Taking Care of Your Manufactured Home: An Exterior Maintenance Guide

Jacobsen Homes takes great care to use durable and reliable materials to construct our manufactured homes so that they can withstand harsh conditions, and even last for generations. As a manufactured home owner, there are some steps you should take to maintain its condition, like performing regular inspections, completing routine maintenance, and when required, making immediate repairs to your home.

Inspect your manufactured home yearly. This will help you recognize potential problems and solve them before they require major repairs. Continue reading to learn how to properly care for your manufactured home.

Bottom Board

When inspecting, be sure to: 

  • Check the bottom board for tears — no insulation should be visible
  • Thoroughly patch any tears or holes in the bottom board with a heavy-duty tape such as duct tape
  • Make sure the tape you apply is securely attached and keep an eye out for lifting or peeling
  • Replace insulation (as needed). 

Any time you must cut into the bottom board of your manufactured home, always use extreme caution to avoid cutting electrical wiring, plumbing supply lines, or plumbing drain lines. Turn off the power supply to your home at the main breaker (located in your electric panel box) before you cut into the bottom board to reduce the risk of electric shock.

Never blindly cut holes into your bottom board, as many plumbing and electrical components are located in the area. Never 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. 

Never leave the holes left under your home after a repair open and uncovered. These areas make great breeding grounds for rodents, insects, and other pests. Frequently inspect this area to ensure that any patches you’ve made are holding.

Frame

Check the frame frequently for rust. If you see rust, use a rust-inhibiting paint to touch-up the areas of the frame where the rust was found.

Be sure to repaint all of the areas on the frame where work was performed — don’t leave them unpainted, as this can lead to damage in the future. 

Skirting

Always skirt your manufactured home. This will keep many unwanted pests out from underneath your home and prevent them from tearing holes in your bottom board, damaging electrical and plumbing connections, and tearing the duct lines to your air conditioning unit.

When inspecting your home’s skirting, ensure the areas surrounding the front and rear vents are free of clutter and debris. If your home isn’t on a cement pad, watch for drainage issues and check your setup manual for ground preparation under your home.

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

Exterior Vinyl Siding

Your home’s siding can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time. If rainfall doesn’t wash away the loose dirt and debris, occasionally rinsing your home’s siding with a hose will do the job. If dirt accumulates, use a nonabrasive household detergent with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush to clean its siding. Wet leaves or flowers that have been allowed to stand may stain and require extra scrubbing.

Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners on the exterior surface of your home. Never clean your home in direct sunlight and always allow the exterior to cool before cleaning.

It is not recommended to paint or wax the siding on your manufactured home. If your home does not have vinyl siding, please call the factory for further instructions.

Windows and Doors

Inspect the seams around all of your windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and holes. If you find any, use a pliable, non-hardening caulking compound to seal the openings. Checking these seams on a regular basis will help you prevent water from entering your home’s walls — which can lead to mold, rot, and extensive water damage over time. 

Don’t neglect the caulking around your doors and windows. Sealing these seams not only preserves the integrity of your walls and exterior siding, but can also help reduce your energy consumption levels, lowering your overall energy bill.

Shingle Roofs

The roof of your Jacobsen Home generally receives the most wear of any part of the manufactured home. To maintain the integrity and extend the life of you roof:

  • Inspect your roof once a year and after any major storms. Most inspections done by you can be done simply by stepping away from your home and looking to see if anything does not seem right. If you see anything that looks like it may need closer inspection, call a licensed roofing contractor. Don’t risk your safety by attempting the repair or maintenance yourself as roofs can be steep and slippery.
  • Have any maintenance or repair work completed by a licensed roofing contractor.
  • Have your contractor inspect the vents and openings to ensure their seals are intact. If they find an area that is not adequately sealed, have them reseal around the entire vent or opening to insure that no leakage of moisture into the roof cavity occurs.

When your home is set up on site, it’s important that nothing comes in contact with your roof. Low hanging tree branches shouldn’t touch the roof and should be pruned periodically to avoid scraping.

Most roof problems can be avoided with thorough annual roof inspections. A roof check after a storm may help you avoid bigger problems in the future. Your annual roof inspection should include checking the eaves, rake ends, individual shingles, stacks, and vents as well as the roof surfaces. The vents and stacks should be coated or sealed as necessary.

Do not go on your roof — a fall could result in severe injury. Never allow dirt or debris to settle and accumulate on your roof. If large quantities of debris build up on your roof, it may lead to premature deterioration.

Looking for a Manufactured Home? 

Jacobsen Homes has proudly been the number one source for high-quality manufactured and modular homes to families throughout Florida since 1959. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of making your home a Jacobsen Home, or find a model center for sales assistance.