Homeowners love the affordability and ease of care of a mobile home. Mobile homes have simple designs and attractive layouts, but they are not entirely maintenance free. Leveling is one of the most important maintenance steps to remember because of the problems that an unlevel home can create. This guide describes what could happen if a homeowner neglects this service.
1. Inoperable Windows and Doors
When mobile homes shift the first signs of a problem are sticking doors and windows. If the home becomes too unlevel it may be impossible to open and close these features without using excessive force. This is a safety issue because exterior doors may fail to lock if the home is too out of balance, and inoperable windows could leave people without outside access during a fire or other emergency.
2. Cracked Walls and Ceilings
Excess pressure on walls and ceilings due to the tilting of the home causes the material to crack. Small lines will often appear first but may worsen over time as the home shifts. Wallpaper may become loose or tear in areas where the walls warp or buckle. Hardwood floors can also warp, and flooring tile can loosen or crack.
3. Level of Comfort Drops
A severe tilt may make people feel as if they are leaning when they sit at desks or tables. People may even feel like they are walking downhill in some rooms of the house. Cabinet doors swing open or do not close fully, washing machines fall out of balance easily, and food slides to one side of the pan during preparation. Noise and shaking may also occur when someone's walking through the house.
4. Damage Occurs to Skirting
If the tilt of the home is severe, then it could cause the property to lean enough to put pressure on one section of the skirting. Parts of the skirting could become loose, buckle or break. Gaps may appear under the trim pieces on the highest area of the home. Gaps make it easy for moisture and chilly air to blow under the home and it gives pests and animals easy access beneath the structure.
5. Less Stable Anchor Straps
When the strain of the leaning structure starts to tug on the anchor straps, the straps will loosen and may even pull out of the ground on the higher end of the home. If the anchors loosen or come free, then the home will no longer have the protection it needs to remain secure in heavy windstorms.
6. Excess Wear Under Home
Over time, when the building isn't level, the piers on the low end of the home wear out due to the excess pressure placed on them. Erosion and less stabilization are the results of long-term exposure to the added weight. Other components beneath the structure could loosen or break because of the loss of support from the piers.
Damage to the supports under the home will cause even more visual and functional problems inside the house. Eventually, the damage becomes so extensive it can cause the mobile home to have safety and structural problems that are difficult to repair adequately.
Newly installed homes need inspections every few months because of the natural settling of the ground that is common after installation. Annual or biannual inspections after the first year ensure the home stays stable. Homeowners can use floor levels to see if there has been any shifting. Get help if you notice any of the problems mentioned above.
At The Manufactured Home Specialist, we help homeowners to reduce the wear to their homes by keeping the structure level. Regular leveling services reduce the need for many types of repairs and help to save the homeowner money over time. Contact us for a comprehensive inspection and free estimate for your home.