Does your home need a mobile home anchor retrofit?
Earlier this week I visited a homeowner in Lakeland to relevel his doublewide mobile home. Whilst under the home I noticed that his anchors were no longer attached to the straps. The anchor heads were so corroded that they were barely recognizable.
The anchors in question were not galvanized nor were the straps. His tie down anchor system was totally compromised and effectively doing nothing.
This mobile home had no protection at all from severe storm conditions.
What Is A Mobile Home Anchor Retrofit?
According to the dictionary, to retrofit means;
“To modify or reconstruct by replacing old components and/or adding parts which were not considered necessary at the time of the original manufacture.”
With regard to your mobile home, this means the periodic replacement of rusted steel components and the addition of extra anchors and stabiliser devices required to bring your homes’ anchoring system to current codes.
Mobile Home Tie Down Inspection.
Why would you need an inspection?
- Annual Maintenance.
- Loan applications.
- Buying and selling.
- Insurance policy.
Your anchor system should be inspected at least once a year before hurricane season in the south. Sometimes insurance companys will insist on a “tie down” inspection before issuing a new policy. This is to ensure that the home would survive storm conditions.
Mortgage lenders will also require an inspection before lending money. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) in particular will require an engineers report with specific requirements.
Do I Need An Engineers Report?
You do not necessarily require an engineers report but you can commission an engineers inspection and report if you feel that you need one.
Most reputable mobile home contractors will give you a report on the condition of your anchoring system and a quote for free.
Get several quotes to compare prices in your area.
Mortgage companies, insurance companies and banks may require an engineers report.
It is best to give a copy of the engineers report to the contractor to ensure that the work is carried out in the correct manner.
Full Code Upgrade Or Enhancement.
This is an area where there is some room for flexibility. When a company asks for a home to be brought up to todays’ code, 15-c, sometimes it is just not possible. However, anchoring systems can be brought as close to code as possible, this is called an enhancement.
An example of an anchor system enhancement would be:
- New anchors every 5’4″.
- Add stabilizer plates.
- New straps and bolts.
- Swivel strap assemblies.
- Install longitudinal stabilizer systems.
Adding the above to an old home will not necessarily bring the home to todays code due to strap angle and beam height requirements. However the anchor system has been improved as much as possible.
How Much Does It Cost To Anchor A Mobile Home?
Anchoring a new home on a fresh dirt pad is a relatively simple proceedure with the right equipment and labor. Upgrading the anchors on a 1986 mobile home which is low to the ground and surrounded by brick skirting and screen rooms is a tricky proceedure.
The cost is around $3000 for a double wide home with new anchors, straps and stabilizer systems.
Our company charges around $75 per anchor plus materials as of 2021 but we will need to see the individual job in order to give a reliable quote.
How Many Anchors Should A Mobile Home Have?
Anchors should be installed a a maximum of 5’4″ on center, plus one withing 24″ of each end of the home. Each anchor and its components needs to be galvanized. Anchors need a stabilizer plate, swivel strap and split bolts.
So as a rough guide a 48′ single wide mobile home would need 11 anchors per side minimum 22 anchors.
This has been the code in Florida since 1997.
Check the mobile home building codes in your own juridiction.
Mobile Home Tie Down Contractors.
To do this job correctly you should use a qualified mobile home installer especially if you intend to upgrade the whole home at one time. Mobile home contractors can be found on Google or by asking a local dealer to recommend someone they know.
Check for a current license and insurance which they should have.
If you intend to do the retrofit yourself, read our article on how to install a mobile home anchor by clicking here.
Galvanized Mobile Home Anchors.
Mobile home anchors used to be made from steel. Anchors are installed 4ft deep into the ground and will naturally come into contact with water over a period of time. These steel anchors should not be used on long term residential properties.
Hot dipped galvanized anchors have 5 layers of protection from water, moisture and humidity. As a result they will generally last much longer, especially in places like Forida.
Should You Remove Old Mobile Home Anchors?
This is a good question and my answer is no. It is not necessary to remove an old anchor unless it is in the way preventing the installation of a new anchor.
Digging holes under mobile homes unnecessarily could damage water pipes or electrical wiring. On older houses you never know what is hidding underground
Old anchors are usually not doing anything anyway. Just ignore the old anchors and work around them as needed. You can remove the old rusty straps to keep it tidy under the home but most homes are skirted so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Doing relevels on hundreds of mobile home a years allows us to see under hundreds of properties. Many of these are older homes without the advantages of modern tie down engineering.
Most of them have at least some rusty straps and broken anchors.
Getting an anchor retrofit will add value to your home and may save your investment from expensive storm damage.
If you live in our location give us a call on (863) 808 2200 or click here to go to our contact page for more information.