A Guide to the General Maintenance of Manufactured Homes

As manufactured homes continue to gain popularity, it is important for manufactured home owners to know how to properly take care of their homes. Just like a site-built home, a manufactured home requires routine maintenance to ensure it stays in the best possible condition so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

To ensure that everyone is well educated on the required upkeep, we at the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association have put together a guide related to caring for your manufactured home.

Ensure Your Home is Level

First and foremost, one of the most important steps in caring for your home is to have a professional inspector check it regularly (every 5-10 years) to ensure that it remains on level ground. Just like site-built homes, manufactured homes have the potential of settling on their foundation over time, and if your home settles in such a way that it becomes unlevel it can bring about several issues. Problems might include doors and windows that won’t shut correctly, cracks appearing in walls, and possible water leaks.

Keep Home Skirting Safe

Manufactured homes are technically “open” underneath (much like a crawl space on a site-built house). Because of this feature, skirting has to be installed around the manufactured home to protect the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.

Maintaining the skirting around your manufactured home can also help keep out debris, natural elements and weather, and small animals from making their way into your home’s interior. Keeping pests out from underneath your manufactured home is important as they might damage electrical and plumbing lines.

Keep an Eye on the Roof

Have the roof of your manufactured home coated with a durable coating each year. As with any type of home, check regularly for debris and broken or missing shingles.

Typically, the roof is the feature of a manufactured home that receives the most wear and tear. We at AMHA recommend receiving a routine, professional roof inspection on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to inspect your roof after any major storms or other severe weather.

Monitor the Infrastructure

Watch for any areas of your manufactured home’s frame that look scratched or damaged, as this has the possibility of leading to rust and corrosion. You can touch up these scratches with a quality zinc chromate or asphaltic base paint. We also suggest checking the caulking around vents, windows, and doors for cracks and peeling on a monthly basis to keep things status quo. Re-caulk these areas as necessary.

If your manufactured home has vinyl siding, many areas can be periodically cleaned with water and detergent. In the case of mildew, you can use a 1:3 solution of chlorine bleach and water, but be careful as mixing bleach with other chemicals can be dangerous. Regularly checking your gutter system is an easy way to prevent foundation and roof damage. Clogged gutters can result in water damage and leaking. f your interior walls have vinyl coverings they can be washed with a mild detergent such as Dawn. For more stubborn stains you can use a more heavy-duty cleaner.

Heating and Cooling

If you find the amount of money you’re paying every month for your manufactured home’s electrical or gas bills has increased, that might be a sign that something is wrong with the heating or cooling system in the home. It is a good idea to perform monthly maintenance on these systems to ensure that they are working at optimal capacity and to reduce the amount of money you are spending on your utility bill.

Don’t Throw Out the Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual that came with your manufactured home will contain important information necessary in caring exclusively for your manufactured home. It will explain in detail all of the information on how the different systems work and ways to troubleshoot certain issues as they arise. It might also help you come up with a checklist of features to routinely check and maintain.

With regular maintenance, caring for your manufactured home can be simple. By keeping up with routine care and professional inspections, your manufactured home will be able to stay in great condition and last you and your family for many years.

Have more questions? Just visit the AMHA website. We offer a ton of resources, including a directory of laws and regulations, along with a list of Alabama manufactured home communities and retailers.