If your mobile home has a metal roof, you’re likely to have leaks here and there. Rain will drip through the roof and onto the top side of your ceiling, eventually working its way out – often, it seems, onto your head!

Fortunately, these leaks are easy to fix – and even prevent. Even if your metal roof is not yet leaking, you should still take the following steps to keep everything nice and dry.

You will need:

A broom (the larger, the better – a push broom is excellent for this job)
A new, cotton-string mop or an application brush (usually located next to the roof coating you will also buy)
Enough roof coating to take care of the entire roof (found at your local home-improvement or hardware store)
A ladder
A second person to hold that ladder (safety first, after all)

Before you go to the hardware store, figure out your roof’s square footage. This will help you determine exactly how much roof coating you need when you go shopping.

You should also make sure that whatever roof coating you buy is right for your type of roof. You don’t want to put the wrong type of coating on your roof, because that can cause further damage and waste your time and money. Read the labels on the containers of coating to find out which ones are suitable for your needs.

When you have all of the necessary supplies, pick a warm, sunny day so that the coating dries as quickly as possible. Get on the roof with the broom and sweep the entire surface. You want to remove leaves, dust, and any other debris that might interfere with the roof coating.

Now, walk the roof, looking for holes. If you don’t see any, you probably have pinhole-sized leaks, which is fine. Don’t worry too much about trying to locate these tiny holes, because the roof coating will seal them without any additional work on your part.

If, however, you find larger holes, you should patch them before you start applying the coating. Otherwise, the roof coating will drip down into your ceiling, fail to seal your roof, and make your life just a little harder.

The easiest way to patch a hole is to find a piece of scrap metal and place it over the hole. Use weather-proof caulk or sealant around the edges to secure the patch. (Alternatively: Apply roof coating over the scrap metal to seal it in place.) This is the fastest, simplest fix, but there are other solutions, such as replacing the entire roof should it contain too many large holes.

Applying the roof coating is a simple task: just dip your mop or brush in the bucket and get to work. You want a medium coat – just enough to hide the roof, really – because that is just enough to seal the holes and protect the metal from future leaks. Apply too much coating and it might not properly dry, which leads to more problems. When you can no longer see the roof through the coating, you should have enough material in place.

When you cover the roof, pay careful attention to the seams and edges. These are leak-prone areas, and should get a slightly-thicker layer of coating than other parts. Be careful, though, especially near the edge of the roof: you don’t want to slip or fall while you’re trying to patch your roof.

After the coating dries – the timeframe, by the way, varies depending on what product you used and the weather, as well as how much you used – you should be able to enjoy a leak-free roof. If you have any leftover coating, seal the bucket tightly and store it in a cool, dry place. Should you find new leaks in the future, or should the next rainstorm reveal a missed hole, you can go back up on the roof and touch up those sections.