Mobile home maintenance tips for your metal roof, water heater and aluminum siding
To protect your investment in your mobile home, it is a good idea to perform simple mobile home maintenance on a regular basis. Some people mistakenly believe their home insurance policy protects against damage caused by poor maintenance, which is not always the case. Here are a few tips for keeping your home in excellent shape.
Seal your metal roof every 16-18 months. Mobile home metal roofs are not invulnerable. Over time, weather conditions can lead to deterioration. Leaking roofs are the most frequently seen claims by insurance providers. And if the leaks are caused by poor maintenance, they can also be the most frequently denied claims.
To prevent leaks, be sure to reseal your roof every 16 to 18 months. Roof sealant can be found at Home Depot or Lowe’s at around $55 to $65 for five gallons. Start by reading the instructions on how to properly use the sealant; normally you will scrape off the old sealant with a wire brush and then apply the new sealant with a roller. Pay close attention to the roof seams and edges, to ensure that the sealant penetrates to keep water out of your home.
Drain the water heater every 6-12 months. Mobile home water heaters should be drained every 6 months to a year to remove sediment that collects at the bottom of the tank. Over time, this sediment will cause corrosion, which could eventually cause the water heater to fail. To drain a water heater, first shut off the gas or electric line that runs to the heater. Then, connect a hose to the spout on the heater, and run the hose either down a basement drain or outside the home. Lastly, you must open the valve to allow air to enter the heater to drain the water out.
If your mobile home water heater bursts because of poor maintenance, the resulting damage to your home may be covered by your insurance policy, but the water heater itself will usually not.
Check the sealant around windows annually. If your home has aluminum siding, this next mobile home maintenance tip is especially important. Check the silicone sealant caulking around your windows every year, and if needed, apply more sealant to keep your windows air and water tight. The sealant or caulking should have a rubbery consistency. If it appears cracked, dry, or brittle, your windows will definitely need to be resealed. This is really important in aluminum sided homes because condensation can build up on the sides of the home and drip in through unsealed windows.
Moisture from leaks around your window can cause mold and mildew to grow in your home. It can also stain your walls, cause the paint to peel, damage flooring or carpeting, and even furniture. Leaks from poor mobile home maintenance to windows may not be covered under most insurance policies. Typically, mold is either not covered or limited in coverage.
Re-level your home within 6 months to one year and after each move. When a home is initially placed, it should be carefully leveled by a professional. It should then be re-leveled again one year later. It is also possible that, over time, the ground beneath the home will continue to settle, making another re-level necessary. If your home needs leveling, tell tale signs include windows and doors that don’t close properly. Look for cracks in between the doors and windows or see if the door drags or swings open. Tiny cracks in ceilings and walls can also indicate that your home needs to be re-leveled.
These simple mobile home maintenance steps will help keep your home in good repair, and can also protect your pocketbook long-term. It’s important to understand that insurance policies typically will not cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance.; So, protect yourself and your home by performing regular maintenance.