Understanding Mobile Home Releveling: Why It Matters and How to Do It

Mobile homes, also known as manufactured homes, offer an affordable and flexible housing option for millions of people. However, like any structure, they require regular maintenance to ensure they remain safe, comfortable, and structurally sound. One of the most critical aspects of mobile home maintenance is releveling. This process involves adjusting the home to ensure it sits evenly on its foundation, which can prevent a host of problems. In this article, we will explore why mobile home releveling is essential and provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform it.

Why Mobile Home Releveling is Important

Mobile homes are built on steel frames and supported by piers, which can shift over time due to various factors such as soil movement, moisture, and the natural settling of the ground. When a mobile home becomes unlevel, it can lead to a range of issues, including:

  1. Structural Damage: An uneven foundation can cause significant stress on the frame and walls of the home, leading to cracks and other structural issues.
  2. Plumbing Problems: When a home is not level, water may not flow properly through the plumbing system, potentially leading to leaks, clogs, or water damage.
  3. Doors and Windows Malfunctioning: Unlevel homes can cause doors and windows to stick or not close properly, affecting security and energy efficiency.
  4. Comfort and Safety: Living in a home that is not level can be uncomfortable and pose safety risks, such as tripping hazards or increased wear on certain parts of the home.

Given these potential problems, regular releveling is crucial for maintaining the integrity and livability of a mobile home.

How to Relevel a Mobile Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Releveling a mobile home is a task that can often be done by a handy homeowner, though professional assistance is sometimes necessary for more complex situations. Here’s a general guide to releveling a mobile home:

  1. Preparation and Safety Measures:
    • Gather Tools and Equipment: You will need a water level or laser level, hydraulic jacks, wooden blocks, shims, and a torque wrench.
    • Safety First: Ensure that the home is stable before starting. Use appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.
  2. Assess the Current Level:
    • Check the Level: Use the water or laser level to determine the current level of the home. Measure at multiple points around the home to identify any areas that are out of level.
    • Document Findings: Make notes of the areas that need adjustment, so you have a clear plan of where to focus your efforts.
  3. Lifting and Adjusting the Home:
    • Locate the Piers: Identify the piers or supports under the home. These are typically located along the perimeter and under key load-bearing points.
    • Lift the Home: Using the hydraulic jacks, carefully lift the home at the points where adjustments are needed. Lift slowly and evenly to avoid causing additional stress on the structure.
    • Adjust the Supports: Once the home is lifted, place wooden blocks or shims between the piers and the home’s frame to achieve the desired level. Ensure the supports are stable before lowering the home back down.
  4. Recheck the Level:
    • Verify Adjustments: After making adjustments, recheck the level of the home using your water or laser level. Ensure that all points are even and that the home is sitting level on its foundation.
    • Fine-Tune as Needed: Make any necessary fine adjustments to ensure the home is perfectly level.
  5. Secure the Adjustments:
    • Tighten Bolts and Screws: Use the torque wrench to ensure that all bolts and screws on the piers and frame are properly tightened. This will help maintain the home’s level over time.
    • Inspect for Stability: Check all supports to ensure they are secure and stable.

Professional Releveling Services

While many homeowners can handle basic releveling themselves, there are situations where professional help is advisable. For instance, if the home has significant structural issues, if the soil is particularly unstable, or if the homeowner is not comfortable performing the task themselves. Professional releveling services can provide peace of mind and ensure the job is done correctly.

Conclusion

Regular releveling is an essential part of maintaining a mobile home. By keeping your home level, you can prevent structural damage, plumbing issues, and other problems that can arise from an uneven foundation. Whether you choose to tackle the task yourself or hire a professional, releveling is an investment in the safety and longevity of your home.