Date Published: 2024/01/10

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Protect Your RV From Ice Damage This Winter

A stunning blue and white RV is seen parked outside covered in snow. There are trees and lots of snow on the ground.

As an RV owner, protecting your vehicle from ice damage is a winter priority. During harsh storms, it's all too easy for snow and water to build up on your RV's roof. The mixture freezes, thaws, runs, then freezes again.

Over time, ice can cause major damage to your roof and even cause leaks into the RV, resulting in internal water damage. Fortunately, these preemptive steps will help you avoid damage from ice on your RV roof this winter.

Ice Damming and RV Roof Damage

Let's start with the basics: What is ice damming, and how does it cause damage? When stormy weather brings rain, sleet and snow, moisture lands and accumulates in the form of ice on your RV roof. All of this build-up puts weight on the roof.

When temperatures rise, the ice melts, causing water to pool. It all then freezes again when temperatures drop.

This repeated cycle creates what's known as an ice dam. Over time, the water finds ways to escape, leading to roof damage and leaks. And once the water gets inside your RV, the damage can multiply quickly.

How can you tell if you have ice damming? Find a safe way to look at the roof; if you see water pooling on top, a buildup of ice on your RV roof, or icicles coming down from the sides, this could be an indication of an ice dam.

How to Prevent Ice Damming on an RV Roof

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent ice dams. Here's how to keep ice on your RV roof from causing damage.

  • Regular roof inspections: Check your RV roof for cracks, holes and leaks regularly throughout the year. Pay special attention to openings such as vents or skylights. Keep debris, such as leaves, out of eave troughs so water can run off, rather than pool up.
  • Make roof repairs before winter: Before cold weather and harsh storms hit, have a local dealer make any necessary repairs to keep water and ice out.
  • Keep your RV under cover: The best way to protect your RV from ice damage is to keep it indoors. Whether in a garage, a shelter or a car port, protecting the roof from the elements is key.
  • Retract slides: Before it snows, pull in your slides.

The important thing to remember is safety. Use the services of an experienced RV maintenance professional if you have not had experience yourself.

Snow and ice are inevitable, but ice dams don't have to be. Try these tips to manage ice on your RV roof and avoid damage this winter.

Protect your RV with the right insurance, too. Contact Orbit Insurance Services to request a quote today.