How Do You Take Care of a Mobile Home?
Caring for your mobile home involves many of the same processes that you might encounter when maintaining any type of dwelling, with a few significant differences. Many mobile homes are left on their frames when installed in a permanent location, creating crawl spaces beneath them that might present maintenance issues not seen in wood frame homes. Materials used in the construction of mobile homes, such as window framing, may call for a more specialized approach if repaired or replaced. It's a good idea to conduct a periodic inspection of your mobile home to make sure that everything is up to par and to take note of any repairs that must be made.
Refer to the owner's manual that came with your mobile home, or buy a manufactured home maintenance and repair manual to get information on specific maintenance tasks inside and outside the home. Keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs.
Remove a section of your mobile home's skirting to conduct a visual inspection of the crawl space, the home's underbelly, the chassis and the anchors. Check for dampness or leaks from water pipes, and use a level to be sure that the foundation's grading allows for water run-off. Inspect all exterior walls, including the skirting. Use a mild detergent and hot water to clean both vinyl and aluminum siding. Check around windows and doors for worn caulking, and fill in any gaps. Inspect all components of the gutters, and clean to remove old leaves and debris that interfere with their normal function. Inspect chimney caps and plumbing vent pipes for debris and damage. Check roofing and replace any missing or loose tiles.
Inspect interior floors, walls and ceilings. Pay attention to dampness stains, especially in ceilings, that could indicate either too much interior condensation or an exterior water problem. Look for wear in areas where carpet meets linoleum or along exterior and interior walls. Check for sloping which may indicate that your mobile home is not level. Replace caulking around bathroom fixtures, and inspect tiles and fiberglass for cracks and gaps. Check countertops, and inspect sink fixtures as well as plumbing, and make any necessary repairs. Inspect floor around base of toilet and toilet tank for signs of dampness.
Check all appliances and light fixtures, including wiring and plugs. Repair or replace any exposed wires as soon as possible. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and test them to make sure they are working. Check the fuse or circuit-breaker panel, and call an electrician if you notice anything that isn't right, such as breakers that trip often or fuses that keep blowing. Inspect your hot water heater for leaks and corrosion, and have your heating system serviced every year by a qualified technician. Clean heat registers regularly to remove dirt and dust, and replace or wash the filter on your heater.
Inspect all windows and repair any cracks or have the windows replaced. Lubricate the tracks for any sliding windows, as well as any hardware for crank-out windows. Replace any loose or worn weatherstripping, and take down and wash any removable screens. Locate the adjustment device at the top of all interior sliding doors and turn the screw until the door hangs and operates properly.
Things You Will Need
- Carpenter's level
- Weatherproof caulking
- Gutter cleaning brush
- Weather stripping
- Log book
- For interior condensation problems, you may want to consider buying a dehumidifier. You can also minimize bathroom condensation by running the vent fan.