Can I Walk On My Mobile Home Roof? (Find Out Now!)

Alex Praytor
by Alex Praytor

If you own a mobile home, you may need to go on the roof from time to time to assess damage from hail or to repair a section. However, before you climb onto a mobile home roof, you will want to go with caution. One wrong step and you could end up going through your roof! So, before you start walking on your roof, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

The slope of your roof and the type of roofing you use will determine how much live weight (or additional weight) a mobile home can hold. Most mobile home roofs can hold an average of 20 and 30 pounds of live weight per square foot. If your roof is undamaged, you should be able to walk on it as long as you proceed with caution.

We will fill you in on some ways to safely walk on your mobile home roof according to your roof type.

Do You Need Roofing, Siding, or Gutter Installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Mobile Home Roof Types

A mobile home differs from a home built from brick and mortar in many ways, and one of those is the roof. While Hollywood often pictures teens sitting on rooftops with their friends, this kind of tête-à-tête will not be possible on a mobile home roof. This is because a mobile home roof has enough on its plate just bearing its own weight. A mobile home is often constructed with its trusses resting directly on the sidewalls of your home.

How much weight a mobile home can bear will depend on what type of roof it has. A heavier roof type could indicate that your mobile home was constructed to bear more roof weight. However, it could just mean that it won’t be able to support as much “live weight” as other roof types when you climb up there.

Whatever type of roof you have on your mobile home, you will want to tread only on its supported areas so you don’t surprise your family by falling through the roof.

Let’s where you can safely put your foot down on different mobile home roof types.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a common roofing type for mobile homes. This is a fairly cheap option, as well. An asphalt shingle may not seem very heavy on its own, but this is actually one of the heavier roof types. One layer of shingles may add over 2,000 pounds to a roof!

While a brick and mortar home can usually hold a second or even third layer of shingles, a mobile home can’t withstand this much additional weight. To replace an asphalt roof, you will first need to remove the damaged layer of shingles completely before adding a new roof.

If you need to walk on an asphalt roof, you will want to make sure to walk only on the trusses so your weight is supported. You may be able to get an idea of where your trusses are if they are exposed in your roof’s overhang. If there is no indication of the position of your trusses, you bring a stud finder on the roof with you to find them. Additionally, you can use a board to evenly distribute your weight.

Metal Roof

A metal roof is more durable than a shingle roof and will provide longer protection for your house. Aluminum is a lightweight metal option but it often is not as energy efficient as other roofing types.

If you need to walk on a metal roof, you should stay on the line where the spikes are. This way you are sure you are walking on supported areas.

TPO (Rubber Roof)

A TPO or “rubber roof” is flexible, durable, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive. It also is a light-colored material which means it will be more energy-efficient. The seams of the material are welded together to make a durable, all-weather exterior.

If you need to walk on a rubber roof, avoid spiked shoes or boots, which could damage the finish of the roof. You should also use a wooden plank to spread your weight more evenly.

How Much Weight Can an Old Mobile Home Roof Hold?

While newer mobile homes often have varied rooflines with multiple slopes, mobile homes dating back to the 1980s were usually built with either a flat roof or bowed roof. A flat, older mobile home roof can generally hold up to 30 pounds per square foot. This is, of course, dependent on the roof being in a solid condition.

Flat or Bowstring Trusses

Mobile homes with flat or bowstring roofs are not as strong as the more modern types of roofs with pitches. This means that you will want to be extra careful when you are walking on your roof or replacing your roofing. Make sure you know how much load your roof can bear. Also, if you are going up on an older roof, make sure the structure has not deteriorated in any way from age, water damage, or termites.

For older roof types, a TPO roof is commonly used as a replacement roof. This is because it is one of the most lightweight roof types available and it is also very durable.

Do’s and Don’ts of Walking on a Mobile Home Roof

Do check the trusses and support system of your roof for damage before you walk on it.

Don’t climb on a roof in rainy weather.

Do wear flexible shoes with a non-slip tread.

Don’t wear spiked shoes or boots.

Do walk only on supported areas.

Don’t bring a friend up on the roof with you as this may be too much weight on your roof.

Do bring a friend along to spot you in case you need assistance on the ground while inspecting your roof.

Don’t wait to make repairs to your roof.

Do remove old shingles before adding new shingles.

Don’t hesitate to call in an expert to take a look at your roof if you are unsure how much weight your roof can bear, or if you need assistance in repairs.

The Cost of Re-roofing Your Mobile Home

When the time comes to choose a new roof for your mobile home, you have several options to consider. Generally, you will be looking at $1,000 to $3,000 to replace a single-wide mobile home roof. This of course can vary based on which roof type you choose and the square footage of your mobile home.

If you take a walk on your mobile home roof and find damaged areas, it is best to repair (or replace) as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be looking at spending twice as much if damage continues to spread.

Do You Need Roofing, Siding, or Gutter Installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

 Is a metal roof or an asphalt roof cheaper?

When you look at short-term expenses, an asphalt roof will be cheaper to buy and install than a metal roof. Asphalt shingles can run as cheap as $1 per square foot. A metal roof costs more than asphalt shingles, but it will also last much longer than an asphalt roof. This means that you may save more money on repairs and replacements over time with a metal roof.

What roof is the most energy-efficient?

Lighter color roofs will reflect light and heat, while more traditional roofs like dark wood or asphalt shingles will absorb heat. Many studies have shown that lighter-colored roofs are more energy-efficient and could shave off some costs on your utilities. A TPO roof is usually white, making it one of the most energy-efficient roofs on the market.

How long can I expect a TPO or rubber roof to last?

If your roof is installed properly, it should do a great job of keeping water out since it has few seams. Also, it is not easily damaged from exposure to sun and ultraviolet rays. These factors make a rubber roof highly resistant to weather. Some rubber roofs have been known to last up to 50 years.

Alex Praytor
Alex Praytor

Alex Praytor is a native Texan who got her degree in English Literature and decided to travel the globe. She finds the architecture and design of homes across cultures fascinating. In her spare time, she visits coffee shops with her family and creates projects for their own home. Alex enjoys sharing tips on how to keep repairs up to date while turning a house into a home.

More by Alex Praytor