Making Your Manufactured Home Hurricane-Resistant (12 Steps)

Secure Your Home Before the Storm: Proven Strategies for Hurricane-Proofing Your Manufactured Home in 12 Steps.

Mobile home park, age-restricted (55+) community in small beach town in California. Architecture, street view

Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, offer numerous advantages.

They’re affordable, customizable, and perfect for those who enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. However, these structures can be vulnerable to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes.

The good news is that there are several strategies you can employ to make your manufactured home hurricane-resistant.

In this blog post, we will share twelve steps to help you weather the storm. So, let’s dive in!

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1. Secure the Tie-Downs

The first step in securing your mobile home against hurricanes is to ensure your tie-downs are properly installed and secured.

According to the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act, all manufactured homes should have tie-downs. But it doesn’t hurt to double-check!

There are two types of tie-downs: frame tie-downs and over-the-top tie-downs. Frame tie-downs are pre-installed in newer manufactured homes and add stability to the entire structure.

Over-the-top tie-downs, on the other hand, wrap around your house from one side to the other, providing additional security.

If your home isn’t equipped with straps, consider installing them to enhance your home’s resistance to high winds.

Regularly inspect your tie-downs and anchors for signs of damage or corrosion, and replace them as necessary.

Also, check local regulations for recommended strap strength and the number of tie-downs required for your area.

2. Secure Windows and Doors

Windows and doors can quickly become weak points during a hurricane. Strong winds can shatter glass, leading to water leaks and potential interior damage.

To mitigate this risk, consider installing removable shutters over your windows and doors. Alternatively, you can board up your windows with plywood for a more cost-effective solution.

In addition to physically securing your windows and doors, ensure they’re closed and locked before a storm hits.

You could also use anti-burglary window films for an extra layer of protection. Regularly inspect and repair any damaged frames to prevent potential leaks and drafts.

3. Strengthen Wall Joints and Cracks

Cracks in your walls can allow water to seep into your home, causing significant damage. It’s essential to fill these cracks to prevent leaks.

While a professional can handle this task most effectively, those with construction experience can certainly tackle this project themselves.

4. Sheath the Walls

Wall sheathing adds an extra protective layer to your home’s exterior, bolstering its defense against strong winds and rain.

Structural wall sheathing increases your home’s strength and support, while non-structural sheathing acts as insulation against harsh weather conditions.

When selecting sheathing material, consider wood-based options like plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). For non-structural sheathing, materials such as plastic, cellulose fiber, foam, foil-faced, or paper-faced sheathing can be effective.

5. Clear Your Front and Backyard

Pruning an olive tree with pruning hand saws

Patio furniture, gardening tools, potted plants, and other loose items in your yard can quickly turn into projectiles during a hurricane.

To prevent these objects from damaging your home, secure or move them indoors before a storm hits. Additionally, consider hiring a professional to prune trees near your home to reduce the risk of falling branches.

6. Secure Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can be severely damaged during a hurricane if not properly secured. Consider strapping your HVAC system to its platform and covering it with a sturdy protective tarp to shield it from high winds and debris.

7. Reinforce the Siding

Your home’s siding serves as an added protective layer for your insulation. If the siding becomes dislodged during a storm, your walls and insulation become vulnerable to the elements.

Secure your siding with screws or adhesive and consider choosing a siding material that’s resistant to hurricanes for increased protection.

8. Secure the Interior

Safety plastic lock for kid protection on wardrobe

Even with all exterior precautions, wind may still find its way inside your home. To avoid damage within your home, secure cabinets, cupboards, and doors with child locks.

Store electronics, glass objects, and cookware in secure places to prevent them from falling and causing harm.

9. Secure Garage Doors

If your manufactured home comes with a garage, pay special attention to securing the doors. Strong winds can easily rip off unsecured doors, potentially causing extensive damage.

Install hurricane-resistant doors or utilize retrofit kits, braces, and hurricane panels to fortify existing doors.

10. Use Concrete as the Base Material

Concrete is often considered the best material for hurricane-proof houses. It’s strong, durable, fire-resistant, and offers excellent longevity.

If you’re building a new manufactured home or are considering major renovations, concrete can be a reliable choice for your home’s base material.

11. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can go a long way in keeping your home hurricane-ready.

This includes routine checks and repairs of your roofing, regular cleaning of gutters, and ensuring your home’s drainage system is functioning optimally to prevent water buildup.

12. Look for Hurricane Protection Outreach Programs

Many areas prone to hurricanes have outreach programs offering assistance with hurricane-proofing homes.

These programs can provide consultations to identify potential risks, suggest improvements, and even help cover costs for certain enhancements. Reach out to your local program to see what resources are available to you.

Conclusion

While no home can be completely immune to hurricanes, following these steps can significantly increase your manufactured home’s resilience to these powerful storms.

Remember, the key to minimizing hurricane damage is preparedness.

Take proactive measures, invest in quality materials, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice when necessary.

Stay safe, and happy hurricane-proofing!

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