For the most part, mobile homes have the same maintenance requirements as stick-built housing. Everyone needs to remember to check smoke detector batteries twice a year, replace furnace filters frequently, and touch up paint as needed to protect surfaces. There are a few tasks specific to mobile home living, though, that are a bit different than other residential homes.
Check the Skirting
Houses on a foundation don’t have skirting, but your mobile home should. If it doesn’t, the first order of business is to add some. This helps insulate the structure and keep critters from making a home underneath your house. Also known as a perimeter enclosure, skirting also adds curb appeal. At least once each year be sure to walk the perimeter of your mobile home, paying special attention to where it attaches to the frame and also to the next sheet of skirting.
While you need to ensure quality seals, airflow is also important to avoid moisture build-up. Vents should be installed on each side of the skirting and checked regularly for debris and build-up that could affect air circulation. Also make sure shrubs and other plants are trimmed back away from the skirting.
Get the Level out
Mobile homes are leveled when they are put into place, but because they don’t sit on a concrete foundation, they sink and settle with the ground underneath. A mobile home that has moved out of level can result in wall or ceiling cracks, problems with attached decking, creaking floors, and issues with doors not closing correctly. As part of your regular maintenance routine you should check the levelness of your home and make adjustments as needed.
Mobile homes are open underneath, which can invite a host of problems during cold weather, not the least of which is frozen pipes. So again be sure to check your skirting and apply heat tape to all exposed plumbing pipes. Also ensure your roofing is secure with an annual exam. Drag out the ladder to get close up and make sure there are no cupping shingles or gaps between metal sheets.
Inspect doors and windows before the cold weather rolls in. Seal all gaps with spray or strip foam insulation. While you’re at it, inspect caulking around windows, doors, sinks, tubs, and toilets. As the house adjusts or during the course of regular wear and tear, caulking can separate or dry out and crack, so replace caulking promptly as needed. Also make sure to trim back any tree branches that could fall on your home.
Attack the Moisture
Mobile homes are notorious for collecting moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew issues. Regularly open your windows and doors and run a dehumidifier. You can also place moisture absorbing crystals such as DampRid or similar products around the house.
Run a Pest Check
Termites, mice, and other critters can wreak havoc on a mobile home. It doesn’t take long for a small problem to turn into a large one, so watch for any signs of pests in cupboards, on decking, or in the roof of your home. Signs include feces, chew marks, and sawdust piles.
Maintain the Roof
It is essential to maintain your mobile home roof, as it protects your entire home. In the spring and again in the fall, do a thorough roof inspection. Since most mobile home roofs are flat, water accumulation can cause big issues so experts suggest applying a durable roof coating each year. Along with the roofing, inspect the drainage system. Clean out gutters and ensure downspouts are functioning properly. Also verify that downspout water isn’t pooling or running underneath the home.
Inspect the Siding
If your mobile home has metal siding check for any portion that may be separated at least once each year. Wash the siding a few times a year with a basic soap and water mix. If you see any mold or mildew developing, attack it with a strong mixture of chlorine bleach and water.