Need Pro Advice For Best Mobile Home Roof Coatings

Hi, I would really appreciate some advice if anyone has the time. I read older threads and got much good info but still have questions about the best application for my situation. This thread linked below in particular is similar to my situation but OP didn’t follow up with what worked. Mobile home roof

My home is a 60’s 12 x 55 with two room additions (they do not leak). MH roof is coated with Silver Seal aluminum asphalt roof coating. I made the mistake about 10 years ago using a white Kool Seal elastomeric coating which did not work for long. Roof is basically flat so there is some ponding water and this coating is water based so will not hold up. I went back to the silver coating which can withstand ponding water. This is why I want to ask here first so I don’t make any mistakes again.

The problem I have is roof only leaks in the winter time sporadically. It doesn’t leak in the summer after days of rain so I think everything is ok until I have a problem when snow/ice accumulation starts to melt in the winter. It is very hard to track problem. Due to age there are naturally many coats of roof coating (no exposed metal) and the only thing happening is hairline cracks in the coating itself.

On the above thread someone who did mobile home maintenance suggested sealing all edges and seams with roof cement and fabric then coating all over with a product like I am using. My roof seams aren’t exposed but can be made out under old coatings so I am not sure if that would help in my case. Also a product called Geocel 2310 was mentioned here and also Geocel 2315 on another thread. Just would like to know about professional grade products even if expensive I could use that would adhere to what I have on roof and if it would need to be used all over or just edges and seams. Peel and Seal is another product I read that can also be used on edges too.

Just want to know what others have used with success. In about 3-5 years I plan on hiring a roofer to do a free standing metal roof over structure but need advice for the meantime. Thanks in advance for any help.

Gaco roof coating is a great one mobile homes. It’s simple to install and will adhere to almost anything. Check with a local supplier to get info on the product (I.e. ABC Supply, beacon supply, Allied, a Srs subsidiary). You should have at least one of those close by.

i have heard good reviews about ETFE roofing as well. how about it?

Thanks for reply. Yes, I have heard of Gaco and it has only been available very recently in my area. Lowes doesn’t stock it but they can order it. Coincidentally, I called the Gaco company about a month ago before posting here but was told it needs to be used over a fully cured asphalt coating which is 6 months to a year.

I need something I can use this spring or summer and have already made some emergency repairs this month in a few areas with the aluminum asphalt during times when it was over 50 degrees between snow storms. (based on snow we got last week it worked)

They also said it would need primed regardless of age to be sure it adhered. You are right, it has some huge advantages and works very well on mobiles and flat roofs based on reviews. If I wasn’t planning a roofover due to snow load worries, ice dams that can’t be prevented and wanting a good overhang to protect doors and windows I would go that way. I would suggest anyone reading this who has one to look into it. It’s the only coating that states it can stand up to permanent ponding water. I don’t even have that; just a few areas for 24-48 hrs. It is 100% silicone so nothing will adhere to it in the future, so that is the one thing that scares me a bit.

I have had bad luck and have even talked to roofers that have suffered the same. About 8 years ago after the elastomeric was professionally recommended (which would have been perfect preventing cracks from flexing but won’t withstand ponding water) I called the largest roofing company in my area that specializes in flat roofing for a rubber roof installation. They mostly do commercial so I didn’t even expect a call back. Well, the owner himself called me and told me he bought a mobile home for his son while he was in college to save on rent and he installed a rubber roof on it and it STILL leaked. Said he was flabbergasted as he does this for a living with no problems. He said I was lucky mine was just leaking for 10 minutes in one or two spots in winter as his was a year round PITA. (OMG!)

I appreciate his honesty as his company is very well respected and he didn’t want to take the money it took me two years to save for this rubber roof. Even if it was a fluke or his company missed something with that installation, honesty with a customer speaks volumes to me. He just couldn’t recommend anything that worked based on personal experience.

Sorry for long post, but I hope this explains how I got here asking for advice. I even called Geocel yesterday and asked if one of their products could be used in these small hairline cracks (most are truly tiny - fingernail size in width) and they said since it hasn’t been tested for compatibility with an asphalt coating they would have to say no. They referred me to their sister company Kool Seal that I haven’t called yet.

Very simply, I just need something that is somewhat flexible to fill the cracks if anyone can recommend anything. I don’t care if it won’t work long term at this point, just something compatible. With the extreme temperature changes we have been getting lately I am prepared for any product to crack. I am also going to look into a “premium” asphalt coating. Lowes doesn’t have much variety and I can pay shipping for something better. To be honest, it’s not a big deal to coat the roof even yearly. It’s a few hours on the weekend once a year with an extension pole and roller. Then another hour or so for edges with a paintbrush. Roof can’t be walked on anyway so it’s safe in that regard.

I have never heard of ETFE roofing but it sure is interesting. I guess I can watch how it holds up in the harsh winters in Viking Stadium. :slight_smile: This stuff says it can handle HEAVY snow loads.

Seems to be rarely used in residential applications but it would actually look great on this mobile home rehab due to style.

This site is called Trailer Wrap, but it’s a bit more than that if you look at demo pics. They basically recycle the mobile home frame and keep it the same size but more modern and energy efficient. The old quality American steel made back in the 60’s isn’t made widely anymore so it’s a good solid base for a small affordable home.

Here’s a 3 minute video of it. Really cool inside. YLIW 302 Trailer Wrap - YouTube

Hydro-Stop is the best.

Roof_Lover; Thank you for the tip about Hydro-Stop. I am going to spend this weekend reading up on it. From what I have read so far there are companies that specialize in Mobile Homes (in Florida and the Carolina’s) that regularly use this product and mention this on their websites.

I am in a rural area with no access to companies that are familiar or work with mobile homes on a regular basis so any advice is SO appreciated. I have a relative who has been in the construction business for 30 yrs and is a supervisor but roofs are their own specialized thing. Your job is not easy! :slight_smile: There are only 4 companies that specialize in roofs here, there is a waiting list, and coatings for MH’s fall under “homeowner maintenance”. It looks like the tricky part here would be mesh in between coatings, but looks doable. I am just kicking myself as I am a 5’2"105 lb female who would be perfect to be on my own roof, not walking but leaning on edges would be fine at my weight, but I am terrified of heights!

Roof_Lover: you had stated on older threads that you were satisfied (for some work) with Henry’s products that are available to the general public. I ask because Home Depot sells them; I only have a Lowes here but can go to a neighboring town. They sell a “rubberized” aluminum coating which would be a step up from what I am using. I am a strong believer in “you get what you pay for” and if I have to wait 3 yrs for a roofover I will use something like Hydro Stop. Will be under $1K. However, I may be able to afford a pitched free standing roof in 18 mos after talking to my bank so if you have any comments about the rubberized asphalt for that time period I would appreciate it. Haven’t seen it mentioned here. Not many reviews on Home Depot’s site.

As far as a roof over goes I have been using a roofing cost calculator for standing seam metal roofing. I realize it is the most expensive but in my area can only be installed by “certified” installers which will prevent me from getting ripped off. I can’t stress enough to anyone from the public reading this thread to find someone qualified. I have known people to pay DOUBLE to fix shoddy work from a Gen. Contractor.

I realize MH’s have little value but vs rent (which has skyrocketed to $750 - $1200/mo in my area for a tiny one bedroom) I have 3 bedrooms inc. room additions at 995 sq ft on a 1/2 acre nice flat lot, it is more than cost effective for me. A 15K loan even at higher interest would be $400/mo for 48 mos. Not even possible to rent anything for that price.

I have time to plan; so can anyone who has a minute look at this photo of this mobile home roofover and identify the metal for me? It shows how it was framed and final roof. Doesn’t look like standing seam. It’s quite nice though and may be less expensive. It was even featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Im really going to help you out!
You can do this yourself with my help.
Buy one 5 gallon bucket of hydro-stop base coat.
It has a blue lid.
By one roll of 6 inch fabric.
4 inch if you can get it.

You are using the product for all the seams, fasteners, protrutions.
Cut the length of the fabric to the distance of each seam.
Paint the seam no more than two or three feet at a time, inbed the fabric and paint immediately.
This is the critical part.
I know this might sound hard but you want to paint,inbed fabric and paint again and do it all in as close to 10 seconds total if possible.
Two seconds to install paint.
Another few seconds to put fabric in place.
Another 5 seconds coating the top real good.
Yes, even though seam might be 10 feet long,
And you now have a 10 foot long peice of fabric
Only install paint top and bottem of fabric 2 feet at a time. Because paint dries super fast and you want it to cure together.

After its all done, i would come back after a few hours of good sun and paint it again.

Then the next day come and paint the entire roof with 2 5gallon buckets of unfibered alluminum roof coating. Mix well( the hard part)

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Roof_Lover; I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to give me these detailed instructions.

I appreciate the tip about it drying quickly and it being important to work fast. I have done a minor drywall repair by a door so have worked with mesh - darn beagles - they love to chew and dig! :slight_smile: it was very deep and needed several layers of mesh and compound, but that dries the opposite - slowly. I can buy extra roofing fabric that hydro-stop sells if I mess a few pieces up.

I have a lot of patience at least. I have a 60’s MH which was made well compared to when they started mass producing them in the 70’s and 80’s and it has all wood subfloors, trim and cabinetry. No imitation wood or particle board anywhere. I spent one summer with many weekends taking down all old trim and re staining and/or coating with poly and another summer buying oak trim and staining it for baseboards, chair rail and crown molding. Two years of summer weekends and who knows how many hours, but it looks as good as when I did it. This project at least won’t take that time!

I can’t pay you back for the helpful info, but just by posting here being a person in a 50 yr old MH I was thinking maybe I can add another point of view and help someone in the roofing business here or maybe a reader. Really glad the public can post questions. I realize few are about older MH’s as they are so rare, but the fact that it’s under it’s original roof and has no structural damage (just ceiling tile replacement in a few rooms) it might help you or someone sell a metal roof to someone if appropriate to their application. It would be an excellent investment. Real life experience speaks volumes. I honestly cant believe it’s lasted this long. Not only is mine flat but it’s nothing like the good modern ones - imagine how long they can last? - I think the thickness of mine is similar to a dog or cat food can lid! LOL (I may be exaggerating, but not by much) That said, I had my first reoccurrence of a winter leak in about 5-6 years during melting from winter storm Jonas last year (it was huge and called a 50 yr storm) and had ZERO leaks this past summer when we had historic rain - the most since records were kept - called a “1,000 yr” flooding and rain event.

MH owners are unique in that we VERY much understand the importance of a good roof, shingled or otherwise. We are a little too close to the elements :slight_smile: Lots of homeowners I know don’t think of theirs till its too late. I heard this once and it is SO true: For every dollar you spend on roof repair or replacement you are saving $2+ on future structural or cosmetic repairs. You guys know that, but if you can help customers “realize” that it can get their business and everyone wins. Based on cost savings and avoiding the utter frustration from a leaking roof it evens pays to finance if needed. Homes can last indefinitely if they are just kept dry. I have been in this '66 MH since I was a toddler and am middle aged now. Just my two cents.

Sorry my posts are so long, but I didn’t realize how frustrated I was from not getting good information until I started reading articles on the internet and writing about it. At least I enjoy reading about roofing and all the different materials used. Looking forward to summer :slight_smile: Please feel free to add anything if you think of it, it will be a while before summer gets here. Thanks again!