Tag Archives: Roof Problems On A Tiny House On Wheels

Tiny House. Big Mistake.

Yes. We made a pretty big mistake with a part of the tiny house. Let this be a ‘What Not To Do’ post for all you out there planing on building a THOW. It’s sort of a long, sad story, so I will try to give you the short version:

Ridge beam, rafters, ceiling insulation and ceiling panels all soaked and dripping with water. Cause?….major condensation. Cause of condensation?….lack of venting in the roof.

That’s the short version of it.

This is the long version….it wasn’t a little bit of condensation like you get on windows in the wintertime either, oh no, this was sopping wet insulation and warped ceiling panels. It was bad. I wanted to cry. Instead we headed over to our local home improvement store a chatted with like 3 different guys, and did hours and hours of online research on our roof assembly.

To Vent Or Not To Vent, That Is The Question

We totally blew it. We overlooked the fact that we needed a ridge vent, and even though we have a vaulted ceiling (no attic), we still need soffit vents – we don’t have soffits either, but that was intentional and can be worked around for venting.

In our defense, there are two facts we relied on (stupidly relied on, but nevertheless), first, we lived for over five years in a cottage with the same kind of roofing system i.e. vault ceiling inside, metal roof outside, no vents. And never ever had a problem. Ever. So we figured it would be just fine in our tiny house too. Secondly, in all of our research of how others were building their tiny houses, we never once came across anyone that installed any kind of venting in their roof, so it didn’t even cross our ‘question it’ meter.

To top it off, the people we ordered the metal roof from said that they ‘usually’ remember to go over a customers roof assembly to make sure that they are ordering the correct roofing. Well, that didn’t happen and we ordered the wrong ridge cap, a non-vented one, but need (obviously) a vented one. Had the question been put to us, our ‘question it ‘ meter would have definitely gone off and we would have looked into the pros and cons of a vented roof and how to build one.

So, our entire ceiling has to be ripped out 🙁  How sad is that! Oh it gets even better….as we used ring shanked nails, there is no way to easily get the nails out and salvage the panels. They will simply crack when we try to pull the nails. These are the same panels that I said was the hardest part of the build. My stomach has been turning all day over this.

We needed to dry everything out and allow moist air/condensation to escape, so Aaron climbed up on the roof and cut open our beautiful roof underlayment *sniff*, and then put scrap Tyvek on it temporarily until our new ridge cap arrives and we can finish the roof. It was going to have to be cut open anyway for the vented ridge cap to function properly, but it still was depressing….

Tiny House Roof Problems

How sad looking is that? We recently watched the movie Pollyanna, and in it the main character plays what she calls the ‘Glad Game’ – when something doesn’t go right, you think of something to be glad about instead. I tried it on Aaron: I said that even though this is a disaster and is going to cost a pretty penny to fix and then redo, I was glad that the house is just a shell right now and that we were not farther along in the build because if we were, that would mean having to rip out interior walls and finishes as well. It didn’t work on Aaron. He sat there, with a frown, silent. Well, I tried.