How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Is it normal for a mobile home crawl space to be damp in Florida?
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Most of Florida has plenty of rainfall, especially during the summer months, plus high humidity, so moisture in the soil evaporates continuously from the ground under a mobile home. During periods of high rainfall or after a severe thunderstorm you can expect the soil to damp for several days.This is not a problem as long as there is enough ventilation to allow it to dissipate into the open air around the home.
But if the ground is continuously damp with high humidity, or wet, something is wrong. There are several possible reasons why:
1) It could be caused by water flowing under the home due to poor site drainage, like in the photo below.
The ground around the home should be graded so that water runs around it instead of under it. This is usually done by creating a raised pad under the home and sloping the ground away from the it on all sides.
2) If there are not enough ventilation openings in the skirting, or they are not distributed around all sides, humidity can build up. It is especially important to have ventilation near the corners.
3) Any plumbing pipe leakage under the home is another cause. Also, the water heater TPR valve (it opens to release pressure if the water heater overheats) has piping that may terminate under the home. The valve sometimes leaks and causes a continuous drip into the crawl space.
New mobile home installations since November, 2008, have been required to have a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) covering the entire crawl space, and this has proved effective in reducing moisture buildup under the home. See our blog post Is a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) required under a new mobile/manufactured home? for more on this.
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