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How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

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. 2)Steel frame - Corrosion of the steel frame is a common defect and can be problematic when it becomes severe. Heavy corrosion is usually an indicator of a high moisture content in the crawlspace. Many times the detached tow bar is stored in the crawlspace and can be welded back on for moving the unit to a new site in the future.

  2. 3)Piers - Over time the stacked concrete block foundation piers can move out of plumb because of settlement or soil movement. The plastic foundation pads, pier block and wood shims are examined for any cracks, loose areas or other defects. Secondary piers are required to support large openings in the wall framing such as sliding glass doors, at "marriage joints", where sections of the mobile home connect and at exterior walls where the frame is cantilevered. Any temporary piers added by the homeowner or a handyman indicate defects in the support structure of that area and are explored.

  3. 4)Straps and cross bracing - The metal straps, anchors and connectors play an important safety role for the home during high wind situations. The numerous components and installation details are inspected, spacing measured, and documented. The depth of the anchor in the ground, the angle of the strap and how the straps attach to the frame are a few of the details of the tie downs that are examined. Straps that have been cut or damaged, like in the photo at the top of the page, are noted also. For more about the tie-down requirements for mobile homes, see our blog post ”What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?”

  4. 5)Belly Wrap - We commonly document damaged openings in the "belly wrap” (vapor barrier) that seals the underside of the floor framing—usually where a plumbing repair has been made. The belly wrap is an important component because it blocks water vapor from entering and damaging the floor framing and sheathing over time. Occasionally we find large areas of damage to the vapor barrier and insulation because there was an opening in the skirting that gave an animal access to the area and an opportunity to pull down the insulation.

  5. 6)Visible a/c and plumbing components - Most of the the electrical wiring, plumbing piping and a/c ducts are not readily visible in the crawlspace because of the insulation and vapor barrier, however we examine what is visible for defects such as open electrical boxes, open electrical splices, leaking or poorly supported drain and supply piping and a/c return lines that are sitting on the grade instead of being properly hung from the framing. Any bulges in the vapor barrier are carefully explored because they usually indicate a plumbing leak that is not visible. And of course, we are always on the look out for evidence and damage caused by termites and other wood destroying organisms.

    For an overview of the ten most common defects found during an inspection of a mobile/manufactured home, see our blog post “What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?”

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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 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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More blog posts about mobile homes:

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

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

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

  4. Can I install a mobile home myself?

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

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

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

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

  9. What is a Park Model mobile home?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  19. What is a pit set mobile home?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. What is a D-sticker mobile home?

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

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

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

  30. How energy efficient is a mobile home?

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

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

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

  34. Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  41. How much is a used mobile home worth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  53. What is a manufactured home?

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

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