Mobile homes become unlevel for many reasons. They can settle into the ground due to excessive moisture, experience ground heave, or can have damaged shims, or wedges. Loose and broken wedges are common, especially if non-treated or softwood was used. Re-leveling does exactly what it says, it re-levels the mobile home so the weight is distributed evenly and properly. A level home is a healthy home.
Unfortunately, many mobile and manufactured homeowners don’t know that they need to check their mobile home leveling on a regular basis.
- Tools and Materials Needed for Mobile Home Leveling
- What is a Water Level?
- How to Use a Water Level
- Build Your Own Water Level
- Understanding the Cambered I-Beam
- Pier Stack, Pier Plans, and Footers
- How to Re-Level a Mobile Home
- How to Repair Loose or Missing Wedges
Can Average Homeowners Re-level a Mobile Home?
If the mobile home has a few loose or missing wedges or other minor adjustments a homeowner with moderate construction experience should be able to re-leveling a mobile home. Of course, the right tools would be needed.
If the piers are leaning or the home is extremely unlevel a professional must be called.
When Should I Check to See if My Mobile Home is Level?
Most installers recommend that mobile and manufactured homeowners check their home to ensure it is still level 90 days after installation and then every year after, preferably at the beginning of summer.
Signs a Mobile Home may Need Re-Leveled
There are a ton of things that can throw a mobile home out of level. One of the most common reasons is the wood used on the pier stacks can shrink and expand. If the wedges were installed across the grain they can get crushed.
- Buckled siding or roofing
- Doors and windows that are difficult to open and close
- Cabinet doors that won’t close
- Loose tie-downs
- After extreme storms (hurricanes, windstorms, earthquake)
- After building a porch or addition onto the home
- Erosion under the home
- Loose wedges
Tools and Materials Needed for Mobile Home Leveling
- water level
- hydraulic jacks (10-30 ton)
- Wedges made of pressure-treated lumber or hardwood
- temporary supports such as wooden blocks and cinder or concrete block
The most important tools a mobile homeowner needs to check level is a water level and hydraulic bottle jacks.
Two 10-30 ton hydraulic bottle jacks are also needed to re-level a mobile home. You’ll want to place the jacks at crossbeams, at the hitch, or the axles. Steel jacking plates are good ideas as well.
Wedges made of pressure-treated lumber or hardwoods like cedar are also needed along with basic tools such as a hammer and hand saw. Having a few 2X8s and 1x8s handy isn’t a terrible idea.
Temporary supports to use while jacking the home up are also needed. You’ll need large wooden blocks such as 6x6s that are as long as the home is high.
What is a Water Level?
In its simplest form, a water level is just a long tube with water in it. They can be called Egyptian levels or a Bunyip level. You stretch the tube from one side of the home to the other and make sure the home is at the same height as the water is level with each other. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it does need to be close.
How to Use a Water Level
With a Bunyip water level, you will have one end on one side of the home and the other on the opposite side. Add or remove wedges until the water is at the same place on the measuring sticks.
The Zircon electronic water level is the same but you hang the yellow box on the one side and move the tube on the other side until it beeps.
There is a video at the bottom of this article that shows you how to make a water level. Otherwise, you can buy one at Amazon. They have a cheapo tube for $10 or a better one that can be used by one person for $58 (but you can make your own for a lot less). Laser levels may work but I can’t find any info about using them for mobile home releveling (affiliate links).