How To Level Your Mobile Home
Does your mobile home feel unlevel? Well, don’t be too surprised. There are various ways for mobile or manufactured homes to become unlevel. What’s more, this problem is more common than you realize. Extra moisture, damaged wedges, and improper blocking are some reasons that cause your mobile home to become unlevel. The ground beneath your home may soften over time if there’s too much moisture, thus causing the blocks that support your house to sink. Likewise, damaged wedges or improper blocking affect the blocks that support your mobile home, resulting in your house becoming unlevel.
The key to keeping your house level is to carry out regular maintenance checks. However, this is something many mobile homeowners skimp out on. If you’re guilty of not carrying out regular checks on your house’s leveling and it has become unlevel, don’t fret! In this article, we’ll share with you tips on how to re-level your mobile home and ensure its valuation is kept high at US Mobile Home Pros. Keep reading to find out more!
Can Average Homeowners Re-level a Mobile Home?
If you’re inexperienced with home repairs or haven’t re-leveled a house before, the thought of doing it yourself can be daunting. However, if your mobile home has become unlevel due to loose wedges or minor issues, it is relatively easy to carry out the repairs yourself. But, it is important that you gather the required materials and read up on re-leveling repairs before you get started.
If you aren’t confident about re-leveling your house yourself, or if the damage to your house is severe, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
When Should I Check To See If My Mobile Home is Level?
Ideally, you should check if your mobile home is level 90 days after it’s been installed. Subsequent maintenance checks should be carried out every year.
Signs a Mobile Home May Need Re-leveling
Here are some things to look out for to determine if your house needs re-leveling:
- Loose or missing wedges
- Ground erosion beneath the area of your house
- Windows and doors that can’t be closed completely, or don’t open smoothly
- Buckled roof shingles or door sidings
- After extreme weather conditions like earthquakes, typhoons, or hurricanes
- After renovation has been done to your mobile house
Tools and Materials Needed for Mobile Home Leveling
Before re-leveling your mobile home, the two most important tools you need are a water level and hydraulic bottle jacks. Apart from these two tools, other things you need include lumber or cedar wedges, a handsaw, and a hammer. Having big wooden blocks will also come in handy as they can be used as support when jacking up your house.
What is a Water Level?
To put it simply, a water level is a long tube that contains water and acts as a horizontal reference when re-leveling your house. The water level is stretched from one side of the house to the other. You re-level your house by matching the height of your house to the water level. They don’t need to match perfectly, though they should be pretty close. Water levels can be bought from the store or made at home. There are many videos available online on how to build your own water level for $10 or less.
Understanding the Cambered I-Beam
As mentioned previously, the height of your house and the water level don’t need to be exactly the same. You will actually find that it’s almost impossible to have them perfectly leveled. This is because mobile homes rest on a steel I-beam that’s slightly bent. The bending of the I-beam is known as pre-cambering and this helps to distribute the weight of the house. When a house is placed on top of a cambered I-beam, its weight pushes the sides of the beam which levels it.
Pier Stack, Pier Plans, and Footers
Pier stacks transfer the vertical load of your house to footers. Footers are an essential part of any construction and as they support the foundation and prevent house settling. There are different legal requirements for the type of piers used based on the distance from your house to the ground. Ensure that you read up on your city’s pier requirements before attempting any re-leveling repairs.
Wedges come in handy when you need to adjust your house’s height incrementally. By hammering the wedges out or in, you can easily increase or reduce the height of your house. However, as wedges are made of wood, they’re prone to rotting and terminate and water damage. As such, it’s important to carry out regular checks on the wedges beneath your house.
How to Re-level a Mobile Home By Yourself
Re-leveling a mobile house isn’t impossible to do on your own. But, it is tiring, mostly because it requires you to crawl under your house. After you’ve set up the water level, the next thing you need to do is identify the highest point of the chassis or steel beams.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to use a hydraulic jack to lift your mobile house to the highest point and align it with the water level. It’s good to have someone in the house to check if the doors and windows open and close easily, that way, you’ll know if your house is re-leveled properly.
Hiring a Contractor to Re-level Your Mobile Home
If you choose not to re-level your mobile home yourself, you can get referrals for house leveling companies through your home dealer. Most mobile home dealers have their own maintenance crew or have external contacts. Asking your neighbors or other people in the neighborhood for recommendations is also a good option. But, remember to check if the companies are licensed and authorized. Getting feedback from previous customers won’t hurt either.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to re-level a mobile house, it is up to you to decide if you’re up to the challenge or prefer to seek professional help. Whatever the case, it’s important to carry out regular maintenance checks to ensure that your house is level to reduce the risk of severe or permanent damages to your mobile home.