A mobile home which shifts on one side needs leveling. Although leveling a mobile home is time-consuming, it can be done in a day.
A mobile home is a prefabricated structure which can be transported from one place to another. Historically used as vacation homes, mobile homes have nowadays emerged as a viable first home option.
However, like any other home a mobile home also needs care and attention. It requires regular repair, especially frequent leveling and re-leveling. This is so because any mobile home shifts a bit on being placed on a station for a year or two. It is quite natural and very common.
Factors like weather conditions, humidity, soil quality, and time can cause the house to shift. The soil softens, and the support berths dig into the dirt. The piers begin to rot and decay, which in turn leaves a gap.
Soil settles into the gap. Because of this settling of soil underneath the mobile home, the I-beam becomes uneven. Usually, a shift of about ¼ of an inch leaves the I-beam unsupported.
Under such a condition, you experience that the doors and windows no longer close and open normally, and you also notice the appearance of some sheetrock cracks in your home. The drooping I-beam must be leveled in order to prevent any structural damage to the home.
►Leveling a Mobile Home
You can get the leveling job of mobile home done by hiring professionals. But if you try doing it yourself, you will save money and time. However, it is a two person job and you should not attempt to do it alone.
Procedure For Leveling Mobile Home
• First, some portions of the mobile home skirting will have to be removed from all sides of your mobile home. You may have to remove all the skirting, if required. This is done to gain access to the piers underneath.
• The second step is to check whether all the sections are level or not. This is done with the help of a water level which is equal to the length of your mobile home. Place the water level at the center which is near the closest supporting pier.
Take a look at the bubble vial on the level. If it is in the middle, the section is level. Check the next closest pier in the same manner. • Keep repeating the second step till you reach the end. Do the same for the other side also. The pier needs leveling at the sections where the bubble vial is not in the center.
• You will need a 20-30 ton bottle jack to raise the level of the home. Keep the bottle jack on a piece of wood and place it near the pier. • Raise the bottle jack to the level of the I-beam. Keep raising the bottle jack till the bubble vial in the level is in the middle. Remember to do this slowly so that you are able to align the I beam to water level.
• The above step creates a gap between the I-beam and the pier. Put in shims (shims should ideally be thick steel plates) in the space between the I-beam and the pier and force them in with a hammer. Repeat the above steps on all subsequent piers till they are level.
• Now the leveling of your mobile home is complete. Do not forget to check the connection of all the plumbing and water lines. Replace all the skirting that was removed around the mobile home.
Leveling a mobile home is very important for its durability. You can stretch the time period between two successive repairs by following two very important tips. One is to seal up holes or any open space that you find.
Secondly, spread a plastic sheet on the ground under your mobile home. The plastic sheet acts like a moisture barrier and will protect the underside of the mobile home from damage due to dampness and humidity.