More blog posts about mobile homes:

  1. How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

  2. How can I make my mobile home look more like a house?

  3. What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure mobile home?

  4. How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

  5. Why are there two VIN numbers on some mobile home titles?

  6. Does it make sense to remodel an older mobile home?

  7. What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home?

  8. Can I install a mobile home myself?

  9. How can I know if my mobile home meets HUD Code?

  10. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  11. How much does it cost to move a mobile home?

  12. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  13. Is it still possible to do an inspection if there’s no electricity or water?

  14. What is a Park Model mobile home?

  15. Do I need stairs at all exit doors from a mobile home?

  16. What is an air conditioner for a mobile home called?

  17. What’s the difference between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home?

  18. What’s the difference between a manufactured and a mobile home?

  19. Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with with HUD Code?

  20. What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home?

  21. Where are Wind Zone 2 and Wind Zone 3 for mobile homes located?

  22. How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

  23. Can you move a mobile home that is 20 years old in Florida?

  24. What is a pit set mobile home?

  25. Do you have any tips for buying a used mobile home?

  26. Why is the floor tile cracked in my mobile home?

  27. Why is it important that a mobile home stay level throughout its lifetime?

  28. How much venting is required for mobile home skirting?

  29. What do I need to know about building an addition to a mobile home?

  30. What is the average lifespan of a wood deck?

  31. What is a D-sticker mobile home?

  32. What is the life expectancy of a modular home?

  33. How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

  34. When was the first double-wide mobile home manufactured?

  35. How energy efficient is a mobile home?

  36. Can I tell the year of a manufactured/mobile home from the HUD tag (red tag)?

  37. What are the HUD requirements for selling a remodeled or renovated mobile home?

  38. How many mobile/manufactured home manufacturers are licensed to sell their homes in Florida?

  39. Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

  40. What are the limitations on homesites where a mobile/manufactured home can be located?

  41. What does a home inspector look for when examining a mobile home crawl space?

  42. How do I look for mold in my mobile home?

  43. What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home?

  44. How can I make my mobile home more energy efficient?

  45. What are the ventilation requirements for bathrooms and kitchens in mobile homes?

  46. How much is a used mobile home worth?

  47. What would cause half of a double-wide mobile home to lose electric power?

  48. What are the common problems to look for when buying a mobile home that is older than 40 years?

  49. How many manufactured/mobile homes are there in the United States?

  50. Can I convert a shipping container into a HUD-Code manufactured/mobile home?

  51. Where do I find the water heater in a mobile home?

  52. How do HUD-code mobile/manufactured home standards compare to the IRC building code for site-built homes?

  53. What are the right words for the parts of a mobile/manufactured home?

  54. What is the right humidity level in a mobile home?

  55. Can you do a mobile home inspection with no electric power or water?

  56. What is the difference between a manufactured/mobile home water heater and a regular water heater?

  57. What is an “RP” sticker for a mobile home?

  58. What is a manufactured home?

  59. What is the building code for mobile/manufactured homes in Florida?

  60. Where do I find the VIN/serial number on a very old (pre-1976) mobile home?

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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 1)down the insulation for nesting material, or just for fun, and drag it around, loose under the home. So a small opening in the belly wrap can become a big mess of shredded insulation and torn plastic sheeting strips in the crawl space.
       Better-constructed homes have a netting stretched across underneath the belly wrap as a reinforcement, which prevents the gradual sagging between fastener rows that can occur over time.
       Large bulges in a belly wrap that is otherwise intact can indicate a plumbing leak under the floor. Cutting a pinhole in the bulge tells all.

  2. 2)Leaking skylights. Better quality skylights have a raised curb around the perimeter and are carefully sealed by down-lapping between roof material and caulked. The type shown below always leak after a few years.

  3. 3)Homeowner-installed wiring. A mobile home leaves the factory with an electric distribution panel already installed and wired to HUD-safety standards. We never find anything wrong with the factory-installed panel,
    unless the homeowner or a handyman has added circuits to it. The main service panel, typically located on a power pole near the home, is
    another matter. Amateur electrical work, with unsecured and unprotected cables, open holes in the panel box, and wiring not matched to the
    rating of the breaker it’s attached to, are all typical defects.

  4. 4)Polybutylene piping, also called “PB” in the trades, was used in residential water supply piping from the early 1980s to 1995. It was billed as “the pipe of the future” at first, and its low cost and easy installation made it an alternative to traditional copper water piping. PB was especially prevalent in mobile homes.
       The pipe is typically gray, with copper-color band connections. While gray is the most common color, polybutylene can also be blue or black in color. It is usually stamped with the marking “PB2110.”
       Throughout the 1980s lawsuits, claiming that defective manufacturing and installation had caused hundreds of millions of dollars of water damage from ruptured pipes, began to mount into the thousands. Although the manufacturers never acknowledged that PB pipe is defective, they eventually agreed to fund a class action settlement for just under a billion dollars to resolve homeowner claims. The period for filing a claim ended in 2007.
        Replacement of the water supply piping costs several thousand dollars. Because of the public awareness of the risks involved with PB piping, its presence may reduce a home’s value in the marketplace. It can also cause higher homeowner insurance premiums or denial of coverage.

  5. 5)Washing machine drains onto ground and dryer vents into crawl space. Rerouting the washing machine drain onto the ground is considered a home improvement by some people, based on the false premise that draining wash water into the septic tank overloads the system. Actually, as your local health department will verify, this modification puts human fecal matter and bacteria on the ground due to the inevitable occasional “skid marks” in underwear. It is considered a health hazard.

       Dryer vents are extended to a exterior termination with a flap closure when the home in installed, but an elbow connection can come loose under the home. Then again, sometimes the homeowner relocates the dryer and doesn’t run a new vent out to the exterior. Many manufacturers include a warning label on the laundry room wall, like the one below, about the dangers of terminating the dryer duct under the home.

  6. 6)Premature roof deterioration. An asphalt shingle roof over an unvented or poorly vented attic space in a mobile home will age faster than normal due to heat buildup in the attic. The shingles crack and begin to curl at the edges before their time.

  7. 7)Pier settlement and loose tie-downs. Most mobile homes in this area have a foundation that is stacked concrete blocks on a plastic pad. Because the pads are not anchored into the ground below or the steel frame of the home above, any soil movement under them causes the piers to lean and lose contact with the steel frame of the home. Settlement can also cause tie-down straps to loosen. This is one reason why it is especially important to prepare the site so that it slopes away from all sided of the home when installed, or that a small berm be constructed that redirects rainwater flowing downhill so that it runs around the area under the home.

  8. 8)Water leaks around exterior doors and windows. Poorly flashed window openings with little or no caulk start leaking at the first rain after installation of the home, but the evidence sometimes takes several years to show up as staining on the interior walls. We use an infrared camera to locate these leaks early.

  9. 9)Homeowner-built additions. While site-built additions to a mobile home are acceptable, HUD is specific about one thing: the walls and foundation of the home are only designed to carry their own weight. So any additions, including roofed porches, should not bear on the walls or roof of the home. Tie-down anchors that are damaged or removed as part of a home addition as also a no-no.

  10. 10) Damaged or missing skirting. It’s only effective if the skirting completely encloses the home without any openings. While string-line grass trimmers do cosmetic damage around the base of the skirting, it’s a couple of sections of missing panels that open up the underside of the home to multiple other problems. Financial institutions require a mobile home to be fully skirted in order to mortgage the property, because they know skirting is second only to the roof as a way to protect their loan collateral from damage.


Here’s links to more of our blog posts with useful information about buying and owning a mobile home:

  1. Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it?

  2. Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home?

  3. How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

  4. What is the life expectancy of a mobile home?

  5. What is the right price for a used mobile home?

  6. What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home?

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


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