Water leaking behind drywall in mobile home.

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Old 01-30-13, 07:46 AM
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Water leaking behind drywall in mobile home.

Good afternoon, first off I'd like to note that I have zero experience in home repair so please bear with me.


My wife and I recently moved into a Mobile Home (our first place of our own). A few days ago I noticed what seemed to be water dripping down my drywall, however it was already dry. The edge of the ceiling is a bit soft as well. There is also a slight discoloration of the siding outside. During my research I learned that it could be the siding isn't caulked properly, but I haven't been able to check yet(I have to borrow a ladder). From what I understand I need to caulk the siding around the edges if that is indeed the problem. I also read that I might have to seal the edge of the roof where the shingle ends with TopSeal.

This morning I woke up and noticed the entry door that we don't use is leaking. I provided a picture, and the leak is coming from between the wood moulding and the ceiling. When we were checking the door out I felt the roof and noticed the shingles just lift right off of the edge of the roof. Is that supposed to happen? So far I've learned this is a common problem in mobile homes, but I've seen a few different things to fix it, but I'm not sure which is cheapest and most effective.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 08:41 AM
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Yes, all joints & seams should be properly caulked. I suspect it will be an ongoing problem for you.

I would get up on the roof and see what you have. I would thoroughly pressure wash the entire roof. If there are rust spots I would sand or wire brush them down and paint with an oil based rust preventing primer paint. Then put down several good coats of a sealing paint intended for roofs like Kool Seal. It will seal up the seams and make the top of the trailer bright white to help cut summer air conditioning costs.

There is a reason you often see roofs built over mobile homes. In addition to taking care of leaking problems they can provide much needed insulation and overhangs to help protect doors & windows from the elements.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 10:06 AM
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If you have a shingle roof - do not pressure wash it!!

How much overhang does the roof have? Can you post a pic of the top exterior part of the door? Do you think that the door closes tightly? or is part of it loose or cockeyed?
 
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Old 01-30-13, 10:35 AM
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Well, it looks to be about an inch. But I noticed the end shingles just lift up freely. Is that supposed to happen? Also, I noticed some growth on the front door as well. Both doors are flush and have stripping all around.

Because there are leaks in three places, am I safe to assume that they are all the same problem? I was looking at some neighboring trailers and noticed most of them have what appear to be gutters(they aren't, but it looks like it) all around. Would this fix the leak?

I posted some more pics. The door is the front, but they look the same, and is leaking the same. Both have the metal guard at the top that obviously isn't working.


After writing all that, I just read Pilot Dane's message. I am going to use Kool Seal on the roof. However, it has been raining and snowing pretty much every other day so I cant do it until it dries up. So I need something I can do to prevent this until I can to a permanent fix.

A
 
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Old 01-30-13, 10:46 AM
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PD was thinking you had a metal roof. I wouldn't use KoolSeal [or generic] on shingles. While I've worked on a lot of MHs, I've not worked on any that had the factory shingle roof. On the metal roof MHs they have a little mini gutter that helps to direct the water away from the siding. These 'gutters' often get bent and need a little tweaking with a pair of pliers. It might be possible to install a regular gutter/downspout system - all depends on how your MH is constructed. A little bit of roofing tar or silicone caulking under the shingle will glue it back down if you think that is how the water is getting in.

almost forgot welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 01-30-13, 11:03 AM
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I apologize, the pictures didn't upload in my last post.

So basically I need to install a downspout system/gutters, caulk all joints and seams, and use roof tar (or caulk) to seal the end shingles?
 
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Old 01-30-13, 11:12 AM
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Yes, I assumed that you had a metal roof. I would not use Kool Seal or anything like that on a shingled roof. And, it sounds like your problem is not really a leaking roof so much as flashing and guttering at the edges.

As you suspect I would look closely at the metal guard above the doors & windows (as long as you're looking). You want to make sure water can not get behind the guard and the guard should protrude enough that wind driven rain can't get blown under and hit the top of doors. One problem that I've often seen is water wicking or staying attached around the guards. They either need to be little gutters that direct the water to the sides and pour it out or they need to have a definite downward slope or a good drip edge. Without the drip edge I've see the water drops either run under the back side of the drainage lip or get flicked back toward the house. Easiest is to watch closely during a rain and see where the water is going.

I don't like the look of the trim strips at the top of the wall where they meet the shingles. It looks pretty easy for water flowing off the roof to follow back on the underside of shingles and get behind that trim strip. Luckily it's cheap and easy to add a drip edge strip to your roof.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 11:23 AM
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Thank you so much for your answers, and the fact that the fix should be cheap makes it even better.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 12:17 PM
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I'm not sure how difficult it would be to replace the drip edge as it's typically nailed to the roof under the shingles but caulking those bad joints should help. I would plan on installing a new drip edge with a gutter when it's time for a new roof..... maybe it's possible to install it without disturbing the shingles - I don't know Ideally you want the back of the gutter to be behind the bottom of the drip edge.

Carefully inspect the rain guards above the windows/doors like PD suggested. Make sure the tops of them are well sealed with caulk.
A few dabs of caulk or tar under the shingles will glue them down if they are prone to blow up during a storm.
 
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Old 01-31-13, 12:20 PM
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Having shingles on a low-slope roof is never a good idea. I suspect your roof is not more than 2-in-12, the absolute minimum most shingle manufacturers will allow for their warranties to be valid. Water doesn't run off, but rather likes to find a way through and into the coach. You should seriously consider a different roofing system come time to replace the shingles. Best thing going (if you plan to stay there a long time) is to build a separate, free-standing roof structure at a decent pitch, covering the complete mobile home and a nice patio area in front that you've always wanted. Costs could be reasonable if you can scarf up some salvaged rafters, columns and carrier beams.

Until things warm up and dry out, you might do well to just throw a few heavy tarps over the areas where leaks are occurring, starting beyond the nearest ridge and tightly tying them down to keep most of the water out. I lived in a mobile home for 3 years, and (not so fondly) remember spending lots of time up on that hot roof with buckets of asphalt mastic and sealer, trying to eliminate leaks. I made a substantial number of other improvements, too, and managed to sell the place for $2500 more than I paid for it.
 
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Old 01-31-13, 02:19 PM
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Most of the MH built in the last 25 yrs or so have a 3/12 pitch - both on the metal and shingle roofs.
 
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Old 02-09-13, 09:21 AM
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How old is the home? Many 15-25 year old homes have very poor performing shingles and with the low slope it only compounds the issue.
 
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