Protecting Manufactured Homes from Windstorms

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Why windstorms damage mobile homes

Protecting manufactured homes from windstorms requires an understanding of why and how windstorms damage manufactured homes. Experts know the reasons. Of the manufactured homes destroyed when Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana in 1992, these causes stand out:

  • 55% of structural failures were caused by anchor and tie-down failure;
  • In 34% of destroyed homes, the roof or the roof and walls blew off;
  • 11% of homes failed because of large missiles (building materials flying through the air) or falling trees.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and high winds damage or destroy homes because of the following structural problems.

  • Protecting Manufactured Homes from Windstorms
    Protecting manufactured homes from windstorms requires a properly designed and installed tie down system that will securely hold the manufactured home to its foundation.

    Connection of the home to the ground fails to prevent movement, allowing the home to fall off its piers, roll over, or actually fly through the air

  • The structural joints between floor and walls and walls and roof fail to hold. These failures allow the roof to separate from the wall or the roof and walls to separate from the floor
  • No structural wall sheathing,
  • Siding isn’t adequately attached. When siding blows off, the lightweight interior sheeting is exposed to winds and rain. If the wind pops the interior sheathing off after blowing the siding off, wind could further damage the home from high wind-pressure.
  • A large window breaking could also cause high interior wind pressure.
  • Roofing and siding that are not adequately attached blow off the house.

Protecting Manufactured Homes from Windstorms

Prevent damage or destruction from high winds in these general ways.

  • Inspect and improve anchors and tie-downs.
  • Reinforce the wall joints at the floor and ceiling.
  • Strengthen the wall sheeting, and reinforce the fastening of siding and roofing.

The wind damages the home at the weak points. Therefore, your home’s safety depends on strengthening the weak points. Consider the following specific retrofits to make your home more hurricane and tornado resistant.

  • Retrofit your foundation to be more wind-resistant or construct a more permanent foundation.
  • Strengthen the joint between the floor and wall.
  • Retrofit your walls to be more wind-resistant.
  • Install sliding or removable storm shutters on all windows.

You can learn more about mobile home retrofitting and maintenance in our book, Your Mobile Home: Energy and Repair Guide for Manufactured Housing.

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