How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Why do manufactured/mobile home skylights leak?
Friday, August 5, 2022
Two factors cause mobile home skylights to have a higher-than-average incidence of leakage than site-built homes: 1) many of them do not have a raised frame or curb, and 2) mobile home roofs usually have a lower roof slope than site-built homes.
Once they start leaking, like in the photo at the top of the page which is below the skylight shown above, homeowners often slather on some roofing mastic around the perimeter to fix it. But mastic is only a temporary repair at best, and the leak typically returns within a year or two. The skylight below has already had its second application of mastic.
The raised perimeter and proper, down-lapped installation is important, especially on a lower slope roof. Here’s an example of a better quality skylight and installation, and one that is obviously more expensive.
It has been said that “all skylights leak eventually” and, although that’s an exaggeration, there is a nugget of truth inside it. Any roof penetration is a prime candidate for leakage, but smaller skylights don’t have the benefit of a cricket/saddle at the high side to divert water around them like a chimney has.
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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