A manufactured home is a home that is built in one piece or in sections and then transported to the building site, which will be its new address. Before 1976, manufactured homes were built “under a patchwork” of building codes according to the South Carolina Department of Labor. For this reason, there are some warnings regarding older manufactured homes that were built before federal building codes became law in 1976.
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Lack of Fire-Resistant Materials
Due to the lack of standards of building codes before 1976, older manufactured homes may be a fire hazard. This warning comes from A&M University. The materials the homes were made of are not fire-resistant like the ones built today. More than half of the fires that occurred in these homes were started by the kitchen ranges, reports A&M. The fire tends to spread quickly due to the presence of flammable materials in the manufactured home.
An electrical warning also comes from A&M University regarding the wiring in manufactured homes made between 1968 and 1972. These homes most likely have aluminum wiring which overheats easily, posing a fire hazard.
Heating and Fuel Lines
Another warning from A&M University involves the installation of fuel lines and connections for older manufactured homes. Again, codes were not in place for overseeing their installation in older homes. The university also warns that the correct fireproofing material may not exist around your hot water heater and furnace.
High Wind Safety
One of the main concerns about older manufactured homes is their inability to withstand high wind. The warning relates not to the construction of the home, but rather in the way the home is tied to its foundation. According to the Department of Labor in South Carolina, homes built to code need to be able to withstand high winds of up to 100 mph on the coast and up to 80 mph inland. The department warns that older manufactured homes may not do this.
Formaldehyde is used when building trailers and modular homes, according to CBS News Investigates. This fact came out when CBS investigated the claims of people getting sick from this chemical after FEMA provided manufactured homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. CBS claims that the practice of formaldehyde being used in installation for these types of homes has been going on for years. This warning is said to be displayed on stickers that came with the homes.