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.
Signs of a Roof Leak
Ideally, there will be some kind of visual clue that signifies a leak is happening.
- 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 of 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.
Finding a Leak in 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)
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 the 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.
The boot that surrounds your plumbing ventilation pipes can become cracked or damaged.
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.
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.
Vent Cracks and Leaks
Old, cracked vents may need to be replaced.
Finding a Leak on a Flat Mobile Home Roof
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Small Hole Repair
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.
- 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.
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.