How to Relevel Your Mobile Home: A Step-by-Step DIY Guide

Maintaining a level mobile home is crucial for the structural integrity and overall comfort of the dwelling. Over time, mobile homes can settle unevenly, leading to issues like doors and windows that won’t close properly, cracks in the walls, and even plumbing problems. Releveling your mobile home can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and a methodical approach, it’s a manageable DIY project. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before you begin, gather the necessary materials and tools:

  • Hydraulic jacks (at least two)
  • Concrete blocks or steel shims
  • Level (preferably a long one, such as a 4-foot level)
  • Carpenter’s level or a water level
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety gear (gloves, safety glasses, etc.)
  • Wooden blocks or planks for jack bases

Step 1: Inspect the Home

Start by inspecting your mobile home for signs of unleveling. Common indicators include:

  • Doors and windows that stick or do not latch properly
  • Cracks in the walls or ceiling
  • Floors that feel uneven or bouncy
  • Skirting around the home showing uneven gaps

Pay attention to these signs as they can help you determine the most affected areas that need more attention.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Clear the area around your mobile home. Ensure there is enough space to maneuver your jacks and other equipment. Safety is paramount, so make sure the ground around the mobile home is stable and dry.

Step 3: Determine the High and Low Points

Using your level, identify the high and low points of the home. A water level can be particularly useful for this, as it can measure the level over a long distance. Place the level at different points around the perimeter and the center of the home to get a comprehensive understanding of which areas are most uneven.

Step 4: Position the Jacks

Place the hydraulic jacks under the main frame beams of the mobile home. It’s advisable to use wooden blocks or planks under the jacks to distribute the weight and prevent them from sinking into the ground. Make sure the jacks are positioned at solid, stable points along the frame.

Step 5: Lift the Home

Slowly and carefully begin to lift the home using the jacks. It’s crucial to do this gradually, raising each side no more than half an inch at a time. This prevents undue stress on the structure and reduces the risk of damage. Work your way around the home, adjusting the jacks incrementally.

Step 6: Insert Shims or Blocks

Once the home is lifted to the desired height, insert concrete blocks or steel shims between the frame and the supports. Ensure the blocks are positioned directly under the main beams and are level themselves. This will provide a stable and level base for the home to rest on.

Step 7: Check for Level

After inserting the shims or blocks, use your level to check the entire home again. Make adjustments as necessary, adding or removing shims to achieve a perfectly level state. This step may require several iterations of lifting and adjusting to get right.

Step 8: Lower the Home

Once satisfied that the home is level, slowly and carefully lower the jacks, allowing the home to rest on the newly positioned supports. Lower each jack incrementally to maintain balance and prevent sudden shifts.

Step 9: Recheck and Secure

With the jacks removed, conduct a final check to ensure the home remains level. Inspect the entire structure, particularly around doors and windows, to confirm that everything functions smoothly. Tighten any bolts or fasteners on the frame to secure the adjustments.

Step 10: Maintain Regular Checks

Releveling your mobile home is not a one-time job. Periodic checks and adjustments are essential to maintain a level home, especially after significant weather changes or ground movements. A regular inspection schedule, such as every six months, can help catch any minor shifts before they become major issues.

Safety Considerations

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and safety glasses.
  • Do not exceed the lifting capacity of your jacks.
  • Ensure that the ground is stable and that jack bases are secure.
  • If at any point you feel unsure or unsafe, consider consulting a professional.

Conclusion

Releveling your mobile home is a critical maintenance task that can significantly extend the lifespan of your home and improve your quality of living. By following this step-by-step guide, you can tackle the project with confidence. Remember, patience and precision are key—take your time and ensure each step is done correctly to achieve the best results. With regular maintenance and checks, you can keep your mobile home level and comfortable for years to come.