If you are considering doing your own home inspection, read our blog “Can I do my own home inspection?”

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. Should I buy a house with mold?

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

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

  6. How can I find hidden water (moisture) and mold inside walls?

  7. Why is there mold around the air conditioning ducts?

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

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

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

  11. How often should I pump out the septic tank?

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

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

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

  15. Can I paint the vinyl covered wallboard in a mobile home?

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

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

  18. What is a Park Model mobile home?

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

  20. What is causing a foggy haze on my windows?

  21. How fire-resistant is a mobile home?

  22. Why are there cracks in the wallboard in a mobile home after its moved?

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

  24. Where are the load bearing walls in a double-wide mobile home?

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

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

  27. What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

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

  29. What is a pit set mobile home?

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

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

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

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

  34. What is the best air conditioner for a mobile home?

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

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

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

  38. How energy efficient is a mobile home?

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

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

  41. Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

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

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

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

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

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

  47. How much is a used mobile home worth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  57. What is a manufactured home?

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

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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. 2)Seal any openings in the belly board. Think of it as an upside-down roof. The plastic sheet that wraps the bottom of a mobile home, called a belly board, provides a moisture barrier for the bottom of the home. We believe you should take it just as seriously as the roof. Tears in the belly board can happen while the home is being transported to the site, during installation, or as a result of being cut open to get access to the under-floor plumbing for repairs.
       Both mechanical fastening and a flexible sealant or tape should be used to secure the repair area. The best repair technique is to install a sheet of lightweight sheathing within the belly opening above the hole, mechanically fasten (staple or nail) the torn area to the sheathing, apply a sealant to the edges (mastic, caulk or adhesive tape), then cover the whole area of the tear with a scrap piece of belly board that is also mechanically secured and sealed.

  2. 3)Make sure the dryer exhaust duct is well supported and extends out from under the home. It should slope downhill without any sags (where occasional water condensation could accumulate), so you may want to add additional support along the run. Also, the duct should end at a rigid exhaust collar on the outside of the skirting, with a hinged closure flap. Check the duct occasionally for lint buildup, especially behind the termination collar and at any bends in the duct.

  3. 4)Seal openings in the floor, walls and ceiling. Caulk works best for smaller cracks around windows, doors, and ceiling light fixtures. An insulating foam sealant (“GreatStuff” is one popular brand) is better for larger openings and where a neat seam is not important. Pay special attention to sealing around the base of bathtubs and showers, where spilled water might leak through the floor and be trapped under the floor by the belly board. If want a few hints on wielding a caulk gun, see our blog post ”How can I improve the energy efficiency of my not-so-new Gainesville home?”
       Also, the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance recommends the following measures to decrease the amount of moisture generated inside the home:

  4. 5)Eliminate moisture problems at the source. Many moisture problems begin with excess amounts of water dumped into the air by common household activities, such as cooking and bathing. Ventilation fans should be turned on during such activities. They should be left on for a short time after the moisture producing activity ceases.

  5. 6)Do not use unvented propane, kerosene, or other unvented combustion heaters. About a gallon of water vapor is released into he air for every gallon of fuel consumed. This is a significant source of water vapor that can quickly cause damage. Some unvented heaters can also increase pollutant levels and contribute to health problems.

  6. 7)Do not cover or close off floor registers. In many homes, air from the heater or air conditioner is distributed through registers in the floor. Covering these registers with furniture or rugs can imbalance the system and create cold spots on room surfaces, increasing the potential for moisture condensation.

  7. 8)Check your cooling equipment filter monthly. Clogged filters can interfere with an air conditioner’s ability to removed moisture from the air, and in some cases interfere with condensate drainage. Dirty filters should be cleaned or replaced. Consider using pleated filters for better dust control and better dehumidification.

  8. 9)Keep the thermostat set above 75º F in hot, humid climates. Keep the thermostat setting at or above 75º F in the summer. In high humidity climates, a lower setting could cause water to condense inside wall cavities.

  9. 10) Recognize signs of moisture problems. Big moisture problems start as small ones, and any moisture problem is more easily cured if discovered early on. The following are warning signs of possible moisture problems: persistent, musty smells; discoloration on walls or ceilings; swelling of floor, wall, or ceiling finishes; condensation on window glass; or standing water under your home.

    If you think you smell mold and need to find it, see our blog post “How do I look for mold in my mobile home?”

   To learn more about controlling moisture in your mobile home, click on the link below to download the complete manual Moisture Problems in Mobile Homes - Understanding Their Causes and Finding Solutions.



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 are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

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

  7. 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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