Are you distressed by the sight of water leaking in your caravan? Not only is it a major inconvenience, but it can also cause damage to the caravan.
Here is a brief guide on all you need to know about leaky caravans, where water can get in, and how to avoid this problem.
How do I know there is a water leak in my caravan?
It is a common occurrence for water to get inside the caravan from various openings like the hatches, windows, roof, skylights, or even other fittings. Still, sometimes it may appear from unexpected places, and that is when you know there is a problem.
Before the effects of water leakage become apparent in the caravan, you may notice various signs indicating water leaking somewhere in the van.
Depending on the source of the leakage, there may be different signs in different parts of the vehicle. For instance, you may notice water spots on the ground or water dripping under the caravan wall.
Similarly, if you hear running water when all the caravan accessories, including the toilet, are closed and not in use, that also indicates water leakage.
Moreover, water coming on the ground from an unknown source, water heaters that do not turn off no matter what you do, and hot water coming from the cold water tap instead are all indications of a bigger problem.
If it goes untreated, soon you may see stains on the walls or roof, or the walls and roof may become soft, and you may notice an unpleasant stench in the caravan.
The framing and cladding of the caravan may also rot over time. Moreover, the water damage can eventually lead to the growth of fungus and mould in the caravan, damaging the caravan and can also harm health.
How to locate a water leak in the caravan?
Once you suspect a potential water leak in the caravan, you can begin by locating the source of the leak on your own, particularly if you feel that the water is coming from the roof or walls.
Begin by looking for clues around the caravan to find the source. Look for any cracks, damaged spots, worn out, or thinning out of parts.
The most obvious places would be the skylight or the roof, the doors, vents or windows, the water tank (both city and portable), AC, and the water heater.
If you do not have a hygrometer, you will need to thoroughly check the caravan’s interior and exterior for water infiltration.
You can also do a simple test using a torch. Have one person stand inside the caravan while the other can go under and over the caravan with a torch pointing towards the caravan. If you see the light from inside, it indicates an opening for the water to get in.
If you live in a coastal area, prolonged exposure to the air or sea breeze moisture can weaken the seals and the caravan body in general.
Leaks commonly originate from corroded seals around the roofs, windows, or hatches or if there is any damage or fault in the plumbing of your bathroom, toilet, or kitchen. Similarly, poorly fitted appliances or accessories like hatches, awnings, or ACs can also cause leaks.
Hence, you can detect entry points in the caravan via a torch test. However, if the water leak is not visible to the naked eye and you cannot figure out the source on your own, you may need to hire a plumber. Plumbers usually detect leaks via thermographic cameras.
The cameras indicate a temperature change on the screen as the particular area appears coloured with varying intensities. It hence allows you to see water leaks that are otherwise not visible. Once you locate the source, you can have the problem resolved.
How can I avoid leaks in my caravan?
Once you find a water leak in the caravan, the next logical step is to have the leak fixed according to its nature and source.
However, it is best to keep the problem from occurring and act proactively. Regular inspection and maintenance are the best bet in avoiding leaks in your caravan. One of the most common reasons for water leakage is weakened sealing.
Caravan manufacturers apply sealants and caulking to the joints of the different components to ensure that the caravan is waterproof.
But with time, exposure to the sun, moisture, or vibrations from travelling and other climatic conditions can cause the seals to weaken, shrink or crack.
Hence with time, various empty spaces may form and create a passage for water.
So you need to inspect the sealing materials to locate and resolve any issue before it becomes a problem. Also, inspect the gaskets on the windows, extensions, and doors to see if they need fixing.
You may also want to check your roof occasionally, clean the debris to prevent the roof from premature ageing, and inspect the seams to see if the sealant needs to be reapplied. Also, check under the caravan to see if there are water rings.
With regular inspection and maintenance, you can avoid the pesky water leakage problem at bay and prevent your caravan from getting damaged.
Why do caravans leak water?
Caravans leak water commonly due to corroded seals around the roof, windows, or hatches. However, faulty or damaged plumbing in the kitchen, shower, or toilet and poor fittings can also be the cause.
How often should a caravan be resealed?
Ideally, you should reseal your caravan every six years.
However, depending on the weather conditions and caravan exposure, you may need to have it resealed sooner. It is best to inspect the caravan to identify any weak points regularly.