Diagram of water flow around mobile home

Polybutylene pipe

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How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

Here’s links to some of our 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. How much is a used mobile home worth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?

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

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

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

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

  16. What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home?

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

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

  19. What is a Park Model mobile home?

  20. Where do I find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a mobile home?

  21. How much does a mobile home inspection cost?

  22. Can I install a mobile home myself?

  23. What is the stuff you paint on an old mobile home metal roof to extend its life?

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

  25. Can I remodel an old mobile home without a building permit?

  26. How fire-resistant is a mobile home?

  27. What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?

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

  29. How can I upgrade a wind zone 1 mobile home to wind zone 2?

  30. Can I put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

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

  32. Can I use Tyvek as a belly wrap replacement for a mobile home?

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

  34. What is a pit set 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. Does wood rot spread? Is it contagious?

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

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

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

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

  42. What is a D-sticker mobile home?

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

  44. Should I use my realtor’s home inspector or choose one myself?

  45. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

  46. Should I only hire an inspector that is a member of a national association like ASHI, InterNACHI, or NAHI?

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

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

  55. Can vinyl siding be painted?

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

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

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

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)Look carefully at the slope of the site around the home. The ground should slope away from the home on all sides. If it does not, then you may have puddling water under the home after a heavy rain, with the resultant mold and wood rot issues. To learn more about the proper siting of a manufactured home, read our blog “How do I remove water under my mobile home?” 

  2. 3)Check for the most common defects found in older mobile homes. Examples would be torn openings in the belly board, polybutylene piping, and damaged skirting that allows animals under the home. See our blog “What are the most common problems with older mobile homes” to learn about the ten defects found most often.

  3. 4)Verify the age and manufacturer of the home. You can do this by locating and reading the manufacturer’s data plate. It will also tell which wind zone and roof load zone the home was manufactured for, the recommend size of the HVAC unit, and specifications of the original installed appliances. HUD has required that every home manufactured since 1976 have a data plate affixed to an interior surface. To find out where to look for the data plate and how to understand it, go to our blog “How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?”.

  4. 5)Get a professional home inspection. After you have educated yourself about mobile homes by reading our blogs and given the place a careful look-over, call a local home inspector for a final, thorough evaluation.

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.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection. -


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