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Water Damage to Trailer Homes
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Trailer homes, mobile homes, or manufactured homes are typically known for being very affordable options when it comes to those pursuing some form of home ownership. In many cases, you can get into a decent trailer home for a small percentage of what it would cost for more traditional construction. Unfortunately, this does come with a price, and the adage "you get what you pay for" certainly applies. Trailer homes are far more susceptible to damage from wind, rain, snow, and ice than traditional homes, and the cost of cleanup may be considerable.
Flooding and water can damage a trailer home in any number of ways, such as the lateral displacement of walls and flooring, cracking of the wall finish, saturation of soil under the home which may cause footings to become unstable and unsafe, as well as failure of the anchoring system that keeps the home in place.
A recent study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency stated that it would only take about two feet of water to cause damages of up to 80% of the value of the home. This would include not only the structure, but also the floor and wall insulation, siding and sheathing, mechanical duct work located in the lower portion of the home, as well as electrical connections and the furnace/water heater systems.
Manufactured home owners should take certain precautions following any sort of flood event, such as inspecting the gas line for leakage, removing the skirting from the home to allow the underside to dry completely, and have an installer check the soil around the footing for any signs of washout or scouring. Some building repairs may require a permit. Waste and gas lines should also be checked for leaks and the insulation, decking, and structural lumber should be checked for damage and dried out thoroughly.
Siding or sheathing may need to be loosened or removed to allow for total drying to occur. Ductwork should be examined for signs of water and any water found should be removed. Once this repair is complete, the ductwork should be reinsulated with new insulation.
As with traditional homes, electrical systems should be inspected by a qualified electrician, with all cleaning procedures confirming to industry standards such as ASTM and IEEE. Items damaged by water may be salvageable, but electrical items submerged in water should, in most cases, be replaced. Your technician can advise you as to whether you should repair, restore, or replace.
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