A level home is a healthy home. Besides ensuring your floors are level, it helps to distribute the weight of your abode evenly.
However, manufactured homes tend to become unlevel at some point after installation.
There are many reasons it can become unlevel or settle into the ground.
But, The Main Question Is, How Can You Tell If A Manufactured Home Has Become Unlevel?
While there are several noticeable signs that indicate your home is unlevel, the surest way to know if your home is unlevel is using a construction water level.
You will need to crawl underneath your manufactured home and compare the height of each and every pier using a water level.
If you find your home is unlevel, you should consider re-leveling it as soon as possible.
An unlevel manufactured home can put undue stress on some sections or piers, which in the long run might cause severe damage. For this reason, it is a good idea to check if your manufactured home is level, preferably annually. You can also have it checked by a professional and be releveled when found unlevel.
In this article, you will find more about how to tell if your manufactured home is unlevel, ways to remedy the situation, and other related information.
What Causes Your Manufactured Home To Become Unlevel?
Leveling is one of the most critical stages when installing a manufactured home.
Your manufactured home can become unlevel for many reasons.
Unlike conventional homes, most mobile homes depend on piers (or blocks) for support.
Your home is likely to settle into the ground if the pier footings are unevenly distributed or are placed improperly.
Some of the things that cause your home to be unlevel include;
Excess moisture is undoubtedly the main reason most manufactured home starts to sink.
The excessive moisture in the soil under your manufactured home makes the ground soft, causing the piers or blocks to sink or heave.
As the soil goes through seasons of moisture and drying, the particles expand and contract, making your home unsettled.
Even for homeowners who place their manufactured homes on a concrete slab, there is no guaranteed eternal stability because the soil underneath is unstable.
2. Poor support
If your manufactured home is placed on improperly installed footings, it is likely to flooring problems.
Basically, the foundations of your manufactured home should be properly supported with concrete or hardwood shims.
To adequately support your home, use enough piers that are evenly placed along the frames for even weight distribution.
3. Improper leveling
If you notice your home is unlevel shortly after it was installed, the chances are that the setup crew didn’t level it properly.
A manufactured home that is improperly balanced during the original setup will undergo floor problems because of the undue stress on the home’s structure.
Besides the undeniable reasons, other factors like earthquakes, flooding, and underground roots can also make your manufactured home to become unlevel.
Regardless of what causes your manufactured home to become unlevel, it will definitely interfere with the structural integrity.
For this reason, consider leveling your home as part of the routine maintenance practices.
Nine Signs That Your House is Unlevel
If your home is unlevel, you will find a number of telltale signs. The most obvious and significant sign indicating your manufactured home is unlevel is more than one door starting to stick or swing.
Even before using a water level to determine your home’s level, doors can make you close to sure that your home needs to be re-leveled.
With that said, here are some of the indicators that your manufactured home is not level:
- Creaks, pops, squeaks, or other bizarre sounds coming from the floor, walls, or roof. The floor may also feel spongy when you walk on it.
- Doors sticking and swinging unlike they did before. Both windows and doors won’t latch properly (fail to align to the catch hole).
- Cracks in the walls, floors, or ceilings
- Loose anchor straps
- Cabinet and closet doors becoming loose or not closing. Cabinets will likely look out of square.
- Floors having noticeable heave or bowing.
- Bulged skirting or cracks in the skirting
- Your house can look tilted when observed from outside.
- Issues with awnings and other attachments to your home
If you observe more than one of these signs or suspect your manufactured home is unlevel for whatever reason, it is time to ascertain if your home requires re-leveling.
However, it is good to confirm the integrity of hinges or mount before taking your water level.
You may only need to tighten the screws on door hinges and to solve a worrying issue.
How Often Should You Check If Your Manufactured Home Is Level?
Due to tons of things that can throw your home out of level, you need to frequently check its leveling.
Unfortunately, many manufactured homeowners are not aware that they need to inspect their home leveling regularly.
Professional installers recommend that you check if your manufactured home is level 90 days after it was installed.
After the initial checking, it is advisable to check your home for leveling at least once every year, preferably at the beginning of summer.
Besides the regular intervals, make sure to perform a thorough check after severe weather conditions and calamities like earthquakes, floods, windstorms, and hurricanes.
It is also imperative to check the level of your home after a water line near or in your manufactured home gets damaged.
How To Check If Your Home Is Level: Four Steps
From time to time, you will suspect the integrity of your manufactured home’s footings for various reasons.
You can observe the signs listed above or see water on your floor or countertops flow to one side. So, how do you determine if your home is level or not?
Checking if your home is level is easy and does not require any professional skills.
Nevertheless, you should not go underneath your home without someone standing by your side should an emergency arise. Here is how to go about it:
- Wear proper safety gear (gloves and eyewear) and have someone stand outside the crawlspace if there is an emergency.
- Loosen the tie-down straps, remove the skirting, and crawl underneath your manufactured home.
- Start checking if your home is level. To determine your home’s level, start by placing a water level at the center of the support beam and check the bubble. Next, proceed to check how your home is aligned by watching the bubbles of every other pier until the end of the main support beam.
- If you find an area that is not level, mark it with chalk, and hire a reputable contractor to re-level your home.
How To Relevel A Manufactured Home: Seven Steps
If you ever bought a manufactured home and found that it is unlevel, you already know how hurting that can be.
Fortunately, there is a way to fix an uneven mobile home.
While releveling a manufactured home sounds impossible, it is still doable.
Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, the process of releveling your manufactured home is costly.
However, it is not a completely bank-breaking process.
Primarily, it involves four major steps: determining why the house is unlevel, lifting it, replace or adjust damaged piers, and lower the manufactured home back to the new level foundation.
Even if you’re a skilled DIYer, there are practical reasons and benefits of hiring a professional or company to relevel your manufactured home.
With that said, here are steps to rescue your unlevel home:
- Get your tools ready and wear proper safety gear. You need a reasonable (5-20 tons) hydraulic jack, water level, hammer, wedges, some shims, and possible piers. Once you are ready to get started, remove skirting, and enter the crawlspace.
- Use the water level to determine the difference in height between the highest pier and the one sagging.
- Lift your home. To correctly lift your manufactured home for releveling, place the jack under the beam and between the two piers. Remember to place a block of wood under the jack to enhance stability. You’re leveling. Lift the home until the bubbles are at the same level.
- Using a wedge or shim, fill the space between the beam and its support. Hammer the wedge into place. If you are using an adjustable pier, adjust it appropriately.
- Next, slowly lower the jack until your home rests on its support. To be sure that your home is level, recheck the beam with the water level.
- Adjust the tie-downs according to ensure they are secure.
- Take out all your equipment and leave the crawlspace. Confirm that no water line was damaged or dislodged during the process and replace the skirting.
You have successfully leveled your mobile home.
- Having an unlevel home can be daunting, especially if you are not a savvy DIYer.
- Regardless of what caused your home to be unlevel, you can re-level it.
- Fortunately, the process is relatively simple with the right equipment.
- Hire a professional if you are not skilled. Besides saving your time, it will be done professionally.