Water and dampness under a mobile home or any home for that matter is going to cause problems. When it rains and you end up with water in your crawl space, this is an urgent situation and needs to be remedied pronto!
The Short Answer
Steps to get the water out from under your mobile home:
- Determine the cause of the water under the home.
- Poorly placed roof downspouts?
- Improper lot grading around the home?
- Improper grading under the home?
- Remove the skirting around the problem area.
- Rent a sump pump to remove as much of the water as possible immediately.
- Let the area dry out completely.
- Fix the cause of the water under the home:
- Repair the roof drainage if needed by moving the downspouts out and away from the home.
- Remedy faulty grading by bringing in fill soil if needed, grading and compacting the soil around and under the home.
What Causes The Water Problems Underneath My Home?
When water finds its way underneath a manufactured home and then accumulates there, it is almost always because of faulty grading. When a home is initially set up, the soil underneath the home is supposed to be mounded and compacted and graded so that the drainage of any water that might get under the home drains to the outside and away from the home.
The rest of the lot itself should also be graded to direct water away from the home and towards the curb or other water drainage system. If the soil under the home was not prepared properly when initially set up, then water can accumulate underneath the home.
When downspouts and gutters are installed on the roof and awnings, the downspouts need to be directed away from the home so that water will not accumulate in one particular area.
What Problems Are Caused By Water Under The Home?
There are several critical issues that are caused when water accumulates and sits under the manufactured home.
When stagnant water sits underneath the home it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Standing water underneath the home can cause the entire crawl space to become extremely humid resulting in condensation on every part of the home exposed underneath.
Mold growth happens very quickly when there are stagnant water and warm temperatures. As humans, we often have the tendency to minimize the effects of problems in our lives, but health concerns should not be one of those.
Follow this link to an excellent post regarding “Mold 101: Effects On Human Health”.
Structural Issues with the Home
There are times when I’m evaluating mobile homes. When I enter sometimes the floor squeaks and pops so badly, the neighbors next door can probably hear. Other times I’ll be walking in the home and can actually feel the floor slanting towards a particular direction.
These types of problems happen when a home is settling on its foundation. With a manufactured or mobile home, the home sits atop heavy steel girders. These girders support the structure of the home.
The steel girders must be supported to keep the home level. Most manufactured homes sit on top of steel or cement peers that themselves rest upon heavy plastic or cement pads that rest on the ground.
If the ground underneath these piers is wet , the weight of the home will make the piers sink into the earth. This will cause all sorts of structural issues in the home above.
The first signs are squeaky and slanting floors. If left unchecked, these problems will turn into doors and windows not fitting into their frames. You may experience problems with them opening and latching properly. Eventually the problem will turn into wall and ceiling cracks, as well as the seam between a multi-section home becoming compromised.
To avoid these types of issues, it is imperative that any water issues that might exist underneath your home be repaired quickly.
Water and humidity in any home, site-built, modular, or manufactured can cause problems for any homeowner. In fact, water remediation (restoration) is a $210 BILLION dollar business in the United States. In case you’re wondering, that is A LOT!
Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That is absolutely the case when it comes to getting rid of dampness and mold inside of a mobile home.
Most folks think that water damage inside of a home comes either from leaking plumbing or a leaky roof. While those are both true, that is only the beginning. Sealing out moisture, whether from the roof, windows, doors, floor, skirting or ground is necessary to prevent a buildup of dampness and mold. Keeping the moisture away, to begin with, is the ultimate weapon against the buildup of dampness and mold.
In this post, we’re going to explore the most common problem areas we see when purchasing older mobile homes.
Older manufactured homes can be a great investment or a very reasonably priced place to make a home. If taken care of and maintained well, these homes can appreciate in value over time. Like any site-built home, a manufactured home can and will deteriorate over time if left to the elements or faulty maintenance.
The most common problems we find with mobile homes can be summed up as:
- Foundations – Piers sinking, tilting and pulling away from the mobile home frame. Tie-down straps also becoming loose.
- Doors and Windows Out Of Alignment – When foundation settling occurs, it is common for mobile home doors and windows to get out of alignment where they will not close or latch properly.
- Roof – Roofs often develop leaks. This is especially true of older mobile homes that have metal rooftops.
- Leaks – Mobile homes are especially susceptible to water damage from leaks. Leaks can often occur around the perimeter of the roof, windows, and plumbing. This is especially true around sinks, toilets and tub showers. Subfloor damage can and often occurs.
- Ceilings – Mobile homes with acoustical panels instead of drywall can be especially problematic if there have been leaks. It is often extremely difficult to find matching acoustical panels. Installing them can also be problematic.
- Plumbing – Many older homes used polybutylene pipes which have been notorious for degrading from the inside out, and then bursting.
- Wiring – Wiring can be problematic if the home has had owner added additions and features where the wiring has been tapped into the original electrical panel.
- Homeowner Built Additions – Very common for a DIY type of owner to have built on a room, porch or shed. If not built properly, these can cause damage to the homes’ roof, foundation, walls, and electrical systems.
- HVAC – Over time, previous owners often ad window a/c units because the original HVAC system was not cooling and heating properly. Sorting out the original system can be expensive, but is not difficult to tackle.
- Insulation – The most problematic for insulation in mobile homes is under the floor. The home has a “belly wrap” that holds the floor insulation in place. This can often become damaged and cause problems.
- Washer Drains and Dryer Vents – Often you might see these two items draining and venting directly below the home. These can be especially problematic for the foundation of the home.
- Damaged Skirting – Skirting is designed to keep the area below the home dry and critter-free. Often skirting may have holes or panels missing. This allows quite a bit of havoc to occur which can damage many mobile home systems.