8 Great Mobile Home Roofing Tips – Find and Repair Leaks

Did you know that roofs are one of the most ignored features on your mobile home?  Typically, homeowners rarely notice their mobile home roofing until there is a problem.  By the time an issue is visible a lot of damage has likely occurred. That’s why the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommend that all homeowners inspect their roofs at least two times a year, in the spring and in the fall.
The faster you find a leak the less damage it can cause. 

Signs of a Roof Leak

Ideally, there will be some kind of visual clue that signifies a leak is happening.

Whether you have a pitched or flat roof you’ll want to look for the following signs both inside and outside of your home:
  • Sagging or Bowing (of ceiling, walls, gutters, siding, etc)
  • Dark spots on Ceiling or Walls 
  • Peeling Wallpaper or Paint
  • Light Showing through Cracks

If any of these things happen in your home you are likely dealing with a leak.

How to Find Leaks on Mobile Home Roofing

If you do have signs of a leak, or already have buckets catching water, you will need to find the cause of the leak and get it fixed.

Finding the leak is usually the most difficult part on any type of roof. 

Since shingled roofs are most common on modern manufactured homes and flat roofs are most common on older mobile homes, we’ll divide the two types of roofs for both finding and repairing leaks.

Related: Investigate That Drip! A Homeowner’s Guide to Finding Roof Leaks

Finding a Leak on a Shingled Roof 

Leaks follow the path of least resistance which can make it difficult to locate the problem. While a leak may reveal itself in one place the actual cause of the leak could be 4 foot above it.

Once water passes the roofing, it flows along the sheathing, roof rafters, or topside of ceilings until it finds a place to drip down—inevitably onto your favorite piece of furniture. (Source)

Finding a leak on mobile home roofing

Source

Here are a few things to look for when trying to locate a leak on your shingled mobile home roof:

Loose, Damaged, or Missing Shingles

Replace immediately and check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place

  • Tip: Check gutters for pieces of shingle, a sign that shingles are damaged.

To test an asphalt shingle roof’s condition, bend over a corner of one or two shingles on the sunniest side of the roof; if they break rather than flex, or if they appear gray and bloated, the material is nearing the end of its serviceable life. (Source)

Holes in Shingles

A nail or other sharp object will create a hole that water can drain into.

find leaks - Small holes in mobile home roofing

 

Rubber Boots

The boot that surrounds your plumbing ventilation pipes can become cracked or damaged.

Fing leaks in mobile home roofing - vent boot problem on roof

 

Flashing

The metal strips around the chimney, vents, and skylights and along the marriage line shouldn’t be torn or buckled.

Eaves and Roof Overhang

Leaks often occur on the edges of a mobile home, where the roof meets the exterior wall.

Ice Dams

Winter weather brings a whole new set of issues to a homeowner. Ice can create a barrier that doesn’t allow snow and ice to slide off the roof. Learn more about ice dams here. 

Ice Dam issues on mobile home roofing

Vent Cracks and Leaks 

Old, cracked vents may need to be replaced.

vent issues on mobile home roofing

Most leaks occur due to damaged flashing, damaged or missing shingles, or the ridge cap (where the top meet) so pay special attention to these areas.

Finding a Leak on a Flat Mobile Home Roof

 If you have a membrane roof (often described as rubber), look for tears, cracks, blisters and seam separation. Issues around chimneys and plumbing stacks are common. Learn more about a flat roof on a mobile home here. 

Blisters

Bubbles on a rubber roofs (EPDM) need to be cut in an X and patched. Learn more here.

 flat mobuile home roofing - epdm-roof-bubbles
This video from coolflatroof.com shows the issues that flat mobile home roofing can have:

How to Fix Leaks on Mobile Home Roofs

Once the leak has been found you will need to get it repaired quickly.

If you are dealing with a sudden roof leak you will need to add some kind of barrier until you can get it repair properly.

How to Deal with a Leak Emergency

Here are the 3 steps HomeTips.com suggest you do for a roof leak emergency:

  1. Partially unroll or unfold enough heavy (6-mil) polyethylene sheeting to cover the leaking section of roof, from eaves to peak; add about 4 feet extra, and cut it with a utility knife. Wrap one end around a 2 by 4 that is as long as the plastic’s width; staple the plastic along the 2 by 4. Sandwich the assembly with a second 2 by 4, and nail the boards together with three or four 3-inch or 3 1/4-inch common nails.
  2. Place the sandwiched end of the plastic along the eaves.Stretch the sheeting from eaves to ridge, running it over the top of the ridge and down the other side a few feet.
  3. Sandwich the top end of the sheeting with another pair of 2 by 4s so the wind will not carry it away. Do not nail any part of this assembly to the roof.

 

In some cases, you will be able to repair simple mobile home roofing leaks caused by issues such as missing shingle, caulking breakdown, and flashing damage. The rest is probably best left for a roofing professional.

Replace a Shingle

replace a shingle on a mobile home roof

Source

 

 

Vent Repair

replace a boot on a roof

 

Boot Repair

repairing vent leaks on mobile homes

 

Small Hole Repair

repairing small holes on a mobile home roof

 

 

Hiring a Roofing Professional 

For complex leaks on mobile home roofing you will want to call the professionals. Remember, water is the most destructive force on earth – it’s not to be taken lightly.

If your inspection raises concerns about the condition of your roof or you feel you need an expert opinion, contact a qualified roofer in your area.  Most offer free inspections and no obligation estimates for repairs or for a new roof.
If you do decide to contact a roofer, there are several steps you should take to ensure that you protect yourself from fraud and from unscrupulous contractors.
  • First, make sure you contact contractors that are licensed by the state or county in which you reside. You can go online to check their status and always ask to see their license.
  • Second, always get several bids for the work because that will help you determine if the cost is fair.
  • Third, ask your neighbors and friends for referrals.  There is nothing better than a recommendation from someone you know and trust!
  • Fourth, ask for a sample of the material that your contractor will be using and make sure that when the truck shows up that the material on the truck is the same as the sample.
  • Lastly, make sure you get the warranty information in writing so you protect yourself in the event you need warranty work in the future.
If you follow these simple steps, your experience involving a roofing contractor will be a pleasant and professional one.

Summary 

Leaks cause a lot of damage. If a mobile home roofing leak isn’t quickly repaired it will likely damage your entire home, from roof to floor. That’s why inspections are so important – you need to catch leaks as quickly as possible.

Thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!
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7 Comments
  1. preventivesupport says

    That’s a really good tips. Agree, you sometimes need to hire professional to do the job

  2. John Ferrell says

    I like that you mentioned that nails or other sharp objects will create holes. If I had holes in my roof that were causing problems then I would want to know that I could contact a professional that could fix it. It might be a good idea to fix it as soon as you can.

  3. pr themes says

    very nice post .now its easy to coat your roof .thanks for sharing this

  4. Rooftop Construction says

    Very useful post. Roofs tend to be the most neglected feature of a home. Most people don't take any action until they already have a roofing problem. Don't avoid inspections, you'll thank yourself in the end! Thanks for sharing this!
    My recent post How The Construction Slump Is Impacting Asheville General Contractors

  5. Roof Coatings says

    well quite right roofs are the most neglected part of our houses we most of the people trying to maintain their interiors but they ignore roofs.
    My recent post Right products for fixing RV roof leaks

  6. Liquid Rubber says

    That is a nice piece of information. Its easy to coat your roof with liquid rubber either its RV or house.
    My recent post Liquid Rubber Coatings

    1. Ron says

      Yep, I use that liquid polymeric roof coating that goes on like paint and drys like a contiguous sheet of rubber. That stuff will stop anything. I used to use Snow Roof but it seems difficult to find so I get the stuff with the red lid at Lowes. One 4 1/2 gallon bucket will cover my 14×60 roof one time. I like to put on 2 coats to be sure. It can be tinted as well with regular paint tint if you don’t like the bright white. I prefer the bright white since its reflective properties also help my AC thermostat.

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