RV floor repair is not easy work. It is something you have to spend a lot of effort and to do the right way for the final results to be professional-standard. People usually repair RV floors when they buy used or old RVs with damaged floors. Or when the floor of their new or newish RV gets damaged. Water damage is probably the most common type of RV floor damage.
When people buy used RVs with damaged floors or new RVs and something happens that damages their floors, they often repair the floors on their own. This is because it is usually quite expensive to repair an RV floor professionally.
In this article, I am going to share with you a step-by-step guide on how to repair a water-damaged or rotted RV floor using epoxy. This guide is going to reduce your RV floor repair cost because it is going to eliminate the need for you to visit a repair shop. And by the time you are done following the steps, your camper will be fixed and you will be ready to hit the road for a new adventure.
Without further ado, here is the guide on how to use epoxy to repair an RV floor.
How to Use Epoxy to Repair an RV Floor
Investigate The Damage
Investigating the damage will help you to do three things. First, it will help you to find out how much work you need to do. If the damage is limited, then you do not need to worry a lot and the work will not be too much.
However, if the damage is widespread, you need to ready yourself mentally for plenty of work. Second, it will help you to determine what materials you need to buy and in what quantity. Lastly, it will help you to decide if repairing your damaged floor is the best thing to do. (The alternative to repairing your water-damaged floor is to replace it.
Cut Out the Badly Damaged Areas
Once you have investigated and established how much work you need to do / the extent of the damage, you should get the tools to Cut out the damaged areas. If, for example, your camper’s flooring is made of wood and vinyl covering. You should get rid of the covering and then cut out the part of the floor that is water-damaged/ rotting. When removing water damaged areas, make sure you do a thorough work and remove all damaged flooring both inside and under your RV.
Try to make you make rectangular or square cutouts on the floor as they will be easier to replace.
Let The Wood Frame Dry Out
After removing the badly damaged parts of your RV flooring, you are supposed to let the exposed wood frame of the RV to dry out. If you do not do this, the rot could spread in the wood frame and “infect” the new flooring and you will be forced to repair the new flooring sooner rather than later.
Five days are enough to dry out your wood framing.
Kill the Mold
Water damage almost always causes mold. So if your RV suffers water damage, the damage and the rotting it will cause will most likely cause mold. You need to kill the mold once you rip out/ remove the damaged areas of your flooring and everything is exposed. There are many products that can be used to kill mold e.g. Borax and Antifreeze. The best one is Antifreeze because it is effective and cheaper than Borax.
And the best way to apply it is to use a sprayer. And when you get a sprayer, make sure you spray all the exposed parts of the flooring and the wood frame. Letting your wood frame and the floor to dry out will kill most of the mold, the spraying of Antifreeze or Borax solution is just meant to eliminate lingering mold.
After applying a good anti-freeze product, you are supposed to give your RV about five days to dry out.
Please note that anti-mold products such as Borax and Antifreeze are poisonous and can cause death if consumed. Therefore, you should exercise maximum caution if you get one.
Use Epoxy to Repair Your RV Flooring
Once everything is nice and dry, you are supposed to use epoxy to seal the subfloor wood and make it waterproof. Professionals frequently use epoxy resin combined with a hardener to seal the subfloor surfaces and strengthen the remaining but exposed parts of the floor. This is what you are also supposed to do. Epoxy makes wooden flooring waterproof, stronger and prevents mold from forming a colony where it is applied.
Professionals also frequently use thinners such as acetone, denatured alcohol, or xylene to thin epoxy resin and spread it over a bigger area. Please note that epoxy fumes are dangerous. Therefore, when mixing it with a hardener or a thinner, you should have this in mind. The best way to avoid the harmful effects of epoxy is to mix it and then to apply it in a well-ventilated area and while wearing a respirator. You should also protect your hands from their chemicals by wearing disposable gloves.
There are epoxy products on the market specifically formulated for the repair of rotting/ water-damaged wood flooring. However, to repair your rotting flooring, you actually do not need them. This is because such products are expensive and are actually meant for boats because such as constantly exposed to water. Nevertheless, if you have money to spare, you should get an epoxy resin product specifically formulated to repair wood flooring. This is because it will be easy to apply the product.
If you are on a budget, you should get standard epoxy resin plus a hardener and a thinner. To mix these three, you should first combine the standard epoxy resin with the hardener. Once you have done this you should stir the mixture with a thinner such as xylene. The thinner will make your epoxy solution easier to apply with a spray and it can make a small epoxy resin to go a long way.
Once you have your thinned epoxy plus hardener mixture, you should spray it on all subfloor wooden surfaces.
Replace the Rotten Wood You Removed
Once you have sprayed epoxy generously on all subfloor wooden surfaces around the damaged areas of the floor you removed, you should replace the damaged parts of the floor you removed. If you made rectangular or square holes when removing the rotten parts of your floor, you will find this step easier.
You just need to measure the size of the cutout holes you made and to make wood in the same shape. Use notching methods to make sure your new subfloor is supported and stable. Once you’ve done this you are supposed to spray epoxy generously on the new wood you have just added to seal the holes you cut out.
And then when the epoxy cures, you can add insulation to the floor and then cover it with a new plywood sheet. You are then supposed to add more epoxy before letting it dry again.
Stick Self Adhesive Vinyl Tiles
After the epoxy you add on the wood dries up, you should stick self-adhesive vinyl tiles/ pieces to complete the job.
If you follow e instructions above, you will probably spend less than $300 to repair your rotted, rotting, or water-damaged RV floor. This is not too much considering the cost of replacing an RV floor could be as high as $2,500.
It is usually not very easy to tell if your camper’s floor is rotting or water-damaged if you bought a used camper or if the water damage happened while you were away. The easiest way to tell if your RV’s floor is rotting is to step on it. If some parts of it feel soft or spongy, then you should investigate the subflooring further. Because a spongy floor is the biggest indicator of rot in an RV’s subflooring.
I hope the guide I have shared with you in this article is extremely useful to you. I also hope that the guide and the additional information will help you to repair your RV floor the same way a professional would do and, therefore, give you the same results a professional would get.