If you diligently treat your manufactured home with the TLC it needs, it will return kindly by providing you with a high living standard for a long time. Many people think it’s only the significant mobile home repairs and remodels that really make a difference. However, it’s quickly spotting and taking care of the smaller issues that sometimes have the most significant effect.
In this article, we will help you, and your home, by pointing out a few of the most common niggles you should be on the lookout for. These problems are incredibly budget-friendly, don’t require a whole storeroom of equipment, and are mostly pretty easy to tackle.
Reseal your window and door frames
Take a look at your window frames. See anything wrong with them? No? Well, take a closer look. One of the most common problems with manufactured home window and door frames is that they develop tiny hairline cracks over time. These cracks form because the frames are rigid structures and mobile homes tend to shrink, expand, and bend with time, especially in their early years when they “settle” into place.
These hairline cracks might understandably look unthreatening. However, they can affect the efficacy of your insulation and lead to bigger cracks in the future. Luckily, detecting and fixing these small nuisances are easier than you might think, especially with the tip we are about to share.
What you need
- Matches and candle
- Glazing putty
- Putty knife/scraper
- Caulk softener (optional)
How to do it
- Light the candle. You can use the matches; however, their short lifespan will make it a frustrating process. Hold the candle close to the window/door frame and move it along it. Look for any areas where the smoke seems to be sucked toward the frame. This is caused by small cracks in the frame drawing the smoke outside.
- Use the caulk softener and scraper or a screwdriver to remove the old putty or caulk. The putty will be used on the inside of the frame where the glass pane and frame meet and the caulk on the outside between the frame and wall. Make sure that the area is clean before you apply the new caulk or putty.
- You may need to prepare your glazing putty depending on which product you use. Use the scraper or putty knife to scoop up some putty and apply it to the corner. Try to compress it for a tight seal really and shape it in a rough 45° angle.
- To make applying the caulk easier and to really get it into the corner, you can cut your caulking tube’s nozzle at an angle. Treat it the same way as the putty. You can use your finger or a small scraping tool to compress and shape the caulk.
- Lastly, you’d probably want to repaint your frames or the glazing putty to be consistent.
Repair roof leaks
One of the chief areas of concern when it comes to your home and possible leaks is the roof. This comes as no surprise as roofs are constantly in contact with rain, snow, falling debris, etc. From here, leaks can wreak havoc in your ceiling cavity, ceiling surface, and within your walls.
Identifying any damage or potential leaks quickly is vital. You then need to act promptly to rectify any problems. Luckily, almost all kinds of mobile home roofs (metal, rubberized, vinyl) are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix if the damage isn’t extensive. Just remember to always be cautious when working on the roof!
What you need
- Sealing Tape: Different products on the market may be more suitable for different types of roofs. Look for a product that’s waterproof, weatherproof, reflects heat, can stretch, and is self-adhering. Peal-and-seal is a very popular option. You may need different tape dimensions depending on the size and shape of the cracks.
- Bucket of water
- Old towel
How to do it
- Identify any leaks. If you have some water damage on your ceiling or near the top of your walls, the origin is most likely a leak on the roof exterior.
- Go up to the roof and identify any cracks, damage, exposed seams or broken seals on the roof. You should pay particular interest to anywhere where vents or hatches protrude from the surface. Decide what and how much tape you need.
- Once you have your tape, go up to the roof and properly clean and dry an area before applying the tape. Make sure there that the weather will remain clear for at least a few hours after the application.
- To apply the tape, simply cut a large enough section of it off. Then smooth it over the area. Make sure that the ends properly seal against the roof surface with no bubbles or wrinkles.
Repair or replace skirting
Many mobile homeowners still underestimate the importance of their skirting. Skirting is your home’s first line of defense against a host of dangers such as:
- Protects the sensitive underbelly of the house
- Helps prevent pipes from freezing over
- Stops critters from moving in under your home
- And helps insulate the home as a whole.
On top of this, whole and appealing skirting also drastically affects your home’s curb appeal. In many states, intact skirting is required by law. Skirting is under constant threat from weed whackers, animals, and other projectiles. Nevermind rust, if you have metal skirting. Repairing skirting panels or replacing them on an individual basis is fairly affordable. In general, skirting is not very expensive- approximately around $10 per 16” panel.
What you need
- Skirting panels or skirting kit. Some types of skirting are available as single panels. If you are unlucky, you might need to replace the entire skirting.
- Measuring tape.
- Skirtguard (optional)
- Tin snips or skirting repair tape (if repairing and not replacing)
How to do it
- First of all, check how much of your skirting needs to be replaced. If you want to replace the entire skirting in one go, measure the perimeter of the home. Make sure also to measure the height of the home from the ground to make sure you get skirting that fits.
- If you could find individual panels of your skirting, it’s as easy as swapping panels according to the instructions.
- Remember to have the proper amount of ventilation as well as access panels that are required.
- Installing snips or tape over cracks is super easy. You just need to clean the surface. Then, you either stick the tape (remember to smooth it properly) or glue the tin snips using a suitable adhesive.
Fix your plumbing
Luckily for mobile homeowners, particularly those of newer models, manufactured homes usually come with plastic or rubber plumbing instead of metal. This makes it much easier to replace and spare parts much cheaper to buy. On top of that, plastic plumbing is much less likely to freeze over and is extremely durable.
However, even plastic plumbing isn’t immune to the ravages of time. It’s important that you occasionally check on your plumbing, especially after winter, and fix problems ASAP. Water leaks are a huge concern when it comes to mobile homes.
What you need
- Replacement plumbing parts: This could include cleanouts, pipes, taps, reducers, tees, elbows, couplings, etc. Try to stick with your current plumbing type for ease.
- Duct tape
- Tape measure
- PVC Cement or another appropriate adhesive for a different material
How to do it
- Check the aerators of all your faucets (particularly in the affected areas) as well as the flapper of the toilet. It may not even be your pipes.
- The next step is to try and trace a possible source of the problem by comparing the affected areas to your plumbing layout.
- Cut off the water supply. There is usually a cutoff valve at the water heater or near the water hose connection as well as a municipal valve somewhere on the property.
- If a pipe is cracked, you will need to replace it. The easiest method usually involves cutting out the affected area and bridging the pipes. Then, you attach couplings to either end. This article provides a handy guide for cutting and connecting PVC pipes.
- Even if you have metal plumbing, it’s probably easier and more affordable to mend the affected areas using PVC or other plastic piping. This article provides a handy step by step guide on joining PVC and copper piping.
Repair mobile home floor
Moving furniture, clumsily dropping something, water leaks. Almost anything you do in your home affects your floor in some way. You may find after some time that your floor starts to sag, crack or suffer from water damage in certain areas. This can quickly become a hazard for all the inhabitants, so it’s best to resolve these issues quickly.
Although this is still a relatively cheap fix, it’s a bit more labor intensive than some of the other DIY projects we have on here. You will literally remove and replace parts of the floor and work with large pieces of material and a few power tools.
What you need
- 3/4″ or 5/8″ Plywood
- 2X4 Lumber
- Circular Saw
- Pry Bar
- Knife/Blade/Scraper and/or screw driver
- Lumber Screws
- Nail Glue
How to do it
- Assess the damage. If you have an extra layer of laminated wood flooring, carpet or vinyl flooring over your actual floor, you will need to remove this first. This is where the knife, screwdriver, and pliers might come in handy. There might also be some trim in the way around the perimeter. Try and assess the extent of the damage and how much of the floor needs to be replaced.
- Cut up the area of the subfloor that needs to be removed. Try and work in areas that will make it easy to replace. Establish if you have 3/4″ or 5/8″ flooring so that you don’t cut into the joists.
- Once the subfloor is removed, you can inspect the floor joists for damage and condition. It makes sense to replace them if necessary while you’re at it.
- The simplest way to repair floor joists is to reinforce the damaged parts with the new joists. However, if the wood is rotting, you will need to either replace the joist altogether or cut away and replace the affected stretch. Use the level to make sure everything is even.
- Once your joists are in place, you can also replace the insulation if you wish. Then, you can start replacing your subflooring. Remember to work in parallel with the joists If a piece of flooring ends between joists; you will need to reinforce it with another joist along the end.
- Once your new flooring is in place, you will need to replace whatever floor cover you had.
So, which one will you tackle first?
Another, more intensive, mobile home repair is to relevel it. You can find out more in our article How To Relevel A Double Wide Mobile Home And Stay HUD Compliant. If you are thinking of some more substantial upgrades, there is no better place to start than our FAQs About Remodelling a Mobile Home. Lastly, remember to always stay on the right side of the HUD Code.
It pays to occasionally take a few moments of your time to check if your mobile home is in need of any of these repairs. Chances are that your home is in need of at least one of them. All mobile home owners should know how to carry out these essential mobile home repairs. After a few attempts, it will become almost routine.