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Question DetailsAsked on 3/22/2017

Mobile is leaking from rain cant afford expert roofer need help asap do it yourself info please

Seam on aluminum roof are all leaking it's a 1970 mobile I've try the white snow,tar, tarps, flex seal, what do I do can aluminum be welded or possible soldiered? Maybe a rubber seal in ling strips to seal? Help please asap I've got leaks everywhere and everytime it rains it gets worse! Can afford to pay roofers so I need self home improvement ideas sincerely any info welcome and thank you very much

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3 Answers


Get some roof cent patch and a ladder

Answered 3 years ago by the new window man


Aluminum trailer/modular home roof welding (heliarc welding is what should be done on aluminum for "hot" repair, not soldering) will not work in the filed (as opposed to in a factory) because the metal is too thin so you get way too many burn-throughs - plus a lot of risk of setting the unit on fire, working from the outside like that. And since you have gooped it up with different products, would take an awful amount of cleaning to prep the surfaces for welding.

Aluminum pop rivets or self-tapping sheet metal screws would be the normal repair mode to pull together a seam that is coming apart - AFTER first injecting the seam with a seam sealer like Dow Betamate 65 filler/sealer - so the joint is compressed with the rivets on the sealer. Generally, because the metal is so thin, pop rivets work better - and commonly for a seam repair an overlay strip of metal would be used to even out the load between rivets to minimize "dimpling" or "waves" in the roofing between the fasteners, which would typically be a couple of inches apart.

Your rubber strip idea is common with factory assembled seams - but unless your seams were totally popped apart (NOT a good idea) you could not get a rubber striop consistently in there.

For a caulk-type application, Geocel is probably the most commonly used name for DIY aluminum roof repairs - comes in various forms for different uses - caulk tube for gap or small hole sealing, thick gooey trowel-on for deteriorated areas or open seams (probably your choice), spray-on and brush-on for general waterproofing or for applying a silver coating to reduce roof heat. Available at many auto parts stores and trailer/RV supply and parts stores, and many box stores. Some of the products come in colors - others only in aluminum.

In your case, a spray-on coating would not likely work if seams are opening up - would probably continue to leak at the seams.

Some people (though does not normally look very good) just use an asphaltic roofing tar like DAP or Henrys Roof Waterproof Asphalt Sealant - comes in cans (quart and gallon) and in caulk tubes - though in many areas trailer roofs get hot enough that it melts in the summer, running and streaking the roof and sometimes sides, and potentially dripping into the interior in really hot areas. Can also cause significant asphaltic staining just from roof runoff in rains, especially when it is relatively fresh.

Of course, be careful because (especially with round-topped trailers) it is easy to slip off, and you have to be careful to keep your weight concentrated at the ribs (the rivet lines) to avoid dimpling or otherwise damaging the roofing. Some trailer repair pros use a couple of 1/2 sheet pieces (one under yuou, one atnext place you are moving to) of 1/2" plywood on flat roofs to spread the load, or on curved roofs 5mm (less than 1/4") luan plywood with foam rubber weatherstrip adhered in strips on the underside to kneel on to avoid dimpling the roof - spreads the load out, and the foam weatherstrip keeps it from sliding off.

Another less common solution for your issue, but done in some locales - is caulking the seams/cracks, then spraying the entire roof with SPF (sprayed polyurethane foam) insulation shaped to drain, then spraying that with a special acrylic or urethane waterproof and ultraviolet protecting coating (normally in silver or gray or white) - the type of insulation/coating they put on outdoor storage tanks. Course, that is not a DIY job, but does have the advantage of insulating the heck out of your roof. Cost generally in the ballpark of $2/SF plus or minus 50¢ or so.

A stick-on or glue-down membrane roofing is another option - the shorter-lived "peel and stick" runs around $1-1.50/SF for materials and might last about 10 years, around $2-3/SF applied commonly/ Thicker and longer lived membrane roofs which commonly last 20 years or so can run commonly in the $3-6/SF range installed.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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