What year were mobile homes required to become more storm resistant?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

All manufactured/mobile homes built after the beginning of the nationwide HUD-code in June 1976 were required to meet a single standard, no matter where the home was to be located. The HUD-code was a big improvement over the previous hodge-podge of state and voluntary industry standards, and had a second zone designated as “Hurricane Prone” area. But the devastation of mobile homes in South Florida by Hurricane Andrew, which hit in August of 1992, made HUD authorities and manufacturers keenly aware of the heightened risk of severe damage in hurricane-prone areas of the southeast United States. In response, HUD added a third zone to a system of structural standards that were enhanced overall, and went into effect in July, 1994.

    Zone 1 is rated for up to 70 mph wind speed, zone 2 for up to 100 mph, and zone 3 is 110 mph. Homes constructed to a higher wind zone standard can be installed in a lower wind zone area, but not vice versa. The zones are often noted in Roman numerals; so, for example, Zone 2 may appear as Zone II.

    Here’s a timeline of the upgrades to tie-down requirements in Florida, along with events that spurred the changes:

  • 1973 - Florida begins requiring tie-downs, at four corners only.
  • June 15, 1976 - HUD takes control of mobile home standards, and additional tie down requirements added per manufacturer’s installation manuals.
  • August 24, 1992 - Hurricane Andrew strikes South Florida.
  • July 13, 1994 - HUD upgrades structural requirements, including addition of Wind Zone 3 for high-wind prone hurricane areas of Florida.
  • October 1, 1996 - Florida begins requiring mobile home installers to be licensed.
  • February 23, 1998 - Tornados hit Orlando area.
  • March 29, 1999 - Florida makes major changes to strengthen the tie-down requirements above HUD standards, part of the state Administrative Code Rule 15C-1.
  • January 1, 2009 - HUD creates a national standard for mobile home installation. 

  Incidentally, there is also a special category for manufactured homes to be sited within 1500 feet of the coastline in a hurricane zone. It’s called a “D-sticker” home, and means that it has been designed to meet the wind resistance requirement of ASCE 7-88,  Exposure D—which is a standard referenced in the HUD Code. 

    Also, see our blog posts What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home? and Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code?

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

 What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

When were the first double-wide mobile homes manufactured?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

Can you put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

How can I remove water under my mobile home?

What's the differences between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home? 

What is a D-sticker mobile home? 

How fireproof is a mobile home?  

Can I install a mobile home myself?

What is a Park Model mobile home?   

What walls can I remove in a mobile home?

What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home? 

How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

• How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

    Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Photo - FEMA, Marvin Nauman

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