SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

An Analysis of Moisture Accumulation in the Roof Cavities of Manufactured Housing


A detailed computer analysis is conducted to investigate whether moisture problems occur in the roof cavity of manufactured homes constructed in compliance with the current Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Standards for manufactured housing. The current HUD Standards require a ceiling vapor retarder, but do not require outdoor ventilation of the roof cavity. In cold climates, the analysis revealed that moisture accumulates at lower roof surface and poses a risk of material degradation.

The analysis found the following combination of passive measures to be effective in preventing detrimental winter moisture accumulation at lower surface of the roof: 1) providing a ceiling vapor retarder, 2) sealing penetrations and openings in the ceiling construction, and 3) providing natural ventilation openings in the roof cavity.

In addition, the performance of a roof cavity exposed to a hot and humid climate is investigated. The analysis revealed that outdoor ventilation of the roof cavity causes the monthly mean relative humidity at the upper surface of the vapor retarder to exceed 80%. This condition is conducive to mold and mildew growth.

Author Information

Burch, D
NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory, Gaithersburg, MD
Price: $25.00
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 156–177
DOI: 10.1520/STP14696S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5310-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2023-5