Interior Maintenance Guide for Your Manufactured Home

Maintenance is an important part of homeownership, and that includes manufactured, modular, or mobile homes. This guide will provide you with resources to help you with the interior maintenance of all your appliances and fixtures within your home.

Scroll down to view all maintenance tips, or jump to tips about the interior features you care about the most:

Acrylic Surfaces

Some lavatories, bathtubs, and countertops have acrylic surfaces. There are special cleaners or polishes available for acrylic surfaces, which should be used instead of any harsh or abrasive cleaners that may scratch or dull the finish of the acrylic products. If a detergent is used, make sure the surface is thoroughly rinsed so that no film is left to dull the finish. For the best results, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the product for surface care and cleaning.

Appliances and Fixtures

Appliances in your Jacobsen Home carry manufacturers warranties. All warranty and registration information for the factory-installed appliances that are supplied by the manufacturer are shipped to your home and are located within the appliance. Manufacturers of appliances and fixtures also supply "Use and Care" information. This should be studied carefully and the advice given for preventative maintenance and emergency use should be followed. This information should remain with the appliances and fixtures if ownership is ever transferred. There are some general maintenance rules which can be followed in caring for major appliances and fixtures.

Gas Ranges

Gas ranges may be adapted for use with either LP or natural gas upon installation of the proper orifice. The vast majority of manufactured homes, which are equipped with gas, use natural gas. The gas range should be carefully adjusted for the correct fuel at the time of occupying the home. 

CAUTION: Before moving your home, the main valve at any outside gas cylinder must be turned off. Always notify the gas company before moving your home.

Electric Ranges

Care should be taken in cleaning the control panels and the burners in a manner that they will not be damaged. For proper cleaning instructions, consult the manual for your range.

Refrigerators

To allow proper air circulation, open grillwork at the top or bottom should never be covered.  The grill should be brushed or vacuumed as needed. The interior and exterior can be cleaned with any of the recommended cleaning agents listed in the operating instructions for your specific refrigerator.

Other Appliances

A dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, washer and dryer, tub with jets, or other optional appliances may be provided with your home. Operating instructions for factory-installed optional appliances will be included with this manual or inside the appliance. If the appliance has been installed by your dealer, or another party, the warranty and operating information may be located differently.   

Cabinetry

Most Jacobsen Homes have some built-in cabinetry. If any drawers in your home should ever happen to stick, you should apply wax, paraffin, or other suitable commercial products to the drawer guides to allow them to slide easier. In most cases, surface dirt can be easily removed with a soft damp cloth, sponge, or a vacuum cleaner using one of the special attachments.  No further care may be necessary. However, if there is a stubborn stain or grease spot, a mild detergent solution can be applied. Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the products you are using. Also, strong soaps and cleaners are not advisable.

Cabinet Hardware

Cabinetry and trim materials with decorative metal ornaments should be treated with care to assure long-lasting beauty. Warm water and a mild soap will remove spots and discoloration in most cases. Copper finishes should be wiped with a soft damp cloth regularly. Use a mild detergent to remove any stains. Do not use any chemicals or abrasive cleaners, because they will destroy the protective coating.

Ceilings

The ceiling in your Jacobsen Home is constructed with 1/2" gypsum board with a knockdown finish. Typically ceilings of this nature are durable and require very little care. Never clean with harsh or abrasive cleaners or detergents. Do not use solvents such as gasoline, turpentine, alcohol, paint thinner, or lacquer thinner.

Ceiling Maintenance

Drywall ceilings require little maintenance. They can be dusted and cleaned of loose dirt by the use of a vacuum cleaner with attachments, or a soft dry cloth.

Water Stains on the Ceiling

Water stains on a ceiling indicate a roof leak or a condensation problem. Be sure that this condition has been corrected, or the repair of the stain will be futile. After the problem has been corrected and the area affected has dried, the area can be repainted. It may be necessary to prime the area where the water damage has occurred with a primer formulated before you repaint the affected area to prevent the water stain from "bleeding" through.

Doors

The care of doors in your Jacobsen Home is the same as in any other type of home. The exterior doors have been installed so they provide a specific amount of clearance at all sides. The clearance space is normally filled with flexible weather stripping. If the door clearances are not maintained, there is a likelihood that the door will bind and ultimately the door and hardware may fracture. Proper installation and leveling of your home are essential to assure that the door will remain weathertight and that the locking device will function properly. If your home is not level your door could be "racked" to the point where it will not open and close properly.

Exterior Doors and Exit Strategies

All manufactured homes have a minimum of two exterior doors that are remote from each other and provide a means of exit to the outside. You may have one or more swing doors, or sliding glass doors. Every member of your household should be taught how to open them.  The passage to all exterior doors should be kept clear and free of obstructions that may hinder your ability to safely exit your home in the event of an emergency. Do not block any exits from your home. This may be your only means of escape.

Locks and Keys

Locks on exterior doors are designed to function properly when the depth behind the door strike permits the latch bolt to be fully extended. The house must be level so that the latch bolt and the door strike are completely in alignment. If not, an adjustment should be made so that the door strike and the latch bolt will mate properly, (see your set-up manual provided in the Home Owners Packet shipped with your manufactured home).

Lock Maintenance and Key Replacement

Powdered graphite should be used occasionally to lubricate any lock mechanism. A record should be kept of the identification number and make of your home's locks. With this information, it should be possible to obtain a duplicate key from a locksmith if your keys are lost.

Flooring

Regardless of what type of floor covering you have, it is important to keep it clean to extend its life span.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors require a minimum amount of care, but they should be mopped regularly. Also, never use sharp objects on your vinyl flooring, as you might cut through the vinyl.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors are easy to care for. To remove dry soil, you should use a vacuum cleaner (not the beater bar type), or a broom.  In the event of light dirtying, clean the floor with clear water and a moist, well-wrung map. Never let water or any liquid stand, it could cause edge swelling or delamination. You should use clean water without additives or clear water with a basic laminate cleaner. If a laminate cleaner is used, always go by the package directions for the amount to use. You should dry the floor with a clean, dry cloth after mopping. If something is spilled on the floor, it should be immediately cleaned up with dry cloths. For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, or tar use a quality laminate cleaner.

Preventative Measures

Preventive Measures such as placing felt gliders under the legs of all furniture should be taken.  You should also use chair rollers with soft rollers and ones that are suitable for laminated floors.  Where there are outside doors, you should have walk-off mats. Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35% and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the laminate. Use wide load-bearing leg bases to minimize the chance of indentations and scratches from heavy objects. Do not use abrasive cleaners, steel woo, soap-based detergents, waxes, polishes, or scouring powder, because they may scratch or dull the surface of the flooring. Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machines.

Floor Tile

To remove dry soil, you should use a vacuum cleaner or a broom.  In the event of light dirtying, clean the tile with clear water and a moist, well-wrung mop.  If a tile cleaner (without bleach) is used, follow the package directions. Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machines on your tile floors. For long wear, carpeting should be kept clean by frequent vacuuming. There are also several commercial cleaning processes available. A thorough cleaning is recommended at least every 12 to 18 months. Heavy use may necessitate more frequent cleaning. Never place furniture on wet carpet that has recently been cleaned or shampooed because the furniture will stain the carpet.

Granite or Marble Countertops

The natural stone you have purchased for your home is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service.  Stone is a natural product and simple care and maintenance will keep it beautiful. 

Preventative Measures

We recommend that you use coasters under all glasses, particularly those that contain alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface. Blot up spills immediately. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver, or other objects that can scratch the surface. Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface, use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on granite or marble, or use scouring powders or creams, these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

Cleaning Your Countertop

Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap, or mild liquid dish-washing detergent and warm water. Use a clean soft cloth for best results. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with a soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. A good quality granite wax or non-yellowing automobile paste can be applied to minimize water spotting. Granite or marble tops should be sealed once a year with a stone sealer.

Porcelain Enamel Surfaces

Most porcelain enamel surfaces of kitchen appliances and some modern plumbing may be cleaned with warm water and a good detergent. Commercial cleaners are rarely needed.  Porcelain should be protected from a harsh blow and from sharp objects to prevent chipping and scratching of the surface. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms have been installed in your Jacobsen Homes. You should become familiar with the locations and how to operate them. Learn how the alarms can be silenced once they have sounded and be familiar with their use. This is a very important safety device installed for your protection. Be sure that they are kept in A-1 working condition by testing them frequently according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Working Smoke Alarm

The alarms operate on household current and have battery backups. Its purpose is to provide early warning in case of fire. Again, we stress the importance of keeping your smoke alarms in proper working order. You should never disconnect your smoke alarms. This is an extremely unsafe practice. Most new smoke detectors are equipped with a button that will turn off a nuisance alarm and then reactivate your detector so it still functions. If your detector is disconnected you may have no early warning that fire is present and therefore, you may not have an adequate amount of time to escape.

Fire Evacuation Plan

Many fire departments advocate household drills. Your local fire department may have suggestions to help you set up practice drills for your household so that each member understands the location and operation of exit doors and egress windows.

Stainless Steel Surfaces

Sinks, appliances, and fixtures made of stainless steel should be cleaned with a liquid detergent, or a foam producing cleanser. There are several cleansers that are prepared specifically for stainless steel products. Avoid scratching the surfaces with sharp edges of utensils or knives.

Trim and Molding

Check the trim and molding throughout your home, around doors and windows, and along the corners of rooms. Trim is thin and fragile, check that all trim materials are secure and that no edges are protruding or loose.

Wood and Non-Wood Trim

Wood and non-wood trim require minimal care. For long-lasting beauty, occasionally wax with furniture wax, but avoid using strong soaps and cleaners to prevent wood damage.

Wall Finishes

In most cases, surface dirt can be easily removed with a soft, damp cloth, sponge, or a vacuum cleaner using one of the special attachments. No further care may be necessary.  However, if there is a stubborn stain or grease spot, a mild detergent solution can be applied, but strong soaps and cleaners are not advisable. Paint coated materials are easy to keep clean and maintain. They can be kept beautiful by washing with a soft, damp cloth, or a sponge and a mild household cleaning agent or water. 

How to Clean your Trimmed Walls

Never clean your walls with harsh or abrasive cleaners or detergents. Do not use solvents such as gasoline, turpentine, alcohol, paint thinner, or lacquer thinner. These types of solvents will damage the finish on your walls or trim. Never re-paint over a dirty wall, the paint will not adhere properly, and may flake or peel.

Windows

Windows should be opened frequently and cleaned around the casing. A good window cleaning preparation should be used to clean the glass. Any loose screws in window frames should be tightened.

Emergency Exit (Egress) Windows

All manufactured homes built in compliance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards are required to have an emergency exit in each bedroom that does not have an exterior door.

This window, called an egress window, must have an instruction label on it when the home is delivered to the homeowner.  We strongly suggest that you have these instructions attached to your window. All members of your family should be taught how to operate the window in case of an emergency. These windows should be tested regularly to ensure they are in proper working order. Always leave the area in front of an egress window clear so you can easily exit in case of an emergency. 

Never block the path to an emergency egress window. In the case of an emergency, this could be your only means of escape.

Window Treatments

You may have one of many different types of window coverings for your windows: window blinds, vertical blinds, wood shutters, or draperies.

In most cases, surface dirt on blinds or shutters can be easily removed with a soft damp cloth, sponge, or vacuum cleaner using one of the special attachments. No further care should be necessary. However, if there is a stubborn stain or grease spot, a mild detergent solution can be applied.

Dry Cleaning is recommended for all types of drapery materials. Strong soaps and cleaners are not advisable on blinds and shutters, nor is it advisable to wash draperies material.

For more information about manufactured homes or home maintenance, contact Jacobsen Homes.