Taking Care of Your Manufactured Home: An Exterior Maintenance Guide

Your home is one of, if not the largest investment you’ll make. Regular inspections, routine maintenance, and timely repairs to your home are all critical to keeping it in good condition. Whether you own a manufactured home or are looking to purchase one in the future, there are some steps you should take to maintain its condition. 

Read on to learn how you can take care of your manufactured home’s exterior to keep it in great condition for years to come. 

Home Maintenance Checklist

Inspect your manufactured home at least once per year. This will help you identify potential problems and solve them early on before they require major repairs. Some parts of your home may require more frequent inspections and maintenance, however, conducting a yearly inspection is a good rule of thumb.

Shingle Roofs

Compared to other parts of your home, the roof receives the most wear. Inspect your roof once per year and after major storms to maintain its integrity and extend its lifespan. 

Most inspections can be completed by you from the ground. Take a step back and look for places where dirt and debris have gathered, as well as any loose, lifting, damaged, or missing shingles. Never allow dirt or debris to accumulate on your roof as it can cause premature deterioration.

Inspect the interior of your home’s ceiling for leaks, stains, or water damage. Moisture in your roof cavity can lead to mold and rot, which can cause leaks and extensive damage to your home if left unchecked. 

In addition to your own inspection, have a professional conduct a comprehensive roof inspection once per year. Your inspector should check the eaves, rake ends, individual shingles, stacks, vents, roof surfaces, and the seals of your vents and any openings. The vents and stacks should be coated or sealed as necessary — if they find seals that aren’t intact, have them reseal around the entire vent or opening to prevent moisture in your roof cavity.

Do not go on your roof or attempt repairs or maintenance yourself. Roofs can be steep and slippery, and a fall could result in severe injury or even death. If you see anything that looks like it may need a closer inspection, repair, or replacement, call a licensed roofing contractor. 

Gutters

Inspect your gutters twice per year, minimum. Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home’s foundation. Ensure they’re doing their job properly by looking in your yard for standing water, flooding, or signs of erosion. Examine your gutters and downspouts, and contact a professional for a gutter repair or replacement if you see these warning signs: 

  • Rust

  • Mold or mildew

  • Cracks or holes

  • Standing water

  • Clogs

  • Peeling paint

  • Leaks

  • Sagging

  • Water damage

In addition to semi-annual inspections, be sure to clean your gutters twice per year to keep them in great working condition. You can do this yourself, however, if you aren’t comfortable or aren’t sure how to hire a professional. 

Exterior Vinyl Siding

Over time, your siding will experience some wear and tear from the elements. Inspect your home’s vinyl siding for mold, mildew, cracks, dents, and warping. Contact a professional if you notice any damage to have it repaired properly. 

In addition to your yearly inspection, you want to clean your home’s vinyl siding of any accumulated dust, dirt, and debris at least once per year. First, rinse it with a hose to wash away any loose dirt or debris. Wet leaves, flowers, or areas where dirt has accumulated may require extra scrubbing. Use a non-abrasive household detergent with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush. 

When cleaning your home’s vinyl siding, never use harsh or abrasive cleaners — these can damage its finish. You should also never clean it in direct sunlight, and always allow the exterior to cool before cleaning. Do not paint or wax the siding on your manufactured home. 

Contact your manufacturer for further instructions if your home doesn’t have vinyl siding.

Windows and Doors

Inspect the seams around all of your windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and holes. Seal any openings with a pliable, non-hardening caulking compound. Sealing these seams will prevent water from entering your home’s walls — which can lead to mold, rot, and extensive water damage. What’s more, this can also help reduce your energy consumption levels, lowering your overall energy bill.

Patio or Deck

Inspect your patio or deck and your stairs and railings for lifting nails, cracks, and rot. If your deck is made of wood, be sure to seal it once per year. Replace any broken or missing boards promptly. 

Keep your patio or deck free of accumulated dirt, dust, and debris throughout the year, and have it thoroughly cleaned once per year. Scrub spots where dirt, dust, or mold have gathered using a brush and deck-cleaning solution, then rinse with a hose. You can also pressure wash your deck, however, this can damage your home if it’s done improperly — it’s best to hire a professional if selecting this option.

Skirting 

Manufactured home skirting is a stylish way to keep pests out from under your home while covering the gap between the base of your home and the ground. Pests can wreak havoc underneath your manufactured home by tearing holes in your bottom board, tearing the duct lines to your air conditioning unit, and damaging your electrical and plumbing connections.

Ensure your home’s skirting is intact and secure. Check that the areas surrounding your home’s front and rear vents are free of clutter and debris. If your home isn’t on a cement pad, keep an eye out for drainage issues such as standing water. Check your home’s setup manual for ground preparation guidelines under your home. 

Never install skirting without proper ventilation. Don’t allow water to gather under or around your home — standing water can damage your home’s foundation, landscaping, and more.

Frame

Check your home’s frame frequently for rust. Touch up any rusted areas with rust-inhibiting paint. Repaint all of the areas on the frame where work was performed — leaving them unpainted can lead to damage in the future. 

Bottom Board

When inspecting your manufactured home’s bottom board, look for tears — no insulation should be visible. If you find any tears or holes in your bottom board, patch it with heavy-duty tape such as duct tape. Make sure it’s securely attached and that there is no lifting or peeling. 

When performing maintenance on your home’s bottom board, here are some do’s and don’ts: 

  • Do regularly check any areas you had to repair to guarantee the patches you’ve made are holding.

  • Do use extreme caution to avoid cutting electrical wiring, plumbing supply lines, or plumbing drain lines. 

  • Do turn off the power supply to your home at the main breaker (located in your electric panel box) to reduce the risk of electric shock if you need to cut into your home’s bottom board. 

  • Do hire a professional to perform repairs or replace your insulation when necessary.

  • Don’t blindly cut holes into it — many plumbing and electrical components are located in the area. 

  • Don’t cut into the floor, walls, roof, or bottom board without disconnecting the power to your home at the main breaker — failing to do so can risk electrocution

Landscaping

The same as any other home, the landscaping around your manufactured home can be customized to your liking. You want to make sure you’re keeping your yard in good condition to prevent pests from gathering and boost curb appeal

Low-hanging tree branches shouldn’t touch the roof and should be pruned periodically to avoid scraping and damage. How often you trim your landscaping, mow your lawn, and perform other landscaping maintenance tasks will vary depending on your home’s location and the season — landscaping typically thrives in warmer locations and seasons, requiring more frequent maintenance. 

Check with your homeowner’s association to ensure you meet their specific lawn care and gardening requirements. If you don’t have the time, energy, or ability to maintain your landscaping, hire a professional to take care of it for you. 

Looking For Your Dream Home?

At Jacobsen Homes, our manufactured homes are built to last. We’ve proudly been the number one source for high-quality manufactured homes to families throughout Florida since 1959. 

Contact us today to create your dream home. Schedule a tour to view our high-quality manufactured homes in person.