roof bows??'s

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mrbb
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:59 pm

OK can anyone maybe help me here, I have a older mobile home, used as a hunting camp, this past winter, the snow load I guess was too much for old roof bows(its a 1970 or so home, with a slightly bowed metal flat roof)
its now holding ponding water in some spots and the roof if bowing down wards over , more rainbow like

the ceiling in the living room section is also sagging down
there are ZERO leaks in roof,
but its holding more and more water as time passes with the added weight I gather from it

I would like to try and find some way of saving things if possible, but no clue as to where one can buy new roof bows to repair things
if that is a feasible option here
I am guessing I will have to gut the inside of place to get to them to replace
but since property due to zoning changes, no longer allow replacement of whole mobile home, or a roof over
I'd like to try and save the place, its very solid other wise too??

SO< its in NE PA< and cannot find any help in the area after a lot of looking??
seems no one wants to touch a mobile home, or even come look at it, once they hear work is on a mobile home??
so, any and all help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Mark440
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

First off, get some kind of water pump and get the weight off the roof!

As for finding some one to work on it - good luck. Most contractors run the other way because of the P for POOR construction standards used by the mobile home industry. Bear in mind, these things are designed to last about 20 years. From there - you are on your own.

The sad part is that the building aspects could be incredible - yet "CHEAP" rules the day...and the production line.
Opportunity has a shelf life.
mrbb
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:59 pm

thanks for your thoughts, I cannot leave a pump on roof as not there all the time, so, that isn't possible and honestly, due to water being only 3 inches deep or slightly more in spots and there not all in one area, some are 40+ ft apart

its not a practical deal to add a pump, thought about that already
I have been nursing this place for past 10 yrs, to last this long
and again, my biggest problem, is due to zoning changes, its really restricts what I can do on land
as once this mobile home fails past repair, I cannot add another to property, making the land more or less useless,a s NO RV's allowed, cannot build anything on site

so, my only option is to try and save it, that or end up with land well and septic becoming a total loss, which I really don't want to take if I can help it!

I know costs will most likely be more due to trying to find workers willing to work on things
but for now, I can maybe do a lot myself to save on some things, but I just cannot find out where you can buy new roof bows, and without them, its all a waste I gather, as not sure how else to fix roof
as it needs to be fixed from inside over outside?

which in a round about way, might be a better thing in the long run, as if I gut the inside, I can re insulate it with more modern insulation and fix any area's where drafts are from poor construction and age issues?

so, its not a total waste of $$ , if I can save it, well, to a post any how, at some point saving it won't be worth it I am sure

but would like to at least try and see what costs will be, IF I can find new roof bows?

so again, if anyone know's where I can buy them, please let me know?
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JD
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Fresno, CA
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I have repaired ceilings like yours, at least a hundred times. I've been in the mobile home repair as an employee and then contractor for over 30 years. Reinforcing the trusses is one option. This would reguire replacing the ceiling panels with gypboard, or other type of panels, after the repair. When dealing with the roof bow, or ponding roof area, invariably I find tired, rotted or broken trusses. I see a lot of 1x2 trusses in my area and have seen these weak areas caused by a sizable knot, running through the 1x2 top cord of the truss. Really! How could that not break? It is common to find ponding areas along the eaves of the roof, caused by chronic edge leaks, which rotted the end of the truss. I have also seen trusses that appeared undamaged, although the entire truss has slumped down a couple of inches.

Repairing these trusses mainly consisted of cutting 3/8" CDX plywood, to the correct shape that truss SHOULD be. Hopefully, a splint 8' long will be enough to correctthe bow, if not, you will need to add an additional piece to span the entire truss, and then sister the two pieces, with glue, fasteners and a small piece of the 3/8" ply. First attach these plywood splint to just the bottom cord of the truss. The straight bottom edge of the splint will guide you in straighten the bow on the ceiling side. You then need to jack that bottom side up to where it is supposed to be. I would use string lines place 6" below the top of the walls on both sides of the truss (the marriage beam on a doublewide). The jack can be as simple as a 2x6 cut 1" shorter than the height of the wall. that 2x6 is put on another 2x6 section on the floor, then forced with hammer blows to be plumb. The ceiling always relaxed just a little bit after repairs are made and the jack is removed. I used semitruck load jacks for many years. That's the best and easiest jack. A 4x4 on a cheap hydraulic jack works, with a helper. Anyway, you now have the ceiling pucshe up to where it needs to be. Next push the top cord, straight or curved, up to match the top cut of the splint. Again, the splint is cut to the shape the truss should be. Then attach all verticle and digonal parts of the original truss. I used adhesive and construction staple to attach the splint to the truss. At this point, I use a large hole saw to cut holes in the non-reinforced areas of the truss. You need to allow sufficient airflow though the roof area. The 3/8" ply is amazingly strong, when on edge. There are a thousand other details in this repair, but that is the basics of my repairs.

The other fix I had for these roofs, was a "new roof" product I sold. These were ~4ft wide aluminum panels that would cover the roof from side to side. I have found mobile home roof systems similar to this product, basically a no-fastner roof panel. They went together similar to aluminum awnings. Sort of. Anyway, the .019 embossed aluminum was laminated to a 3" thick panel of high density, polystyrene floam, giving the roof and additional R-13 rating, but the way the panel roof worked with the original roof, keeping that small space between ceiling and roof much cooler, seemed to multiply the benefits of insulation alone. This would do nothing for a sloping ceiling, but the panels were strong enough to span most bellies in the roof and eliminated all ponding areas near the eaves of the roof.

I'll try to post pics of this roof system, hoping those interested can find something similar. Sorry, I no longer have pictures of truss repairs. If I do another truss repair, I will get some pics.

I hope this helps. JD
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☯JD♫
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All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.
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JD
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:57 pm
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The 3/8" ply splint would be attached to the the original truss with adhesive and construction staples. I use PL polyurethane adhesive. My prference over any liquid nail product.

Another edit: If the original roof panels are in good condition and have those plastic dividers every 16", they can be removed and put back. It's a little tricky, but completely doable. You would need at least one helper, two would be better. Remove any ceiling edge trim and cut the mobile home ceiling panel with a utility knife and new blade, where the panels meet the walls. Replace the blade every 10-12ft. This is easy work with a fresh blade. Remove the plastic strips by just cutting down the middle with a blade, and careflyy pull them out. More care needed when they are heavily painted. I wouldn't try to save the plastic strips. They are too brittle by now to go back in. These type of ceiling panels are 4ft wide consisting of three 16 inch section. The plastic was covering the wide staples holding the ceiling panel to the truss. Remove all of the staples in a panel, except a couple about 3ft from each end. Those are removed last, while you are on the ladder, with your head holding up the weight of the panel. You and your helper can remove these last staples at the same time and carefully bring the panel down. I remove the staples by cutting them in the middle with wire cutters, then yanking out each tine of the staple. The panels can be fragile. Be extra careful with them.
☯JD♫
Today is PERFECT!

All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.
mrbb
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:59 pm

JD thank you for all your time and information, I wish you were closer to me, I'd hire you for this job,!
I am going to be doing as much of the work alone as possible,a s help is not very present this yr due to others having health issue's

as for the ceiling panels, as of right now, I am not sure what they are or honestly HOW there held on
they are solid one piece units the width of the trailer inside, and I cannot find any seam where they would meet, as in say they were , say a size like
12 ft long x4 ft wide or likes
there are zero seams showing and no plastic covering/trim, where they would meet together to make the width of the room<
they seem like some sort of soft plastic, no clue how thick or if brittle or not, Due to age I am guessing there a little brittle from that alone
I am going to try and save them, as I have looked all over for like replacements and cannot seem to find any, anywhere for sale!


so if maybe you can offer some more thoughts on how they come off so can be saved, or better yet, can BUY new one's if any get damaged, as I am thinking getting all off in re usable shape might not happen and then what/
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halibut1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 02, 2021 12:34 am

Hi, Those ceiling panels look the same as what i have , if so, they are 16" wide , and i ended up destroying 2 of them when i had to get up to the trusses [bows] to fix rotten wood in the truss. Ill try to include a picture, but on mine each 16' wde panel is connected to the next one , by that recessed strip which runs the full length of the ceiling board. I bought a sheet of Shurply underlayment in anticipation of replacing ,the panels i destroyd.
My pics are to big , so cant send them.
mrbb
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:59 pm

halibut1, again thank you for the info and your time, I sent you a PM with my email address in case you have any pic's and can send them that way

I am gathering that since you destroyed a panel, and went with Shurply underlayment,
I;m guessing you don't know of any place to buy replacement panels like these!
as that is a worry of mine, damaging the existing panels and then not having new one's to replace with

as not sure at all what the framing is like in this roof, to allow for anything else to be used that might be heavier or??

I gather I won't know what its like till ceiling comes down? and then a whole new can of worms might be there !
and do you know if the panels like in my pictures are very brittle
opr what caused your's to get damage?
was it just brittle, or did it came apart when pulling on it, or from sagging while removing?


thanks again, much appreciate the help and info,
Plans are to start repair this in a few weeks, and trying to learn all I can and have all and any parts tools on hand, so any suggestions on what tools or tips, to get these panels down in tack would be appreciated as well!
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