Hurricanes & Manufactured Homes – 4 Myths Busted

As peak hurricane season approaches, manufactured homes are often sensationalized as more susceptible to damage than site-built dwellings. This may make some potential homeowners shy away from the safe and most affordable housing opportunity in America. Fortunately, we’re here to put doubtful minds at ease and dispel some common myths about these homes.

  • 1. MYTH: Manufactured homes are built with cheap materials
  • FACT: Manufactured homes are built with the same state-of-the-art materials as site-built homes

In 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development set into place new safety standards for manufactured homes, making “mobile homes” a thing of the past. The HUD code quickly transformed the quality of hand-built homes, requiring them to be designed, engineered and built to stringent residential construction standards. All manufactured homes are inspected throughout the construction process by third-party inspectors for quality assurance purposes and to ensure compliance with stringent HUD building code. As they are constructed, audits from second or third-party agencies are conducted to ensure all is kept in line with quality assurance regulations.

  • 2. MYTH: Manufactured homes have little flood protection
  • FACT: Manufactured homes are built and installed to withstand flood damage

Manufactured homes are built with flood protection in mind and are required to be elevated and anchored to a vertical, engineer-certified system to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement. It is important to recognize, however, flood-damage impacts any home regardless of where it was built. Fortunately, the National Flood Insurance Program provides affordable insurance options for you and your community.

  • 3. MYTH: Manufactured homes are more susceptible to fire
  • FACT: Manufactured homes have lower rates of fire and injury from fires than site-built homes

Fires and injury from fires occurs less in manufactured homes than site-built ones according to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in July, 2011. The study also showed the manufactured home fire experience rate to be 38 to 44 percent lower than the rate of other dwellings. This is due to stringent HUD code regulations which require houses to be equipped with a smoke detector, egress windows, a flame retardant furnace, and water heater compartments.

  • 4. MYTH: Manufactured homes can’t withstand hurricane-force winds
  • FACT: Manufactured homes withstand hurricane-force winds better than traditional homes

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) added another layer to manufactured home regulations by requiring the structures to resist winds from 70-110 mph depending on the wind zone in where they’re located. In addition, they must have engineer-certified, vertically installed anchoring systems and frame and diagonal tie-downs. The results? When 4 hurricanes hit Florida in 2004, not a single manufactured home suffered structural damage. Likewise, no homes were destroyed when Katrina arrived the next year. A later study conducted in 2014 by IBHS found manufactured homes to be better at withstanding winds than site-built dwellings. Keep in mind, any home subject to 100+ mph of wind-speed will experience some level of damage, but hand-built homes time and time again prove to be the safest choice for consumers.

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