Uneven, sinking, or heaving floors are common issues with mobile homes. It’s because most mobile homes depend on blocks, piers, or beams for support, while traditional stick-built homes sit on concrete foundations.
Let’s look into why your mobile home floor is uneven and what you can do about it.
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The blocks or piers a mobile home sits on are buried in the soil, which sinks if there is excess moisture.
Particles of the support structure will expand and contract when the unstable soil undergoes periods of excess moisture and dryness. It causes the blocks or piers to sink and heave, which shifts the mobile home.
Even when beams or piers are put on a concrete slab, the slab can sink or shift when the ground is too wet.
Other water damage
Excess moisture and water damage can originate from a leaky pipe hidden in a wall.
In some cases, the uneven floor is because of poor drainage. It happens most often in climates that experience multiple seasons of freezing temperatures.
Not enough support
Flooring problems can stem from improperly installed footings. All footings require proper support from concrete or wooden shims.
A floor can sink or become uneven if you don’t use enough blocks to support the mobile home. The structure will also lack support if the blocks are placed in the wrong locations.
The crew that sets up the mobile home is responsible for leveling it, including preparing the location and ensuring it’s supported evenly.
Many mistakes with leveling aren’t noticed immediately, leading to serious flooring issues. The stress placed on the structure over time because of uneven leveling will cause floors to sink or even buckle.
A mobile home can become loose and shift if the set-up contractors fail to secure the anchor straps correctly.
HUD-certified mobile home set-up contractors
Hiring a HUD-certified manufactured home installer is the best way to ensure you’re not stuck with an uneven mobile home and the problems that come with it.
In case of a bad installation, you can file a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Red Flags of an Unleveled Mobile Home
An unleveled mobile home is the most common reason a floor is uneven and can lead to all sorts of chaos.
Doors and windows start to act weird
Mobile home windows and doors become tricky to open and close if they are uneven – either they stick out or swing right open.
Tighten the hinges on the windows and doors to make sure before going through the trouble of releveling the mobile home.
Checking the windows and doors is an easy way to find a leveling issue. The mobile home may be shifting in the moist soil, which causes it to tilt and gravity to take over.
Cracks in the walls and ceilings
Most cracks in the walls and ceilings typically start as tiny hairline cracks and crawl their way across until you notice them.
Once you have spotted them, you want to relevel your mobile home ASAP to preserve structural integrity.
Other signs of unleveled mobile home
- beads of water on the floors and countertops rolling to one side
- squeaky floors
- loose anchor straps
- buckled skirting
- the outside of the mobile home looks tilted
What causes a hump in the floor of a mobile home?
A too-long joist may be the cause of a slight hump on the floor.
If you don’t see cracks in the walls or ceilings of the room, the hump is likely due to the mobile home becoming unleveled.
Should I worry about uneven floors?
Uneven floors are a sign that something is happening, for sure, including:
- water damage
- foundation damage
- structural instability
Why do I need to level my mobile home?
- Mobile homes must be level to ensure the longevity of the structure.
- An uneven or sinking floor is only one side effect of an unleveled mobile home.
- When a manufactured home isn’t level, it causes severe structural strain that can lead to the house collapsing if ignored.
- Mobile homes settle like traditional homes and become unleveled over time.
- Before you purchase a mobile home, check for a sinking foundation, sagging floorboards, or windows or doors that are tricky to open and close.
When should I check to see if my mobile home is level?
The HUD-certified installer will recommend that you check a home for leveling 90 days after the installation and once a year after that – preferably at the beginning of summer.
How do you level a mobile home floor?
You can level it yourself if you have enough construction experience and the right equipment.
- six-foot level
- mobile jack
But, if there is any doubt, hire a HUD-certified manufactured home technician to level the mobile home.
How dangerous is leveling a mobile home?
Leveling a mobile home yourself is a dangerous business, especially if you aren’t sure.
Mistakes can lead to severe damage to the structure, you, and your family.
How do I find a mobile home releveler?
If you purchase your mobile home from a dealership, the seller can provide you with information regarding an in-house installation crew or an outside contractor that they recommend doing the leveling.
Online research and reviews are an excellent way to scope out a leveler’s reputation and check to see if they are HUD-certified.
How often should a mobile home be leveled?
It’s recommended by mobile home manufacturers that you level a mobile home every 3 to 5 years to ensure structural integrity.
How much does mobile home leveling?
- Single-wide mobile home – $450-$600
- Double-wide mobile home – up to $900
- Largest-sized mobile home -$1,000 plus
Why is my mobile home floor uneven?
- too much moisture
- water leak
- not enough structural support
- unleveled mobile home
More FAQs about Mobile Home Floors
What causes a hump in the floor of a mobile home?
A hump in the floor of a mobile home is typically caused by floor joists that are too long and extend beyond the center beam. This can result in deflection or sagging of the wood floor joists near their center under the weight of the flooring and furniture.
How do you fix a bulging floor?
To fix a bulging floor, you can try the following steps. If the moisture problem has been resolved, slightly warped planks may naturally flatten over time. For planks that are curling upwards, you can place heavy boxes on top of the floor to apply pressure and encourage flattening. This straightforward method is effective in many cases. However, if the buckling is severe, it may be necessary to replace a section of the floor.
How often should you level a mobile home?
The recommended frequency for leveling a mobile home is every three to five years, as advised by most mobile home manufacturers. Regular releveling is crucial to preserve the structural integrity of the mobile home and prevent any potential deterioration over time. Proper maintenance plays a vital role in ensuring the long-lasting quality of your mobile home.
Why does my floor feel bumpy?
Your floor may feel bumpy due to foundation issues, which can occur when the foundation of your home becomes unstable or settles over time. This is a common problem, especially in older homes that were constructed on pier and beam foundations.
How do I know if my subfloor is bad?
If you want to know if your subfloor is bad, pay attention to squeaks, sinking sections, cupping floorboards, cracked and popping tiles, and possible water damage. These are all signs of subfloor failure or material issues that may indicate a problem with your subfloor.
Should you put plastic on the ground under a mobile home?
You should put plastic on the ground under a mobile home in order to install a vapor barrier, which is considered one of the most effective methods for homeowners to safeguard their homes and maintain air quality inside.
How do you fix the underbelly of a mobile home?
To fix the underbelly of a mobile home, you should start by assessing the damage by crawling underneath the home. Once you have determined the extent of the damage, proceed to build a smaller frame to serve as a nailing surface between the closest joists. Next, cut a patch to cover the hole and finally, cover the hole to complete the repair process.
Can mold grow under mobile home?
Mold can grow under a mobile home if it is not installed properly by a licensed installer. For example, if the home is placed on uneven land, moisture can accumulate underneath and result in the growth of mold.
How do you know if your mobile home has mold?
You can determine if your mobile home has mold by observing the presence of mold growth on surfaces, which is often characterized by discoloration. This discoloration can appear in various colors such as white, gray, brown, black, green, and others. It may be visible on surfaces or, if located within walls or building structures, not easily visible to the naked eye.
Why do mobile home floors rot?
Mobile home floors rot due to the presence of water, which is the primary cause of deterioration. Certain materials used in the construction of mobile homes have a tendency to absorb water like a sponge. If water is able to penetrate the structure and remain trapped, it can lead to rotting and the growth of mold within the home.
What happens if a mobile home is unlevel?
If a mobile home is unlevel, it can lead to various consequences. One important consideration is that over time, the home will start to lean, resulting in potential damage to the walls, doors, windows, and even the furniture.
What is considered an unlevel floor?
An unlevel floor is defined as a surface that is not even or flat. It occurs when the floors slope, sag, or have uneven areas. This can happen when a house’s structure settles or shifts, causing the floors and walls to move and bend. In severe cases, the floors may even develop cracks.
Can you jack up a mobile home?
Yes, it is possible to jack up a mobile home. However, the purpose of lifting a mobile home is usually for leveling rather than raising it significantly off the ground. Mobile homes often experience sinking and settling, which can lead to an unlevel structure. Therefore, it is common to use a mobile home lift to raise the home a few inches in order to achieve proper leveling.
How do you level a mobile home floor for laminate?
To level a mobile home floor for laminate, you can start by placing a flat board on the floor and identifying any uneven areas. If there are high spots, you can use a belt sander to sand them down. For low areas, you can fill them in with a floor-leveling compound.
What is a marriage line in a mobile home?
A marriage line in a mobile home refers to the area where two or more sections of the home are connected to form a single multi-section manufactured home. If a mobile home has three or more sections, there will be multiple marriage lines that join each section together.
How hard is it to level a mobile home?
Re-leveling a mobile home requires a significant amount of effort and physical labor due to the need to crawl under the home. It is not inherently difficult, but it does involve a substantial amount of work. The process involves using a water level to identify the highest point on the steel beams or chassis of the home.
How do you level a mobile home floor?
To level a mobile home floor, you can follow these steps: First, ensure you have the necessary equipment and take appropriate safety precautions. Next, remove the skirting around the mobile home. Prepare the area where the leveling will take place. Secure the plumbing and other installations to prevent any damage during the leveling process. Inspect the pillars and identify any leveling issues that need to be addressed. Using a jack, raise the beam to the desired level. Finally, place shims to provide additional support and stability to the leveled floor.
Can I level a floor myself?
You can level a floor yourself using self-leveling compound products. These products are suitable for concrete floors, uneven wood subfloors that are still in good condition, and even ceramic tile floors, saving you the effort of removing the old tiles. Just make sure to verify that the product you choose is compatible with your specific floor type.
How level should a mobile home be?
The mobile home should be leveled within certain specifications according to HUD-Code 24 CFR 3285.6. The levelness requirements include ensuring that there is no more than a 1/4″ difference in level between adjacent pier supports, both frame and perimeter. Additionally, the exterior doors and windows should be functional, without any binding issues, and capable of being properly operated.
How thick should a mobile home floor be?
The thickness of a mobile home floor should be measured by determining the thickness of the subfloor, which is typically either 3/4″ or 5/8″ thick.
Why is my double wide separating?
The double wide is separating due to potential structural damage, which can be attributed to various factors such as framing damage, rot, poor original construction, or settlement of the supporting piers along the perimeter of the home. It is advisable to inspect the center mating girder for any signs of separation, as this may indicate the underlying issues causing the separation.
When should I be worried about uneven floors?
You should be worried about uneven floors when there is a potential risk of damage to the structural integrity of the home. If the floors are sloping due to foundation settling, it may indicate that the foundation is no longer capable of supporting the weight of the home.
What is the best way to fix an uneven floor?
The best way to fix an uneven floor is by applying a self-leveling compound. Regardless of the cause of dips and bumps in the floor, it is crucial to address them before installing the flooring.
How do you fix an unbalanced floor?
To fix an unbalanced floor, one possible solution is to pour self-leveling underlayment in the problem area. Another option is to sister the joists or prop them up. Lastly, laying down new hardwood can also help to address the issue.
How do you know if a floor is unstable?
The stability of a floor can be determined by observing signs such as bounciness, sagging, or sloping. These indications may suggest underlying issues with the floor’s support, potentially caused by rotting or termite damage to the supporting joists.
How much floor sag is too much?
The amount of floor sag that is considered too much is when there is a sag of 2 inches or more in a 20-foot span. This level of sagging should be a cause for concern. Other signs of a significant issue include cracks in the foundation and differential settlement of the foundation or slab.
Is it expensive to replace subfloor?
It is not cheap to replace subflooring. The cost of replacing subfloor materials can vary depending on the size of the room. The average cost ranges from $1.30 to $12 per square foot. For instance, replacing the subfloors in a small bedroom may cost approximately $336. On the other hand, the cost of replacing subfloors in an entire basement could be as high as $2,250.
What happens if you don’t fix sagging floors?
If sagging floors are not fixed, serious damage can occur to the joists beneath your home and the overall structure of your home. This neglect can result in injury, property loss, and potential disaster. Additionally, insurance companies often refuse to cover these losses or repairs if the issue was ignored after the initial signs became visible.
Can sagging floors collapse?
Sagging floors can indeed collapse, posing a potential danger. When a floor sags, it indicates a loss of support, which could eventually lead to its collapse into lower levels of the home. This not only affects the appearance but also jeopardizes the overall structure of your home. Therefore, prioritizing repairs becomes imperative to ensure safety.