Mobile Home Maintenance Is Critical For A Long Lasting Home
The secret to a beautiful home is making sure you take care of it inside and out. Routine maintenance will go a long way to ensure that your mobile home is safe, comfortable and lasts for as long as you want to enjoy it. From top to bottom, we’ve dedicated several articles to the maintenance of your mobile home. Let’s take it from the top.
Caring For Your Mobile Homes Roof
One of the most important parts of your mobile home that requires regular maintenance is a place we often don’t notice until it’s too late. If you put in a little time and effort each season, you will find that roof maintenance is both cost-effective and can keep you from serious expenses down-the-road. Whether you have a metal roof or shingles, here are some steps to begin caring for your mobile home roof right now.
Getting The Shine Back In That Metal Roof
Many older mobile homes have metal roofs or galvanized sheets of steel.
Even though rain is water, and snow is white, they still make things dirty. And if you live near trees, and other messy attackers, your roof will also be barraged with leaves, buds, twigs etc.
“What’s the big deal?”
Any of these suspects can cause grime and debris to build up in the seams along your rooftop, joints, and edges. If there is enough build up, it can separate the seams and lead to leaking, extensive water damage, and mold.
To keep your roof healthy and long-lasting, it is recommended that you regularly clean off any debris with a long-handled brush.
About twice a year (perhaps more depending on the climate and conditions where your mobile home is situated), you’ll want to complete a more thorough cleaning. If you are steady enough to do the job yourself, we ask you to take necessary precautions and not attempt anything that is physically too difficult or dangerous. If you aren’t sure of yourself, stop right here and hire a professional.
In order to complete the job yourself, here are the supplies you will need:
- Scrub brush
- Soap and bleach mixture
- Putty knife
- Roof cement
- Sheet metal
- Silicon caulk
- Roof coating
- Roof brush and/or a ¾ inch nap roller
Now that your supply list is in order, check out the steps below and be sure to read the tips following before performing any maintenance:
- Step 1: Safety check! Before the actual cleaning of the roof, make sure you set up your ladder correctly. The ladder should be set on a flat, level place and secured in a safe position. Many people are injured by poor ladder positioning, so we highly recommend that you visit this website for helpful visual aids and clear instructions.
- Step 2: Clean that roof! A telescopic scrub brush will make this job much easier. And if you can find one with a soap dispenser, even better! If you need to use a bucket, keep your mixture of water and bleach on the ground or make sure it is secured in a safe, easy-to-reach location. Perform a thorough cleaning of the entire roof, making sure to move the ladder when an area is out of your reach. Finish cleaning the entire roof before performing any of the steps below.
- Step 3: From the safety of your ladder, look for any holes that may have opened up from the wear and tear of weather or built-up debris. If it is a small hole, you should be able to cover it up with roofing cement. (Apply the roofing cement with a small putty knife.) Some holes will be too big for patchwork. You will need to put on some gloves, cut a piece of sheet metal to cover the entire opening and use silicon caulking to attach the sheet metal patch.
- Step 4: Your mobile home roof is now cleaned up and patched up. Time to coat the entire roof. Roof-coating will cover up any holes created by rust and also prevent the roof from further rusting. The coating will also reinforce and seal any large holes you covered with sheet metal and caulk. Apply the roof coating with a roof brush or roller. Again, be careful to reposition your ladder and don’t reach too far.
- Step 5: Paint it up! Painting your metal roof will look nice and keep away that pesky rust.
Follow these safety tips for when performing your mobile home maintenance to your roof:
- Make sure not to step directly on your mobile home roof, it can not support your weight.
- You can use a pressure sprayer to clean your roof, but don’t turn the pressure too high, as it will dent the aluminum.
- ALWAYS use gloves when cutting or attaching sheet metal.
- When buying your roof coating, roof cement, or paint, make sure that it is made specifically for mobile homes or aluminum surfaces.
- With caulking, painting, and coating, follow the directions provided with each one you buy for best results.
- Coat all the seams on the roof of your mobile home at least once a year.
Keep your mobile home’s metal roof maintained and healthy, and it will keep you protected from all the outside elements.
Shingled Roofs Last Longer With Some TLC
Most newer models of mobile homes have shingled roofs. Shingled roofs are made by installing asphalt shingles to the wooden decking that frames your roof.
Similar to the flat metal roofs, you will need to watch for any buildup of debris: branches, twigs, leaves, acorns, snow, ice, etc.
Debris that is left alone can create what are called “dams.” A little like beaver dams, a dam on your roof is formed when the buildup of debris traps water on the shingles.
The danger of these dams is that the water can go underneath the shingles and cause a leak, eventually leading to water damage in the roof, and possibly other areas of your mobile home.
Let’s look into how we clean off our shingles!
Clearing General Debris
This may not sound too attractive, but the best way to clean up branches, leaves, and other things is to pick them up by hand. If you don’t feel stable enough to walk around your roof, please hire a professional to clean your roof for you. Your personal safety is more important than saving money.
- Safety tip: As we mentioned above, make sure you set up your ladder correctly. This website has pictures and step-by-step instructions for the safest ladder positions in different settings and with different ladder types.
If you don’t feel that roaming your roof, stooping over and picking up debris is the most efficient use of your time, try using the second best option…a leaf blower. Although easier on your back, you should be aware that it will not be able to remove all the debris that has been wedged in and around your shingles. Sometimes the best way is the hard way!
The third option for clearing debris is a broom or long brush. However, do not apply too much pressure when sweeping because you can remove the granules from your shingles. Mobile home maintenance can result in cutting down the life of your roof in half!
Coating Your Shingles Tip
Now that you’ve cleaned your roof, this is the perfect time to protect the shingles from further damage. We recommend that you buy a high-quality roof-coating for asphalt shingles that allows moisture to vaporize without letting water seep through the shingles.
You can apply the coating with a roller or a hand-pumped sprayer. After the first coat dries, apply a second coat to create a protective surface layer. This layer will keep the shingle granules from falling off and make sure the shingles don’t crack, curl or leak. It can also seal up small cracks and holes.
Tip: Make sure you follow the instructions for the coating your purchase.
Algae and Stain Removal
Have you ever noticed dark stains on your roof? It is most commonly called “roof mold,” but it is actually algae that have formed on your roof due to dampness. The north side of homes is more likely to get algae stains since it receives less sunlight.
To prevent algae from forming on your shingles, you can use algae-proof shingles for your roof. If you don’t need new shingles yet, but already have algae stains, you can use a cleaning solution such as hot water and soap or bleach.
Don’t use a power washer to clean your roof! It can void warranties and also ruin the granules on the shingles.
Mossy Monster Attack!
If you live where the climate is cool and moist you will have to deal with moss. It might look beautiful or mysterious in the movies, but it can cause serious damage to your home! Real roof rot and the damage it causes may not be repairable. This would mean buying new shingles or an entirely new roof! Continual mobile home maintenance can be preventative but never 100%.
There are three ways to keep the moss off of your mobile home.
- Trim trees, or even cut them down, as the shade is a huge ingredient to the growth of moss.
- Try to keep your roof dry. This goes back to the basics: keep your roof free from debris that can build up and create dams.
- The last way to keep moss off your roof is to make your roof an acidic environment. This can be done by spraying, or applying, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, or tomato juice. You can also make a solution by mixing water and one of the following:
- baking powder
- baking soda
Only mix the water with one of these other ingredients. Put whatever solution you choose in a sprayer, and start misting the areas with moss. Please remember these are only suggestions. We take no responsibility for the result of your roof. Be sure to consult a professional roofer before attempting.
Snow and Ice Build Up Fast So Be Prepared In The Weather
Wintertime is a dangerous time for drivers, and can also be quite threatening to shingles. The forming of ice on your roof can lead to broken or cracked shingles, and even worse, ice dams.
If you have icicles, that could be a sign of an ice dam.
There are many quick fixes for ice dams, but the only surefire way of keeping ice dams from hurting your home is to have a cold roof. Here is a site with a couple of those quick fixes and tips to keep your roof cold.
Gutters direct runoff water away from your home and protect your roof from water damage. It’s important to maintain them properly if you want your roof to stay in good condition.
- Clean out your gutters on a regular basis.
- With gloves on, garbage bag in hand, mounted on your safely-positioned ladder, scoop out debris from your gutters.
- It’s better to have the hassle of taking a bag with you so that you can put the debris directly into the bag. Otherwise, you will have worry about the wet leaves you throw down killing your grass or getting mowed.
If you are wanting some extra tips on gutter cleaning, check out this quick-to-read guide.
Damaged Shingles Can Create A Real Headache
So far, we have talked about mobile home maintenance to prevent damage to your shingles, but what if your shingles are already broken? Here is a classic example of a damaged roof peak line.
If it is only a limited amount of shingles in a few places, then you can very likely DIY! Here is a do-it-yourself step-by-step guide to preparing, assessing, and repairing damage done to your shingles. Always consult an expert. Damaged shingled really start to add up over time. So once one section is bad, broader areas begin to be damaged as well.
Shingles will wear over time. But certainly they can deteriorate quicker if they are in the wrong environment.
The point however of this article is how to maintain your mobile home and its roof. If you regularly maintain your mobile home, you should not have to worry about repairs!
Metal roof or shingled roof, I hope that this post keeps your mobile home dry and in good condition.
Keep up with upkeep and keep a roof over your head!
*When dealing with roof maintenance, please remember that safety is always first! We have included safety tips for specific tasks and situations above. But, we want to stress again how important it is take the proper precautions.