Mobile homes offer an affordable housing option for many homeowners. However, their roofing needs can differ from traditional site-built homes.
When it’s time to replace your mobile home’s roof, you have several material options to consider. Choosing the right one ensures your roof withstands the elements while complementing your home’s style.
Asphalt or composition shingles are the most common roofing material for mobile homes. They come in rectangular strips made of fiberglass mats coated in asphalt. The asphalt makes the shingles waterproof, while the fiberglass provides durability.
Shingles have several advantages for mobile homes:
- Cost-effective: Smaller roofs like those on mobile homes require fewer shingle bundles, keeping material costs low. Installation is also relatively straightforward.
- Aesthetic options: Shingles come in various colors and styles, letting you customize your home’s look.
- Proven performance: Shingles reliably protect mobile homes from rain, snow, and other weather across North America.
- Weight savings: Mobile homes require lighter roofing materials that don’t overstress the structure. Asphalt shingles weigh about 250-500 lbs per square, significantly less than materials like concrete tiles.
The main drawback with asphalt shingles is their shorter lifespan compared to other mobile home roofing materials. Budget 3-tab shingles last 10-15 years, while more durable architectural shingles provide 20-30 years of service. Proper installation is also key to prevent wind damage.
Expect to spend $100-500 per square (100 sq ft) installed for shingle roofing, depending on your region and the type of shingle. Architectural shingles cost more upfront but save long-term through their extended durability.
Key Takeaway: Asphalt shingles are the most budget-friendly mobile home roofing option, with composition shingles offering increased durability.
Metal roofing has surged in popularity for mobile homes thanks to its outstanding performance and longevity. The most common metals used are steel and aluminum, formed into panels with exposed fasteners or standing seams.
Key advantages of metal roofing include:
- Long lifespan: A properly installed metal roof lasts 40-70 years. The reflective surface resists sun damage, while the metal itself does not rot or decay.
- Strength: Metal withstands extreme weather like hurricanes better than shingles or membranes. Minor impact dents can often be fixed instead of requiring full panel replacement.
- Lightweight: At 50-150 lbs per square, metal roofing avoids overloading mobile home structures.
- Energy efficiency: The reflective surface reduces cooling costs in summer. Metal’s low conductivity also provides insulation during winter.
- Aesthetics: From bold corrugated steel to copper or zinc with patina, metal offers unique visuals that can significantly update your home’s look.
The upfront cost is the main downside with metal roofing. Expect to spend $600-1000 per square installed depending on your metal type and region. The increased longevity and potential energy savings help offset the initial investment over time.
Key Takeaway: Metal roofs are lightweight, durable, and energy-efficient, though cost more initially than shingles.
Applying a rubberized coating creates a seamless waterproof barrier over your existing mobile home roof. This roof over method suits flat or low-slope roofs on single and multi-section homes.
Rubber roofing offers a quick and affordable fix:
- Low cost: Full rubber roofing kits cost around $1,200-2,500 for materials to coat a typical single-wide roof. Many kits include primer, tape, and other supplies for a complete installation.
- Quick installation: Applying the liquid rubber with rollers takes just a day or less, reducing labor costs. Drying time before allowing foot traffic is typically under 24 hours.
- Seamless protection: The membrane bridges joints and penetrations to prevent leaks without extensive prep work. Annual recoatings provide continued protection.
- Lightweight: The rubber membrane adds negligible weight for minimal structural impact.
The tradeoffs come in rubber roofing’s appearance and shorter 10-12 year lifespan between replacements. Annual recoating extends the service life but requires roof access and additional costs. Rubber’s dark appearance is also less attractive than other mobile home roofing options.
Key Takeaway: Rubber roofing kits provide a budget-friendly waterproof layer for flat mobile home roofs, but with a shorter lifespan and limited curb appeal.
TPO Membrane Roofing
TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) offers a highly durable and energy efficient roofing solution. This single-ply synthetic rubber membrane is flexible and lightweight. Large TPO sheets up to 50 feet wide quickly cover flat or low-slope mobile home roofs in a seamless, watertight layer.
Benefits of TPO membrane roofing include:
- Long service life: With proper installation, TPO easily lasts 25+ years. Some manufacturers offer 30-year material warranties.
- Energy efficiency: The bright white surface reflects over 80% of sunlight to reduce cooling costs.
- Strength: TPO withstands heavy foot traffic, major hail, and hurricane-force winds with minimal damage.
- Lower cost: A typical install costs $250-500 per square, competitive with most shingle roofs.
- Quick installation: Large sheets mean less seams, speeding up application.
The main disadvantage is TPO’s critical dependence on precise installation. Using experienced contractors prevents future tears, leaks, and voids in the membrane. Color choices are also limited to white, gray, or tan.
Overall, TPO offers excellent durability at a moderate cost for mobile homeowners needing flat roof replacement.
Key Takeaway: TPO membrane provides exceptional durability at a moderate cost for mobile home flat roofs. Proper installation is critical.
Liquid Applied Roof Coatings
Applying specialized liquid roof coatings creates a seamless, waterproof layer over existing shingles, membranes, or metal roofing. These roof over solutions provide low-cost repair for aging mobile home roofs.
Advantages of liquid roof coatings:
- Affordability: Complete DIY roof coating kits cost around $500-1,000. Professional installation runs $2-4 per square foot.
- Quick application: Coatings apply with rollers or airless sprayers over a few hours, reducing labor time and costs.
- Seamless coverage: Liquids easily bridge joints, seams, and penetrations. Recoating annually maintains protection.
- Lightweight: Thin liquid layers add negligible weight for safe use on mobile homes.
- Repair existing roofs: Coatings often extend roof life 10+ years, deferring full replacement.
Drawbacks include appearance limitations from limited color selection, frequent recoating needs, and susceptibility to damage from impacts or excessive foot traffic. Overall, roof coatings offer an inexpensive repair option but don’t match other materials for durability or aesthetics.
Key Takeaway: Liquid roof coatings provide budget mobile home roof repair, but require more frequent recoating and have appearance limitations.
Factors in Choosing Your Mobile Home Roofing
With many roofing materials suitable for mobile homes, focus on durability, longevity, cost, appearance, and installation considerations specific to your situation. Key factors include:
- Local weather – Frequent heavy rain, snow, storms, or hot sun inform material selection.
- Roof type – Flat and low-slope roofs favor TPO, rubber, or coatings, while pitched roofs accommodate shingles or metal.
- Appearance – Materials like shingles and metal provide more aesthetic options to update your home’s look.
- Budget – Higher durability options like metal cost more initially but deliver long-term value through their extended lifespan.
- Contractor availability – Trusted local installers experienced with mobile homes simplify the roofing process.
- HOA rules – If your mobile home is in a community, ensure the material meets any requirements.
Replacing your existing mobile home roof lets you select the ideal new roofing material for performance, aesthetics, and budget. Considering your specific needs and home ensures you get the maximum return from your new roof.
Can I install a shingle roof over my existing mobile home roof?
In most cases, yes. Shingles can be installed over your current roof provided it’s in sound condition without excessive damage or deterioration. The existing roof deck should first be inspected and repaired as needed to provide a solid substrate. Proper ventilation is also critical to prevent moisture issues.
How much does it cost to replace a mobile home roof?
A typical single-wide mobile home roof replacement costs $2,500-4,000. Double-wide homes range from $3,500-8,000 installed. Many factors influence price, including roof size and pitch, material selected, region, and site accessibility. Always get multiple quotes from qualified local contractors.
How long do mobile home roofs last?
With proper installation and maintenance, you can expect 10-30 years from most mobile home roofing materials. Low-cost shingles last 10-15 years, while premium architectural shingles reach 20-30 years. Rubber and coatings require reapplication every 10-12 years. Metal can last 40+ years, while TPO easily exceeds 25 years.
Should I replace my leaking mobile home roof or coat over it?
For minor leaks, a roof coating can provide an inexpensive repair solution. But for pervasive issues or complete roof deterioration, full replacement is the better long-term option. The new material and proper installation provide maximum durability.
Can I install a metal roof directly over shingles?
Yes, installing metal over your existing shingles avoids time-consuming tear-off. The shingles must not have excessive curling, warping, or missing sections that could telegraph through the metal. Some foam insulation between the layers helps create an even surface while improving energy efficiency.
Mobile homes need roofing materials tailored to their unique requirements and structure. From resilient asphalt shingles to durable metal and TPO, many options reliably protect your home from the elements.
Considering factors like weather, roof type, appearance, contractor availability, and budget ensures you select the ideal new mobile home roofing for maximum long-term performance and satisfaction.