For many people living in a mobile home, there is a sense of freedom or possibility that comes with having a smaller footprint. However, this choice takes some extra attention to specific maintenance needs.
True, mobile homes are a pretty popular choice as far as residences go. And that’s because they’re cost-friendly, fairly uncomplicated, and relatively easy to maintain. But if you own a mobile home, it’s vital to keep up with regular maintenance– routine inspections and timely repairs to ensure it is functioning at its best.
Without proper care and maintenance, your mobile home could deteriorate quickly. So here are some of the best tips for maintaining your mobile home, to help preserve its value and extend its longevity.
1. Check your mobile home’s condition before you start.
First things first, you have to know exactly what we’re dealing with. Are you anticipating a lot of repair work? Is there water damage? Has there been active mold or pest infestation? Whatever the case may be, you need to know how much work is ahead of you.
By doing so, not only do you have a good idea of what you can tackle on your own (versus calling the professionals to handle things for you), you also know which action items to prioritize and how much it might cost you in terms of time, money, and energy.
2. Review your insurance policy.
Are you covered for new or replacement costs when it comes to your mobile home repairs and maintenance?
When it comes to mobile home insurance, it’s always best to verify what the policy covers and how it covers it. If you are missing a clause or getting clarification about a claim, don’t be afraid to call the agent.
Does the policy include the replacement of the contents of your mobile home at a fair market value? Are you aware of any deductibles that apply to the type of situation that you may have?
3. Be mindful of safety at all times!
Never use your home or mobile home as a makeshift storage facility. It is dangerous to keep combustible items inside your home.
Speaking of which, keep a fire extinguisher on hand. The fire extinguisher is a necessity in any home, but they’re particularly important in a mobile home. Do not store your fire extinguisher in a closet or other closed-in area. Keep it near the kitchen or other open area of the home.
4. Maintain according to budget.
Know your costs– specifically, what it’s going to take to manage mobile home issues the right way. The last thing you want to do is waste a bunch of money putting band-aids on the problem and managing the issues as they arise.
Once you know your own costs, stick to your budget. This is one of the most crucial things that you can do. If you know you’ve got a certain amount of money to spend on mobile home issues, there’s no point in wasting it.
5. Learn the basics of maintenance.
Almost all of us have to do minor home repairs at some point. Minor repairs can be done with simple tools and a little skill. There’s nothing wrong with paying others to do a job you can do yourself, but if you can do it yourself you can learn how to not have to pay someone to do it for you later, in addition to saving money now. (You can save hundreds of dollars by not having to pay someone else to do routine maintenance.)
You might want to consider joining a home improvement group or starting your own to take advantage of buying bulk materials to do the work yourself.
6. Check your siding and roof regularly.
The roof is (arguably) the most important part of a mobile home. Not only does it protect you from weather and animals, but it also keeps your home watertight.
A good way to determine if your roof and siding are in good condition is to check for any signs of damage. Look for holes, cracks, and other signs of damage. If your siding has begun to fade, this is a good sign that it has deteriorated.
In the long run, your roof pays for itself. Siding, on the other hand, is important because it can be a quick and easy way to make your home look a lot better. It really is a case of less effort, more impact.
Go ahead and make repairs when necessary. Check for leaks, stains, and other issues that keep you from enjoying your home. Don’t wait to fix them one at a time. You might not have a leak today, but you might have a leak a year from now. The time to fix it is now. Waiting will only make the problem much worse.
7. Change your air filters often.
Your air filters make sure you’re breathing clean air inside your mobile home. Check your air filter at least once every month. If you don’t know how to do it, ask your mobile home park managers.
It’s a good idea to change or clean the air filter in your home at least once a month. If you have pets, you might want to clean or change your filters more often.
If you have pets, vacuum often. Have a friend or family member help you out. If you clean pet hair, you can keep allergies under control.
8. Maintain your home appliances.
Appliances such as your air conditioner, washer, dryer, and refrigerator can add to your mobile home’s moisture level. It’s important to clean the lint filter in your dryer and replace the filter in your air conditioner and refrigerator.
Aging appliances may not run as efficiently as new ones and therefore use more energy. When your appliances do break down, have them repaired as soon as possible. Or change them according to your manufacturer’s guidelines.
9. Keep your unit properly insulated.
Insulation keeps your interior temperature at a comfortable level. Proper maintenance ensures you have a more pleasant environment inside if your mobile home has adequate insulation.
Mobile homes are compact, which means less insulation. Insulation is particularly important during the winter months when heat can be lost from your home.
While many people think fiberglass is the best insulation for mobile homes, it’s actually the most difficult to install. Some mobile home manufacturers will use a combination of fiberglass and other insulations, such as rock wool or cellulose for their walls.
10. Check those pipes.
Plumbing is another important area that requires regular cleaning. Fix any leaky faucets or pipes immediately. Clogged drains can cause mold and mildew to grow under the sink, which may affect your health.
Your water lines should be properly insulated for optimal performance. If your water lines are old, you may want to consider replacing them with newer lines. Make sure your sewer lines are properly insulated, as well as your septic tank, to help maintain the health of your home.
11. Consider the effectiveness of local contractors.
While you may be able to handle small repairs and replacements, when it comes to bigger issues with your mobile home, it will definitely be time to call the pros.
Make it a point you interview and shop around before you choose a contractor. When it comes to repairs, it is crucial to hire a contractor that has experience in mobile home repair.
Consider the cost of the contractors. While you can get estimates from different contractors, it is important to take into consideration the kind of materials that the contractor uses. There should be a standard for mobile home repairs.
Bonus: 12. Plan out your yearly maintenance schedule.
Know what your annual maintenance costs are going to look like so you can better prepare for them.
This will help you recognize when certain repairs may need to be made—and give you a heads up on what you can expect to spend. Once you know what to expect, you’ll be financially (and emotionally) ready for any surprises.
A Final Word About Maintenance on Your Mobile Home
Keep up with your mobile home’s maintenance needs and make sure it is in good working order. This will help you avoid costly mistakes that could significantly impact your home’s value. The cost that you can save from taking preventative measures may be significant.
As you can see, there is a lot of information for you to keep in mind when you are about to buy a mobile home. With the right information, you can make good choices that you will be happy with.
Storz Management Company manages some of the best mobile home parks in and around Sacramento today. We’ll be happy to talk to you about our various properties, including our RV-only and 55+ communities. For information about mobile home sales and financing,
give the StorzCo team a call today at (916) 989-5333.