Roof Damage

SyylviaDecember 11, 2006

We just purchased a double-wide (about 20 years old) on 1 1/2 acres of property and only now found out what the source of the "leaking in the walls" in the far bedroom was. One end of the top of the roof (at least 8 feet) where the two sides of the double-wide are joined is literally broken apart by at least an inch or more. This was clearly patched and hidden (and that's another issue) but I have a question: We are being told by the inspector who originally looked it over (whom was the one that first caught the leaking in the walls, but thought it was a cap sitting crooked, etc.,) that it is 'not unusual for the seam where the two parts of a modular are connected to become disconnected.' He said sometimes modular homes can "break apart" at the top like that by far more than 1 inch; and again, it's common. Is this a statement anyone can qualify for me? How common is it? Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks, I would appreciate any feedback.

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Sorry to hear about your trouble with your home.

Hopefully the following will get you started in the right direction.

You MUST take good notes, so draw out the supporting pier placement under your home. Now label each pier in respect to the "I" beam that runs the length of your home. Example: Row one supporting piers are labeled "1-A" thru "1-X", row two piers are "2-A" thru "2-X", etc.

Im assuming the separation of the top of your modular home is at the end?

If so then it is likely that an "I" beam support pier has either sunk due to ground slump or, if wood was used between the pier & the "I" beam it has deteriorated.

Are the supporting piers under the modular on earth or concrete slab? If on slab, has the slab cracked in that area?

To check for sagging you need to;

1) Get a four foot carpenter level & determine itÂs trueness by flipping it over, the bubble should go to the same position. Next get 6 small pieces of ¼" thick wood, a good flash light, a string level, some string, then go under the double wide.

2) Check the level of the "I" beam support directly under where the roof separated. Then check it in respect to its height using the string level to the next parallel "I" beam. This is where you use ¼" wood by placing it under the low end of the string level to raise the sight bubble until it is level. If it takes 3 pieces of ¼" wood then the "I" beam is ¾" low in respect to the other. Write down your findings.

3) Contact an established modular dealership & tell the salesperson you would like to talk with their employee who actually attaches their doublewides together. Then ask that installer what is their procedure in joining the two sections.

4) Then ask what is their repair procedure when a customer reports roof separation.

5) Now ask them for an estimate to repair your trouble.

The installer should tell you basically what follows.

The sagging area is isolated & brought up to the correct height by using a 20 ton or larger bottle jack(s). The "I" beam section is raised up ¼" & then a ¼" metal shim, that covers the entire support pier, is placed atop that pier. They should use metal, NOT wood.

CAUTION: They should NOT bring the sagging section(s) up more than ¼"at a time or they will crack the interior walls for sure.

5) Assuming, that the previous owner was the original owner, & that you are the second owner, & you know where the former owner now lives, then proceed as follows.

Having documented ALL the above send the former owner a certified letter, requesting return receipt from the post office, POLITELY, no threating, outlining what you found & requesting payment for the repair estimate that you were given. Tell them they have 30 days to respond or you are turning the matter over to your lawyer who will add his fees to the repair costs.

Unless they are financial destitute, mentally challenged, etc. you should get prompt results.

Good luck with it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 11:08AM
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