Mobile homes, also called manufactured homes, are popular for their affordability and flexibility. However, they require regular maintenance.
Uneven settling is a common problem, causing structural instability, misaligned doors, plumbing, and electrical issues. Lifting and leveling the home is the solution.
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Step 1. Gather the Necessary Tools and Equipment
The first step in safely lifting your mobile home begins with gathering all the necessary tools and equipment. The primary tool is a hydraulic jack, particularly a 10- to 30-ton hydraulic bottle jack, which is used to raise the mobile home.
Apart from hydraulic jacks, you would need a water level to ensure an even lift, shims to support the structure once lifted, and a hammer to secure everything in place. Other handy tools include a flashlight for visibility, safety goggles, gloves, and chalk for marking the pillars that need adjustment.
Step 2. Prepare the Mobile Home for Lifting
Preparing your mobile home for lifting involves several steps. First, remove the skirting from your mobile home to access the pillars and beams underneath. Do this carefully and store it in a safe place.
Then, clean the area around the pillars and beams. It’s not uncommon to find insects, dirt, or other debris, so ensure you have a clean working environment.
Ensure that the plumbing and electrical installations are secure. Check the contact points of the plumbing and the beam, and make sure any wires wrapped around the beams are unwrapped and securely attached to the base. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to start the lifting process.
Step 3. Use Hydraulic Jacks to Lift the Mobile Home
After preparing the site, the next step is to use hydraulic jacks to lift the mobile home. Place the hydraulic jack under the beams of your mobile home where it needs to be leveled. Pump the jack until it contacts the beam with solid pressure.
Continue pumping to lift the mobile home off its pillars. Ensure that the home is lifted evenly, as uneven lifting can cause structural damage. Be careful not to lift too high; just enough clearance to adjust the pillars is sufficient.
Step 4. Leveling and Securing the Mobile Home
Once you’ve lifted your mobile home using hydraulic jacks, the next step is to level and secure it. To do this, use a water level to check the level of the home.
Place the level at the center of your home and mark with chalk any pillars or supports that need adjustment. If a pillar needs to be raised, add shims until the level indicates that the height is correct.
After leveling, it’s time to secure the mobile home. This involves checking all the jacks, blocks, or piers, and making sure they are sturdy and in good condition. Replace any components that are worn out or damaged.
Step 5. Placing Shims for Stability
Shims are thin pieces of material used to fill gaps or spaces between objects, providing support and stability. In the context of leveling a mobile home, shims are placed between the pillars and the beams of the mobile home once it’s lifted, acting as a buffer and providing additional support.
Ensure the shims are made from a strong, durable material and are the correct size for your gaps.
Step 6. Ensuring Compliance with Safety Regulations
When lifting and leveling a mobile home, it’s crucial to follow safety regulations and guidelines. Improper handling can lead to serious accidents and damage to your property.
These safety measures include using appropriate and certified tools and equipment, wearing protective gear, and following instructions for all procedures.
You should also be aware of local building codes and standards that apply to your area. These might include specifications for how high a mobile home can be lifted, what materials can be used for shims, and other related regulations.
Step 7. Final Checks and Precautions
After completing all the steps above, perform a final check of your mobile home. Make sure all the supports are secure, and there are no signs of instability. Recheck the levelness of the mobile home, and adjust if required.
Don’t forget to reinstall the skirting around your mobile home, as it plays an important role in protecting the underside of your home from weather and pests.
Also, keep an eye out for any signs of shifting or movement in the days and weeks following the procedure, as some settling is normal. If you notice anything unusual, call a professional for assistance.
How do you level a mobile home with jacks?
Leveling a mobile home with jacks involves lifting the home off its supports using the jacks, and then adjusting the height of the supports until the home is level.
This process begins by placing the hydraulic jack under the beams of the home that need adjustment. The jack is then pumped until it lifts the home high enough to allow adjustment of the supports.
Once the supports are at the correct height, the home is lowered back down onto them. This process is repeated for each support that needs adjustment until the entire home is level.
What is involved in leveling a mobile home?
Leveling a mobile home involves several steps. It starts with preparing the site and securing the area around the pillars and beams. Then, hydraulic jacks are used to lift the home off its supports.
Once lifted, the level of the home is checked using a water level, and any uneven pillars or supports are marked for adjustment. Shims are added where necessary for additional support.
The home is then lowered back onto its supports, and the levelness is checked again. Once the home is level and secure, the final checks are done, and the skirting is reinstalled around the home.
How much does it cost to raise a mobile home in Florida?
The cost of leveling a mobile home varies depending on several factors such as the size of the home, the degree of unlevelness, and local labor rates. On average, leveling a mobile home can cost between $450 and $900.
In Florida, costs might be on the higher end due to local labor rates and specific regulations regarding mobile homes. However, these prices are only estimates, and the actual cost can vary depending on the specifics of each job. It’s always best to get several quotes from different service providers before making a decision.
Can you use a laser level to level a mobile home?
A laser level can indeed be used to level a mobile home. This device emits a beam of light that is perfectly horizontal or vertical, providing an accurate reference line for leveling. When using a laser level, place it at the center of the mobile home and rotate it to cast the laser line across the length and width of the home.
Any pillars or supports that fall below or above the laser line will need adjustment. However, while a laser level can provide a high degree of accuracy, it’s always good to double-check with a traditional bubble level as well.