Mobile Home Maintenance
Mobile homes aren't too much different from a regular home. Mobile homes are prefabricated in a factory and delivered and installed on site and are less expensive than homes built with traditional construction methods - but equally well-built, attractive, and comfortable. Like a regular home, they require year-round maintenance. Regularly checking and tuning up your mobile home ensures that you and your family are kept safe and prevents small problems becoming costly large ones.
Annual Mobile Home Maintenance
The first step to any maintenance routine is to make a budget. Homeowners should set aside 3-5% of the value of their home yearly for maintenance and repair costs.
Second, ensure the home is properly levelled. This is much easier if you're building up a new property but may require some work if you've bought a mobile home that was already installed. Proper levelling ensures good drainage. You want water running away from the house, not pooling in the backyard, or worse, collecting against the foundation. A level ground also helps prevent cracks, structural damage, and the dreaded squeaky floors, sure to annoy just about anyone.
Third, ensure your mobile home is properly skirted. It should be secure but have adequate ventilation, otherwise, the air will stop circulating which encourages the growth of mould and mildew. Look for holes and dents and repair them as soon as possible. Check that the foundation piers are solid and all shims are tight in the blocks. If there are any cracks or holes, use silicone caulk to close them.
Biannual Mobile Home Maintenance
At least once per year, wash and clean your home's exterior. Use a power washer or long extension attached to a sponge to wash away dirt and grime. This is the perfect opportunity to check for wear, tear, and fading on the exterior of the home.
You'll also want to give the interior of your home a deep clean, including your appliances, windows, and the basement.
Quarterly Mobile Home Maintenance
Ever season, or four times a year, you should inspect your fire extinguisher and replace it, if needed. You should also test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries (generally needed about every six months). Check your water softener and add salt if needed, and inspect your furnace. You'll also want to deep clean your flooring to increase its lifespan and keep it looking good.
Seasonal Mobile Home Maintenance
Every spring, do a check of the exterior of your home and have it repaired. Clean out your gutters, check any sump pumps, weather stripping, window screens, and AC units. Clean up your yard and ensure your trees don't interfere with any electrical lines.
Summer is a great time to clean the exterior of your home. You'll also want to clean out any garages, sheds, and decks. Inspect your plumbing and exhaust vents as well. Don't forget to take care of any insect problems before they become major.
In autumn, check your roof and replace any loose shingles. Inspect any cement such as your foundation or driveway for cracks and reseal before winter to prevent further damage. Winterize your outdoor spaces by flushing and storing your hoses, turning off your outdoor water faucets, and winterizing your sprinkler system, if you have one. Prepare your heating system by checking for any leaks in the windows and doors, opening your heating vents, and getting a furnace inspection. Flush your hot water and remove any sediment. Finally, don't forget to clean out your gutters again!
Just before winter hits, makes sure you clean out and inspect rain gutters for leaks or holes. Ignore this and water could seep out of the gutters and run down your home’s wall right into the ground, causing soft spots and shifting your home’s foundation. While checking the gutters, make sure they’re on an angle so that water runs away from your mobile home. If your gutters aren’t in an angled position, water will sit and accumulate which can cause ice dams and severe damage to your home. Finally, check and repair all downspouts or extensions.
During winter itself, check for ice dams and icicles. Break them off or remove them, if at all possible. It's also a great time to do all your indoor maintenance! Check your outlets by plugging a lamp into them, tighten any handles, knobs, and racks, check your locks and deadbolts, make sure your caulking around showers and tubs is in good order, and check your light bulbs. You'll also want to do a good clean of the house and complete any other interior projects you might have.
Keep in mind that if you need to repair or replace a fixture, take your current hardware with you to the supply store as some fixtures are specially designed for mobile homes.
While this list may seem like a lot, taking care of this regular maintenance will keep your manufactured home affordable and comfortable for decades. Of course, each year you should review and renew your mobile home insurance to be sure your home and belongings are protected. You should notify your broker of any changes or improvements and update your contact information if needed. Insurance companies are updating and expanding coverage options every year, so you may want to talk to your broker about new coverages available to you.
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