Older mobile homes (C) Daniel FriedmanHow to Inspect the Exteriors of Mobile Homes, Double wides, Triple-Wides & Trailers

  • MOBILE HOME EXTERIOR DEFECTS - CONTENTS: Mobile home exterior siding, windows, doors, steps, railings: inspection guide - Exterior Defects. Common mobile home, double-wide or trailer exterior defects in siding, windows, doors, entrances, steps, and railings. Safety and building codes for mobile homes. Door & Window Defects on Caravans, Mobile Homes, Double-wides & Trailers. Siding Defects, Leaks, Problems on Trailes, Double-wides, Caravans, Mobile Homes. Site & Surface Drainage Problems at Doublewides & Mobile Homes. Skirting Defects at the Base of Caravans, Doublewides, Mobile Homes. Stairs, steps & railing safety hazards at Caravans, Doublewides, Mobile Homes, Trailers
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to troubleshoot & fix problems in manufactured home or mobile home exteriors

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Manufactured Home & Mobile Home Exterior Inspections:

How to Inspect Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing for Exterior Defects in Siding, Windows, Trim, Entry Porches, Steps, Railings: detailed procedures, defect lists, references to standards.

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Guide to Inspecting Manufactured & Mobile Homes for Exterior Defects

Door & Window Defects on Caravans, Mobile Homes, Double-wides, Triple-wides & Trailers

Broken mobile home windows (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo above shows broken windows and just below we show windows that were taped-over, probably to stop winter drafts.

Taped-over mobile home windows (C) Daniel Friedman

Window damage (C) Daniel Friedman

In turn, leaks at windows and doors of mobile homes, trailers, and doublewides, also on campers, often cause still more extensive damage including collapsing of particle board subfloors, wet moldy insulation in wall and floor cavities, damaged electrical components, and on occasion, insect damage as well.

Below: collapsing leaky mobile home window:

Window damage (C) Daniel Friedman

Below: leaky cap flashing at mobile home window top.

Window damage (C) Daniel Friedman

Watch out: leaks into walls invite rot and insect damage. Check the floor below windows and doors, and inspect this area carefully from the crawl space.

Bad mobile home door (C) Daniel Friedman

Question: leaky windows and roof defects on 1998 modular home

I have friends that bought a 1998 Modular Home that was set-up as a display model. They bought it in March 1999. It had single-pane aluminum frame windows...and the panes are not even sealed on all edges...and move in the frame.

Likewise the double-hung parts of the windows are not airtight and sweat profusely. When were the double-pane windows mandated to be installed in modular homes ? Also, they have a roof problem. In 2008 in August 23-25 it rained 22 to 24 inches.

Since that time I have noticed that all around the perimeter of the roof...the roof has many places where the decking is sunken in. the shingles do not overhang the required one inch or so...and are right even with the edge of the eave drip flashing.

What I suspect is that the water, curled under the shingles and wicked back under the shingles ad saturated the roof decking. I have looked into one area...and the decking has rotted though and water has been poring into the wall cavity. I saw that the top sill plate is rotted through.

All of the interior of the house has a vinyl wallpaper...and no black mold has come through that I can see. The living and dining rooms don't show any signs of black mold either.

This manufacturer has many complaints and problems from various owners around the US. The manufacturer seems to be ignoring them all. I would like some specifics from anyone to get these problems addressed. Thanks. - Aubrey 1/29/2012


In case your home is actually modular construction, not a mobile home or doublewide, please

Aubrey you should have a professional home inspection performed so that you have a reasonably accurate, complete list of building problems and defects that need to be addressed, and so that you know the priority of repairs. I suggest this because given what you've already seen, it could be a mistake to think that the issues you've seen are all of the problems or even the most important ones. In general the priorities of repair are

  1. Fix unsafe conditions at the home
  2. Fix building defects for mechanical systems that are needed that just don't work - such as reliable heat, electricity, plumbing
  3. FIx building defects that are causing rapid costly damage - such as leaks, insect attack

Once you have a repair and maintenance plan for your home, you and your attorney can address the question of who is responsible to pay for these repairs.

Let us know the name and model and manufacturer of your home and send along any photographs of problems if you can and we'll be glad to research and comment further.

Question: what types of windows are found on mobile homes?

I have a question not a comment. Hope you can get back to me on this. We are buying a 1974 mobile home. What kind of windows are in that type of home. Are they roll outs or pull up windows? - Linda


You can see some common mobile home window types in this article:

- sliders
- double hung windows
- single hung windows
- jalousie windows

Watch out: At least on older homes these windows are often leaky and may have caused hidden wall and floor damage. Check under the carpet or in the crawl area of your home, especially in floor areas below windows or doors.

Site & Surface Drainage Problems or Hazards at Doublewides & Mobile Homes or Static Caravans

Caravan site debris and site hazards (C) Daniel Friedman

Caravan site debris and site hazards (C) Daniel Friedman

Stairs, steps & railing safety hazards at Caravans, Doublewides, Mobile Homes, Trailers

Dual exit stairs on mobile home (C) Daniel Friedman
Unsafe stair at exit door (C) Daniel Friedman

Unsafe stair at exit door (C) Daniel Friedman

Skirting Defects at the Base of Caravans, Doublewides, Mobile Homes

Doublewide or trailer skirting (C) Daniel Friedman

Siding Defects, Leaks, Problems on Trailes, Double-wides, Caravans, Mobile Homes

Mobile home siding damage (C) Daniel Friedman

Carvan siding puncture damage (C) Daniel Friedman

Ver.4.0 - 04/25/07, updated through 2015 by Daniel Friedman & - Steve Vermilye, Hudson Valley ASHI Chapter Seminar, Newburgh NY, January 4, 2000, NY Metro ASHI Fall 99 Seminar, Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, White Plains NY, October 2, 1999.


Continue reading at MOBILE HOME ROOF LEAKS, DEFECTS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

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