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site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What happens when a mobile home foundation fails in a hurricane?
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
When hurricane winds push against the side of a manufactured home, and the foundation begins to fail, it may slide off the piers, like the home at the left in the photo below.
Or, if the wind gets under the home and exposes it to strong uplift forces, making the foundation fail on the windward side, it may flip over. This looks bizarre, but it does happen.
If either action creates an opening in the walls or roof, it depressurizes the interior and makes it more likely to begin to break apart. An aluminum carport or porch addition attached to the fascia of the home that tears away in a storm is another way to cause the envelope of the home to fail.
The standards for manufactured home foundation tie-downs were strengthened in Florida in 1999, and HUD followed in 2009 with their improvements. So Florida mobile homes installed in the last 20 years are definitely more storm-resistant. The new codes require more tie-downs, stabilizer plates next to the achors to keep them from being dragged across the soil, and X-shaped lateral stabilizers.
To learn more, see our blog posts What year were mobile homes required to become more storm resistant? and How much hurricane wind speed can a mobile home survive? and What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers? and What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?
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