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  1. #1
    cory nystul's Avatar
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    Default Manufactured home block skirting

    Below is a crack in the cement block skirting for a manufactured home (there we 3 or 4 like this at this home). This one was about 3/4 of an inch wide. If this was a stick build foundation i would instantly call for further examination by a foundation specialist, HOWEVER this is a manufactured home and the skirting is not load bearing.

    wall.jpg

    The is the slab below the skirting. Some of the skirting cracks correspond in close proximity to the cracks in the slabs.

    base.jpg

    Now for the question. What kinds of advice should i give to the client? What is the level of significance of either of these cracks?

    Last edited by cory nystul; 09-09-2014 at 08:25 PM.
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    I see similar block walls and concrete slabs under manufactured homes in my area. I have not seen a 3/4 inch crack. If I did, I would not recommend an engineer. I'm afraid he would recommend further (eg soil) testing.

    I would state 3/4 inch cracks can be a significant concern, and recommend a company that sets up manufactured homes be consulted for evaluation and repairs as needed. They should be qualified to determine the extent of the damage and make necessary repairs.

    I am assuming the home is mostly supported by metal posts. Most of the time the block walls are just skirting and don't actually support the home in my area. But in some newer homes they do, usually with wood shims between the block walls and metal frame every 6 feet or so.

    Last edited by Randy West; 09-09-2014 at 03:44 AM.
    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    ..........in many (most) instances, the block wall is just a skirting enclosure - as mentioned above. But many times, depending upon roof load design, wind zone and home width, weight bearing perimeter walls will be needed. The only way to know for sure is checking the factory installation parameters for that home. However in all instances doors and openings in the walls wider than 4' will require perimeter supports on one or both sides of that opening - so support issues such as shown can impact function of doors and windows. The advice to have a competent installer review the home a is good idea...........Greg


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Like everyone stated these are not load bearing. But if you have settlement is means someone most likely did not do proper prep for the wall and usually water is the issue causing the blocks to separate/settle.

    I quite often find that sprinklers/irrigation being the primary suspect followed by roof discharge.

    Now since we do not have enough info there (photos) to know for sure.

    If I know that water is causing an issues I recommend correcting sprinkler/roof conditions repair the block and monitor. When working with engineers on similar type of problems that seems to be the first response. That does not mean it will not be the last.

    Also are you in a area of expansive soils?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Like everyone stated these are not load bearing. But if you have settlement is means someone most likely did not do proper prep for the wall and usually water is the issue causing the blocks to separate/settle.

    I quite often find that sprinklers/irrigation being the primary suspect followed by roof discharge.

    Now since we do not have enough info there (photos) to know for sure.

    If I know that water is causing an issues I recommend correcting sprinkler/roof conditions repair the block and monitor. When working with engineers on similar type of problems that seems to be the first response. That does not mean it will not be the last.

    Also are you in a area of expansive soils?

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    HOWEVER this is a manufactured home and the skirting is load bearing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    But in some newer homes they do, usually with wood shims between the block walls and metal frame every 6 feet or so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    But many times, depending upon roof load design, wind zone and home width, weight bearing perimeter walls will be needed.
    Then this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    Like everyone stated these are not load bearing.
    Huh?

    The others said that many times the concrete block skirt walls are not load bearing, however ... many times they are loading bearing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Jerry,

    I should be clear.

    You are correct they could be load bearing, but I do many, many manufactured homes, and in least my area I have never had one actually be a load bearing perimeter CMU wall. That is not saying they could be. So you are correct we cannot just assume it is not.

    How they are done in my area is to have the CMU around the perimeter as a skirting and jacks in all the normal spots on the perimeter bearing the load.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jerry,

    I should be clear.

    You are correct they could be load bearing, but I do many, many manufactured homes, and in least my area I have never had one actually be a load bearing perimeter CMU wall. That is not saying they could be. So you are correct we cannot just assume it is not.

    How they are done in my area is to have the CMU around the perimeter as a skirting and jacks in all the normal spots on the perimeter bearing the load.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jerry, I am having a bad reading day and read what other posted improperly, my bad ; ) Still morning here and not enough caffeine : )

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jerry, I am having a bad reading day and read what other posted improperly, my bad ; ) Still morning here and not enough caffeine : )

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    and in least my area I have never had one actually be a load bearing perimeter CMU wall.
    Don,

    I have not seen one which was load bearing either, and I have inspected many manufactured homes for code inspection after being set up by licensed installers (licensed installers are, by state statute here in Florida, the only ones allowed to setup and install manufactured homes here in Florida).

    I don't recall a single one of the inspections being approved the first time as the installers did not follow the manufacturer's installation instructions (most of the time *I* unsealed the bag the instructions were in), the installers just 'did it the way they always did it in the past'. I.e., don't expect a compliant installation when you see one - expect to find things not done correctly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Its non structural. The defect is pure cosmetic. Most likely it was put on soil directly. Idiot lenders insist on "permanent" foundation for steel frame factory built homes. The piers from block on footers IS the foundation. But they want that masonry skirting which by code cannot support the structure. Has to be a gap at the top. So, the masonry just sits there on soil. It will crack. I just repoint the joints.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The only load bearing masonry near the perimeter that is required is under each exterior door jamb. The rest cannot touch the perimeter if its on steel frame home. Check FNMA guidlines on manufactured homes.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Perimeter foundation or piers are sometimes required for manufactured houses. I would not make a blanket statement that they are not required.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Many times the skirting wall is used as part of the anchoring system. In addition to corner anchors, straps are commonly used and wrap over the frame and are secured to a sill plate on top of the skirting wall. If it is a double or triple wide the marriage wall must be supported with piers. To meet FHA/HUD/VA requirements those piers must be on concrete footings(as well as the skirting wall) and can not be dry stacked, metal house jacks/post are not allowed.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 09-09-2014 at 08:32 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
    cory nystul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Correction to my original post, i meant to say not load bearing. Sorry to all for the confusion, i was very tired and typing, NEVER a good combination.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    Correction to my original post, i meant to say not load bearing. Sorry to all for the confusion, i was very tired and typing, NEVER a good combination.
    With that NOT being load bearing ... it almost becomes a non-issue as it is no different than vinyl skirting ... except that is the soil under that has subsided, was the pad the manufactured home set on properly compacted?

    Maybe not ... and that would be an issue.

    Did the piers (which support the manufactured home) all appear to still be level with each other and all still look vertical? Any settlement around the piers? Any movement around the piers? Any loose or missing shims?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    .........as Jerry said, "...it almost becomes a non-issue...". But not quite - if your site is subject to frost-heave, a poorly constructed wall, whether load-bearing or not, may very well cause inoperable doors and windows. An exterior door, working fine at the homeowner's bedtime, can become impossible to open as overnight temperatures fall and frost heave occurs. What I'm describing is not a one-in-a-million scenario, as an installation trouble-shooter for the past 25 years, I have seen it too many times to count......Greg


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    .........as Jerry said, "...it almost becomes a non-issue...". But not quite - if your site is subject to frost-heave, a poorly constructed wall, whether load-bearing or not, may very well cause inoperable doors and windows. An exterior door, working fine at the homeowner's bedtime, can become impossible to open as overnight temperatures fall and frost heave occurs. What I'm describing is not a one-in-a-million scenario, as an installation trouble-shooter for the past 25 years, I have seen it too many times to count......Greg
    Greg is correct - but I was/am presuming that the installers left the required gap between the non-load bearing skirt and the frame/wall above.

    If no space was left, if the space was insufficient, or if the space was filled with a material which was non-compressible or of limited compressibility (especially when cold) - then Greg's scenario could very well be present.

    Improper placement (usually missing altogether) of supports/piers below exterior doors, windows over 48" wide (double 36" windows are common), or wall openings (recessed entry) over 48" wide require supports at the edges of those opening, and these supports are in addition to any other required support location.

    Another common error was the installers installing the straps at inappropriate angles or cross-patterns, or leaving out the vertical tie-downs, not installing sliding resistance and other required bracing and tie-downs (at least required here in Florida).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    I would be concerned that the piers under the structure may be moving as well. We are only looking at the perimeter skirting, and as stated by several here it may or may not need be structural sport, depending upon wind loads, earthquake requirements etc.

    Having lived where highly expansive soils exist as well as where there are soil displacement and settling issues I would view this type of cracking as a "needs further investigation".

    have fun.


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    Default Re: Manufactured home block skirting

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    I would be concerned that the piers under the structure may be moving as well. We are only looking at the perimeter skirting, and as stated by several here it may or may not need be structural sport, depending upon wind loads, earthquake requirements etc.

    Having lived where highly expansive soils exist as well as where there are soil displacement and settling issues I would view this type of cracking as a "needs further investigation".

    have fun.


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