6 Mobile Home Maintenance Tips Every Owner Should Know

Just like a site-built home, a mobile home needs routine maintenance and inspections to keep it in top shape. The following mobile home maintenance tips can help you keep your home healthy and beautiful.

Mobile homes are pre-fabricated structures that were built in a factory before July, 1978. We love factory built homes because they are less expensive than a home built on-site but are equally attractive and comfortable. Manufactured homes can be any size, from small, single section units to large multi-section units.  They can have whatever features a site-built home can have; fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, and even basements. You can even have a 2 story manufactured home!

1. Make Sure Your Mobile Home is Level

The most important tip a professional can give a mobile home owner is to check your home every year to ensure the it is level. Mobile homes can settle over time. If a mobile home is not properly leveled it can cause several issues: doors and windows won’t shut properly, cracks appear in walls, and leaks occur. You can buy a water level online for less than $60.

Related: Here’s a good article about using a water level.

2. Skirting Ventilation

A mobile home’s skirting, or perimeter enclosure as the pros call it, is more important than most realize. Skirting acts as an insulator for the whole home, it adds protection from pests, and it adds curb appeal. Skirting should be secure so animals can’t get in but have adequate venting so humidity can’t damage the home and mold can’t grow.

Proper ventilation is serious business. There is a formula (1:150) that you can use to ensure you are giving your home the proper skirting ventilation based on your square footage. In other words, there should be one square foot of venting for every 150 square foot of space under your home. You will need to install these vents within 3′ of each corner (to prevent dead air pockets).

Learn more about buying mobile home skirting and vents at Mobile Home Parts Store here.

Mobile Home Parts Store
Please note: your home’s manual should provide guidance (or possibly a different formula). Skirting manufacturers will also give you guidance on proper ventilation protocol.

3. Roof Maintenance

If you have a leak on a flat mobile home roof you will need to fix it as quickly as possible.  There is also to reseal or recoat it regularly. Some manuals state this should be done every year.

Make sure your flashing is in good condition and there are no soft spots or cracked caulking. Also, make sure you use the right coating. Asphalt or aluminum coatings cannot be used on PVC or rubber (EPDM) roofs.

Aluma-Kote Aluminum Roof Coating
Here’s an article that has top tips for flat roofs on mobile homes. 

Here’s a great video about mobile home roof maintenance:

Gutters are important as well. To avoid winter water damage, be sure to clean out and inspect rain gutters for leaks or holes. They should be slanted so water runs away from your mobile home. Don’t forget to check and repair downspouts or extensions.

4. Know your Home’s Measurements 

Mobile homes, built before July 1978, will not use standard ‘big box construction store’ sizes. Bathtubs are usually smaller than those available at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Doors, both interior, and exterior, are usually smaller as well. Windows are also typically an odd size.

Related: Mobile Home Bathroom Guide

Here’s a good video that shows you how to measure your mobile home exterior door:

As soon as you can measure everything: cabinets, fridge, stove, windows, doors, tubs, faucets, counters, closets, etc. This way you will always know if that beautiful countertop you found at the flea market will fit.

Make sure doorknobs, faucets and other fixtures are fitted properly. In case you need to change them, take your current hardware along with you to the hardware store. Some fixtures for mobile homes are specially designed just for mobile homes.

5. Helpful Plumbing Tips 

Mobile home plumbing is a bit different from site-built homes but the same concept applies: the plumbing system has a supply line, a waste or drain line, and ventilation. The pipes have to be able to breathe to work properly.

Ideally, all mobile homes will have a shut-off valve at every water feature. If possible, add one to the toilet and faucets in the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure you know where your main shut-off valve is to your home, too.

Here’s a very informative article about mobile home plumbing basics (be sure to read through the comments as there are a lot of good questions and answers there).

mobile home maintenance tips-Manufactured Home Plumbing: Drainage and Ventilation Issues

Here’s another article on mobile home plumbing drainage and venting problems.

6. Learn How to Inspect a Mobile Home

While a homeowner inspection should never replace a professional inspector it is smart to do a regular inspection of your home.

The problem is, most of us don’t know what to look for or know when something seems ‘off.’

McGarry and Madsen, a home inspection company in Florida, has a great list for homeowner inspections on their website here.

mobile home maintenance tips-under home

Related: Learn Why A Manufactured Home Inspection is so important.

Here’s a quick list of common issues you should look for when doing a mobile home inspection (the rest are at this link):

  • Are the I-beams bent or rusted?
  • Is the wood floor framing damaged or rotted?
  • Are the masonry piers cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged?
  • Are the masonry piers in contact with the steel frame?
  • Are the masonry holes in blocks used in the piers facing upward or sideways?
  • Are wooden wedges present between the pier cap and the steel frame?
  • Is there perimeter blocking located underneath large wall openings such as sliding glass doors and windows greater than 4’ in length?

Yellow Bathtubs and Vinyl Coated Walls

There are two more mobile home specific issues I wanted to address. Through the years, two complaints keep coming up: yellow bathtubs and vinyl-coated walls.

You can absolutely update your mobile home’s vinyl walls (or VOG, Vinyl over gypsum panels). The secret to the best result is to clean the walls really, really well. Once you’ve cleaned the walls you will need to use a high-quality primer/gripper like Killz (two light coats). After the primer has dried use high-quality paint (again, two light coats). If you want to learn how to remove the battens that cover the panel seams and paint the walls click here.

Yellow bathtubs in mobile homes is a problem that is a lot tougher to fix. There doesn’t seem to be a ‘one size fits all’ remedy. The tub is oxidizing, turning the composite materials used to make and form the tub yellow.

The two most common remedies are to fight the oxidization with chemicals or to refinish the tub. This article explains why the tubs turn yellow and what you can do to fix it. 

mobile home maintenance tips-rustoleum tub and tile refinisher for yellow bathtubs
Affiliate Link

Another blog, SFGate, shares a homemade recipe that helps turn a yellow bathtub white here. It’s a combination of dish detergent, baking soda, and automobile whitening paste. Another tip I’ve gotten is a product called GelGloss (affiliate link).

mobile home maintenance tips-gelgloss - bathtub remedy for yellow fiberglass bathtubs
Affiliate Link


Your mobile home can last for many decades with proper maintenance and care.  The maintenance is essentially the same as a stick-built home with only a few differences such as skirting and roofing.

As they always say, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” (or something like that). A few minutes of inspection time and a couple of dollars in material can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living! 

Note: The notated affiliate links help support Mobile Home Living at no additional cost to you. 

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Crystal Adkins
Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.


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  1. FYI, your link to the inspection checklist returns an Error 404.

    Link “Related: Our Manufactured Home Safety Inspection Checklist can be found here.” does not resolve.

  2. My husband and I own an older mobile home(1969) very outdated and some what run down we want to do something to every inch of it,some cosmetic(flooring paint etc.) But also things like replace underbelly maybe the roof ,plumbing,electrical, heating,we just don’t know where to start! If we do things in the wrong order we might have to undo our hard work because we can’t get to something!HELP

  3. We are currently working on a directory of different professionals for mobile homes but it is quite an undertaking to include the whole country. Depending on your area you may be able to contact social services or a commission on aging who may have some resources for seniors available.

  4. I was wondering if you knew of any maintenance services for the up keep of a mobile home for someone who is elderly or disabled. Surely there is a market for such a service. I only get Angi’s list when I google, but there must be companies that specialize in this. Perhaps you could ad this to your blog. I want to set up a disabled person in their own MH on their own land, but they are not in the shape to keep up on the year-round maintenance. There must be services that specialize in this with a proven track record. Angi’s list has been flakey to me. Your help with this would be a quality of life boon.

  5. the information for the residents of our mobilehome was a wealth of information. Thanks Leonila

  6. We are elderly & have owned & lived in our double wide since 1991. We had it insulated with new vinyl siding, a new steel roof & now it seems our floors are having issues with soft spots. Is there a contractor that we can contact to repair our home without ripping us off ?

  7. Hi Gary,

    Every home is different so an inspection would be necessary to see how it should be done. Framing out an overhang isn’t usually too complicated on a gabled roof. You’ll find the best angle to attach the new framing to the original structure and frame it out. It’s a lot of math! Sorry I can’t be more help. Best of luck!


  9. Karen, if you have linoleum flooring I’d also check the glue used to hold it down because some people will shill you and use cheaper glue not made for flooring. The glue doesn’t dry like it’s supposed to and you get that mushy feeling. Hopefully it’s nothing that costs a lot to replace.

  10. I didn’t know a mobile home being off level could cause cracks and misalignment. I guess that’s because mobile homes are pretty heavy. It’s good to do regular maintenance and checks. I guess I’ll have to start checking my home’s balance during those checks.

  11. Hi Linda!

    Of course, I’m interested! Sharing real homes and real experiences are so helpful to other homeowners. If you can email me at [email protected] and we’ll start working on it!

    Thanks so much for contacting me! I’m excited to see what you’ve done and hear about your experiences.

  12. I have bought a 1983 double wide Feb, 2016. Not knowing what I got myself into found bad sub-flooring, rotted joist and wall studs. I tore down walls, built walls, etc. Did 70% of the remodel myself after going through 3 contractors which left me not finishing work and/or ripping me off. I have interesting pictures of before and after [not quite finished] but thought sharing would be great. Wondering if your interested? I read allot off your website to learn how to do the remodel. By the way I am a senior single female, do it yourself kinda girl.

  13. Hi, Karen!

    I don’t want to scare you, but I usually associate the word mushy with water damage. It could be several things, though. If you can pull up your floor covering and take a look at your subfloor, please do so. You may want to go under the home to look for any signs of water damage (from leaks or just condensation). It could be the subflooring just needs to be tightened down too.

    It’s good that you have noticed this as it is usually a sign of some kind of issue but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a serious problem like water damage (though if it is water damage you want to find the source and replace the wood as soon as possible). Best of luck and please let me know how it goes!

  14. We bought a 2009 double wide and lately our kitchen floor feels “mushy” in spots. What might cause this

  15. Hi Crystal!! Love this informative article! Thank you!!
    Something I found when I needed to replace the refrigerator was that the front door was too small for a standard one to fit through!
    Something to think about when purchasing any new appliances, as you mentioned.

  16. Its was a great pleasure of reading this awesome article. Thank you for posting this extra ordinary information for us. This site is amazing and I have been a regular visitor of this site since I found it first time.

  17. Hi Crystal! Thanks for the reply in my comment. I do agree with you that it is really hesitant to guest post but we must also know that if it can help our blog in deriving traffic, then it is much better.
    My recent post קייטרינג לאירועים קטנים

  18. Thanks again for sharing this 8 tips to ponder in order to create beautiful mobile home. I think I need to follow them.
    My recent post הדרך לאושר

  19. I liked all the tips too. I was always hesitant to put guest posts up
    but ones like this that are so helpful are great! Thanks Tracy!