How to Gut a Mobile Home

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Wear heavy-duty protective equipment when gutting any structure.
Wear heavy-duty protective equipment when gutting any structure. (Image: gloves image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

Whether your mobile home was damaged by a disaster, an accident or simply the passage of time, you may have decided it would be more cost-efficient to gut it rather than make repairs. Gutting a mobile home is the first step to returning it to its original condition, preparing it to be sold or remodeled. Your first concern when gutting any structure is safety. Make sure you and your helpers are wearing and using the correct equipment, and are aware of each other’s presence in the home when removing walls, furniture, carpeting, miscellaneous items and debris.

Things You'll Need

  • N95 respirator
  • Goggles
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Work boots
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Long work pants or jeans
  • Utility knife
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Trash bags

Put on your long shirt, long pants, respirator, goggles, gloves, hard hat and boots. Make sure each worker is wearing this uniform to protect him from inhaling harmful chemicals and debris.

First remove all large objects from the home , such as couches, chairs, televisions, shelves, kitchenware and other items. Store these items for later use, throw them in the trash or donate them.

Walk through the home with trash bags and throw out useless items and accumulated waste. To make this process more time efficient, have three to five workers remove furniture while another three to five collect and throw out trash.

Remove the carpet or other flooring. For carpet, grab it from a corner and pull it back from the tack strip. Cut long, straight strips with your utility knife and roll them up for orderliness. Continue cutting and rolling until all carpet is removed.

Pry the tack strip from the floor with a crowbar. Wedge the crowbar in between the tack strip and the floor until they separate, and then pull the tack strip off. You may need to remove nails from the tack strip with a hammer.

Remove the paneling or drywall. For drywall, remove the baseboard and trim around the wall first. Insert your pry bar in between the drywall and the trim and pull toward yourself. The trim will come loose and can be removed. Repeat this process to loosen the nails holding the drywall in. Once the nails are removed, hit the back side of the drywall lightly with a hammer until pieces become loose. Repeat this process until all nails and drywall are removed. For paneling, remove the base, trim and crown molding in the same fashion. Remove all nails or screws from the paneling with a screwdriver and a hammer. Cautiously hit the paneling from top to bottom with your hammer until it becomes loose. Detach paneling with your crowbar.

Clean up nails, paneling and drywall debris as you remove the walls. While a team of three to five removes the walls, another team of three to five should be cleaning up after it for safety.

Take your trash materials to an appropriate dump site.

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References

  • "Building Your Own House: Everything You Need to Know About House Construction from Start to Finish Part 2"; Robert Roskind; 2000
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