Watching the news today and seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of the basic considerations that are critically important to making sure our homes can withstand the wind forces as intended.
1. Do NOT attach car-ports, awnings, patio covers, and similar items, directly to the manufactured home. All manufacturers clearly state that all accessory structures be free standing and independently supported. Check out this short video from the Today Show: Click Here This video not only illustrates what can happen when a carport is attached to a home, but it also shows how you can still offer your customers these type of features without creating a hazardous situation.
2. Make sure you have properly installed anchor strapping so it can be counted on to hold the home in place.
a. Every place the anchor strap touches the main chassis beam or attaches to a bracket, the strap must be protected so that the sharp edges of the steel doesn’t shear off the strap. Strap protectors can be made from left over pieces of strap material or purchased. Just make sure you install them!
b. Strap angle is critical! Buy yourself an inexpensive angle finder and make sure your strap angle is less than 60°! If it is too steep, the home can slide off the piers!
3. While we have recently written two posts on ground anchors (July 3 and July 13), there is still a lot more to discuss.
a. Make sure the anchor is the right length (below frost the line), and installed in the ground by the skirting line! Not in a concrete footing.
b. Don’t use rock anchors or other types of anchors that aren’t intended to stabilize a manufactured home. Rock anchors are to be used in solid rock!
c. Stabilizing plates are critical to keep the anchor from slicing through the dirt when it is called upon to hold the home in place. Remember that a poorly graded site can undermine a great anchor installation!
4. Consider using the newer anchoring systems. I am a big fan, primarily because then are considerably easier to successfully to install. Also, they can satisfy end-wall anchoring requirements. In freezing climates, make sure you attach the system to frost protected concrete footings and take a few minutes to review the installation instructions. I have found that the big three anchor suppliers (Minute Man, Oliver Technologies and Tie Down Engineering) are super helpful and are eager to provide technical assistance. Here are links to their websites where you can find a ton of helpful information:
Now is the time to re-examine your anchoring techniques. You might want to consider calling on some older homes and see if the residents might be agreeable to upgrading their anchoring system! Give it some thought, it might not seem as crazy as you think!