How do I waterproof my roof?

I live in a 1972 mobile home. It has seen better days. The roof is waterlogged. Whatever happens weather wise outside my home, eventually finds it's way inside my home via ceiling leaks. I cannot afford a new home, so I have to reinforce & repair as I try to maintain my home. I live in Northeast Georgia, USA. Whatever product(s) I use must withstand extreme heat and torrential rains by the turns of the seasons. The kitchen and living room have roof trusses with old shed tin attached to them. The rest of the home has it's original roof.

  11 answers
  • Sounds like you need a new roof.
    • See 1 previous
    • I completely understand, I would not want to go into that kind of debt either. If you need help, there are agencies that can assist. Habit for Humanity is a great place to start. Also your local HUD office has programs. Might be worth considering or at least looking into. You deserve to live in a safe and decent home!
  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Feb 17, 2018
    Have you given any thought to metal roofing?
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 17, 2018
      I have given thought to metal roofing. It is rather cost prohibitive at this time. As well, the weight of a metal roof on the wall construction of a mobile home would put my walls, window frames, door frames etc. all out of whack. Thank you for your suggestion though.
  • Margaret Green Margaret Green on Feb 17, 2018
    I don't remember the name of the product we used but it was made for roof repairs. Came in a bucket like paint. Was applied with a brush or roller. It reminded me of tar. We used it as a temporary fix on a composite roof. You might have to tarp your roof and wait for several weeks of dry weather before applying. Bought it at the hardware store.
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 17, 2018
      I'm not sure if I'm thinking of the same product you are. I have two coats of cold tar on my roof. I thought it was the solution to my problem. However, time has proved me wrong. Somehow, the water is still able to get under the cold tar and leave my roof saturated. I appreciate your suggestion and product description.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 17, 2018
    Re-Roof it or use "Roofix" to paint on all over to seal everything. (available online via either QVC or Idealworld UK) May have something similar at large DIY or Building supply store.
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 17, 2018
      Is the product you are suggesting a rubberized type product John? I have heard of those products. I wonder if they aren't another version of cold tar, and if this version is any better than cold tar.
  • Margaret Green Margaret Green on Feb 17, 2018
    Is it a double wide or single? And is the roof flat or angled?
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 18, 2018
      Margaret it is a single wide 12 X 72 flat roof over the back 2/3 of the home. Previous owner put roof trusses over the kitchen and living room areas. Nailed to the roof trusses is old metal taken from the sides of a broken down shed.
  • William William on Feb 17, 2018
    You can't just keep on putting new layers over old layer and expect to sovle the problem. The old stuff needs to be removed so the new stuff can do it's job. New over old and damaged will just fail.
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 18, 2018
      William, what would you suggest for taking off the old cold tar coating? The roof is like a sponge in the back part of the home. It carries only its own weight. The original ribs running from side wall to side wall are still in place, but the material between the ribs is waterlogged and pushes the ceiling inside the home down when any weight is applied. I wonder if it would work to put 4 X 4 posts along the length of both sides of my home; put roof trusses onto each 4 X 4 and then put (what) over the trusses to ensure the roof will be waterproof and yet not put so much weight on the existing walls that they would bow out and collapse the home. Do you have any suggestions along those lines??
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 18, 2018
    Not Bitumen - Elastomeric + Fibres - choice of colours. Made by Flag - England. Available on ebay UK
  • Dave Dave on Feb 18, 2018
    Replace roof.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 18, 2018
    My pleasure...... Having read all other messages and comments. I have to say the roof really needs to be sound otherwise you could be needing more than a new roof. Maybe a Tarpaulin might be an answer for you at the moment till you can get things sorted properly........
  • William William on Feb 18, 2018
    Under the coal tar roof is 2" thick extruded foam that is use for flat roofs. Removing the roof, foam and replacing everything is the cheapest alternative. You could use a solid membrane rubber roof instead of the coal tar they used to use. Putting on trusses would require to determine whether the walls can handle the weight. In most situations it's best to brace the walls then install the trusses, sheathing, and shingles. That would be double the cost of removing and replacing the current roof.
  • Margaret Green Margaret Green on Feb 18, 2018
    I googled for mobile home flat roof repair. It came up with " 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". It looks like a single giant piece of flexible rubber. This might be expensive. Another possibility are the metal roofed carports. I've seen those at a lot of camping clubs over the trailers. Some people mounted the legs in 5 gallon buckets filled with cement to lock them in place. you would probably have to buy 2 of them in order to cover the remaining 2/3 of roof. That's all I've got. Good luck.
    • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 20, 2018
      Thank you very much Margaret!! I have received so many interesting answers. I like your ideas and will further investigate implementing them!!
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