This week’s Ask a Mobile Home Expert installment tackles questions about mobile home roofs. We’ll cover some common issues for both flat roofs and pitched roofs such as roof rumble and building an addition. Whether you need to repair a small section of your roof or replace the entire thing, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Ask a Mobile Home Expert Questions about Mobile Home Roofs and New Roofs

Are there any structural issues with putting roof trusses and a new roof on a mobile home? Did you have to provide structural calculations or anything? I heard that they are not designed to hold much weight.

Mobile homes are designed completely differently than a site-built home. Their structural integrity is derived from the roof down (instead of the floor up like a site-built home).  Because of this, it will be necessary to have a roofing professional come in and use their knowledge and experience to design the best roofing replacement design for your home.

In many cases, roofers install new posts right against the home every few feet to bear the load for the new roof. It allows for a new roof without adding additional stress to the home.

 

questions about mobile home roofs - mobile-home-roof-over- foam-celotex-insulation-attached-to-a-mobile-home

Related: Three Popular Mobile Home Roof Over Materials 

Questions about Mobile Home Roofs and Roof Rumble

I would like a solution for wind making my mobile home noisy.  Sounds like it will blow away. Can you help me?

You are experiencing what is called ‘roof rumble.’ Unfortunately, it happens quite a bit with flat metal roofs. The wind is getting under your roof and the tunneling is creating the whistling sound you hear. It can be annoying!

There have been many solutions and recommendations for quieting roof rumble on a mobile home. If you’ve ever seen tires sitting on top of a mobile home you’ve seen one remedy. The tires supposedly dampen the sound and keep the wind from getting under the metal. This is your old school problem-solving but hey, if it works, it works.

There are screws you can use but they create holes in your roof. I don’t recommend adding holes in a roof even if you will be sealing and coating over them.

Coating the roof with elastomeric roof coating, a white acrylic liquid, is probably the best solution. Pay particular attention to the edge of the roof. It is recommended that you coat your mobile home’s flat roof every other year.

questions about mobile home roofs - elastometric mobile coat

Learn How to Choose the Best Elastomeric Roof Coating here. 

Questions about Mobile Home Roofs: Moisture and Leaks 

I bought my home in 2009. In 2013 we noticed when it rains we get moisture at the bottom of our living room, dining room, and master bath walls. We called the insurance company and they sent an adjuster to evaluate our home. He said that we had flashing issues along the front of the home. He said it’s a manufacturer issue to call the insurance company. Unfortunately, they said this type of damage is not covered. Does anyone know how I can have this issue fixed? When it rains a heavy down pour we have moisture. Although not every time, we have had the problem a few times.
Please help!

An experienced roofer can probably find the issue in no time. It’s probably going to be a roofing, guttering, or flashing issue that is allowing the water to travel the path of least resistance down to the floor.

It may be a window issue (assuming there is one in that location). New sealant around the window frame could be a quick fix. Learn how to repair common window problems at DIY.com. 

If you don’t have gutters on the home you may want to consider installing them after you have this issue repaired as it helps carry water away from the side of the house.

Some of the lower-end manufactured home models do not have exterior sheathing or house wrap. This means the vinyl siding is attached directly to the studs and only insulation is between the interior wall and the vinyl. Water has an easier path into the home’s interior in these cases. Exterior sheathing is a good investment if one can afford it.

Related: 8 Great Mobile Home Roofing Tips – Find and Repair Leaks

 

Remodeled Manufactured Home Inspiration - addition ideas - questions about mobile home roofs

Putting A Roof on My Addition

I have a question about building an addition to my single wide mobile home in Delaware. I am building a 14′ × 23′ addition onto the front side of the mobile home. The mobile home is sitting on blocks under the two main I beams not on pillars or foundation. I’m planning on not attaching the addition walls to the mobile home because of this. Also, the addition roof will extend above the mobile home roof due to trying to keep the floor level the same as the mobile home. Can the A frame addition roof be attached to the mobile home?

 

How you handle the roof connection from the addition to the home is usually the trickiest part of any addition build for a manufactured home.

Using the word ‘attached’ is a bit misleading when it comes to mobile home additions because the structures must be completely self-supporting. Technically, the addition’s roof will not actually be ‘attached’ to the home’s roof. It will be sealed together and then a valley will be created where home and addition meet. You will then use flashing and shingles to give the water a path to follow. Roofers use different cuts to create a valley. The valley weave and the California cut are probably most popular.

This image represents a popular roofing technique for a manufactured home addition that is lower than the home. Notice how weatherstripping and insulation are flashing are used to create the seal.

questions about mobile home roofs - ask a mobile home expert
Source: Mobile Home Repair

Related: Guide to Building Mobile Home Additions

We hope we have been able to answer some of your questions about mobile home roofs.

If you have questions about mobile home roofs please feel free to comment below and we will see if we can find you an answer.

Check out next week’s “Ask A Mobile Home Expert” when we take a look at mobile home sub floors.

 

And as always, thanks so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

 

Disclosure: Any answers to questions posed and any recommendations or information provided herein should not be used as a substitute of an expert or any relevant professional that has inspected the issues in person.

13 thoughts on “Common Questions about Mobile Home Roofs”

  1. I have just about every post on every website regarding the roof and side walls of a singlewide. I have a 1997 Oakwood 14×70 with a pitched seamed metal roof and metal siding. I plan to replace the roof with a metal roof and possibly increasing the pitch during the process. I plan to remove the existing metal to get rid of some weight and also add insulation while it is open. I also plan on removing the existing metal siding and replace with fiber cement and/or vinyl. Also will be adding additional insulation while the walls are open, replacing all windows and doors. What I find is A LOT of conflicting pictures and information. How are some of these adding trusses OR building rafter roof over the existing roof that is supported by the MH only?! Also, how are they adding fiber cement siding? In all the pictures and all the information I have read, I can only find the “you many need to support the outside walls” BUT NO ONE states how to do this. The home will never be moved again and is on piers that are set below frost. I don’t trust some “roof” installer to accurately tell me what type of roof I can install because they are going to put on what they know how regardless if it will cause me issues in the future. What I had planned to do, is run 2×6’s perpendicular to the floor joists just behind the rim joists and support this every 6 ft or so with a 4×4 post that will also be set below frost. this will run down both lengths of the MH. I don’t believe I would need to do this on the ends since there is a steel beam running the length of each. If you know of any post that explains how someone has done this, I would greatly appreciate any information on where to find it. I plan to redo the water lines, seal the heat ducts and re-insulate the belly. Then the inside will be remodeled. I know this is a lot to put into it but in the end it will just as strong as a stick built – I hope. BTW, its in WV 🙂

    1. Hi Betty1

      I know exactly what your mean about all the conflicting information. I’ve dealt with the same thing for 7 years since starting this site. I’m just a plumber’s assistant so I have to research extensively whenever I write articles about roofing and other framing topics. I get conflicting info every time!

      Assuming I understood the professional’s complex explanations, I’ll try to help! I understand that they use a few different formulas to calculate the home’s ability to hold and transfer weight using the stud and joist size, how far apart they are, roof truss size and placement, new roofing material’s weight, and your outrigger placement (do they go to the edge of the home?). Taking all that info and inputting it into a math formula will determine how much weight per square foot your home can safely hold. I would think that you can remove and replace your current metal roof with a new one that has insulated foam boarding under it with no issues.

      You would use the same info to see if the home can handle the weight of heavy siding. I was told framing simply transfers the load/weight down to the ground so your plan seems sound. I always assumed that when they said the walls would need to be reinforced it meant beefing up the studs (adding double headers/ king studs) and giving the perimeter walls a way to transfer the weight down to the ground via a foundation/perimeter wall.

      I would def bring in a couple of roofing and siding pros and see what they say. Most will gladly give a free estimate. It def sounds like you know what you’re doing – if you don’t mind please take lots of photos, I’d love to share your home (I’m especially partial to WV homes..lol).
      Hope I helped a bit, Best of luck!

  2. I have a 2014 manufactured home. I ordered it and foolishly got a black asphalt tile roof. I am in Southern California, inland and the house is miserable from June through September. Our electric bills average $400 per month. I have been reading up on getting the roof painted. The roof is fine, no leaks but I want to change it from black tiles to white or light gray. We already had the house painted from a Cape Cod Blue to a very light gray and that alone has helped a little but having a black room in the blazing sun is the dumbest thing I have ever done. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Before you do all that you may want to look into having insulation blown in above your ceiling. I read that there was only a 10-15% difference in heat absorption between black and white reflective roofing. You have the better material you just need to help it a bit. I think the insulation will do you a ton more good than paying for a new roof when it doesn’t need to be replaced due to age or leaking.

      Another idea is to make sure you have sufficient ventilation for your roof. Giving the hot air a place to go helps a lot. Another big help is planting some trees (already mature). They cost a bit, I know, but they help you. A friend of mine planted 12′ tall trees (mainly for looks) but ended up saving a 20% on her cooling costs within 2 years so I’ve been a believer ever since.

      Best of luck!

  3. I am looking at some older mobile homes to turn into my retirement cottage. I have remodelled a number of houses in the past. I am curious about replacing a roof, including a couple of skylights and installing solar panels. any info would be helpful.
    Most of the homes I have seen have a fairly flat or slightly sloped roof. I would hope to have more a slope and hope to create a vaulted ceiling.
    Would love to hear some experiences in this.

    1. Hi Doreen,

      I have a little retirement dream that’s really similar! I’ll be honest, you’ll need to be careful with this plan. Skylights and mobile homes never make a cute couple. There’s always a leak eventually and when you start modifying your ceiling and roof you’re looking at a lot of money. It’s because mobile homes structure integrity is created ‘roof down’ so when you start changing it you need to replace the exterior wall’s structural integrity (I don’t really know how to word it). Basically, vaulted ceilings need to be factory-built. Fortunately, there are a lot of models out there with vaulted and cathedral ceilings so you should be able to find what you want. I’ve done a bit of reading on the skylights and as long as you caulk the screws that you use to install the panels you should be fine. Maybe you could build an addition and incorporate a vaulted ceiling, skylight and the panels on the addition? Best of luck!

  4. I put additional screws on my metal mobile home roof. I read this was a bad idea, its already done now what shall I do. Shall I put more sealant on the screws

    1. Hi Janie,

      It is a bad idea but no worries! You can seal it up with a good waterproof caulk/sealant that works on metal. Use a sharp edge to feather the product out and to create a smooth bond. You’ll want to keep an eye out just to make sure nothing is leaking. A patch would probably help but I’m not 100% sure about that (it would probably be a good idea when you reseal your whole roof again). Thanks for reading!

  5. PS- I forgot to mention that we were sealing the roof yearly until we could get the new roof with the product you recommended too!

  6. Help! I have a 1982 ” Minuteman Mobile Home” with a flat roof. We were saving $ to have a new metal roof put on since we noticed no gutters and clearly water rot from no sheathing over the woidows and back door.
    However, fate had other plans and we had a major water leak un be known to us until we got our electic bill. It was Sept in New England and the bill was from August, (we had noticed our air conditioning seemed to be having a herd time keeping up in August) but then we had the electitric co check and the kilowatts were right and told my husband we probably had a hot water pipe leak under the house, he checked and BOY did we ever! He immediately shut off the MAIN, and we called the insurance co, who was no help, they made it worse, for us anyway. Thankfully we finally got a plumber to fix the leak and was it def. was coming from the hot water, therefore increased electric bill (that stretched 2 pay periods) for a $528.00 total just for electric! but answered the increase in the humidity and more air, but, after 30 days the entire particle board cabinets, counter, sink everything, including the flooring and carpeting going into LR and the hallway to bathroom subflooring was rotting out. I just wanted to run and fast! Trying to get someone to work on mobile homes is a nightmare in New England, NOBODY wants to crawl under a dirty mobile home over 30 years old. We spent well over borrowed $32,000 dollars just on the inside subfloors, walls counters, floors etc… to Still have to put in an $8,000.00 metal roof! There are no gutters and I just KNOW if we don’t get this done ASAP, this place will collapse on us not to mention the remodelling we HAD NO CHOICE to do costus everything, the insurance co, gave uo 6,000.00 and said NOT A Penny more! Any suggestions??????

    1. Hi Debi,

      I’m so sorry you have gone through all this. Water is the most damaging force on earth and is a nightmare for homes. It sounds like you’ve done everything right: you found the leak, repaired it, and then tackled the issues it caused.

      Your home has stood strong for 35 years so it should have no problem going a little while longer! I know one family that had buckets sitting on their living floor and over time they had the roof replaced, repaired the rotted wood and replaced the ceiling. It looks as if nothing ever happened now!

      Take a deep breath and tackle one day at a time. It’s apparent you love and care for your home and that is the most important thing a home needs.

      Best of luck! Please let me know how it all goes for you.

  7. What We have a 1978 mobile home, 12×68, with a full 12×68 addition. Every winter we have issues with water leaking into different areas. Most of the water comes in along the outside walls. The water leaks in through the window frames as well as coming out along the base of the walls where there are no windows.
    We have put tarps over the whole roof and we keep the roof shoveled yet we continue to have the same water problems. I have been arguing that it must be a condensation issue since we don’t have water entering the home when it rains. Not even if it rains for days.
    What are your thoughts on this and what solutions can you offer us? also is there a way that we could put a whirly gig in the existing ceiling/roof?
    your suggestions are eagerly awaited

    1. Hi Bridget,

      Since I don’t know if you have a flat roof or a pitched I’ll try to answer for both. I think you may have a caulking or sealant issue in a valley or your eaves need to be redesigned. If your roof is flat it is absolutely time to reseal the entire roof after the leaks have been repaired. Since rain slides off quickly it doesn’t have enough time to get into the crevices but snow sits on it and melts slowly. I don’t think condensation is your problem because you would likely see ceiling stains long before you saw leaks going down your walls.

      Removing and recaulking every crack and crevice on the entire roof would be my first step. Then, I’d be replacing shingles and felt that looked bad (assuming you have a pitched roof). Since your home is almost 40 years old, it is time for a new roof if it hasn’t had one yet.

      So, probably not condensation but leaks due to old and cracked caulking or your eaves need repaired. If you haven’t had a new roof on the home it’s time for one regardless if it’s flat or pitched. Sorry to be the bearer of expensive news! Best of luck!

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