Manufactured homes and mobile homes are made of lightweight material to facilitate transportation. Both types of homes are manufactured in a workshop. Mobile homes are fitted with a chassis and wheels and towed to their final destination, while the pre-manufactured panels that make up a manufactured home are transported on a truck and assembled on site. Their lightweight framing is not designed to accommodate heavy siding materials.
Vinyl siding is the most popular choice of manufactured and mobile home companies because of its distinct advantages over other siding types. Vinyl is lightweight, durable and easy to clean. Manufactured homes are usually located in rural areas where dust, leaves and mold can be a problem. A pressure washer or a soft brush and soapy water can work wonders on discolored and stained vinyl siding. Its only disadvantage is that it becomes brittle in very cold weather.
Wood siding is heavier, and even though it is made from very thin and lightweight panels, it may put a strain on the structure of a mobile or manufactured home. It cannot be washed regularly like vinyl because excessive water may cause it to rot, and although it is pre-treated against termites it may not be entirely safe from termites. The best maintenance option is to seal the joints with caulking and paint the siding. The advantage is that you can change the appearance every few years with a new color scheme.
Aluminum siding is popular because it is lightweight and termites cannot attack it. Its disadvantage is that it corrodes and the maintenance is costly and labor intensive. It is necessary to wash leaves and debris regularly off aluminum siding to help prevent rust from setting in. Very wet climates also cause oxidation of the aluminum, which gives it a faded look. Once this has occurred the best option is to pressure wash and paint the siding, using anti-rust primer first. Be sure to caulk and seal the joints and apply acrylic paint.
Manufactured home owners often choose log siding to create a more rustic look for their homes. This siding is made of half round logs and is attached with staples, nails or screws in the same manner as other siding types. The "logs" may be real or made of fiberglass or similar material which is lighter in weight, termite resistant, and easy to maintain. Real log siding requires regular painting or coating every few years, whereas the maintenance on faux wood siding is the same as that of vinyl.
- Photo Credit single wide image by Andrew Orlemann from Fotolia.com
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