basis, it doesn't take any amount of extra effort anymore either. In fact, we kind of look forward to it as it's a nice view from up there! *lol*
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Thank you, for the nice comments and to AmandaH, you certainly know what it takes to get the job done. At this age, I'm still not too afraid of some hard work. I just turned 60 and while it certainly is not something I'd like to do for a living or even a hobby, I'm fortunate enough to have built a "swap meet" style cover that the M/H sits under, alongside our home. So, doing this job, while intense as it was, was not overpowering.

I did wait too long into the summer season to attack this project. So, a little sweat (actually a lot) and, some accompanying music, I would work for an hour or so, take a nice break, (nap) then come out and do some more, another break (nap) and hit it again in the evening when it would cool down some. Same time same channel the next day. But, without a doubt, it's one of the best projects of maintenance I (or anyone else) can do for your coach.
Scott
Could you be more specific as to the brand of cutting/polishing compound that you used? Your roof looks great!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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I wash my Fiberglas roof real well and apply Mop 'n Glo being careful not to let it run down the sides. Wash with brush = 30-45 minutes. Let dry = 2-3 hours. Mop 'n Glo about an hour with a sponge mop. Keeps streaks off the sides, looks good and ZERO hands and knees. Anybody up there looking besides me is trespassing and I don't care what they think!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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Excellent job on that roof, the large investment we all have in these rigs, I think it was time well spent not to mention good work out! I think I'm going to mine too.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:41 PM   #12
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Could you be more specific as to the brand of cutting/polishing compound that you used? Your roof looks great!

Horizonchase,
I thank you for your nice comment. I had the gallon jug of the cutting compound around for quite some time and, was running out of it when up on that roof. I finished putting what was left into my "ketchup" squeeze bottle and threw the jug out. As usual, my mind and memory has gone south and I can't remember just exactly what the compound was.

However, a visit to your local auto body paint supplies store will give you lots of choices. They specialize in that kind of stuff, along of course with paint supplies. Another place would be an Auto Detailing supplies store. They too have multiple choices of compounds.

I used a wool pad on the buffer and, I recall, this compound I used was a cutting/polishing compound. It's a thick liquid, not a paste. Some are a bit more aggressive and I don't think this was one of them. I sure wish I could remember because I'd like to have more of it around for various oxidised surfaces. I'll keep digging into the few brain cells I have left to see if I can recall it. Sorry.

As stated, it was bit of work, but to me, even though I'm getting on in age, it's still kind of fun, to do something that really shows progress and good results.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:07 AM   #13
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Horizonchase,
I thank you for your nice comment. I had the gallon jug of the cutting compound around for quite some time and, was running out of it when up on that roof. I finished putting what was left into my "ketchup" squeeze bottle and threw the jug out. As usual, my mind and memory has gone south and I can't remember just exactly what the compound was.

However, a visit to your local auto body paint supplies store will give you lots of choices. They specialize in that kind of stuff, along of course with paint supplies. Another place would be an Auto Detailing supplies store. They too have multiple choices of compounds.

I used a wool pad on the buffer and, I recall, this compound I used was a cutting/polishing compound. It's a thick liquid, not a paste. Some are a bit more aggressive and I don't think this was one of them. I sure wish I could remember because I'd like to have more of it around for various oxidised surfaces. I'll keep digging into the few brain cells I have left to see if I can recall it. Sorry.

As stated, it was bit of work, but to me, even though I'm getting on in age, it's still kind of fun, to do something that really shows progress and good results.
Thanks Fire Up. I'll check around and see if I can find a similar, non aggressive polishing compound. Your hard work sure paid dividends.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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Well we looked and not finding? We were told that a spray used for cleaning vinyl siding would work to remove dirt and mold. Has anyone used such a product on roof?
Bren
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:30 AM   #15
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I use Meguiars RV Flagship on the sides/caps and last time used regular Meguiars in the burgandy bottle about $6 on my roof because of cost. I apply with orbital buffer and wipe off with towel. I just washed my roof with Awesome as it had a lot of road dust from 30 days on road, there where a few spots but came off okay. I'll prob apply a coat on the roof while camping next week. I tried Mop & Glo once but didn't like the results, I may have put on too thick but it had streaks and bubbles. Just didn't look as good as wax. Once its maintained it takes about 90 minutes each waxing if that long. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #16
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What wax do you use on roof once you have it cleaned? I seen the mop & glow are there others?
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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What wax do you use on roof once you have it cleaned? I seen the mop & glow are there others?
Bren
Mob and glow is a floor coating, not a wax for automotive use. Wax for automotive use are products like Meguiars, Kit, Turtle, Blue Corral, and quite a few others. Most are easy to apply but some, are a P.I.T.A. to remove. I use a few different kinds, just for options. Kit is my main paste wax, it lasts just as long as any. And by the way, waxes, especially when on vehicles that sit constantly in the sun, don't last anyway. On the average, it will have to be done, around every 2-4 months, depending on how harsh your environment is.

I also use a liquid called "Flash" that's sold at all Auto Detailing supplies shops. They have multiple types and styles, depending on the demand of the owner of the car, detailer etc. That liquid is not near as durable as even a cheaper wax like Kit but, it is incredibly easy to apply and remove. It's great for the "in between" major wax jobs, for a touch-up.

But, in the pics you see of my roof, I used Kit. It was done in or around June or July and it still looks like that today. But, as you can tell, it's parked under a cover which, is a tremendous help in preserving the wax job. Any time you can get your vehicle, car/truck/motor home/space ship/what ever, out of the sun, it will last a lot longer. The sun kills all.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:57 PM   #18
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Strange that this topic came up - I just finished my roof a few days ago. After a few years of neglect, it was covered in black spots. I tried a buffer with rubbing compound, but found the best method was to cut a green scubbing pad (from Home Depot) to fit the buffer, attach with velcro, and use commercial grade "soft scrub". This method cut through the crud with almost no effort and left the roof a brilliant white. I followed up with a coat of Mop N Glow; it seems to last as long as anything else on the roof and is easy to apply.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #19
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. Mop 'n Glo is a floor wax not automotive. I walk on my roof, therefore it is a floor in my mind and my roof is white Fiberglas. When I put it on I wet the sponge mop and wring it out really well. I then squirt the wax onto the mop head to make sure I don't get too much on and cause it to run down the sides because it is a bear to get off the sides.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:50 AM   #20
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The reason we use 303 is that it has very good UV protectors and as long as we are up on the roof putting 303 on other things up there, we put it on the roof surface too. We buy it by the four gallon box --four separate gallon containers in one box-- from a wholesale spa supply place. Yeah, it's going to be quite a bit more expensive than Mop 'N Glo but we use it on so much stuff we figure we may as well just buy one product and use it on everything as our main purpose is UV protection as we spend a lot of time in the desert southwest.

Does 303 replace Wax on Fiberglass?

Best RV Wax

We took our cue from some folks we knew that did their fiberglass roof and other stuff with 303 and when they sold their coach when it was about 6 or 7-years old, the party they sold it to commented that the roof looked brand new and thought they had stored it under cover when in fact, it was out in the desert sun for all seven years they had it.

303 uses --Recreation Vehicle - RVs

And Bren, sure, try whatever you can get. We tried a lot of things for getting stains off before we ran into the fiberglass stain remover products we mentioned which boaters use. Actually, using Goof Off sparingly works pretty well but they recommend not using it heavily on fiberglass. Again, the reason we use those products that I previously mentioned is that they are really good at removing difficult stains and you don't have to use a lot of elbow grease.
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