“I have a door that sticks, does that mean my home has become unlevel?” The answer is probably YES, but not always.
Normally, when a home becomes unlevel, you’ll be able to find more than one tell-tale sign. For instance, more than one door will stick or swing, or a window won’t shut or latch properly. However, keep in mind that you may need to just tighten the screws on your door hinges, or check to see if the hinges are bent.
- water on your floors or countertops run to one side
- cracks are developing in your ceiling or walls
- skirting has buckled (although this may be caused by ground heave)
- floor squeaks
- anchor straps have become loose
So what causes your home to become unlevel? The number one reason manufactured homes become unlevel is excess moisture underneath the home. The moisture makes the ground soft causing the blocks or piers holding up the home to sink. The number two reason your home becomes unlevel is improper blocking when the home was first set-up. By improper blocking I mean that you either have no solid support underneath the blocks, that the shims and blocks being used aren’t made of concrete or hardwood so they compress, that you have too few blocks or that the blocks are not appropriately placed along the frame. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the home itself was not properly leveled when it was originally set-up.
“But,” you say, “My home is sitting on concrete footings, so why is it sinking?” In most cases, manufactured homes properly set-up on concrete footings will not need releveling for many years. However, footings that do not reach the frostline are subject to heaving in cold climates. Footings that are undersized may not be able to handle the weight of the house and sink. Finally, if the ground underneath of your home is a lake bed, that will no doubt soften the ground around your footings causing them to shift or sink.
Once you’ve determined that your house is out of level, you should have it releveled as soon as possible. An unlevel home may be putting undue stress on certain areas of your house, which in the long run could cause damage.
If you’re interested in attempting to relevel your own manufactured home, you can order our releveling kit which contains instructions and a waterline level.