It is a distressing sight for the owner to see their van with aluminium and rot revealed beneath. Often just small symptoms can be clues to significant damage behind the cladding. Dark stains in corners, around windows and hatches or moisture sitting on window sills and ledges should be a catalyst for investigation. Sometimes water entry points may be obvious: cracked or missing sealant under moulds, flaking silicon on the roof or missing screws or rivets. But leaks are usually not specific and more likely result from the sealant being at the end of its life and no longer effective.

By ten years of age every caravan must be inspected for sealant deterioration. Unfortunately some material becomes vulnerable as early as 6 to 8 years. Sealants used in the last 5 years are proving generally more durable; nevertheless inspect that stored or unused van regularly.