A mobile home that is not leveled can cause homeowners major troubles. There are many causes why mobile homes become uneven. Different from conventional homes that enjoy solid foundations, mobile homes usually depend on blocks or piers for support. If these blocks or pier footings are improperly placed under the home or are disturbed by earth movement or excessive water seepage, the home’s floors will become uneven, sink, buckle or crack. Oftentimes, this results in some very costly repairs. Here is some useful information that every mobile homeowner should know.
What Happens if Your Mobile Home is Not Level?
Weather plays an important role in leveling a mobile home, be they single-wide or double-wide mobile homes. Through periods of constant moisture and drying, soil particles under a mobile home will contract and expand. These movements cause the mobile home to become unsettled. The mobile home’s structure is equally important, particularly the proper placement of the pier stacks and blocks. Either because of weather wear and tear or the improper placement of the mobile home support structures, in time, the pier stacks and blocks supporting the mobile home will either sink or heave upward. It is also important to consider the terrain where the mobile homes sit. Sitting on a slope or an elevated area or sitting on flat land determines many other factors when you need to level your mobile home.
Some signs of an uneven mobile home include cracks on the drywall that covers the ceiling or the walls; a floor that squeaks or moans; doors and windows that either stick or swing open; ceramic tiles cracking; cabinet doors that do not seem to fit and water that flows and collects on one side of the floor or the countertop. Hence, it is important to check that the mobile home is perfectly level at all times.
How Do You Level Out A Mobile Home?
Here are ten easy steps to level out a mobile home:
In any type of mobile home repair or renovation, safety is the first and foremost consideration. Make sure that everyone involved in the project has their safety equipment on and proper tools on hand. Protective eyewear, hard hats, and work gloves are a must. Never remove your safety equipment at any time during this process.
Not all mobile homes have skirting. In case your mobile home has, you need to detach it for you to reach all the pillars of your mobile home. Deposit the skirting somewhere out of reach and at a safe distance allowing some ground for maneuvering without any distraction. This allows you to access the beams and pillars and level your home more quickly. Make sure that you have enough crawl space to maneuver in when making the necessary repairs or adjustments.
PLUMBING AND INSTALLATIONS
Avoid more problems by first securing your plumbing and electrical installations when intend to level your mobile home. Make sure to secure your pipes to the base of your home when raising the beam of your home. Also, it is imperative to check and re-check that there are no electrical wires or connections that are wrapped around the beams or tangled between them. Simply unwrap and untangle them if your encounter this problem. Ensure that all installations are attached to the base of your home at a safe distance from the plumbing and the support beams. These contact points are critical to the entire project. You may also want to double-check if your mobile home needs more support beams and if there are minor damages to the other support beams. This is one crucial part of the safety precautions that any mobile homeowner should take to heart.
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CHECK YOUR HOME LEVELING
Because this article is all about how to level a mobile home, this next time comes in handy. Carefully check which of your mobile home pillars need to be adjusted. Using your six-foot level, begin at the center of your house. Put the level against the beam near the pillar and check if the bubble is leaning towards one side. If it is then place a shim under the beam, mark it with chalk and move on to the other areas of the home. A flashlight will usually come in handy in this process. Make sure to be cautious at all times. Again, always double-check that you have marked all the pillars that need minor adjustments and need to be leveled. We can never over-stress here the importance of checking all the pillars to make your job faster and easier. Of equal importance is to check if your mobile home structural foundation needs some extra blocks or pier stacks.
RAISE THE BEAM
Raising the beam in mobile homes that need some leveling is a dangerous process. Be very careful and never rush things. Here you will be needing again your six-foot level and a jack. Place a piece of wood or a shim under the jack to keep it stable. Put the six-foot level against the beam to keep track of it. To level your home correctly, raise the beam carefully and slowly and watch the position of the bubble on your level tool. Once the support beam is level, stop raising it and secure the jack.
Check Water Level
The water level is crucial when you level your mobile home. You may begin at the center of your mobile home to check the level at each and all pier stacks. Put the long level at the nearest pier to the center and check the bubble in the center of the level; if it is centered, the area is level. Remember that each mobile home has its water level.
SHIMS TO LEVEL YOUR HOME
After you have ascertained that the beam is at a proper level using your six-foot level and that the jack holding it is firmly secured, you can now proceed to place a shim between the beam and the supporting pillar. Remember to always have a co-worker or an assistant with you at all times. You may use a hammer to secure the shim until you are convinced that it fits and that it is in a locked position.
CHECK YOUR WORK
Now is the time for you to check if you did a great job in leveling your mobile home. After putting all the shims in the beams that need some adjustment, move to the center of your home and once again use your six-foot level next to your beam and watch the position of the bubble. Do this in every supporting pillar and if the bubble in your level is at the center at all times, then that only means that you’ve done a wonderful job in leveling your mobile home.
REATTACH THE SKIRTING
Because you have done a great job, it’s time to give yourself a good pat on the back. However, remembering that one more thing needs to be done to completely wrap things up. Carefully reattach the skirting around your house, secure it and get some fizz!
How Often Should A Mobile Home be Leveled?
Weather, earth conditions, proper maintenance and wear and tear all add up to determining a mobile home’s overall condition. Most mobile home manufacturers recommend that releveling should be done every so often, from a three to five-year period from the time of its original installation. It is also wise to Check the level of your mobile home every six months. However, through proper care and maintenance, mobile homes can offer homeowners years and years of pleasant and comfortable living conditions.
What Tools do I Need to Level A Mobile Home?
As safety is a primordial concern in any mobile home construction or renovation project, the top of the list is a complete set of safety equipment that includes flashlights, work gloves, hard hats, protective overalls, and glasses. A few tools may also be needed. Professionals also consider a water lever and 10-30 ton hydraulic bottle jacks as the most important tools required in releveling a mobile home. Like all other physical assets we have, proper maintenance of the mobile home is key to keeping its value.
How Much Does It Cost to Level a Mobile Home?
Avoid costly repairs when leveling your mobile home. In mobile home leveling, the accepted cost estimate to level a single-wide mobile home is between $450 and $600, while a double-wide mobile home can cost up to $900. Expect to pay $1,000 or more for leveling wider mobile homes.
For many of us, mobile homes are convenient and, more often than not, less expensive than conventional homes. Manufactured homes are fast getting to be the preferred choice these days. For more information, you may check us out and Get An Offer Today.