How to Increase the Longevity of Your Manufactured Home

Many people try to predict the lifespan of a manufactured home. While some estimates can be accurate, it’s good to consider them through a wide lens. Some claim a manufactured home has a lifespan of 30 – 55 years. While this can be true, there are many factors to evaluate: Is it a pre-1976 mobile home? When was it built? What materials were used? Has it been kept up? Where is it located? Is it exposed to harsh weather? The list goes on. So while 30-55 years could be an average for many  homes, it’s not fair to generalize about the lifespan of any particular manufactured home without evaluating many other factors.

It is better to focus on ways to increase the longevity of your home instead of accepting a timeline that may not even be accurate. Let’s look at how to best care for your home.

Keep it dry! Water can damage all homes. Manufactured homes are no different. Water damage that is left untreated can deteriorate your home over time and significantly shorten its lifespan. Be careful of ceilings and floors. Covering ceilings with paint is not a fix. Don’t ignore dampness. Deal with it as quickly as possible. We’ll help you reduce moisture in your home!

It’s vital to ensure that your home is placed and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Be sure to use a licensed manufactured home installer and other trusted professionals.  These professionals take the soil conditions into consideration, along with drainage, and just being sure that your home is properly prepped and installed. Knowing if your home is being installed properly can be hard when you’re not aware of the process yourself. Be sure to ask questions. Making sure your home is placed and installed properly can add years to its life.

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Level and smoothed footers help create an even pier and beam system.

Over time your home can settle. This settling often results in your home becoming uneven. Re-leveling your home can be done by a professional. Traditionally, if you have a pier and beam system – they measure the height of the beams and raise the home to the level that it needs to be at. This correction may prevent cracks in the walls and other structural damage  which could shorten the lifespan of your manufactured home.

Be timely with your maintenance. That’s right! Schedule it, write down when each task is completed, and keep up with them. A manufactured home benefits so much from being maintained at the right time. If you notice something out of the ordinary, address it as soon as possible.

Manufactured home roofs are important to protect. Some types of roofing need to be coated yearly. While other types may need to be inspected periodically for problem areas. It’s important to know the kind of roof you have and care for it accordingly. Read here for more about repairing your manufactured roof.

Find More Maintenance Inspiration!

We hope that you’re able to utilize these tips and potentially add years to the life of your manufactured home! Remember, you can positively impact the longevity of your home!

Protecting Your Manufactured Home Roof

Protecting the roof on your home can significantly impact its longevity. There are various types of roofing styles and materials for manufactured homes. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with, so you can best work on your roof.

Most common types of roofing

  • Flat
  • Pitched

Flat roofs are found  more in older homes, whereas pitched roofs have become more popular due to draining advantages and the ability to hold a higher roof load. Both types are built on support systems called trusses.

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Trusses in a manufactured home roof. 

 

Most common roofing materials

  • Steel/Metal
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Composite
  • Rubber/plastic (TPO)

These types are according to a homeowner inspiration site, read more about their definitions of these materials here.1

Each roof type and material will require unique maintenance. The most common advice with yearly maintenance, depending on the type of roof you have, is to apply a roof coating. An article from a mobile home site,2 recommends using some type of “elastomeric resin.” Applied properly, this should protect the roof from water as well as provide reflecting protection. Choosing a white coating can also increase the effectiveness of the roof coating. This helps your roof reflect heat and avoid the bubbling which may occur with TPO-sealed roofs. This is most commonly used in the south where heat can be especially damaging. It’s important to remember to pressure wash and clean the roof before applying the TPO resin as it will stick to the dirt and not be as effective, also according to the article.2 Caution should always be taken when working or accessing a roof.  Safety first!  Also, when in doubt, consult a professional to determine how best to maintain your roof and whether you can perform the work yourself.

Sometimes it’s not the most helpful option to just coat the roof yearly. Some manufactured homes would respond better to a new roof being placed on top of the existing roof. Read about the most common types of trusses and when they are used from a leading mobile home site.3 Some trusses are not designed to be roofed over. For homes that can hold some weight, a roof over  can be a repair option. However, the roof of a manufactured home has weight and support limitations which can make repair challenging.  Check with an expert before starting a roof over if you are unsure whether your roof can withstand the extra weight.

We hope these tips help you care for your roof, and understand better how your roof is built and what it’s made of, too. Remember to consult a professional unless this is your specialty.

Keep Up With Your Home!

References

  1. Hunker. 26 April 2019. Types of Roofing for Mobile Homes. https://www.hunker.com/13417859/types-of-roofing-for-mobile-homes
  2. Mobile Home Friend. 3 March 2019. Do Mobile Home Roof Coatings Really Work? https://mobilehomefriend.com/do-mobile-home-roof-coatings-really-work/
  3. Mobile Home Living. 20 Feb 2018. The Best Self-Supported Mobile Home Roof Over Designs. https://mobilehomeliving.org/best-self-supported-mobile-home-roof-over-designs/

8 Must-Have Yard Tools for the New Mobile Homeowner

New homeowners need a lot of items to keep up with home maintenance and to save on things they can labor themselves. The upfront cost can be a lot on a new buyer. Consider saving up for each item and purchasing as you have funds and as it’s needed. As warmer weather is coming, we think about our yards and the help they need to stay kept. Let’s look at some items that will help you conquer your yard!

Check Your Yard Before You Start!

  1. Garden hose. This is a must for cleaning driveways, watering plants/landscaping, and with the proper attachments – cleaning your vinyl siding. Plus, it’s great, cheap fun for those long summer days at home for the kiddos!
  2. Rain garden/ long drain spouts. It’s quite important to be sure your yard drains well. Especially if your mobile home is not on a permanent foundation. If you notice pooling in your yard or slushy spots after rain consider redistribution ideas. Rain gardens use rocks and or absorbent plants to keep your yard healthy. Long drain spouts carry water farther from your home and foundation to keep puddles at a minimum.
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Make your yard the place for the weekend! 
  1. Lawn mower. This one is obvious. It’s so much cheaper in the long run to mow your own yard than to pay someone.
  2. Hedge shears. These handy little gadgets are good for all the in-between work. Keep your landscaping under control and deal with little issues in a snap! Operate carefully and use safety precautions.
  3. Rake. Whether your yard is covered in leaves or sticks you really can’t clear your yard without a rake. Leaving all that debris in your yard is bad for it, too.
  4. Solar powered path lights. These are a lifesaver, especially if you live in a rural setting. From getting home, to spending time outside, to friends visiting. These lights can guide your cars safely to your home.
  5. Skirting guard. If you’re weed eating or moving near your skirting, you need a skirting guard to protect your siding from holes and dings. Torn skirting is bad news for your home as critters and cold/warm air has direct access to piping.
  6. Weed eater. These are great for those annoying, hard to reach areas, edging, and carefully maneuvering around landscaping. Please follow all safety instructions and familiarize yourself with the machine.

As you spend more time in your home you’ll realize other items you need. You may also start to do gardening which will require some extras. Please be sure to use all tools with care, learn how to use them, ask a trusted individual to help with tools you’ve never used. Safety first!

8 Tips to Create and Keep a Tidy Home

Sometimes it’s easy to see organization as the preference of the type A, or the perfectionist, just wanting everything to have a place. But organization is so much more. Organization is a time saver, a structure that allows our minds to feel less cluttered and allow more than one person to easily navigate and clean a room. Creating and starting a plan is the hardest, most time-consuming part, yet it yields great reward.

Let’s talk ideas!

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When everything is organized, everything is easily found.
  1. The weekly check. The best organization is maintained often. By checking in weekly and realigning everything you save yourself from having to take a huge amount of time and start your system all over. Doing a little over time is a far better use of your time.
  2. Use height. This one is rather popular these days. If you lack good storage, install shelves, hooks over doors, or try bookcases. These keep clutter off your floor and they create a great look.
  3. Sometimes seeing things fit in a bin is just calming to the mind. I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference, but it’s quite helpful to visual folks. So, if that’s you – dive in and try it!
  4. The transition bin/table. Organization often gets undermined at a specific point – when new things enter the home. Having a table for transitioning items is so helpful. It helps you see if you have enough space, allows you to clear out old items to make space for the new, and it helps you properly introduce it into the perfect place.
  5. Communicate your method and use signage. The best organization is shared. If you know where it goes but no one else does, that’s not as efficient as it could be. Communicating with your family and showing them all the organization stations and how they function before using them is so helpful. You can help kiddos succeed by using signs on your bins or color systems, so they can help and keep their own space organized as well.
  6. Have a laundry day. I must be joking, right? No, this is so helpful. It’s hard sometimes to have enough time to set aside to do all the household laundry but it really impacts your organization. Also, make it a point to put everything away the same day if possible. Enlist some help and you’ll notice a big difference in your organization.
  7. Have a mail station. Having a place to sort your mail keeps you paying bills on time and saves you from papers piling up. It also keeps everything in one place instead of having it strewn about everywhere.
  8. Have a monthly donation sweep. Clearing out is so beneficial for your organization. Plus it frees up space!

More Organizing Tips!

A Helpful Guide to Mobile Homeowner Responsibilities

Buying a home is a great privilege. Quite often the joys of homeownership are expressed, and while these should not be undermined, they should not overshadow the responsibilities that follow. Owning a home is work. Anything we invest in requires attention and maintenance. Sometimes this transition from renting to ownership can cause a shock. We want to alleviate that shock.

Let’s look at some of the items that a homeowner will be responsible for.

Interior Maintenance:

  • Change air filters
  • Cleaning: floors, bathrooms, surfaces, deep clean appliances
  • Change light bulbs

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    Your manufactured home benefits greatly from timely air filter changes. 

Interior maintenance as a homeowner is not much different from renting but the importance of it is stressed. When renting you may not care about deep cleaning, or sweeping weekly because it’s not your home, not your investment. However, when the home is yours and your inheriting the mess – these items matter a lot more. Stay up on these and they are quite simple.

Lawn Care:

Lawn care is usually a big shift for new homeowners. Where you may have someone who did the work regularly that your landlord paid or you just did work when it got bad – now you have to take care of your yard. It’s also important to make sure your yard is safe and usable for guests, kids, and pets.

Exterior Maintenance:

Maintaining your exterior can really give you great curb appeal. Pressure washing your siding makes it look brand new, and skirting without holes looks super sleek. Since mobile homes are often times not on a permanent foundation a sump pump is highly advised to reduce or prevent flooding. It’s also advisable to coat your mobile home roof.

Confronting Issues:

  • Be sure you have insurance!
  • Fixing plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Flooding
  • Maintaining/ creating driveway

One of the hard things about owning is you can’t leave it there for the landlord to fix. You have to fix and it’s usually in your best interest to do it quickly. This can sometimes be a financial hardship, that’s why we stress saving past a down payment, because the habit will help you as homeowner. Most of these issues are not do it on your own unless you are versed in the issue professionally. Otherwise, expect to find a repair person to diagnose and fix the issue, plus someone will need to be home while the work is being done usually.

Maintain your home in every season:

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

How Well do Manufactured Homes Stand Up to Storms?

Storm season is on it’s way and you might be wondering, ‘how will a mobile home hold up’? It’s a common question, and not one that can be answered out right as there are a variety of storms and many types of manufactured homes. However, we can take a moment to look at preventative measures you can take as a homeowner and how mobile homes have been built to withstand storms.

Manufactured homes are built with the elements in mind

To begin, we need to look at the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which was implemented in 1976, and how it impacted how these homes are built. Mobile homes are built to comply with certain wind zones, thermal zones, and roof load requirements. These are all standards that help homes withstand certain forces. Wind zone requirements help your mobile home withstand hurricane force winds and are based on the location of the home. Thermal zones have to do with heat leakage in the home, and roof loads are based on how many pounds of snow a roof can withstand per square foot.  Roof load requirements also determine the build of the roof such as flat or pitched, etc.

Manufactured homes and their ability to withstand the elements

The Manufactured Housing Institute has provided information regarding the ability of manufactured homes to perform as well as site-built homes when it comes to storms and harsh weather.  According to the information, this attribution is said to be connected to the fact that manufactured homes in wind zones 2 and 3 are built to withstand the equivalent building code requirements as site-built homes.

Preventing damage to your mobile home

There are a couple ways you can actually prepare your mobile home for severe weather. One is ensuring your home has the appropriate tie-downs and anchors. Then you’ll need to be sure they are installed correctly and fix any that are broken or not properly placed. It’s also advised to have storm shutters, or heavy-duty shutters to protect your home. Another good way to prepare for storms is to make sure than any structures that are attached to the home are improperly installed as carports and patio roofs are likely to be the cause of home damage in high winds.  If you live in a place prone to tornadoes you could also consider building an underground shelter. Don’t forget to be sure your home is protected by your mobile home insurance. Most plans don’t include flood coverage – this is quite important if you live in a moderate storm area.

Storms cannot always be predicted and the level of threat from a storm is not always understood or appreciated. We aren’t meteorologists, so we would never advise you to remain in your home during a life-threatening storm.  We are saying, however, that you may come back to your home after a storm and find that your home survived much better than you thought it would. Manufactured homes may surprise you in their ability to withstand storm damage until you know that they are built with the elements in mind.

Learn More About Mobile Homes!

7 Ways to Keep Your Mobile Home Interior Efficient and Fresh

There’s plenty out there on how to keep the outside of your mobile home maintained. From roof coating, to checking to see if the home is level – you’re encouraged to protect the outside of your home. So why not do the same with the interior? Let’s look at things you can do to keep the inside of your home in great shape, too.

  1. Bust the dust. Dust can happen on your vinyl over gypsum covered walls like clockwork. Keep those walls fresh with a wipe down every month. Check your ceiling fan blades, air filter returns (if accessible), and corners for dust and cobwebs as well. Stuck on dust is annoying to clean. Catch it before it gets worse!
  2. Protect those floors! Vinyl flooring can be impacted most by water and indentions. Keep them safe by always mopping/wiping up after spills. Also, check appliances for leaks and deal with them immediately. To avoid scuffs, put soft felt rounds on the legs of furniture. Rugs can also help preserve your floors.
  3. Keep your lighting eco-friendly. Lose those old bulbs and swap them out for some more cost-efficient ones. You’ll pay more on the front end but it’s worth it and they won’t get as hot as those others!
  4. Change the position of your furniture.  Don’t leave that couch in the same place for five years, welcome a little change and relieve those floors as well as clean a place that you haven’t cleaned in a while. This is a great way to keep carpet from getting permanent indentions.
  5. Protect those pipes. Especially in the winter! Open cabinet doors so warm air can reach pipes at night, leave water dripping slightly, and keep thermostat level. No burst pipes make for a happy home!
  6. The Classic. Change your air filters monthly! This gives you clean air and helps your system stay clean.
  7. Clean vent hood over oven. Wipe it down every now and then or take it down and soak it for an easy clean. You might even try your dishwasher.

There are more items on the interior of your home to address, these are just the basics. Maintaining your home could build your equity if other factors play in and your home is attached to land. Improve your investment by keeping your home tidy! Learn more about how the condition of a home can impact you in the long run!

Tell Me About Equity!

Reducing Moisture in Your Mobile Home

Moisture can be an issue in any home. It’s important to be preventative. It’s so much easier to avoid these issues instead of having to deal with the consequences of them. Most of these items can be done in seconds and don’t add hassle to your daily life at all, it’s just getting in the discipline to do them. Those living in the southeast are the most at risk for moisture in their homes. If your home is unleveled or your skirting is damaged, you’ll also need to check on these items frequently.

Let’s look at some ways to reduce moisture!

Dehumidifiers. They can be pricey, but they also can seriously reduce moisture in the air. I have one in my basement and all that has to be done to maintain it is emptying the water pan. You also can attach a hose and run it continuously, just be aware of your electricity bill.

Repair any tears in the belly wrap. The vapor barrier, located on the underbelly your mobile home essentially separates the ground from your home. If there are tears in your belly wrap, moisture can seep into the space underneath you home and cause mold or softness.

Keep floor registers open. Keeping them closed traps air and leads to less circulation – neither of which are good for clear air.

Use the fan in your bathroom when you shower. If you’re like me you try to trap the warm air in, so often I don’t use the fan. However, I pay for it when my fire alarm goes off from lack of ventilation in my older home. Moral of the story, turn the fan on. It keeps the air moving and strips the air of moisture.

Turn the fan on when using the stovetop. Not using the fan can cause serious smoke in the kitchen without proper air flow.

Ventilate your skirting so moisture doesn’t accumulate under your mobile home. There are usually built-in vents that should be open to keep critters out as well as moisture.

We hope you practice these things in your home and improve the lifetime of your home. There is a lot of great info below. Take some time and look the document for helpful tips and how to understand your home better!

Find More Solutions!

Oakbur Quill Co.

Easily Replace Screens on Your Mobile Home Windows

There’s really no need to have to buy new screened in windows or live without a breeze during the warmer months. Fixing the screen on a window frame is quite easy and inexpensive. You can take an afternoon and fix all the windows on your mobile home! Let’s look at how easy the process is!

You’ll first want to decide what material you want your screen to made of. There are tons of different types of screen roll you can purchase, the most common material for mobile home windows is fiberglass. Be sure to measure the frame to get the roll that will fit the area, over compensate if it’s close, as you can always cut excess.

To begin you’ll want to remove the frames that need repairing and clean off a flat surface to work on. This will help you add the right amount of tension and have the space you need for the project.

The most common mobile home window sizes are 30” by 60”, 36” by 60”, and 36” by 54”. Sizing will depend on the year of your mobile home and the manufacturer. You’ll want to measure to be sure. Using a flexible tape measure may be easiest.

First, you need to remove the spline (the black rubber tubing) this holds the screen in place. You may need to use a tool to remove the spline, a flat-edged screw driver will do the trick. Just be careful as you may have to dig a little to get the spline out. Don’t use a knife or anything sharp. As you do this, you’ll also be removing the damaged screen.

Next, you can roll out your screen over the frame and cut it to fit the frame. You want to overlap the frame by about a half inch. If you cut it too short there’s no good way to fix it. But you’ll need extra so you can fit it into the grove and add the new spline.

It can be helpful to place something on the screen to add tension. This may also make it easier to place the spline correctly. You don’t want your screen to be loose.

With the help of a thin roller or a rolling tool without a sharp edge you can easily roll the spline into the cracks, sealing the new screen to the window. You can trim the edge after it is locked into the window frame. Using something like a utility knife is probably the best bet. Again, exercise caution!

There are plenty of other tips and ways to do this well! You can also easily preform the same for a screen door. If you’re looking to make your own screened door, you can purchase or make the frame and cover the holes with your screen roll.

Keep the holidays bright by keeping up with your home! Give your mobile home the gift of an upgrade!

Get Upgrade Ideas!

References

  1. Clayton Home Blog. 27 November 2018. Whether Manufactured Home Exterior Door and Window Sizes are Different. https://blog.claytonhomes.com/are-manufactured-home-exterior-doors-and-windows-different-sizes.
  2. Family Handyman. 27 November 2018. Screen Repair: How to Fix a Window Screen. https://www.familyhandyman.com/windows/window-repair/how-to-fix-a-window-screen/view-all/.