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Discussion Starter #1
6 years ago I had a doublewide placed on the side of a hill with clay type soil built up on one side to level. It is on block, not skirting.

Last year I had it releveled and they said they added "marriage connections"?Whatever they are. The black tarp/material covering the bottom of the doublewide has not been disturbed. The floor did feel level after it was done.

It is now again showing cracks along the inside "ridge line" beam. Both front & back door frames are not vertical anymore. No idea about the windows I don't open.

Looking underneath, the metal things holding up the beams are only on 2' square cement blocks about 3 inckes thick.

I want to build a patio roof (roof only) along the back and an enclosed vestibule in the front.

I think this will help stabilize the house BUT will it? Thats a lot of money for me.

I was told to buld a dirt berm up against the block wall up to the vents on all sides, but not sure that will fix the problem. I also think that will cause more moisture problems due to seepage through the block. Will this help?

Do I need to have it releveled again first? I have a gut feeling more is needed but what??

Any help/insight will be greatly appreciated before I talk to someone & spend oodles of money ......Thanks.
 

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Wolf mom said:
6 years ago I had a doublewide placed on the side of a hill with clay type soil built up on one side to level. It is on block, not skirting.

Last year I had it releveled and they said they added "marriage connections"?Whatever they are. The black tarp/material covering the bottom of the doublewide has not been disturbed. The floor did feel level after it was done.

It is now again showing cracks along the inside "ridge line" beam. Both front & back door frames are not vertical anymore. No idea about the windows I don't open.

Looking underneath, the metal things holding up the beams are only on 2' square cement blocks about 3 inckes thick.

I want to build a patio roof (roof only) along the back and an enclosed vestibule in the front.

I think this will help stabilize the house BUT will it? Thats a lot of money for me.

I was told to buld a dirt berm up against the block wall up to the vents on all sides, but not sure that will fix the problem. I also think that will cause more moisture problems due to seepage through the block. Will this help?

Do I need to have it releveled again first? I have a gut feeling more is needed but what??

Any help/insight will be greatly appreciated before I talk to someone & spend oodles of money ......Thanks.
A doublewide has metal frame rails under each 1/2 of the house. These frame rails should be supported by block columns which should be placed on poured concrete footers. My footers are poured in strips perpendicular to the frame rails and the block columns are placed on these footer strips. I have block underpinning around the perimeter but it doesn't support anything, just more or less durable skirting, basically a facade.

Why did you have it releveled? Do you have a level and have you checked it? dirt around the outside walls will do nothing but create dampness problems if you have any moisture in your soil. Is your house actually in some way supported by the outside walls/skirting? If so I don't think this is a good thing.
 

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I am not sure I follow your description, but it sounds to me like the following:

Your mobile has a cinderblock wall underneath the perimeter instead of skirting, and there are 2 foot cement pads underneath the main beams of the unit.

If that is the case, the perimeter wall is carrying load, which it doesn't really have to do. If the cement pads and the block wall move any with soil movement, they won't necessarily move in conjunction. If the cement pads sink a little, the block walls will keep the sides of your mobile from moving down with the rest of it, and things will get thrown out of square.

Clay soil is famous for expanding and contracting with different ground moisture (and also with frost heave, but I don't think that is the issue :) ).

You are better off with skirting that has a slip joint that allows the mobile edges to "float".

I doubt putting dirt against the block will help at all. The patio and vestibulte will not stablize the house, but if you have them on the same footings as the rest of the unit, they can move in unison.

I hope i have understood your situation, but that is what it sounds like to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Clarification: perimeter cinder block walls are not holding up the doublewide. There is about a 2/3 inch space between the wall & the house with a board running around the perimeter on the outside covering the space. I guess just for looks.

What is holding up the doublewide are thoes metal things with the large screws in the center that you can turn up & down to level like for a travel trailer. They are sitting on the cement blocks and run down the length of & are under the steel beams.

I had it releveled about 9 months ago as it was not level. It was checked with a level after my son notice it.

The crack along the "ridgeline" beam inside started about 2 months ago. We have had a lot of rain in the past few weeks.

Beeman: : are you saying that I have to have the doublewide raised & have footers & block columns installed? I am sitting here in a state of shock. Really deflated as all I can see is dollars floating away.

If I can afford to install the vestibule and patio roof after this is fixed, how can I have them on the same footing? Not sure I understand this part. I do understand the columns.

What else would be causing the crack in the ridgeline??? And the door frame to be out of plumb. ?? To me, it looks as if the two parts are separating and tilting. I sure hope I'm "thinking the worst".

Any options???
 

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When they jacked and releveled, did the do anything up on the roof?

They may have placed some "marriage connectors" along the bottom to hold the 2 1/2's together, but the jacking may have loosened the connectors at the top(ridgeline).

If you have a level, get a REAL STRAIGHT 2x4 and lay it across some rooms, middle of the house to outside wall. Put your level on the 2x4 and check it. see if it tilting to the outside. If you don't have a level try to borrrow an 8' one.

If it is tilting, you need to get someone to jack up the outsides to bring the tops together and run some extra lag bolts thru the 1/2's. You'll have to remove the ridgecap shingles to do this and then replace them.

and get it level at the same time.

I'd try to find a setup crew (good one) and pay them on the side to do the job.
Finding the crew will be harder than the job.

good luck,
Dave
 

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Wolf mom said:
Clarification: perimeter cinder block walls are not holding up the doublewide. There is about a 2/3 inch space between the wall & the house with a board running around the perimeter on the outside covering the space. I guess just for looks.

What is holding up the doublewide are thoes metal things with the large screws in the center that you can turn up & down to level like for a travel trailer. They are sitting on the cement blocks and run down the length of & are under the steel beams.

I had it releveled about 9 months ago as it was not level. It was checked with a level after my son notice it.

The crack along the "ridgeline" beam inside started about 2 months ago. We have had a lot of rain in the past few weeks.

Beeman: : are you saying that I have to have the doublewide raised & have footers & block columns installed? I am sitting here in a state of shock. Really deflated as all I can see is dollars floating away.

If I can afford to install the vestibule and patio roof after this is fixed, how can I have them on the same footing? Not sure I understand this part. I do understand the columns.

What else would be causing the crack in the ridgeline??? And the door frame to be out of plumb. ?? To me, it looks as if the two parts are separating and tilting. I sure hope I'm "thinking the worst".

Any options???
Okay, based on your clarification, it sounds like the cement blocks under one metal beam are moving up or down at a different rate than those under the other beam. Your OP says you levelled the site with clay on the down slope, so given that you have had a lot of rain, it is possible that the side of the site with the clay is expanding.

You don't necessarily need concrete footings (depending on local code). Here, I had a pad made by scraping away all topsoil, filling with a-base gravel, and then compacting. Even though it will expand and contract, the entire pad is uniform so the whole unit moves up and down together. In your case, the pad may not be uniform.

Dave85's solution will probably address the ridge beam crack, but if you do have differential expansion underneath, I would guess the problem would crop up again in the future. For sure you should get someone in the business to assess this.

Good luck.
 

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One more thought....

If you end up having to have the concrete footers put in, perpendicular to the main support beams, you could extend the concrete footers out underneath the cinder block walls and extend by the projected width of your vestibule or porch. That way, you can put the outside wall for these additions on the same footers, and the additions won't move away from your main unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well Dave85, that sounds easy & less expensive than what I was thinking. I can do that! I have a 5' level. Will try to borrow an 8' one tomorrow.

No, nothing was done up on the roof, just underneath the house.

When I say "ridgeline" I mean the main beam that runs the length of the doublewide inside. Ridgeline is outside??

Someone brought a small doublewide about .03 miles near me. I can watch for the crew & talk to them...

How do I know it's a good crew?
 

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Here in Minnesota clay ground will heave or fall a foot sometimes during the freeze/ thaw cycle of the year. We need to put footers or columns down 5 feet deep to have any chance of a stable base.

Can't imagine what you have - that sounds aweful. Wouldn't last a year 'here'.

--->Paul
 

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you said you had this place leveled off, from what i understand about half of the home is on solid ground and the other half is on fill dirt. right there is your problem you cant build on fill dirt it will settle for years to come as it compacts back together. you mentioned the lots of rain thats what is causing the problem the fill is getting wet and the weight of the home is pushing it down. i wouldnt think you will ever be able to keep it level as long as its sitting on fill dirt.
 

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Wolf mom said:
Well Dave85, that sounds easy & less expensive than what I was thinking. I can do that! I have a 5' level. Will try to borrow an 8' one tomorrow.

No, nothing was done up on the roof, just underneath the house.

When I say "ridgeline" I mean the main beam that runs the length of the doublewide inside. Ridgeline is outside??

Someone brought a small doublewide about .03 miles near me. I can watch for the crew & talk to them...

How do I know it's a good crew?
Usually referring to the ridgeline means the ridge line of the roof outside. I am not familiar with Arizona's codes or standards and of course there is a large variation from south to north AZ. I personally would want poured dug concrete footers and then stacked block on that. There are many variances where I live as far as that goes but footers with block seem to be the best. You make it sound as if your house is on screw jacks or posts, is this correct?
I wouldn't build anything, especially anything tied to the house, until you are sure it's level and staying put. Another way to check level of a home is with a water level, a little research will show you how to make one from a garden hose or clear tubing. You could then have a 50' level.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all for the suggestions & insight to the problem. It really helps when I'm talking to a workman & know something about what we're talking about.

Beeman: House is on those metal things... screwjacks sounds like a good name.

No I'm not going to compound the problem by attaching a porch roof & vestibule until this is resolved, contrary to my first thoughts about the attachments helping to stabilize this mess.

I found a crew that puts up doublewides & the owner is coming out in a couple weeks. He'll check the fill dirt & see what it needs. He also talked about the lag bolts holding the 2 sections together. If I hadn't of read it here, I probably would have thought "he's taking me".

Sounds like I don't trust too much, and that's the truth. Sad to say.

Thanks again.
 

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It sounds to me like the screw jacks are sitting on 3 inch thick concrete pads which are sitting on dirt....those should really be sitting on poured footers which extend below the frost line for your area.

In effect, your home is 'floating' on the dirt.

This can be fixed pretty easily, add temporary jacks to each side of the one that is there, take it and its concrete 'float' out, dig a hole to below frost line, fill with concrete and rebar, reinstall screwjack.
 
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