Maintaining your manufactured home is important for many reasons. Good maintenance is the best way to keep the value of the home high to build equity for the future. It also helps ensure the safety and comfort of the home year-round. Maintenance isn’t necessarily always enjoyable or exciting, but it is an important responsibility as an owner or renter of a manufactured home.
Many of the tasks that are important for home maintenance only need to be done once a year, and others only twice. Yes, these actions take a little of our time each year, but they can go a long way toward preserving the comfort and quality of your home for years to come. If these tasks aren’t completed each year, the lack of maintenance on your home can build up and result in frustrating, expensive issues down the road.
This helpful Annual Maintenance Checklist for Manufactured Homes includes 5 items to review every year. If all of these areas are addressed annually, you can be certain you’re on the path to happy home ownership.
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
Check your foundation or support structure for any cracks or imbalances caused by potential settling. This is one of the most important items to check each year, especially for the first few years of the home in a new location. Just like site-built homes, modular homes can start to sink and settle over time. A manufactured home should be releveled on a semi-regular basis to account for shifting. Homes with more complicated or permanent foundations should be checked professionally at least once a year for the first few years to ensure that settling or shifting hasn’t occurred.1
A cracked foundation or unlevel home can cause a whole host of other problems if not taken care of, such as doors and windows that won’t shut or seal properly, leaks or cracks in the walls, and drafts of air and humidity entering the home. Stress on one small part of the home structure can impact the entire home, causing it to age quicker and potentially even leading to warping or bowing. You can check to see if your home is level using a standard carpenter level or water level. In more permanent foundations such as crawl spaces, slab foundations, or basement foundations, visible cracking, sagging, or shifting is usually the biggest indicator of damage.
The skirting or perimeter enclosure around the bottom of your manufactured home is designed to keep unwanted moisture from getting into the underbelly of the home. Check regularly to make sure there are no holes or cracks in your solid skirting that might allow moisture (or even rodents!) to get into the home.
While you don’t want holes or damage to the solid portion of your skirting, you do still want to make sure the skirting is properly ventilated. Good skirting ventilation involves having approximately one square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of space under the home. Proper ventilation will help to avoid the collection of too much moisture beneath the home, which could lead to problems with uncomfortable humidity and difficulty regulating temperature. Too much moisture under the home, whether from holes in the skirting or from lack of ventilation, can even lead to issues with foundation and flooring.
Check regularly, at least twice a year, to make sure there is no debris and no broken or missing shingles on the roof. You’ll also want to look over the flashing to make sure it is in good condition, and ensure there aren’t any cracks or soft spots in the roof caulking. Any imperfections or weaknesses in the roof could lead to moisture, air, and other problematic elements or even vermin getting into the roof cavity of the home.
Resealing or recoating the roof of your manufactured home every year is also a great idea – especially for flat roof manufactured homes. Roof coating is essential to keeping your indoor temperature regulated and keeping your home dry. The type of coating you need depends on the type of roof or roof cap installed on your home, so be sure you are using the right coating for your specific roof material. For example, asphalt and aluminum coatings cannot be used on PVC or rubber (EPDM) roofs. You should also be checked regularly for debris and broken or missing shingles. Check to see that the flashing is in good condition and there aren’t any.
Checking and cleaning your gutters frequently is one of the easiest ways to prevent damage to the roof and exterior of your manufactured home. Having clogged gutters can end up causing leaks and water damage to the home. If ignored for too long clogged gutters can become heavy with debris and break or fall off the house, causing significant external damage to the home and property.
Even if you don’t live near large trees, debris like dirt, leaves and even rocks can be carried through the air and deposited into your gutters. Cleaning out the gutters once a year is a great idea for any homeowner. For those living in areas where rain or snowfall or common this should be checked and cleaned at least twice every year, ideally once in the spring and once just before winter.
Window and Vent Caulking
Checking the caulking around your windows and vents is always a good idea, but this is an especially important step before the winter months if you live somewhere with significant temperature changes. Extreme temperature changes can eventually cause caulking to shrink, split or break down, which can result in cracks, gaps, or warping in the seals that protect your home’s climate. When airflow enters through damaged seals around windows or vents, it makes your home less comfortable and your heating or cooling costs higher.
Many people think to check their window seals before wintertime but often forget about other seals around vents, ducts, and other systems that are sealed from outside exposure with caulking or sealant. Resealing once a year before cool weather hits can help to keep unwanted air and moisture out, keeping your energy bills lower and making your home more comfortable all year long.