Some mobile homes are more prone to moving out of alignment than others. While a well-supported house sitting on firm, dry land may go decades without needing releveling, most housing sites are not quite that ideal. This blog lists the common conditions on a residential lot that may be why your home is slowly sinking and why your home may be in need of periodic maintenance.
Homes on Wet Ground
A house is only as stable as the soil it sits on, particularly when it rests on piers. People may think of the ground as a solid, unchanging entity, but it can be surprisingly dynamic. A standard home solves the problem through foundations, but most mobile homes don't have that luxury. Instead, they rely on piers and other support systems to remain level.
In colder climates, mobile homes are typically installed with sunken footings, which are designed to anchor the structure below the soil's frost line. This prevents water in the soil from freezing, expanding, and carrying the home with it. This is usually not an issue in Southern California, but it means mobile homes often lack the extra support footings provide.
Warmer climates face challenges from marshy soils, flooding, and rot. Wet soil is prone to frequent shifts, particularly during dramatic events like flooding. Fast-moving floodwaters may also wipe out individual piers, weakening the home. Always check that your mobile home's underbelly is dry and properly supported after a flooding event or heavy rain.
Homes With Insufficient Support
Even on dry soil, a lack of full support for your mobile home will eventually cause it to sink. Mobile foundations range from wooden posts to concrete slabs and even full basements. Generally, the more evenly weight is distributed along the floor and frame of a structure, the less likely it is to sag. Cheaper foundations that rely solely on piers come at the cost of increased maintenance costs later on.
Homes Near Trees
Sometimes, you don't need to worry about the soil as much as you need to worry about the objects buried beneath it. Tree roots are notorious for cracking pool tiles, buckling sidewalks, and clogging sewer lines. When they grow or wither away beneath a mobile home, they can disturb soil levels and gradually push piers up or down. This is especially common after years of drought, pests, and flooding have killed many local trees.
Homes With Added Weight and Structures
Mobile homes are designed with a specific weight and dimension in mind. Adding to your home without considering its balance can throw off those calculations and leave the structure hopelessly compromised. Always consult with a mobile home specialist before beginning a new project like a deck. Releveling before new construction is also recommended.
Homes Already in Need of Leveling
Once a mobile home is knocked out of alignment, the problem is likely to grow worse with time. Every time weight is placed on an uneven floor, it adds more stress to the strained framework of your home. This leads to dilapidated mobile homes that end up too structurally damaged to repair. If leveling is delayed too long, then you may find that basic amenities like plumbing stop working and the home becomes unsellable.
Rather than allowing your property to slide into disrepair, it pays to keep up with the basic maintenance of a mobile home. By investing in releveling before the whole structure needs it, you can preserve your mobile home for many decades to come.
Give our experienced team at The Manufactured Home Specialist a call today to schedule an inspection and learn more about your mobile home's vulnerable points.