When you see a mobile with solid skirting all around, like in the photo below, expect to find wet soil and high humidity in the crawl space under the home.


  While skirting ventilation is important, it’s just one part of keeping the underside of a manufactured home dry and secure. We recommend that you check the crawl space regularly, looking for any of these potential problems:

  1. 1)A clothes dryer vent that terminates under the home dramatically raises humidity levels. Make sure the dryer vent duct has a louvered termination panel at skirting or beyond, and that there are not tears in the duct run.

  2. 2)Tears in the belly board (also called belly wrap, which is the plastic sheet that seals the underside of the home) leave the home open to moisture intrusion coming up through the floor. Open the skirting at a few points around the perimeter, and do a quick scan of the underside of the home with a flashlight. Follow up with repairs as necessary. We typically see openings in the belly board where minor plumbing repairs have been done under the floor and the belly board has not been resealed securely.

  3. 3)A plumbing leak can also cause problems under the home. Big water pipe leaks make a mess quickly and get noticed right away. But a pinhole leak can go unnoticed for months, while soaking the insulation under the floor and slowly spreading. When checking under the home, look for any bulges in the belly board, which is the first indication of this problem.

  4. 4)Gaps in the skirting, sizable damage holes, or an access hatch that is left ajar will allow critters under home that pull down areas of belly board and insulation, along with damaging ducts. Keep the skirting zipped up.

  5. 5)Bad site drainage can make the ground under a home muddy or, even worse, allow ponding water during the rainy season. A properly graded site, with the ground sloping away from the crawl space on all sides, is important. If you find that the ground under your home remains wet for long periods, consult a professional contractor for a solution.


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  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

 
 


More blog posts about mobile homes:

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

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

  3. How hurricane-resistant is my mobile home?

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

  5. What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?

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

  7. How can I upgrade a wind zone 1 mobile home to wind zone 2? Where are the load bearing walls in a double-wide mobile home?

  8. What is the plastic sheet called that covers the underside of a mobile home?

  9. Why is there such a big gap under the doors inside a mobile home?

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

  11. What is a Park Model mobile home?

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

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

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

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

  16. How fire-resistant is a mobile home?

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

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

  19. How can I remove water under my mobile home?

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

  21. Can I install a mobile home myself?

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

  23. What year were mobile homes required to become more storm resistant?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  31. What is a pit set mobile home?

  32. Does a single-wide mobile home have interior bearing walls?

  33. Is 7 feet a normal height for a wall/ceiling in a mobile home?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  41. What is a D-sticker mobile home?

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

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

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

  45. How energy efficient is a mobile home?

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

  47. Can a mobile/manufactured home have a high radon problem?

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

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

  50. Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  57. How much is a used mobile home worth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  68. What is a manufactured home?

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

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

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