Hurricane season began on June 1st which is significant to those of us who live in the south east states of the USA in particular Florida, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.
Only a few days into the season and already we have experienced the devastation that is caused by tropical storms. 2016 started off with an early system up through the gulf, not even a fully formed storm but it still managed to cripple the transport system in an around Tampa and St. Pete.
The combination of excessive rainfall and high tides was sufficient to cause widespread flooding throughout the Bay area with many mobile home parks flooded up to several feet.
Here in Florida we haven't had a direct hit from a hurricane since Hurricane Charley came ashore in Punta Gorda. After destroying the city it moved inland and traveled north through the center of Florida causing massive destruction.
If you need to be reminded of its power, please watch the short video below….
Extensive Hurricane Damage.
The damage was not confined to any particular structure, conventional housing, mobile homes, commercial buildings and government buildings were all affected. However, many older mobile homes which were not directly in the hurricane's path were destroyed or badly damaged due to tie down failure.
On the other hand mobile homes / manufactured housing, which were not in the direct path of the hurricane, but were installed to the new Florida regulations suffered far less structural damage.
Whole communities of older mobile home were destroyed as their anchor systems failed.
In certain areas correctly installed manufactured housing fared better than the traditional homes.
So what can you do to prepare?
Firstly, let's take a look at when and how your mobile home was installed and try to take care of any issues that need attention.
Your home should fall into one of the following categories:
- Your home is new, installed recently using up-to-date codes and materials.
- Your home was installed in the last 12 years using up-to-date codes and materials.
- Your home was installed prior to the 15-c regulations but it's tie down system has been upgraded.
- Your home was installed prior to the 15-c regulations but it has not been upgraded.
- Your home was installed in the 1980s and has some hurricane/tie-down straps and piers in place.
- Your own is 1960/1970s and most of the anchors and straps are rusty and missing. Some support piers.
Florida Mobile Home Tie Down Regulations.
The new regulations and codes particular Florida were brought into legislation to prevent tie-down failure during storm conditions. This was done both to protect the home and to protect other structures from the dangers of flying debris. The new regulations are designed to keep the home is securely on the support piers and the roof secured via straps to the anchoring system.
So What Can You Do To Prepare For Hurricane Season?
Check the condition of your straps and anchors.mobile home tie-down hurricane readiness
The straps should be tight and free from rust and cracks.
Anchors heads should be level with the ground and not covered with dirt.
Some of the tie down straps should be vertical and attached to the side wall of the home.
Support piers should be in contact with the I-beam and vertical.
Support piers should have no missing or cracked blocks.
Should I Bring Up To Code or Enhance?
Depending on the age of your mobile home it is possible to either upgrade your home to the 15-C code or to make enhancements which will bring your home as close to code as it's construction will allow. These enhancements whilst not the exact code will improve the chances of your homes survival and are recommended for older existing structures.
Whatever You Decide - Take action!
Do not think that hurricane damage can not happen to you!
This time of the year even the newer homes should undergo a quick inspection to make sure that your straps are still tight and the piers are in place. There is some settling that often takes place after the installation of a new home which can cause looseness in the tie-down straps.
If you reside in Central Florida and feel that you would like a professional company to check out the condition of your tie-down system :
Posted in Hurricane safety, mobile home set up | 2 Comments
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