Owners have two choices when a mobile home roof begins to fail; a complete mobile home roof replacement or a mobile home roof over.
What is a Mobile Home Roof Over?
A mobile home roof over involves placing a new roof or roofing material over your existing roof. There’s little to no material removed which can keep costs down. Less labor is needed and there are much smaller refuse fees.
A mobile home roof over creates a unique opportunity to completely change the look of the home. Color, material and even the shape of the roof can be changed when a new roof is installed on an older mobile home. Flat roofs can become pitched and pitched roofs can go higher.
The image below shows a pitched roof being built over a single wide mobile home that originally had a flat roof.
Flat to Pitched Mobile Home Roof Over
Mobile homes with flat roofs aren’t as popular as they once were. Maintenance is a burden because of the re-coatings required. Flat roofs with no overhang or gutter system create more opportunity for water to damage the exterior walls of the home, too.
Turning a flat roof into a pitched or peaked roof and adding an overhang is a popular mobile home improvement project. It helps with water runoff and adds value and lifespan to the home.
This single wide went from a flat roof to a pitched roof:
Mobile Home Roof Over Materials
There are a variety of options available that can give your roof the protection and look you desire without the need to remove your existing roof. Mobile home roof overs for flat roofs typically involve metal or rubber or PTO.
Mobile Home Roof Over with Single-Ply TPO
White, single ply TPO membranes are a very popular choice for mobile homes with flat or low slope roofs. TPO membranes are a polyester reinforced, reflective covering made of a blend of rubber and plastic that can protect your roof from rain and the wind. It can also lower your energy bills by about 30% in a hot climate by reflecting light and heat away from the home.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply reflective roofing membrane made from polyprophylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized together. It is typically installed in a fully adhered or mechanically attached system, allowing the white membrane to remain exposed throughout the life of the roof.
Here’s a double wide before the TPO is installed over the shingles:
Here’s the same double wide after the TPO membrane mobile home roof over:
TPO membranes come in several different thicknesses ranging from 45 to 90 millimeters. It is a fast and relatively easy installation and often the least expensive option for a mobile home roof over.
Shingled Mobile Home Roof Overs
A real shingle roof for mobile homes is absolutely possible for most models. They can have a higher pitch or gables too. Shingle roof overs are also installed right over your existing roof, as long as you have not already had a roof over previously.
The subject of whether it’s a good idea to add a second layer of shingles is much debated in the roofing industry. Be sure to get an expert’s opinion on your home before you make a decision. There seems to be a split in opinion on layering the new shingles over the old. Some roofing experts say you can do on manufactured homes that have 2×4 studs 12-16″ OC and roof trusses that are 16″ OC or less. Others roofing experts have told me they won’t do it on any manufactured home.
If you’re set on a shingle roof you come in a few different options and styles for roof overs, as well as several different colors and textures.
The main benefit of a shingle roof is the appearance. Shingles can dramatically improve the curb appeal of your property. Installing shingles is typically more costly than a TPO or metal roof but can improve the value a little more so you may recoup the costs.
Mobile Home Roof Over with Insulated Metal
Installing a new metal roof is the most popular choice for homeowners across the nation. There are many advantages to a metal roof but the 40-60 year lifespan is probably the favorite. Metal is a lighter material than shingles, too.
A professional roofer shared his top three reasons on Angie’s List on why he liked using metal over shingles:
1) It saves having to fill up landfills with old shingles.
2) It ultimately increases the thermal resistance (R Value) of the roof assembly, actually increasing energy efficiency compared to tearing off the old shingles. What happens is that some of the heat which does pass through the metal shingles now gets stopped by the R Value of the old shingles, rather than flowing direct into the attic. Otherwise, that heat will flow direct to the roof deck and into the attic.
3) It allows the property owner to spend discretionary dollars on a better roof rather than on removing the old roof and disposing of it.
Most metal mobile home roof overs can be installed within one to two days and will improve the look and function of your roof. Adding new insulation and a roof over to your home can increase the energy efficiency of your roof, as well as help to deaden sound while making your mobile home’s climate control easier to maintain year-round.
Many mobile home owners are beginning to move toward aluminum roofs for their homes. Aluminum, standing seam roofs are extremely durable and can be installed on a number of different roof slopes and types.
The main benefit of installing a metal roof on your mobile home is the insulation that goes beneath it. A thick layer of foam insulation helps deaden sounds on your roof, greatly reducing the noise that’s common to a mobile home. At the same time, the insulation also helps improve your energy bills, lowering heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer.
Metal roof overs can be installed over most mobile home roofs . Keep in mind, however, that the insulating layer of a metal roof does increase the thickness of the roof by several inches, which in turn, will increase the height of your mobile home.
Always check your local code requirements and association guidelines if your home is in a park or other area where things like height or uniformity of the properties may be in question.
Metal roofs may also be more costly than other options, however, they do tend to last the longest and require the least amount of maintenance in the long run.
More Mobile Home Roof Over Resources
I wrote an article for About.com that went over the three main types of flat mobile home roofs here.
Here’s an informative article titled ‘Facts About Metal Roofing.’
Here’s another Mobile and Manufactured Home Living article about roofing that may help: 8 Great Mobile Home Roofing Tips – Find and Repair Leaks
This video may help, too:
If the roof on your mobile home is beginning to show its age, consider correcting the problem with a roof over. Less invasive and expensive than a complete re-roofing, mobile home roof overs can dramatically increase the curb appeal, function, and comfort of your home.
Thanks so much for reading Mobile Home Living!