Buying a manufactured home is a sort of fun. It doesn’t take a couple of years to build a home, sweet home. But the song remains true in that “life goes on, brah”. This means, your new manufactured home is the place to live, and to keep it comfortable and functional, you need to do some maintenance.
How do you keep your new place in order? There are sites like mobilehomelife.org where you can read more about nearly every aspect of living in mobile homes. But first, let’s look at the most basic spots that will require your attention.
Level Without a Pause
One thing you should check periodically is the level rate of your home floor. Though it’s based on firm piers, and you must check the slab too, there can be some issues with it, and the house will react with cracks in the walls or unfitting doors and windows. There are ways to handle it by yourself, and if not, you can call professionals. Before you do it, make sure there are problems with the level of the house.
You can check it with a regular water level which is not so expensive. It can be useful in other situations as well, especially if you are into woodworking or some other DIY activity. We recommend checking your house with a water level at least once a year.
The Skirting Call
Though mobile homes look like regular houses in most ways, there is one thing that reveals its nature immediately: skirting. This element that protects your house from beneath surrounds it and secures the base from natural elements and pests. It also keeps the moisture under control due to the ventilation system. Yet, it might fail sometimes, and then one or more problems can happen such as:
- Corrosion of surfaces because of excessive moisture;
- Pest infestation;
- Temperature control failure.
To avoid this, you’d better check your skirting regularly. No matter which material it’s made of, none of them is absolutely safe. Thus inspect it periodically and check whether there are cracks, holes, or other deformations. If there are, you can fix them by yourself as well or call the specialists.
We also recommend consulting with a specialist and checking the most durable material that you can afford. Fixing the consequences (say, eliminating pests or replacing the damaged elements) becomes more expensive and puts your entire house at risk.
We Didn’t Start the Wire
One of the most sensitive matters when it comes to manufactured houses is the wiring. The house comes with all the internal wires already in place, but they need to be connected to the power source. Here is the place where most issues can happen. What should you do to keep the wiring in check?
- Make sure you have the wiring diagram for your house and keep it in an accessible place. If there is a problem inside, this will ease locating it;
- Take care of the skirting (again). Wires are often damaged by rodents or insects that somehow get under the house. If there are any, call pest control immediately;
- If you see a problem you can’t locate, turn off the general switch and call the electrician.
I’m All About the Basement, ‘Bout the Basement!
If you take care of having a basement in your manufactured home (which is not necessary, in general), it will solve many of the issues you might have in it. For example, it will provide better access to plumbing and electrical systems. However, the basement needs some maintenance as well. How should you care about it to avoid problems?
First, make sure making the basement is possible at all. The main issue that renders basements useless is that their level is near the water table. Then there is a risk that your basement will be periodically flooded. To avoid this, you’ll need to invest in a functional and powerful draining system.
Who Let the Drops In? Roof! Roof, Roof!
Roofs are always problematic areas, even in traditional houses. The most obvious issue with the roof of a manufactured home is that it’s usually flat, so gravity doesn’t help the snow go down from it. This work is to be done by yourself.
The rain or the snowfall also might result in water dropping from above onto your head (or somewhere else, which is equally unpleasant). To prevent it, you need to seal your roof and replace its damaged fragments if there are any. The materials are usually easy to find; in the end, you can contact your home manufacturer.
Last but not least: It’s somewhat romantic to have a bird’s nest on or under your roof. If you see one, call wildlife control again, as if you saw a rattlesnake. Birdwatching is no fun when you don’t need binoculars for it.
And the Water Came Plumbin’ Down
Knowing the plumbing system is just as important as understanding the wiring issues. In mobile homes, most plumbing pipes go through the floor, not the walls. Having access to them is, well, a reason to have a basement or at least a crawlspace.
The most important thing to know, though, is the location of the main stop valve (if you can’t use a local one in the bathroom or in the kitchen to stop the leakage). Knowing your ventilation pipes will also help.
Gotta Check ’Em All
It might look like a good idea to stuff your newly purchased house with various smart sensors and install a control center (your old iPad, for example). But is it necessary? You can do most of the checking by yourself: Using a level or detecting a leak from the roof won’t take much skill, and damaged skirting can be visually detected.
In most situations, sensors will not solve the problem. If you still want them, you’d better think about which ones you want to install (cameras, motion sensors, humidity, temperature, etc., especially if you plan a growing room there, haha).
The Final Brick
The fact that your home is “mobile” doesn’t imply that you should treat it as something temporary. Neither should you relax on hearing how safe indeed these houses are. The right way is to stay alert, do regular checking, and take measures before it’s too late.