Manufactured homes, previously known as mobile homes, have been around in their present form since the 1950s. For years, manufacturers adopted their construction standards, leading to uneven home quality. In 1976, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, made uniform construction and safety standards for manufactured houses. In 1994, the standards were upgraded to include insulation and wind-resistance specifications, and post in the November/December 1996″Home Energy Magazine” notes.
Site Preparation Problems
Housing installation problems can start with site prep. The Manufactured Housing Institute states that the builder’s or dealer’s failure to correctly grade the website for drainage can cause water flows into the house’s base. Unstable floor can also lead to potential home structural problems. Foundations unsuitable for terrain conditions can cause concerns too.
Some manufactured houses have experienced structural flaws. Wall flaws include use of wood or metal furring strips to which other elements are mounted. Solid lumber supplies better structural integrity. Other structural difficulties include insufficient sheathing beneath exterior metal siding, in addition to flows at window and door seams. Crawl space problems include floor clearance violations, insulation mold contamination and insect infestation, InspectApedia reports.
Plumbing and Moisture
Home plumbing problems are concerns. Many shower, bathtub and sink fixtures are made from thin plastic which will crack and leak. Some toilets don’t comprise shutoffs for water crises, Consumers’ Union worries. The Florida Solar Energy Center reported that moisture problems were widespread in manufactured houses in hot, humid areas. Causes included moisture migration from crawl spaces, poorly installed moisture barriers and bad duct condensation drainage.
Heating and Ac
Homeowners can experience manufactured home heating problems. The Mobile Home Doctor states that elderly furnaces could have cracked fireboxes that flow carbon dioxide into the home. The furnace exteriors can also present a issue, since they’re intended to get flammable material. Filter maintenance is needed to reduce this risk. Water in air conditioning ductwork is also an aggravation, also means that the tankless water drain is malfunctioning. Oftentimes, older air conditioners run continuously and barely cool the home at all. This disappointing performance can lead to compressor replacement and is as a result of a compressor enthusiast. At length, window components pressed into service to get a badly cooled home can overload the circuit and cause a breaker to trip.
Improper use of electrical systems could result in home fires, particularly in manufactured houses. The United States Fire Administration notes that many problems result from homeowners that use erroneously rated switches, bulbs and other electrical parts. Cracked or stiff electrical cords, along with extension wires unable to carry power loads, can also lead to potential fires. Sparks, hot electrical strings and tripped circuit breakers are warning signals of electrical problems.
Setup and Legal Issues
Since HUD commissioned fabricated home construction standards in 1976, factory-built houses have observed quality development. Unfortunately, homeowners have observed damage to recently purchased homes during transport to the construction site, or through the installation phase. Resolution of these issues falls into local governments and the home dealers, who actually have the home until the county issues an occupancy permit. Oftentimes, local agencies are reluctant to give information to the homeowner so he could pursue his case against the home trader. In California, as an Example, the information is available from the Housing and Community Development Ombudsman, at a cost of $196 or even more in 2009. The Manufactured Housing Citizens Group recommends that fabricated home buyers retain an lawyer to deal with the entire home purchase and installation process. In addition, the group recommends you hire an independent home inspector to oversee quality problems from begin to finish.