A mobile home is a great way to enjoy Florida living, whether you are on vacation, staying for a season or living in the sunshine state year-round. You can affordably soak up the sun and live comfortably. But living in a mobile home in Florida does require some care during hurricane season. Storms can wreak havoc on all homes, but this is especially true for mobile homes. So when a hurricane watch or warning is issued it is best to prepare your mobile home and evacuate. But how do you properly prepare your mobile home before heading out to safety? We’ll discuss how to prepare your mobile home for a storm. There are several options, such as hurricane shutters for mobile homes. We’ll give you options for achieving wind storm protection of your beloved home.
How to prepare your mobile home for the storm
You want to make sure you inspect and properly protect (secure) some critical areas prior to a storm. This includes inspecting and ensuring the integrity/stability of your mobile home’s concrete piers and the ground anchors, and installing hurricane window protection. We discuss each of these below in more detail.
Check the structural integrity of your mobile home’s “temporary foundation”
According to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, most mobile homes in Florida are installed on a temporary foundation. This consists of concrete pads, dry-stacked blocks and tie downs. You want to make sure that these components are all in good condition and have structural integrity. Also, make sure your mobile home is properly secured.
If your mobile home was manufactured earlier than the year 2000 (1999 and earlier) the State of Florida may be able to help you. The Florida Mobile Home Tie-Down Program allocates state grant money to owners to make their mobile homes more secure. The program can help pay for contractors to come and anchor your home to the ground. Learn more about the Florida Mobile Home Tie-Down Program by visiting the info page on the Tallahassee Community College website.
Installing hurricane shutters on your mobile home
You will also need to protect your home’s windows and other vulnerable spots prior to evacuating. Hurricane shutters make your mobile home more hurricane resistant. They protect your windows and glass from wind gusts and flying objects. So they are highly effective at preventing damage and messes.
Hurricane shutters protect your mobile home’s glass from breaking. If a pane of glass breaks you can have some serious consequences (and a serious mess). Broken glass can go flying into your home. And your interior will become exposed to the elements. For example, broken glass allows water intrusion, which can cause damage. Wind intrusion can also damage or destroy your mobile home’s interior.
Steps for installing hurricane shutters on your mobile home
- Select an option of hurricane shutter well in advance of the storm. See the different options below.
- Measure and procure the hurricane shutters and/or materials to fit your mobile home’s windows and doors. Or contact a local hurricane shutter company to measure and design the shutters for you. You need to ensure you install your hurricane panels securely on your mobile home. This is true matter if you are installing hurricane panels or boarding your mobile home with plywood. Ensure that the fasteners are installed securely into the structural framing of your manufactured home. Installing it into the sheathing or trim will not properly secure them.
- Vacate the mobile home prior to installing the hurricane protection. Once you secure your doors no one will be able to get out. Further, no one should be inside the home after the shutters are installed. If anything happens there will be no way to get out (no egress). This makes it extremely dangerous for anyone to remain inside a mobile home after your hurricane shutters are installed.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to install your panels panels.
Read our general instructions on how to install hurricane shutters panels. Just note that these are for installing panels on a concrete home. You can use them for general guidance. We suggest you ask your hurricane shutter company for installation instructions suitable for your mobile home.
Options of Hurricane Shutters Panels for mobile homes
You have different options for window and door storm protection. We discuss some of the common options below.
Steel hurricane panels are strong and offer great protection. Just note that they are the heaviest option. Metal also does corrode if you don’t protect it properly.
Aluminum storm panels also offer strong hurricane protection. They are lighter than steel. This means they are easier to lift, handle and install. They also don’t corrode (rust) like metal does.
Aluminum clamshell shutters (awnings)
Clamshell shutters are another option for your mobile home. Clamshells look and function like window awnings. But they are made from high impact resistant aluminum. You will find them easier to install. They also provide some much shade for your home.
Plywood is a good option if you are in a pinch, but it is not the best long-term solution. Make sure you have high quality, high integrity plywood. We don’t recommend using plywood that is weathered or damaged. Damaged or compromised wood has the potential to crack, break or separate from the fasteners. This could leave your windows and doors exposed. You also want to make sure you use proper fasteners.
Mobile homes are a great way to enjoy living or vacationing in Florida. But they do require some preparation when a storm is approaching. But don’t let that discourage you. You will be safe if you take the necessary steps to properly prepare and secure your manufactured home and evacuate to safety. Installing hurricane shutters for your mobile home’s windows and doors will help protect it and reduce damage.