Lets talk about the top 7 reasons that mobile homes need to be releveled.
The underlying causes of the problem and not the symptoms like doors and windows not working correctly.
If you need to know the signs of needing a relevel click here.
No matter what the reason, it is important to have your mobile home releveled if necessary, delays can cause more serious damage to your home.
Top Seven Reasons
- Settling of the ground
- Incorrect installation
- Faulty Foundation
- Poor Drainage
- Incorrect weight distribution
- Termites and pests
- Tree Roots
Settling of the Ground
One of the most common reasons that mobile homes need to be releveled is because of the settling of the ground under the home. The soil beneath a mobile home can start to settle over time, which will cause the home to slowly sink.
As an example of this problem, many old orange groves are being cleared and used for housing. These old groves are very sandy. When the trees are removed some of the branches and leaves are buried in the sand only to rot and move over time.
When preparing a foundation pad it is important that all organic material be removed.
Compacting the foundation pad will reduce settling.
Another common reason that mobile homes need to be releveled is because of improper installation in the first place. If the home was not installed properly, it can start to wobble and become unlevel.
What do I mean by improperly installed:
- No dirt pad used.
- Home set on sand.
- Failure to remove organic material.
- Home installed in a pit
- Insufficient piers for the load.
- Inadequate base pad size.
- Missing perimeter piers.
- Part of the home installed on concrete the other part on a dirt pad.
Faulty Foundation Pad
If the foundation of a mobile home is not solid, it can start to become unlevel over time.
The foundation pad needs to be properly built to withstand the heavy load of the home over time. The foundation area should be cleared of all organic debris before laying down the pad material including tree roots, leaves, branches, grass etc.
The pad should be domed in the center and graded out beyond the footprint of the home by at least 4 feet in all directions. Don’t build your home on a foundation of sand, use a material that will compress and stand the test of time.
For more detailed information about building your pad click here.
If the site does not have good drainage, your home can start to become unlevel over time. This is because water will pool in certain areas and cause the soil to shift. If the fill dirt washes out the piers will start to move
Look at the the terrain surrounding the home, will water run under the home if it rains? If so, you may need to install a berm to deflect the water or a French drain system to carry the water away
If your mobile home is not situated on a level surface, it can cause drainage problems. This can lead to water accumulation around the home’s foundation, which can eventually cause damage.
Incorrect Weight Distribution
If the weight of a mobile home is not distributed evenly, it can start to become unlevel over time. This is because certain parts of the home will be under more pressure than others.
- Bay windows
- Fire places
- Large bath tubs
- Pool table
- Decks and additions
Even if the ground on which a mobile home sits is level, it may still need to be releveled if the installation of the home was not performed correctly.
Damage from pests
If there are any pests living under your home, they can cause serious damage over time. I once inspected a mobile home that had a problem with a family of possums digging tunnels under the ground. Around 30% of the support piers were no longer touching the beams. Eventually the piers will lean and collapse increasing the load on the remaining piers.
Types of pests:
Damage from tree roots
If there are any large trees near a mobile home, the roots can cause damage over time. The tree roots will grow under or through your foundation.
If an old tree is removed its roots will rot and decay causing voids in the ground, any piers sitting on these voids will sink into the ground and no longer be supporting the I beam.
Tree roots can grow though concrete and lift footers causing cracks to appear even in concrete reinforced with steel rods and mesh.
Tree roots crossing the perimeter of the mobile home will lift the skirting.
As you can see, there are many reasons why mobile homes need to be releveled.
If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, it is important to have your home looked at by a professional, otherwise, you could end up with some serious structural damage.
If you are looking for more information on mobile homes, be sure to check out our blog. We have tons of great content that will help you make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to your home. Thanks for reading!
If you require mobile home leveling, please don’t hesitate to call us.
We would be happy to help! Call 863 808 2200