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How Long Do Mobile Homes Last: Tips to Make It Last Longer

John Scholtz
How Long Do Mobile Homes Last: Tips to Make It Last Longer

Mobile homes conjure up images of RVs or bus-like contraptions on frames. But these are quite far off the mark. A mobile home is often called such because they’re prefabricated in factories. These are then moved by sections. They are also sometimes transported on wheels and installed on a specific plot of land.

They’re not the homes most people associate the American Dream with, but they’re a popular option. A recent study revealed that more than 22 million Americans own and live in mobile homes. There’s no set demographic to describe mobile homeowners. They range from young workers to retirees. There are couples who’ve raised families in this type of home.

There are several reasons why people choose to live in mobile homes. It’s a good answer to low-income housing. They’re more accessible. The maintenance costs are lower and you pay less for utilities. These are all good reasons for choosing a modular home. But how long can you stay in it?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says that today’s mobile homes can last from 30 to 55 years. It's a surprising number for a lot of people. Upon construction of these houses, strict conditions must be followed.

These structures followed uncompromising federal manufacturing standards. This comes before the application of any local and regional codes. A mobile home needs to receive the green light from the US HUD. Other applicable federal standards supersede local rules. This longevity only applies to those made after 1976.

A mobile home is like any other kind of housing. It needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Most of the mobile homes in the market today use the same materials as regular houses. You need a different maintenance approach. It's because they're manufactured in a factory,

It’s best practice to read the manual of any equipment or appliance you have. This ensures you know how to care for and maintain them the right way. The same holds true for mobile homes.

It might be dry reading but it holds helpful information about your home. It also lists troubleshooting methods to help you deal with issues. Some manuals even have a maintenance checklist. This is always useful and followed.

Make sure you keep your mobile home’s manual safe and accessible. Don’t worry if you’ve lost or discarded it. You can check with the manufacturer about getting another one.

All homes will settle after several years. This holds true for both stick-built homes and modular housing. Settling happens for a variety of reasons. Loose wedges or damaged shims are the top culprits.

The good news is it’s easier to re-level manufactured homes than conventional ones. Releveling will distribute the weight in an even manner. This ensures the structure is now aligned well.

It’s important to keep the home on an even level. Cracks could develop in the walls if it’s not leveled. It could also lead to leaks. Settling due to loose wedges is easier to manage. You can re-level your house even without extra help. But you’ll need professional help if you have learning piers.

Mobile home roofs need inspection at least twice a year. Owners of mobile homes have to deal with the elements as well. We’re talking ice and heavy snow. Hailstorms and the hot sun can also cause damage over the years.

Roof inspections should include checks for leaks and cracked caulk. You should also check for soft spots. Don’t forget to look at the gutters and the condition of the flashing. You should also reseal or recoat your mobile home’s roof on a regular basis. Check your owner’s manual for information on how often this should be done.

John Scholtz
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