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Frequently-asked questions on ow to install, inspect, troubleshoot, repair, Double-Wides, Mobile Homes, Trailers or Manufactured Housing.
This article series gives detailed procedures, defect lists, references to standards. Here we explain where to look for costly or dangerous problems on mobile homes, trailers, or double-wides.
We address all of the major parts and systems of mobile home structures and suggest field inspection procedures as well as common hidden problem and common repair procedures.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
On 2017-02-13 02:32:37.691882 by Jonathan White1972 12 x 68 single wide. Inspection shows the wooden footings are resting on the ground and are rotten. Can they be replaced and if so, how is it done? Are there companies that specialize in this type of work? Any help appreciated! Jon
On 2017-02-11 14:33:11.944025 by Anonymous
Not quite sure that I understand your response.
Message from insurance Co. states that they denied the claim because the adjuster found no hole or opening that could have been caused from a storm that would have let water in to cause the damage, rather the damage was caused by the fact that there is no vapor barrier behind the wall that let the moisture in.
I live in Florida and the home was Manufactured in Bartow, Fl. Surely this home had to pass an inspection before it left the factory.
On 2017-02-11 04:51:04.372017 by (mod)Brenda,
On 2017-02-10 18:22:34.205372 by Brenda Catrett
I own a 1989 Homes of Merit - 24X48. Recently put my foot through the floor near my front window. Took the siding off and there was no vapor barrier behind the vinyl siding. Water has been getting in behind this siding for years.
filed a claim with my insurance company and they have denied my claim on the grounds that there is no vapor barrier.
I fear that there is damage behind all the walls. I remember the siding warping on that side when the house was still under warranty. I called to have it repaired and when they came out and took the siding off I saw there was no vapor barrier.
I argued with them and finally called and got a state inspector to look at it. he told me then that " a vapor barrier is not required" and let the warranty crew put the vinyl back up. So here I am now with extensive damage that the insurance company will not cover.Do you know what the building code was back then?? Can you tell me how to proceed from here??
On 2016-12-09 15:45:08.764438 by (mod)Ginger:
On 2016-12-09 02:11:44.305112 by Ginger RBought 1974 built mobile home without inspection. Interior walls have 60% moisture reading but no visible condensation. Nothing seems to connect siding to roof which is flat with sealant. What is needed to repair? No water leaking anywhere else. Only inside of walls.
On 2016-11-25 21:17:04.697176 by (mod)You will need to check with your local Building Code Compliance inspector, as regulations vary depending on where you live.
On 2016-11-25 19:35:29.767988 by Anonymousif I put a wooden deck onto my mobile do I need to put it on a foundation?
On 2016-09-18 14:55:13.410316 by (mod)
My opinion and experience are that there is little regulation regarding the condition of older homes being rented or sold and less when they're a mobile home.
Real estate sales and rental are pretty much in the hands of sellers, not buyers.
What remains for buyers of a home or a rental contract is to take to heart the warning "Buyer Beware". In the court system the buyer beware warning is well established. The seller isn't obligated to tell you the defects in what's being sold, rather it's up to you to look out for them.
What might have helped out in this situation would have been a true profession of dedicated, educated home inspectors: an advocate whom you could hire who can tell you more accurately what you're about to buy or rent. Someone with expertise, with ethics, without bias, without conflict of interest.
Some of those inspectors are around but as with any group, the bad money tends to drive out the good, and there are plenty of less-expert, less-dedicated inspectors cluttering the field.
So we're back to buyer beware, whether you're buying or renting a mobile home, or scraping together the money to hire an "expert" to help you assess what's there.
On 2016-09-18 06:10:39.886185 by AletheaI was wondering doesn't a 1972 doublewide mobil home have to have a subfloor instalation in order for it to be rented or sold to live in
On 2016-05-25 23:15:55.675960 by Dee Marfe'I have a leak in my spicit outside. The guy who looked at it said the insulation was wet, then told me it didn't need to be replaced because it some new insulation. It's a 2005 home & I rent. I am concerned about mold. What if anything can I do? I live in NY.
On 2016-04-03 03:25:33.214937 by (mod)
I agree that you have described a concern. A 1/2 inch crack is significantly beyond cosmetic damage.
And from what you have described a proper repair will be more than a trivial job. It may involve significant expense. Therefore I would not sign off on acceptance of this purchase until you have not only an inspection of the home but an actual repair cost estimate from a qualified and independent repair person.
Please use the page bottom CONTACT link to send me some clear photos of what you are seeing: both the crack and the damaged support below the doorway. That may allow me to comment further.
On 2016-04-03 01:17:38.537483 by cubco
We just purchased a brand new doublewide with finished drywall. They have "set" the house and we know from moving it from the plant to us there would be stress cracks to be repaired. However we are very concerned about the back half.
The above french doors had extremely large cracks (1/2" wide), the ceiling itself has a crack, the doors are crooked in the frame, and the linoleum has small 2 humps (long straight line)in the same room. We looked under it today and the I beam (directly under the same room) appears to be bent and the steel cross member that connects the I beams is broken off. Should we demand a structural inspection prior to signing off on this?
We only get a one year warranty and don't know if they will have to replace the entire half? Please advise ASAP. Thanks
On 2015-11-02 00:13:46.101337 by (mod) Redman Manufactured Home Manual neededPatricia
On 2015-10-31 16:06:42.887496 by Patricia LongTrying to find a copy of the Installation Manual for a 1992 Redman Eaton Park (Mod. 70J3K6) for a county inspection. - where do I start ?
On 2015-07-10 00:37:18.392460 by (mod) - dealing with water in air ducts
Please search InspectApedia.com for WATER IN AIR DUCTS to see the causes and cures for this hazard
On 2015-07-09 00:37:18.392460 by ronWater in my heat and air main duct
On 2015-05-28 13:58:36.853770 by (mod)Serge Duval said:
On 2015-04-15 01:43:24.131570 by lexi63
they installed the water barrier, and skirting strips , then it poured rain for 12 hours, the entire plastic water barrier was soaked to the bone, puddles all under the home , under the water barrier was saturated as it blew off and up in many places , should i make them take off the water barrier and allow the area to dry completely before they put another water barrier back down ?
i think proper installation would have been to complete the job all at once so the trailer ceawlspace would have remained dry as it should be , now they want to close the place up saturated with the skirting, and seal in tall that water . doesnt seem right to me ?
common sense seems like this crawl space should be dry , then add the water barrier DRY and then the skirting immediately before another storm comes in and saturates it again under there. please advise.
On 2015-04-09 15:25:45.126040 by (mod)NHFireBear and other readers, please Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies
problem who is responsible for mail boxes the property owner o the resident ? firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't think there is a single right answer to the mailbox responsibility question as it varies perhaps by local jurisdiction and certainly by the practical matter of where the mailboxes are physically located.
In general a building or home owner is responsible for the condition of a mailbox that is attached to or part of their home or that is on their own property.
If the mailboxes at your home are grouped in a gang in a row at the front of your complex, you might expect the property owner to maintain the support system for the mailboxes. But certainly any individual who cares about their mail delivery will want to make sure that their box is secure, and that it remains accessible in all weather (such as deep snow cover).
I am interested in buying a 1989 doublewide manufactured home in a retirement community in Hudson, Florida. I want to have it inspected. Where should I go to find a reliable manufactured home inspector in that area ?
How much should I expect to pay for the inspection?
Thanks so much for helping us. - Jackee 7/13/2012
Anon, I'd start outside the home, inspecting the roof and roof edges for evidence of leaks or animal entry.
Jackie: unfortunately not all professional home inspectors are willing to inspect manufactured homes, doublewides, trailers, etc.
Nevertheless I would start by contacting any of the overabundant number of home inspectors nad home inspector associations in Florida (ASHI, FABI, for example), to locate an experienced inspector in your area. Then call and ask if the inspector has experience with your type of housing and is willing to inspect it.
Fees are typically in the hundreds of dollars. But it would be a false economy to hire someone who is cheap but incompetent, or even free but does not know your type of home structure well. The risk is that the inspection is free or cheap but the cost to fix problems and surprises that such an inspector missed can be enormous.
I bought a 2008 double wide and i have this terrible smell that smells like tuna that seems to be coming from the ceilings? - Anonymous 7/15/2012
Anon, at ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE we provide procedures for tracking down and curing smells and odors in buildings. In your home, I'd also inspect outside as well as inside for evidend of leaks into the roof / ceiling structure, or animal entry there.
Check first for safe and un-blocked heating and ventilation flues as a blockage there by a dead animal would also be unsafe.
Aside from animals, leaks into the ceiling could have produced a mold problem.
Don't forget to inspect and check in the crawl space too - odors travel in structures so you could be fooled about a source.
we r currently buying a 1971 dw mobile home, it has been bricked in. this type of mobile home have a attic? - q Cecilia Jones 8/6/2012
I've rarely found a doublewide that has a usable attic, though there may be access to look into that space via an access hatch or a gable-end louvered vent. I would certainly ask the inspector to check that area as you'll want to know about insulation and about the roof leak history.
Also I'm confused about "bricked-in" - use the CONTACT US link on any of our pages to send me some photos and I may be able to comment further.
Do these come pre trimmed in the inside? Or do I have to pull them off and insulate underneath them? Im renting and its costing me 600 a month to heat. I don't think the renters insulated it at all. I pull a piece of trim from around the slider door and no insulation there.
The pipes, no caulk or anything. I can throw a penny down to the ground from the bath pipes. It is a double wide. The house has a gap in the floor where it looks like the house is coming apart. I can stick a long needle rite threw it to the ground. - Kevin 8/13/12
Do Double wide Mobile come pre trimmed to the sellers in the inside? Or do the businesses that sell them have to have to pull them off and insulate underneath them? I'm renting a 2004 and its costing me $500-$600 a month to heat.
I don't think the renters insulated it at all. I pulled a piece of trim from around the slider door and no insulation there. I put my hand underneath the cement foundation and the floor. No insulation there as well.
The heat comes out semi cold. It only has a 56000 BTU heater and is new. But.. This seems low for a 40X60 or 40X70 Im not sure which one this is. But it runs for house trying to get the house warm. The dishwasher water freezes in the inside of it during the winter.
I tried pulling it out to see why. But its hooked in. Cold air rushes from the light sockets to where it blows a lighter out. I came from a 3 story victory. So I know little about pre-manufactured homes. The pipes, no caulk or anything.
I can throw a penny down to the ground from the bath pipes. I have caulked around it now.
The house has now formed a gap in the floor where it looks like the house is coming apart. I can stick a long needle rite threw the carpet it to the ground. Is the house just settling? Also the electric is $300-to $400 a month. The light bulbs flash like a strobe light all the time.
They had a 12,000 volt cow fence hooked and water for their 50 head of cows in when we got here. After paying for that (unknowingly) for 6-8 months I realized that it was hooked in.
When I turn off the electric to the house. The fence and water would turned off. So they put in a separate pole. But the lights still flicker and the fuse box blows fuses all the time (for no reason) like if I have the washer on. I have two small girls. The renters say this is all normal. - Computer Geekz - 8/13/12
Regarding your mobile home codes & standards question, please see MOBILE HOME CODES & STANDARDS.
- Yes double-wide and mobile homes are usually sold completely finished, including wall and ceiling, coverings, trim, appliances, and fixtures. However depending on the manufacturer it may be possible to buy these units without some of these features installed, intended to be finished by a buyer. A typical example might be leaving out carpeting and offering carpet choices.
- No it would be unusual for a completed double-wide home to be sold uninsulated unless it were a specially-contracted version as I've mentioned above. And it would make no sense whatsoever to complete a home's interior finishing, trim, wall coverings etc., and then expect a buyer to tear these off in order to insulate the structure. Also in our OPINION it is not normal for a tenant renting a double-wide or mobile home to be expected to insulate, install heat, install electrical wiring.
- This is not a normal nor proper condition. Either your heating system is not working and needs repair, or as you suggest, your unit was not properly constructed and insulated, perhaps routing heating air ducts through a cold, uninsulated space. I can only SPECULATE that perhaps your home was contracted for and sold as an incomplete unit, or was sold for and moved from a different climate.
- Watch out: You are describing an unsafe condition that includes risk of overheating electrical circuits, amateur or improper electrical wiring, and a risk that could include a fire, personal injury, property loss or even death. As you say you are a tenant, not the property owner, our advice is
Keep us posted on how things progress - what we learn may help other readers. I've kept your questions here because this is where you posted them and we want you to find our reply But details about how mobile homes and double-wide homes are built, inspected, and maintained is at MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS.
I crawled underneath today. There is nothing there. No blanket insulation......(nothing) lol WOW - Computer Geekz - 8/15/12
(Oct 28, 2011) michael lavalle said:
the claton home that was delivered is not what i order .blue prints all wroung
(Mar 6, 2012) Plumbing los gatos said:
I have learned something new from you this morning Daniel. I have worked with a great many different plumbing systems over the years, but I had never heard of this system before. I have printed this one out and have added it to my plumbing information binder.
Los Gatos: thanks for the note; I'm not sure what new topic you refer to, but glad to be of use; we welcome questions about our website articles and are glad to research further to work on answers when needed. It benefits everyone. Daniel
(Mar 17, 2014) Jeani said:
We have a 1987 Holiday Manor double wide that we love except for the noisy heating system. Right before the furnace kicks on, there is a knocking sound that travels throughout the house starting out slow and getting faster and faster as it moves through the rooms.
It's loud enough that it wakes us up at night. Any suggestions?
It's a natural gas furnace and is the original one that came with the house.
We had a local heating contractor check it out and their explanation was that the water pressure is too low. They put in a backflow preventor and a shut off valve off the water line so you don't have to drain the furnace to service the whole system but didn't have any other solution.
Any suggestions? The heat works, but boy oh boy, the noise is awful!
Low water pressure to a building would not normally affect the operation of a heating boiler; a service tech might indeed check water level and pressure in the boiler itself to be sure it's within normal operating levels and pressures (typically 12 psi when the boiler is cold).
Search InspectApedia for "heating system noises" for articles offering further help. Indeed banging radiator pipes or baseboards can be common on heating systems.
How can I find the name of the manufacturer and model, and possibly a serial number of a 1971 manufactured home? The title says Make: MALB, Body: HS. The home now has vinyl siding so any label is concealed.
MOBILE / MANUFACTURED HOME LABELS - Mobile Homes and Manufactured Housing Labels & Certifications
we list some locations where you might find the data tag on your mobile home - that's where the manufacturer should be identified. On a home as old as yours there may be no tag. At that point I'd start asking my neighbors who have similar-aged homes.
(Apr 30, 2014) Anonymous said:
I have a older double wide and am doing floor repair work. The center two joists are connected with a long spick at an angle. The bottom is flush but there is a gap of about one inch on the top. What do I do ? leave it as is or bolt the top together ?
(Apr 30, 2014) (mod) said:
Anon I'm sorry but I don't have a clear enough idea of what's going on with the structure of the doublewide to be confident of an answer.
I can say in general that structural connections are very important to prevent a building collapse or to prevent dangerous movement that an open a gas line or rip an electrical wire.
I can't tell if the gap you describe has been there since original construction or if it indicates more worrisome ongoing movement.
If you are referring to the mating of the joists of the two halves of the doublewide at the center of the floor structure, it'd be normal for them to be bolted together. If they're through-bolted securely, say 18" on center (I'm not an engineer) I think they'd be quite secure.
Thanks for your quick response. The floor joists are not bolted together, but are connected with a spike driven at an angle of about 20 degrees from horizontal. The bottom of the joists are flush but the tops are separated by about an inch. I am wondering if I should bolt them at the top to bring them together again, or whether I am better off leaving things as they are.
I don't know how long the gap between the joists has existed. It is a 1979 unit that I bought a couple of years ago and I recently discovered the issue with the joists when I tore up some damaged sub-flooring.
Opposite side angled toe-nailing, if properly done, is quite strong. But when we see the sort of separation you describe going on I'd want to understand why before prescribing the "fix".
Picture two floor structures, say wood-framed, with their perimeter rim joists bolted together at the center of the combined area.
Picture a floor support on piers set both beneath the combined rim joist center girder and the outer perimeter rim joists that run parallel to the nailed-together center.
Imagine that the outer perimeter piers or foundation settled downwards beneath one or both of the floor sections.
That sort of settlement *could* explain the center joist separation you describe. If investigation shows that that's the case (start by checking for out of level floors), the trying to pull the nailed-together center joists with bolts would be futile and risks separating the rim joist from the floor joists.
Let me know what you find. Send along some sharp photos using our CONTACT link and I can comment further.
(5 days ago) Frankie Neal said:
Need to know what will it cost to remodel a 1995 mobile home single wide inside and out
Frankie, without knowing a shred of information about the home, I'm afraid any cost guess would be just arm waving. More, we don't know what underlying issues will be found, not even the size, type, age of the home. But a fair rule in remodeling is to figure the end cost will be as much as twice the original estimate.
5/26/14 Mac said:
I'm having some trouble getting any ideas on if my mobile home that I'm renting is even considered livable. I'm not technically in a park, so there doesn't seem to be any information regarding what the codes would be.
I already know I've been mislead about the condition of the place, and that IS on me, but I am seeing increasing evidence that the home is not water tight, I know the roof is bad, and I believe I can go right through the pop-out wall if I wanted to.
There is packing tape slapped over a large hole in the wall and painted over, so I missed finding that on my walk through, but a lot of the north side of the home seems to have rot in the walls. This is at least a 78, maybe a 75 era mobile, and the master bedroom on the front got destroyed by a fallen tree a few years before I moved in.
Thank you in advance,
A wiser renter
Mac, indeed leaks n older mobile homes are common at roofs,moron edges, windows, doors, and can rot the structure as well as even the floor - meaning the home could be unsafe. Sometimes I find that a careful inspection from below, with a food light,mlooking for leak stains, can give an idea of the areas and extent of leakage.
Ask if you have specific questions or let me know how we can assist.
(July 17, 2014) WANDA RIDGWAY said:
HOW DO I GET TO THE AIR UNIT THAT FLEETWOOD BUILT IN THE ATTIC SPACE OF MY MOBILE HOME
(Mar 13, 2015) jacque said:
I have a 1995 patriot double wide home and am wondering where the attic access is.
Wanda and Jacque
Look for an attic hatch or a removable cover on one of the roof gable-ends. If none is provided then the installation is a terrible one as no one anticipated the need for service, maintenance, repair - in that case you'll need to make an access opening.
(Aug 6, 2014) Donna said:
I have holes in the duct work right under the register (3 of them). I want to repair them from inside instead of going under....is that possible?? and what would cause the holes? any suggestions?
Donna if you can reach the holes through the register you may be able to patch them - depending on the materials used for the original duct. For example sheet metal patching or even fiberglass and epoxy patching can work on metal ductwork; but flex-duct with holes needs to be replaced.
(Oct 13, 2014) lee said:
buckled floors in my double wide in kitchen laundry room and bathrooms seems to only occur in summertime live in nc. whats the problem also no apparent leaks in house and under house.
Lee, I would double-check again for a leak, wet insulation under the home. If none of those are present I suspect that subflooring sections may be tightly-butted, inadequately supported, and buckling from moisture from the soil below. Check for subfloor fasteners that have pulled loose.
A repair may be rather involved: one would have to remove the finish flooring such as carpeting from above, then if necessary cut relief kerfs with a power saw, parallel to and centered over the floor joists at the existing subflooring butt joints, and possibly add screws to secure the flooring in place. If the framing itself is damaged contact me and we'll discuss that further.
(Oct 23, 2014) Jean said:
I have a 1983 trailer with structural water damage in the wall. The framing is like mush. How can it be repaired?
Repairing rotted wall framing on any structure is troublesome and costly; several investigations and decisions need to be made before proceeding:
(Dec 3, 2014) Anonymous said:
wondering what the market value is on an older unrenevated early 70's double wide?
Contact a local real estate agent, since home prices vary quite widely by geographic location as well as specific lot or site properties. General values for mobile homes are given by a number of online soruces such as nadaguides.com.
(Jan 6, 2015) Emma Brinson said:
I have a Peachtree home 1984 and no one never called a pipes need to be replaced
277 pond pine st Tallahassee 32310
how can I get some one to call me 850 556 6991 850 575 6974 home wk 850 617 2590
(Mar 4, 2015) Hendo said:
I am looking to buy a 1975 DW home in a Senior Park in Oregon. The windows are single pane, I want to replace them if I buy it, with double glazed that are more efficient. I thought that the walls were 4" but now I think they are probably 2"-3"?
I agree that the windows on older doublewides are often in poor condition, leaky, causing damage to the structure, and that they increase heating or cooling costs. Certainly there are companies who sell replacement windows designed for these structures. But before replacing your windows I'd look carefuylly at the following questions:
(Mar 8, 2015) Anonymous said:
Is there a way to find old installation manuals? I have a old 1970's mobile home made by Dualwide. They have since gone out of business and I have not been able to locate the installation manual. The county I live in requires the manual for permits because they need to know the specs for load bearing walls etc. Any suggestions?
Dualwide Homes was a manufactured home producer incorporated in California but with a mailing address at 55 Madison, Denver Colorado 80206. The company was incorporated in 1968 in California with an ID of CO552078. Its registration as an active company was suspended in California on 4 May 1987 according to the California Franchise Tax Board. - source: wysk.com, retrieved 9 April 2015
Like you, I was unable to find an online source for Dualwide mobile home manuals.
My suggestion (which means more of an expense to you than buying a manual) is to go back to your county building department to ask what other certification they will accept. Normally if you obtain a statement or home description by a licensed building design professional such as an architect or engineer the building department may be satisfied.
After all, in the case of a home that is more than 40 years old, a statement of its present condition is more reliable than what might be inferred by a 1970's installation manual.
(Mar 18, 2015) Brad said:
I live in a Mini home with a built on enclosed porch. Last week we had a rainstorm, then the next day the temperature dropped to -20. Since then the front door has been sticking and a hairline crack has appeared running horizontally across the wall from the top of the door. My father in law says it's frost heave and will probably resettle when the ground thaws. Any ideas?
Brad your father-in-law's guess is a reasonable one.
However there are immediate fire safety hazards - be sure that all exterior doors can be opened.
(Mar 18, 2015) Steve said:
where is the model number and manufacturers I.D. located on a double wide trailer?
Steve, at MOBILE / MANUFACTURED HOME LABELS we list some locations where you might find the data tag on your mobile home - that's where the manufacturer should be identified. On a home as old as yours there may be no tag. At that point I'd start asking my neighbors who have similar-aged homes.
Regarding the section on "Mobile Homes and Manufactured Housing Labels & Certifications", above:
The "Data plate": 24 CFR § 3280.5 Data plate. "Each manufactured home shall bear a data plate affixed in a permanent manner near the main electrical panel or other readily accessible and visible location..." It includes a list of installed equipment, wind zone, roof load, manufacturer, model, serial, etc.
24 CFR § 3280.11 Certification label. "The label shall be located at the tail-light end of each transportable section of the manufactured home approximately one foot up from the floor and one foot in from the road side, or as near that location on a permanent part of the exterior of the manufactured home unit as practicable." It is an aluminum plate, ca. 2x4 inches, attached by 4 blind rivets or other permanent fasteners.
Thank you NHFireBear. We have added a live link to the HUD documents where previously they were named in this article series and at MOBILE / MANUFACTURED HOME LABELS we quote the full maufactured home labeling requirements.
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