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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