Severe wind storms can be a manufactured home owner’s worst nightmare. Thankfully since 1976 there have been new safety standards created and modified to help regulate and protect the nearly 22 million manufactured home owners during natural disasters.
Below is a visual inspection checklist to help keep your manufactured home safe in the event of a heavy windstorm.
Are there trees over or nearby your Manufactured home? Trees that are in close range or hanging over a home can fall during a high wind storm. Trees should be pruned to reduce the risk of damage; or removed completely to eliminate danger. Pay close attention to pine trees that are 12-inches or more wide and tall enough to crush your home.
Is your Manufactured home surrounded by older mobile homes? Typically single wide homes built before 1976 are very vulnerable to damage and destruction in severe windstorms. Carports and additions frequently fail in severe winds as do roof structures added over top the original roof on older homes. Failures of these structures can generate an incredible amount of wind-borne debris. Carports and additions are frequently designed to lower wind load standards than the newer homes.
What angles are your tie-down straps holding your Manufactured home to the Earth? In most cases the angle of the diagonal anchor strap should be roughly 45-degrees on a level surface to provide the best anchor for the manufactured home.
Are there soft spots in the floor? Moisture on your floors left untreated can cause wood to mold and rot. Check plumbing and water devices like toilets, hot water heaters, and washers to ensure they are not leaking. A constantly wet floor surface will eventually destroy your manufactured home’s sub-floor causing softening of the floor frame and eventually the instability of the entire home. Have all rotted framing members removed and replaced immediately.
Do your Manufactured home have Termites? Termites cause millions of dollars in home damage every year. Before purchasing any investment home you suspect may hold termites consult a local pest control professional for advice. Often times the presence of soft walls, termite wings, and termite droppings can give away their location. Remove and replace damaged wood to prevent a collapse of your home during a severe wind storm.
Is there torn or missing flashing? Flashing prevents outside water from entering the home. This thin strip of bent metal seals joints and the intersections where two surfaces meet. Water entering the home may eventually make its way down to the wood floor frame causing structural damage.
Are you sited near power lines? During a high windstorm power lines may be knocked down near or on top your property. Additional problems can occur if live wires come in contact with your home causing electrocution.
Are any anchor straps loose or missing? Loose anchor straps provide little tension to anchor the manufactured home during a natural disaster. If the strap can be shaken with little effort it is too loose. Replace or tighten these straps to local code guidelines.
Are the masonry piers cracked or chipped? Large cracks or chips to the piers may reduce the structural support to the manufactured home. Consult a licensed professional if you have any questions.