5 Items To Check Before Buying A Mobile Home
Checking a leaky roof on a mobile home can often seem like a daunting task, but the reality of the matter is that leaky roofs usually manifest themselves in pretty ugly and noticeable ways. A lot of mobile homes have rolled metal roofs that can crack and rust over time. Simply checking for water stains on the ceiling can be your best indicator of whether or not the roof is structurally sound. Sealing a roof for a mobile home is one of the most important steps you can take to preserve the home. Often times, mobile home owners will roof their home with a shingle or steel roof for added visual appeal and water protection, but that never guarantees a leak-free roof.
Mobile homes, unlike stick-built homes, do not typically sit on a foundation. This means that the bottom side of the home isn’t shielded from exposure to the elements. Soft spots on floors are one of the most common faults with mobile homes. Luckily, they can often be remedied very quickly and easily. A soft spot is just a piece of the subfloor that has rotted over time for any number of reasons, such as appliance leaks, window or roof leaks, faulty plumbing, etc. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive to repair soft spots on most mobile home floors.
Air Conditioner Units
Air conditioning units in mobile homes can also be a very costly repair. When you are inspecting a home, be sure to note the date of the furnace and air conditioner unit. There is never a good way to tell the functionality of the unit without physical use, but the general appearance of the unit can typically give you a good gauge of the remaining usable life of the unit.
Electrical And Plumbing
Electrical and plumbing inspections are often best done by professionals, but there are a few simple checks that you can do on your own to ensure that you are not buying a total lemon. You can pick up a receptacle tester from most retail stores for under $10. A receptacle tester allows you to plug the device into the wall outlet and check the functionality of the wiring. The testers help determine the probability of incorrect wiring for an outlet and generates a code that you can easily read and compare against the manufacturer’s light codes.
The vapor barrier on a mobile home is the first line of defense from the elements on the bottom side of the house. Because the house does not sit on a foundation, instead a vapor barrier is affixed to the underside of the trailer. This barrier keeps moisture from entering the structure of the home. Inspect the vapor barrier to be sure that there are no evident signs of sagging, rips, or de-lamination. If there is evidence of any of these issues, there could be potential damage or mold issues on the wood subfloor above. These issues can likely be remedied by stapling a new moisture barrier to the bottom of the trailer.