MANUFACTURED HOMES. in South Central British Columbia Okanagan, Similkameen and Nicola Valleys East Kootenays. Maintenance Guidelines for Homeowners

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1 MANUFACTURED HOMES in South Central British Columbia Okanagan, Similkameen and Nicola Valleys East Kootenays Maintenance Guidelines for Homeowners 2 Heat Tape - Installation and replacement 4 Winterizing 6 Fire Security 8 Frozen Pipes 9 Maintenance and Sealants 10 Pests 11 Roof Leaks and Repairs 12 Condensation 13 Metal Roofs 16 Skirting 17 Crawlspace Repairs 18 Ceiling Panels repair and replacement 20 Water Heaters 22 Oil Tanks 25 Electrical - Aluminium Wiring 26 Electrical - Re-certification 27 Humidity - Causes and Control 28 Additions 30 Swamp Coolers 32 Swamp Cooler Maintenance 33 Decks 1

2 HEAT TAPE 1 HOW TO INSTALL HEAT TAPE Don t run the risk of letting your water pipes freeze. It s relatively easy to install heat tape and it s a good way to prevent major damage to your manufactured home. If your freshwater pipes are already wrapped in heat tape, check that the heat tape was properly installed, and periodically check the heat tape to make sure it isn t worn or frayed. To check existing heat tapes, use the directions that follow. It s an important safety check of your home. Many manufactured home fires are the result of improperly installed heat tape. You should apply heat tape to all exterior water supply piping and shut-off valves. Also protect any interior water pipes that run along outside walls or anywhere that the temperature may drop below freezing. How much heat tape you will need depends on the length, size and type of the pipe. You need to know the pipe length and diameter and the number of valves or faucets along the run. To determine how much heat tape you ll require, consult the manufacturer s guidelines. CAUTION! Because you are, in effect, wrapping an electrical wire around your water supply pipes, it s very important that you: Read all the directions. Use only laboratory-tested heat tape, authorized for use with manufactured homes. Do not cross the heat tape back over itself. This could overheat the tape and start a fire. If your water supply piping is plastic, ONLY use automatic thermostatically controlled heat tape. Non-automatic heat tapes can damage plastic pipes, especially if the taped pipes are covered with insulation. To install new heat tape, you ll need automatic heat tape (the kind with a thermostat is recommended), electrical tape, and pipe insulation (which could take the form of a waterproof insulated pipe jacket, or pipe insulation with vapour seal cover). Some heat tape kits combine several of these items. STEP 1: Check your pipes Do not install heat tape over leaking pipes. Not only will a slow leak damage insulation, but it may also short out the heat tape. Pay particular attention when you check the pipe joints for leaks. STEP 2: Attach to pipe Use only automatic heat tape, with heavy rubber insulation around the wires. Do NOT use non-automatic heat tape, as this could damage plastic pipes. Start with the plug end next to the outlet, and run the heat tape the entire length of the freshwater supply pipe. Also wrap the water pipe below ground level, to the frost level. Methods for attaching heat tape to the pipe vary. Some types of heat tape wrap around the pipe, some run along one side of the pipe. Follow the manufacturer s instructions 2

3 HEAT TAPE 2 STEP 3: Attach heat tape Space wraps according to the manufacturer s guidelines. Use electrical tape, not electrical wire, to hold the heat tape in place. It is very important that you never cross the heat tape back over itself: this creates a real fire hazard. STEP 4: Insulate It s a good idea to cover the water pipe and heat tape with pipe insulation or pipe jacketing. If the insulation does not have a weather-protective outer surface, you will need to cover it with a waterproof wrap. STEP 5: Plug it in Don t forget to plug in your heat tape before the onset of cold weather. Do not use an extension cord. The heat tape must plug directly into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. You might find a GFCI protected outlet underneath your manufactured home, near the water inlet. If not, you will need to install one. More TIPS on safe heat tape installation The life expectancy of heat tape ranges on usage. Many tapes now have a thermostat that when the temperature drops below a certain degree, it will kick on. A few additional issues to watch: Heat tape should NOT be used over the thermal insulation or near flammable materials. Check heat tapes at least once a year, paying particular attention to older tape which may develop cracks in the insulation. When you purchase a new tape, get the correct size for the intended job. Do not overlap heat tape over itself. Do not wrap tape at a 90 degree bend. Install according to the instructions. Not all heat tapes can be used over plastic pipes. Check the recommended usages. Words from Insurance Claims Department: If you do not check your heat tape regularly, you may eventually find that it has deteriorated to the point that it may actually melt plastic pipe. This kind of thing has led to fire and water damage in the home. Because your safety is most important, check with the manufacturer or dealer to see if a certain heat tape will work on your pipes. Like anything, maintenance is necessary, but if used properly, heat tape can save many headaches during the winter months. 3

4 WINTERIZING AND HOME SECURITY 1 CLOSING YOUR HOME FOR THE WINTER If you head for warmer weather during the winter months, you ll want to prepare your manufactured home for your absence. If you complete the list below, you ll have little to dread when you return in the spring. Prepare notes to remind you (or a helpful neighbour) what you have done to winterize the unit - shut off water, shut off gas, drained toilets, turned off water heater, etc. Put notes is obvious places like refrigerator doors, electrical panels, toilet seats... Check your foundation piers. Make sure all shims are tight in the blocks. Inspect siding to make sure it is secure. Recaulk where needed. Check roof. If needed, replace damaged shingles or recoat a metal roof. Weatherstrip and caulk windows, doors, vents and openings for water pipes. Shut off water at the main. Drain water lines to prevent freezing. Open the faucets until dry. OPTION: Because of flexible plumbing, pockets of water can be trapped in pipes. Blow out the lines with an air compressor (which you can rent). When finished, close faucets. Check with your park manager to see if they can help you with any of this. Flush toilet until empty. Pour RV antifreeze into the tank and bowl, and into all drains with traps. Dilute antifreeze with water according to directions on the container. Make sure to use antifreeze that s made for recreational vehicles Drain and turn off water heater and PUT UP A NOTE on the gas valve inside the house OR at the panel (if your tank is electric). Unplug refrigerator, thoroughly clean, and prop open the door. If you have an ice maker, remove the ice cubes, drain the ice holder and turn off the water valve (if visible) Unplug all electrical items, except lights on timers. Turn furnace thermostat to 50 degrees F (about 10 degrees C). It s also important to prepare your home so would-be burglars don t figure out it s unoccupied. Please refer to our theft prevention section (PAGE 5) for more information or hire a qualified Home Watch Service. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PIPES ARE FROZEN? If you discover that pipes are frozen, it is important that you act quickly and properly. Frozen and damaged water pipes, toilets, tanks and valves probably won t leak when they are frozen, but they WILL leak after they are thawed. If you notice that pipes are frozen, shut off the main water source supplied by the park (usually under the unit). If the furnace or heater is off, turn it on. Not all frozen pipes will leak, but most will. Many leaks will not be visible right away, as some piping is in the walls or in the space under the floors (usually on the warm side of the insulation). Keep an eye on the underside of the unit, watching for any leaks that might normally go undetected. Water leaks might take a while to penetrate the insulation and the belly board. This is why it is important to monitor the unit for at least 8 hours after the heat has been restored and the water has started to flow again. See PAGE 8 for information on thawing frozen pipes, or better yet, use a professional - more damage can occur if this is not done properly. See PAGE 30 for winterizing Swamp Coolers 4

5 HOME SECURITY 2 HOW TO STOP A BURGLAR WHILE YOU RE GONE Here in the Okanagan and Nicola Valleys we take vacations in both summer and winter. Here are a few logical, common sense ideas to help make your time away from home a bit more relaxing The typical lock in most homes will not provide protection against break-ins. A professional burglar can usually enter your manufactured home (or any home) with no more than a plastic credit card or a thin screwdriver. Give your doors the best resistance to forced entry by installing dead bolt locks and a reinforcing striker plate with 3-inch screws. If you secure your doors with double-keyed dead bolt locks, make sure you have ready access to the key from inside if an emergency demands you exit quickly. Arrange to have newspapers, magazines, mail and other regular deliveries stopped. Ask a neighbour to pick up any flyers that are thrown on your driveway or lawn. Old newspapers and overflowing mail are a clear indication that you re not home. Make arrangements to have your sidewalks and driveway shovelled... or if you go away in summer, have your lawn mowed. Ask a neighbour or hire a landscape service to assure it will be done regularly. Consider contracting a Home Watch Ser vice in your absence. Buy and use a few inexpensive electronic timers. I just bought a bunch of them at Canadian Tire for less than $3.00 each. Don t set the timers so all the lights are turned on or off at one time. Or, use random access timers that automatically change the time your lights go on and off each evening. Burglars watch for unusual patterns, such as total darkness in your home. Variations in lighting patterns look more natural to an outside observer. Give your park manager the dates when you ll be gone, phone numbers where you can be reached, and your trip itinerary. Ask your immediate neighbours to contact the police if they spot unusual activity around your home. Don t leave a message that you re on vacation on your answering machine message. Just say you can t answer their call right then, but suggest leaving a message. Many machines can be set up so you can retrieve messages even when you re away from home. Answering machines that don t give away your plans are a good idea, since a phone ringing on and on can also be a tip to burglars that no one s home. Store small valuables such as silverware or jewellery in a safe deposit box. Hide TV s, stereo components, computers, VCR s, or other large valuables in an inconspicuous closet. The idea is to keep expensive items out of view from the street or yard. Protect sliding glass windows or doors with anti-jimmy bars that can be laid in slider tracks to prevent them from being opened. You can also install a second lock on the sliding panel of the door. Pin door hinges on exterior doors so they can t be removed, even with the hinge posts out. Protect storage sheds with a heavy-duty lock. Locks with steel-reinforced shanks are more difficult to break than other types. If you have a door with glass panes, install grille work or take other measures to prevent a thief from breaking the glass, reaching in and opening the door from the inside. Don t broadcast your vacation plans. A recent ten-year study of home burglaries discovered that a startling 42% of apprehended burglars were known by the victim. The fewer people you tell about your being away, the safer your home will be. 5

6 FIRE SAFETY 3 FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR FAMILY More than 500,000 house fires occur each year, in all types of homes - site-built and manufactured, making it the second leading cause of accidental death in the home. The most important part of fire safety is prevention. Here s what you can do to protect your home and family now: Always have a fire emergency plan for your family and practice your family fire drill at least twice a year. Also have an emergency kit prepared. Don t plug multiple items in the same electrical outlet or circuit. If an electrical appliance smokes or smells unusual, unplug it immediately and have it serviced before using again. Keep baking soda near your stove to extinguish grease fires. If you don t have baking soda, use salt, but don t use water which will spread the flame. Never leave cooking unattended. Store flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, etc., in approved containers outside your home, but not under your home. They produce invisible vapours that can ignite even from a small spark. Fires started by cigarettes cause more deaths than any other kind of fire. Don t smoke in bed or when you re drowsy. Run butts and ashes under water before disposing. Never use extension cords on a permanent basis and avoid running them under rugs. Don t place hay, straw or other combustibles under your home. They can dry out and easily ignite. Keep matches and lighters out of children s reach. Teach them these are for adult use only. Clean dryer vents frequently and empty lint screens after each load. Never install a double cylinder deadbolt lock on your exit doors. They require a key to unlock from the inside. When you need to exit in a hurry due to a fire, this type of lock can be deadly. Do not let unqualified persons alter your electrical panel or perform any electrical work without a permit. HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY Faulty heating equipment plays a par t in over 40 percent of winter home fires. You can help prevent fires by safely maintaining and operating your furnace, space heater or wood stove. Have a qualified technician inspect your furnace, water heater, fuel lines and gas pressure regulator every year, especially if your furnace or heater is over 10 years old. Have a technician check the entire flue area each fall. Clean or change furnace filters and clear obstructions from the exhaust vent. Never store items or let debris build up near the furnace or hot water heater. Supplemental heating units like electrical space heaters, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and wood stoves can be dangerous. Be sure each device is approved for use in a manufactured home and have permanent devices professionally installed. Keep space heaters away from hallways and doorways where they can be knocked over. Also keep them away from bedding, clothing, draperies, towels, upholstered furniture and other flammable items. Unplug them before you leave the home or go to sleep. 6

7 FIRE SAFETY 4 FIRE EXTINGUISHERS and SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES! Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and near your furnace. Make sure they re multi-purpose, drychemical extinguishers, suitable for class A, B and C fires. Teach all family members how to operate them. And keep them recharged so they re ready when you need them. More than half of all fatal home fires occur while people are asleep. That s why smoke detectors are so essential. They can warn you before you see or smell smoke and give you time to get out. If your home doesn t already have at least two smoke detectors, install one by your bedrooms and one at the opposite end of your home. Position them on the ceiling at least four inches from any wall. Or put them on a wall, six to 12 inches below the ceiling. The two main types of smoke detectors are photoelectric and ionization, which detect smoke in different ways. It s safest to use a combination of both types of detectors. If your smoke detectors are powered by electricity, add at least one that s battery powered, or has a battery back-up in case of power outages. Choose a smoke detector that was tested and approved by an independent laboratory. Test smoke detectors monthly. Never disconnect or remove the batteries. Sometimes the sound of a smoke alarm doesn t wake small children. Test your alarms while your children sleep to ensure they are close enough to their bedrooms to wake them. Listen for the detector s beep or signal that indicates a weak battery and change it immediately. Always change batteries at least once a year. Follow the manufacturer s instructions to clean your smoke detectors. Excessive dust or other materials may cause it to operate abnormally. Vacuum the detector s grillwork. Never paint your detectors because you could damage their smoke-detecting sensors. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector or propane detector that will add extra safeguards against hazardous situations. Fire prevention professionals (OK, Firemen), suggest replacing your smoke detector once every 5 to 7 years... they really do wear out and may not be as sensitive as they should be. Sometimes they simply quit working. Most fire professionals will test smoke detectors for you if you take them to their fire hall. 7

8 FROZEN PIPES 1 FROZEN PIPES: What should you do if a water pipe freezes? You should make sure it never happens again! When the water freezes, it tries to expand inside the pipe. It pushes against the sides of the pipe, as well as any nearby valves, seams and faucets. The freezing action of the water is more than capable of rupturing any pipe, both plastic and metal. Unfortunately, a water pipe may freeze even if you have taken precautions. Perhaps you lost electrical power for several hours, the temperature inside your house fell and the pipes froze. Or maybe you left on vacation, turned down the heat and weren t expecting an early blizzard. Or perhaps your heat tape quit working, and you didn t find out until you discovered none of the faucets worked. Sometimes floor insulation is located on the wrong side of the pipe and natural heating from within the house cannot keep the pipes in the floor warm. Whatever the cause, it s important that you thaw out your pipe for two reasons: You almost certainly need the water. You should be at home when the pipe thaws, just in case the pipe and/or joint is ruptured. Bear in mind that a frozen pipe doesn t leak - the water is ice. You ll discover you have a leak only after the ice melts. If you re not home, a ruptured pipe can cause a great deal of damage. Here are some methods to thaw out frozen pipes (if you really want to do it yourself!) Method #1: Use electric heat tape on the pipe, and wait for it to thaw out. This is a good method to use because it slowly thaws the pipe, which means it reduces wear and tear on the pipe itself. CAUTION!: Only use heat tape certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for use with mobile homes. Be careful never to wrap the heat tape back over itself. This could cause the heat tape to overheat and start a fire. See our page on Heat Tape installation. Method #2: Wrap the pipe with several layers of cloth or towelling and pour hot water over the cloth / towelling. Repeat several times until the pipe is unfrozen. Method #3: Direct a heat lamp on the pipe itself. Place the lamp at least a foot away from the pipe. Cover adjacent areas with a layer of aluminium foil so the heat does not scorch these materials. Make sure the heat lamp is on dry ground. Even better, plug it into a ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet. CAUTION!: Do not use any direct heating method if the frozen pipe is next to a gas pipe! Call a professional for help. CAUTION!: Before you try any of these methods, first open the faucet that the frozen pipe supplies. The steam you create while heating the pipe can burst the pipe if it doesn t have an escape. Method #4: Hold a hand-operated hair dryer to the pipe, and slowly move up and down the length of the frozen section. Make sure you are standing on dry ground. Because you are working this close to water, plug the dryer into a GFCI protected outlet. You will know the pipe is thawed out when water starts to trickle out of the open faucet. Let the water run for a while to completely clear the pipe. Then, close the faucet and check for leaks. CAUTION!: Do not use a propane torch to thaw out frozen pipes. Do not use a propane torch even if it has a fire spreader attachment. This is not only a fire hazard, bit it s also a quick way to destroy your plastic plumbing pipes. Method #5: Call a professional. They can thaw out frozen pipes much faster with their equipment. Find out more: For more information, try contacting your park manager... Chances are that YOU WILL NOT BE THE FIRST ONE with frozen pipes!! 8

9 MAINTENANCE 1 PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE PAYS OFF An ounce of prevention saves a ton of trouble when it comes to making your home more comfortable. Why put up with drafts, leaks, excess moisture, mildew or pesky pests when you don t have to? You can put a stop to costly drafts or leaks before they start with the right sealant, caulking compound or roof coating. Unwanted moisture can be a problem even in today s wellbuilt and insulated manufactured homes, but not if you take steps to control it. Pests inside or u nder yo ur manufactured home can also cause trouble. Homeowners agree it s far easier to keep bugs or unwanted animals from getting into their manufactured home than it is to get rid of them once they ve moved in! How to keep out drafts and leaks Sealants, caulking compounds and roof coatings prevent leaks and drafts. Sealing your home is probably the easiest and least costly way to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Basically, any crevice, crack or connection (except the edges of siding panels) should be sealed. To determine if your old caulk needs replacing, poke it with a screwdriver or nail. It should have a rubbery consistency. If it is hard, brittle and cracked, remove and replace it as part of your regular preventive maintenance. You will probably need more than one type of sealant to do your entire home. Here are some common sealant types, although new products are always being developed. See your nearest hardware professional for the latest products. SILICONE Expensive, but excellent for most uses. High adhesion and longevity. Paint might not stick to surface. ACRYLIC LATEX Not quite as expensive as silicone. Good adhesion and longevity. Can be painted. VINYL LATEX Somewhat expensive. Good around damp areas such as tubs and toilets. OIL-BASED CAULK Fairly inexpensive. Does not last long. Bonds well to most surfaces. EXPANDIBLE FOAM An excellent way to fill gaps around pipes. Also provides insulation value. Very adhesive. ROOF COATING - ALUMINIUM BASED... Available in a variety of grades. Should be applied to entire metal roof at least once every two years. Prevents leaks and corrosion. ROOF COATING - WHITE Can be acrylic or elastomeric (rubber). More expensive than aluminium based roof coating. Prevents leaks and reflects sun s rays. Keeps house cooler in summer. PATCHING CEMENT For use on a metal roof. Ideal for patching holes and sealing seams. 9

10 PESTS 1 PEST CONTROL Nobody likes the idea of pests or bugs flying or crawling around their home. The following pest prevention tips should help stop these little critters before they become a big problem. Check for gaps in your manufactured home skirting, and rips or holes in belly board. Seal and caulk windows and doors. Repair holes in screens. Do not install bird feeders right next to the home. Check roof vents, siding, eaves, gutters and air conditioner for openings. Treat any wood in contact with the ear th with an insecticide. Keep garbage in covered containers. Keep food sealed or refrigerated. Check your pets for fleas and ticks. Even manufactured homes with metal siding and metal roofs can be damaged by termites, carpenter ants and other insects, many of which are found in the Okanagan and other places in central BC. Periodically inspect your home and spray seams, corners and interior wood with insecticide. Be alert for their telltale signs: piles of wings (which termites lose in the spring), tunnels in wood, tunnels of dirt in foundation walls, piles of sawdust under wood furniture or siding, and the bugs themselves. TO GET RID OF THESE PESTS TRY ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS Spray the interior wood with an insecticide. Use a household insecticide throughout your home (be careful, though. Insecticide and open pilot lights on water heaters and stoves can cause an explosion. Make sure to read and follow all of the manufacturer s instructions). Call your local exterminator. Keep these pests out of your home by filling cracks on exterior lumber with caulking or asphalt roofing cement, and by replacing damaged lumber with treated wood. WILD AND DOMESTICATED ANIMALS Another area of preventive pest control concerns animals, including cats and dogs. Don t let animals live in your belly board or sleep in the crawlspace - they will destroy the insulation and damage the base of your house. In some cases, they leave faeces and food carcases which introduces and health concern as well as associated smells. Contact your local animal shelter for advice. Do not use poison outside because you could inadvertently kill pets, which might cause additional problems in the crawlspace. After the creature is gone, repair any tears and install tight-fitting skirting with proper ventilation. 10

11 ROOF LEAKS 1 IDENTIFYING A ROOF LEAK If your ceiling is water stained, it s a safe bet you have either a roof leak or a condensation problem. It s important to figure out what type of stain you have before you repair your ceiling. Fortunately, these stains are easy to identify. THE CONDENSATION STAIN is usually found on a ceiling panel near an exterior wall, often in a corner. Instead of one large stain, you ll see several smaller circles of stains. These stains vary in size and shape, but they tend to have white centres. Condensation stains appear even if there has not been a rainstorm. THE RAIN LEAK STAIN can be found anywhere on your ceiling: near an exterior wall, surrounding a ceiling fixture, around a ventilation pipe or even in the centre of the ceiling. This stain tends to be concentric rings that get progressively lighter as they move outward. The centre stain is dark, because it is the oldest stain. Each ring by the way, is a separate occurrence. If you see lots of rings surrounding the dark stain in the middle, you know the roof leak has been around for quite some time. RAIN LEAK RECOMMENDATIONS Don t bother replacing the stained ceiling panel(s) until you have stopped the roof leak. To do that, you first must locate the leak. If you re lucky, the leak will be a small roof hole right above the ceiling stain. Unfortunately, roof leaks are rarely that easy to find. It s possible the hole in the roof is not even close to the stain in the ceiling. It s also possible the hole is a tiny space between the flashing and the roof. To find the roof leak, you must check the entire roof very carefully. Remember to walk on the rafters or a sheet of plywood so you don t damage the seams. Be sure to inspect: The J-rail or gutter system. The flashing around vents, pipes and skylights The seams and seals. Any loose shingles. Any rusted or worn-looking areas. Any rumble buttons. (If you don t have rumble buttons, don t add any!) What if you don t find a roof leak? Your best remedy is to clean the entire roof and coat it with a roof coating. This should be done at least once every two years, especially if the unit is very old. 11

12 CONDENSATION 1 CONDENSATION RECOMMENDATIONS Condensation means you have too much moisture building up inside your home. Because the stains are on the ceiling panel, the first place you should check is the area above the ceiling panel. Remove a panel to see if there is a vapour barrier. The vapour barrier could be a plastic sheet, or it could be attached directly to the insulation. The vapour barrier is important because it keeps the moisture away from the insulation. If you don t have a vapour barrier, you will need to: Install a vapour barrier above your ceiling panels, or Paint your ceiling panels with an insulating primer that will also act as a vapour barrier. The second method is considerably easier than the first, but it is not as effective. If you intend to add insulation above your ceiling or to replace your ceiling panels, make sure you install a vapour barrier at that time. OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE CONDENSATION BUILD-UP: Install roof vents to increase air circulation in the roof cavity. Remove or re-install any humidifiers on the furnace. Keep inside air circulating with fans. You can also run the furnace fan if it has a continuous switch option. Reduce moisture build-up in the kitchen and bath by using the exhaust fans properly, which are directed outside the unit. A portable dehumidifier in the room where you have the condensation stains will generally only reduce the humidity to 50%. This may not be an effective deterrent to moisture buildup. Avoid venting your clothes dryer under your manufactured home, deck or into the living quarters. Check to make sure nothing is blocking the cold or warm-air registers. Reduce the number of indoor plants, especially in winter Ensure that aquariums have a moisture-reducing cover. Install interior storm windows to keep condensation from forming on windows. The plastic wrap-type material that is heated with a hairdryer works well. Check the outside of your unit to make sure the skirting is well ventilated, the ground is covered with either rolled roofing felt or plastic sheeting, and the blackboard (protects insulation under the floor) is intact. Encourage fresh air entry by opening external doors occasionally and opening windows 1/16 of an inch on opposite sides of the unit. 12

13 METAL ROOFS 1 REPAIRING A METAL ROOF If the metal roof on your manufactured home develops a leak, find the source and fix it right away. If you don t, your walls, flooring, insulation, woodwork, doors and windows can become permanently damaged. Finding the leak can be the most challenging part of the repair. Don t be surprised if a leak in your bathroom originated from a separated roof seam over your living room. When it comes to roof leaks, water does not always travel straight down. Water is really lazy and will always take the line of least resistance. It could follow the truss system, it could seep down the sidewalls, or it could pool up in the moisture barrier until it finds an outlet. What is just as bad as the leak, is the damage that it causes and the possibility of electric shock, damage to walls and floors and eventual mould if the leak is not discovered quickly. To get started, closely inspect your entire roof for possible leaks. Pay par ticular attention to: The J-rail (flashing along the top-outside of the wall and roof) The flashing around vents, pipes and skylights. The seams and roof sealant that is already there. All existing rumble buttons (don t add any more!). Any rusted or worn-looking areas. You should also make sure you have a roof leak and not a condensation problem. See our article on Identifying a Roof Leak for information on how to tell the difference. If you can t find the leak, you may need to coat the entire roof, which could to be done every two years anyway. CAUTION Proceed with Caution When Walking on Metal Roofs Most makers of manufactured homes say you can walk on your roof, but you should take precautions before climbing onto it. First, inspect your roof and its trusses to make sure they are in sound condition and can safely support your weight. Take extra precautions if the roof is wet, moss-covered, icy or snowy, so you don t slip off. Whenever possible, make your repairs from a ladder. If you must go up on the roof, watch where you step. If you step in the wrong place, you could pop a seam. Always put your weight on the trusses (rafters) that are usually spaced every 12, 16 or 24 inches. You can also put your weight on the edge of the roof. Right Wrong 13

14 METAL ROOFS 2 REPAIRING HOLES IN METAL ROOFS Before you patch the hole, carefully inspect the rest of the roof. Especially check all seams, seals and flashings. If the damaged is extensive, you can make repairs by covering an entire width of the roof. This could be both easier and more effective than installing multiple patches. STEP 1: Clean Area Remove dirt, leaves, branches, moss, etc. from the area to be patched. Carefully scrape off any flaking or loose roof coating with a flexible putty knife. Note any reason why the hole was in the roof in the first place and reduce the chances of it happening again. No sense in fixing a hole if it is likely to reappear again! STEP 2: Apply Butyl Tape Put one or two-inch wide strips of butyl tape around the perimeter of area to be patched. STEP 3: Cut & Cover Cut a patch out of galvanized metal that will overlap the hole by two to three inches on all sides. Place on top of the butyl tape. STEP 4: Insert Screws Pre-drill holes in the galvanized metal (both the patch and the roof). Using metal screws, screw through the new patch, butyl tape and existing roof metal. Do not screw into trusses. Make sure the patch is flush with the surface. Start by placing the screws every two inches. If not it s not tight, put a screw every one inch. STEP 5: Seal Seal around the edges of the patch and the screws with caulk. When that dries, cover with a roof coating. CAUTION! Do not screw the roof to the rafters! Your galvanized metal roof is attached to your house only along the perimeter of the house. It needs to be loose everywhere else so it can expand and contract. If your roof already has rumble buttons, do not add any more. 14

15 METAL ROOFS 3 REPAIRING SEAMS ON METAL ROOFS Use this method of repair to fill in the space created by a parted roof seam, or even a small, narrow crack. This easy repair is tempting to use on larger holes instead of a metal patch, but, membraning is not recommended for anything but small, narrow holes. STEP 1: Clean Area Remove dirt from the area to be patched. Carefully scrape off any flaking or loose roof coating with a flexible putty knife. STEP 2: Coat Roof Cover the area with a good quality, aluminium base roof coating. Make sure you cover both sides of the seam. Do not give the roof coating time to completely solidify. STEP 3: Cover Use an asphalt impregnated, glass membrane fabric to patch the parted seam. Lay the patch across the seam, on top of the roof coating. The patch must be wider than the seam and it should overlap the parted seam by at least two inches on all sides. STEP 4: Coat Roof Again Put second layer of roof coating over the patch. CAUTION! Do not screw the roof to the rafters! Your galvanized metal roof is attached to your house only along the perimeter of the house. It needs to be loose everywhere else so it can expand and contract. If your roof already has rumble buttons, do not add any more. 15

16 SKIRTING 1 SOLVING SKIRTING PROBLEMS Out of sight, out of mind! It s a saying that s too often true about making repairs around the base and under your home. Problems with manufactured home skirting and belly boards are common, and repairing them is easier than you might think. REPLACING YOUR HOME S SKIRTING Most manufactured homes have some type of skirting attached to the base of the home, and most parks insist on their use. This skirting protects your home s pipes and fixtures from the elements, reduces updrafts and helps to control moisture. Damaged aluminium and vinyl skirting panels should be replaced, not patched. Fortunately, individual panels are not very expensive and are easy to replace. If you have trouble finding identical replacement panels, switch the damaged panel with one in a less conspicuous location. Or, if your skirting is aluminium, buy a panel in a similar pattern and paint it to match. In warmer climates, a screen or louvered vent can also be used as a replacement. Besides your replacement panel, you ll need tin snips and a measuring tape. Step 1: Remove panel. Slide the panel up until it is above the ground channel. Pull it out from the bottom and slide the rest of the panel out. With some types of skirting, it s easier to remove panels if you unsnap the trim. Step 2: Cut to fit. Measure the damaged panel to determine the size of a replacement panel. Both aluminium and vinyl skirting panels can be cut with tin snips. Remember to keep the top of the panel straight. Step 3: Replace panel. Slide the top of the panel in first, and then lift to insert the bottom into the ground channel. If you removed the top trim front, make sure the replacement panel is in place, then snap the top trim front in place. 16

17 CRAWLSPACE 1 PATCHING BELLY BOARD Belly board, also known as blackboard, shepherd board or a rodent barrier, is typically an asphaltimpregnated fibreboard, asphalt-impregnated fibreglass cloth, or heavy tar paper. The belly board serves to prevent moisture infiltration, insulate the subfloor and keep animals and insects from gaining access to your manufactured home. Tears, holes or any area that sags in the belly board should be investigated and repaired promptly. Before you make repairs, assess the damage. If a moisture build-up was responsible for the problem, locate and repair the leak. You ll need to replace any damaged materials like insulation and flooring as well. If the tear was caused by pests, get rid of the animals and any nests they built. To patch belly board, you ll need precut sections of repair material (available through manufactured home supply catalogues or stores), self-tapping coated screws, washers, some short 2 x 4 inch or 2 x 6 inch boards, hammer, screwdriver, saw, nails and utility knife. Step 1: Assess damage. Crawl under your home to determine the extent of any damage. Do not repair belly board until you determine the cause of the damage and make those repairs. Step 2: Locate joists. Remove damaged belly board back to the centre of the nearest floor joist. Step 3: Build frame. Rough in a smaller frame to use as a nailing surface between the nearest joists. Attach one side of this frame to a joist. A frame is required so the patch can be secured to the underside of the unit. Step 4: Cut patch. Cut the new piece of belly board larger than the damaged area. Size the patch to fit your frame. Step 5: Cover hole. Screw the patch to the frame, over the existing belly board. If the damaged area is extensive, size the patch so you can attach it directly to the joists. This will eliminate the step of building a smaller frame, but you may still need to frame in one side. 17

18 CEILING PANELS 1 REPLACING A CEILING PANEL If you have a damaged ceiling panel, you don t need to replace the whole ceiling. You can piece or replace the spoiled panel. There are two types of manufactured home ceiling panels: fibreboard and textured gypsum wallboard. The wallboard is more widely available. (Be sure to fix the problem that caused the damaged panel before replacing it. See our section called Identifying a Roof Leak. ) Here are some tips: The panels installed in the factory are four feet wide and run the width of your manufactured home. You re not likely to find a panel that long, and if you did, it would be hard to handle. If the whole panel is ruined, replace it with two eight-foot panels cut to fit. Or, cut away the damaged area and add a new piece. It s a good idea to find someone to assist you because these panels are difficult to install alone. Matching the texture and thickness of your panel is more important than matching the colour. You can always paint the ceiling after you ve installed the new panel. You will also need to match the battens-the strips that cover the grooves between the panels. If the damage was caused by water, the insulation must be dried out or replaced. While you have the ceiling open, you might want to add more insulation. If there is no vapour barrier between the insulation and the ceiling, add one. A vapour barrier protects against condensation moisture. The ends of ceiling panels are installed between the sidewalls and the roof. You don t need to dig these ends out. Slice the ceiling panels at the wall edge. To support the new panel and cover the edge, add 1 x 2 moulding strips that have been stained or painted. Materials you will need: Gypsum wallboard panel(s), 1 x 2 inch finished moulding, rosettes, battens, 1 ¼ inch drywall screws, measuring tape, utility knife, straightedge, screwdriver or drill. STEP 1: Before you Begin If there is a ceiling fan or light, turn off power to the work area and remove the fixture. STEP 2: Remove Trim Pry off the batten and moulding strip holding the damaged panel from the next panel. If there are rosettes fastening the panel to the roof truss, remove them. STEP 3: Measure and Cut Determine how much of the panel needs to be removed. Find the roof truss (these are spaced every 1 to 2 feet) and measure from the centre of the truss to the wall. Or measure the full length, if you are removing the whole panel. With a utility knife and straightedge, cut new panel(s) to fit. 18

19 CEILING PANELS 2 STEP 4: Remove Ceiling Panel Using a utility knife and straightedge, cut the ceiling panel along the wall edges. Remove nails, staples or screws holding the panel to the roof truss. To remove less than a full panel, make your cut along the centre of the truss. STEP 5: Clean Truss Surface Pull remaining nails and staples from the exposed roof trusses. The surface must be free of any protrusions or the new panel may bulge. STEP 6: Install Panel(s) Lift panel in place and secure the edge to the roof truss with 1 ¼ inch drywall screws. Secure to truss along wall edge as well. STEP 7: Add Rosettes To keep the panel from buckling in the middle, add a screw with a rosette every 18 inches along the centre of roof trusses. STEP 8: Add Battens and Moulding Attach battens between ceiling panels to cover the joints. Add moulding along the wall edges. 19

20 WATER HEATER 1 WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE A leaking water heater will do a lot of damage to your home. Even a small, slow leak can soak into the particle board subflooring and cause the subfloor to decay. Leaking water may also seep into carpeting, create mildew and permanently stain your walls. As awful as this sounds, a faulty water heater can cause even greater damage. Fire or toxic fumes from a water heater that is not properly installed or maintained could pose a real threat to you and your family. Fortunately, many water heater problems can be avoided with proper maintenance. All water heaters should be frequently checked for leaks. It s important to check the pipe connections, the valves and underneath the unit. Simple preventive maintenance will help you avoid lasting damage from a leaking water heater. Take time to test the temperature/pressure relief valve once a year to make sure it s working. Be careful when you do. The water in the tank is HOT and can cause scalding burns. Pull up or push down on the valve handle; hot water should come out of the overflow pipe. If it does, the valve is working properly. Periodically drain water from the drain faucet at the bottom of the water tank. Again, take care not to get burned by the hot water. Draining water will remove sediment from the tank bottom that could corrode the unit as well as reduce its heating efficiency. See page 2 on water heaters. Check all water lines, connections and valves for signs of leakage, especially where connections have been crimped. With a flashlight, check under the tank for small leaks that could be caused by rust and corrosion. You can protect the floor under the water heater from water damage by painting the area with a water sealant. If you do, be sure you ve turned off the heat source to the water heater. Otherwise, you may create a fire hazard. Since particleboard may be damaged if it s soaked, consider replacing it with plywood flooring. You can install a specially designed drip pan under the water heater. These pans are available at most building supply stores for about $30. Make sure the pan you select has a drain out the bottom. AN IMPORTANT NOTE: If your water heater doesn t have a temperature/pressure relief valve (TPR), YOU SHOULD install one. This is a safeguard every water heater should have - it s an inexpensive attachment that can save you thousands of dollars and is an important safety feature. After you have installed the valve, test it. Open the lever on the valve. If water spurts out, the valve is working. 20

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