Manufactured homes are incredibly safe. Many people know these as Mobile Homes, but in 1976 when Housing of Urban Development (H.U.D.) took over regulations, they changed the term mobile home to manufactured home. Now they are built and installed under strict guidelines for resistance to weather, pests, and natural disasters. Since the early 1900s, home manufacturers have been learning what kinds of problems come with homes and developing ways to solve them.
In case you have any doubts, let’s take a look at what kind of standards Texas has in place for making sure that you and your loved ones are safe inside your home.
The Texas Home Standard
Texas has to contend with summer sun that rivals that of the world’s top vacation destinations and sees its fair share of hurricanes. Texans simply can’t skimp on safety measures for their homes. When disaster strikes, be prepared.
Manufactured homes in Texas have codes for construction and installation. Here are some of the features that keep them so safe:
- Internal Support System
Manufactured houses are built with either a chassis support system or an integrated support system. Both use steel beams to bear the weight of the house and allow for the entire home to be anchored to the ground. The load-bearing parts of the house are designed to minimize the movement and settling of the home and keep it rooted to the ground in case of disaster.
- Stabilizing Components for Earthquake and Flood Protection
When installing the home, the construction crew can only use stabilizing equipment that complies with prefabricated home standards or site-built home standards. Both standards were developed for safety. They must also use only registered parts that have been designated as usable in the home’s area by an engineer or architect licensed in Texas.
- Wind Zone Specifications
Depending on where your home will be, it will end up in one of several “wind zones”. A wind zone is an area designated by the average and maximum wind speed that is typical for that region. Wind Zone 1 is a low-speed wind zone where weather disasters are so uncommon that homes can be built to a different set of standards. Wind Zone 2 areas are high-wind, medium-risk areas in which homes must be prepared for natural disasters and damage and debris from high winds. There are roofing and support standards for both Wind Zones. Wind Zone 2 houses can be placed in Wind Zone 1 areas, but not vice versa. Your home will be built and installed to the standard of whatever Wind Zone you are in. You can rest assured that the wind won’t be bringing your house down any time soon.
- Anchoring Systems
Since manufactured homes are placed instead of built on-site, they have to be securely anchored for safety. Texas manufactured homes use steel anchors and stabilizer plates to prevent wear on their various parts. Strapping, used for securing the anchoring equipment, is also steel and must be certified for use as an anchor. It must also be marked every 5 feet to ensure that every inch of your home is tied down. Materials for tying must be able to resist a load of 3,150 pounds and have to be weather resistant. They must also be designed to stay secure and not disconnect when they have slack. These standards help make sure that your home will be rooted exactly where you want it to be.
- Solid Footing
Instead of a permanent foundation, manufactured homes use feet to support the structure of the home. Because homes are mobile, footing must be changed depending on the ground type. Bedrock sites put more pressure on the feet than gravel, but sites with clay and sand require even less support. Footing has to be placed on undisturbed soil that is firm and compacted and in one of seven specific configurations. The combination of solid footing and anchoring keeps your house from moving and settling as well as provides defense against nature.
- Licensed install
Manufactured homes in Texas have to be installed by a licensed installer. Installers must follow all outlined instructions and the installation has to meet installation standards set forth by the state. For new manufactured homes, the installer has to prepare the home’s site for installation, so building codes should be well followed. However, if the homebuyer purchases a used manufactured home, then the responsibility for preparing the site falls on the buyer, so it is wise to bring in an expert to ensure that all preparations are safe and up to code.
All of these very stringent guidelines are put in place to boost the safety of manufactured home owners. Learn more at the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs website, and don’t forget that you can contact Palm Harbor Homes Texas any time for more information on new homes, or visit us at www.palmharbortx.com