Using a Frosty Mobile Home Roof to Improve Energy Efficiency

Want to learn a lot about your mobile home? Then take a look at your roof on a frosty or snowy morning. The tell-tale signs may shock you.

Heat Loss

Want to cut your heat bills? Your roof may tell you how. Take a look at your roof on a frosty morning (avoid walking on the roof.) Look for areas that have no frost. Of course, frost will be melted around vents and skylights, but look at the rest of the roof. The frostless areas are points of heat loss.

The photos of this roof show a narrow band of melted frost, as circled in yellow. We noticed that the narrow bands appear in several areas of the roof. Upon closer inspection, the bands of melted frost were located at the point in which the ceilings change from flat to cathedral. Most likely the melted frost is due to a lack of insulation in those areas. How do we repair this? Not an easy task. To add insulation, will have to open up the ceiling or roof in those areas.


Attic Ventilation

Good attic ventilation is a must for a healthy home. Improper ventilation can mean trapped moisture and heat. During the warmer months, trapped heat can mean higher cooling bills. During the winter, it can mean ice dams and excess humidity in the home.

Icicles and ice dams may be your clue that your attic needs more ventilation, and/or your ceiling needs more insulation. As your roof heats up, it melts the snow which runs to the edge of the house and freezes again forming icicles and ice dams, which can damage shingles and cause leaks. Circled in yellow on the first picture is an ice dam.


Ever wonder if you have a lot of humidity in your home? Take a look at your skylight. Expecting to see some humidity is normal, but if the entire skylight appears wet on the inside, then perhaps you are above normal. If you have other skylights and they also contain a lot of moisture, then it’s a sure bet humidity may be a problem.


While looking on the roof, take a peek at your various vents. Heat from the vents should keep the snow away from them.

In the picture above, the vents pictures from left to right are water heater exhaust, bathroom exhaust fan, and the furnace roof jack. In cases of heavy snow, these need to be kept clear.

The picture above shows a sewer vent full of snow. Although plugged at one time, heat from within the sewer system will normally melt the snow opening up the vent. Short vents are frequently susceptible to being covered with snow should be extended up past the roof line. This may also improve their ability to exhaust dangerous sewer gases.

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