How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Why are there cracks in the wallboard in a mobile home after its moved?
Friday, September 21, 2018
To understand how the walls of a mobile home interact with the frame while its traveling down the highway, you need to start with the way the steel I-beam frame is built. The beams are constructed with a carefully calculated amount of camber. They bow upward slightly at the center between the axles and front, and have a second upward curve at the back. Once the home is built on the frame, the weight of all the construction materials flattens it back to level.
However, if the frame was built without the camber it would sag under the weight of the completed home.
Now, combine this insight with the fact that steel frame is both strong and somewhat limber. It can flex a little. In contrast, gypsum drywall is weak and stiff. It cracks instead of bending when stressed. When the mobile home hits a bump or pothole in the road, the resulting bounce is the same as if it gained weight suddenly, and the frame flexes slightly—but the wallboard above it can’t, so it may crack.
Wallboards with a small gap between them and vertical batten strips to cover the gap is a solution that has been used for many years to minimize wall cracks in transit. But homebuyers today are demanding taped and finished drywall identical to the interior of a site-built home, so there is typically a little necessary repair to be done on the walls while the home is being installed at its destination.
Also, see our blog post Can you move an older mobile home in Florida?
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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?
• 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?
• What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?
• How fireproof is a mobile home?
• Can I install a mobile home myself?
• What is a Park Model mobile home?
• Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code?
• 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.
Illustrations - Manufactured Home Installation Training Manual,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1998
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