Seattle, Wash. -- Recent rains have saturated soils throughout much of the Pacific Northwest, and with more rain in the forecast, that could spell trouble for mobile and manufactured home owners. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional director David L. de Courcy, if the worst does happen, and your manufactured home does get flooded, fast action could spell the difference between minor damage and total loss.
"If your mobile home is flooded, act quickly to remove soaked carpets, carpet padding, and 'belly board' insulation," said de Courcy. "You'll want to consult with licensed and bonded contractors, but the idea is to prevent or minimize warping. Experience has shown that if done in time, these basic steps can reduce potential repairs by as much as $15,000."
'Immediate actions' that may reduce further damages, and facilitate repairs include:
- Remove moist skirting from around the house to increase air circulation and speed drying.
- Remove wet insulation from underneath your mobile or manufactured home (and pull it out and away from the structure).
- Cut the bottom board loose on the inside of the I-beam, leaving approximately six inches from the I-beam for reattaching the bottom board after repairs are made.
- Open up the side walls and remove the insulation up to one foot above the high watermark.
- Open up end walls and remove wet insulation, but be careful. End walls are often load-bearing, and may need special repair to restore structural integrity, before moving back in.
For more detailed guidelines and suggestions on post-flood immediate actions, permitting, and repair, check with local building officials, emergency management offices, or visit the FEMA website.