Are Manufactured Homes Safe During Storms?

Dark storm clouds behind a line of trees with green grass in the front.

We’re taking a look at some of the standards that modern manufactured homes are built to and why this helps make them safer during storms than older mobile homes.

If you’re thinking about buying a manufactured home, then you may have questions about how strong they are, especially when it comes to storms and wind. After all, you’re looking for a home that will be safe for your family for years down the road.

That’s why you’ll want to know that today’s manufactured homes are built to federal construction code that takes into account various factors, including the home’s location, to make sure it’s designed for the weather in that area. Keep reading for more info on these construction codes and how manufactured home safety has changed over the years.

Exterior of a manufactured home with light tan siding, white trim, dark brown shutters and door, and small staircase with a potted plant and palm tree in front.

How are manufactured homes built today?

First, let’s talk briefly about why there are still stigmas about how safe manufactured homes are during storms.

Before the 1970s, there weren’t standard regulations for mobile homes, which meant less oversight about how they were built and what materials were used. So, you can see how there would be questions about quality and safety. But that all changed in 1974 with the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act, which is what distinguishes old mobile homes from modern manufactured homes.

Then in 1976, the HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards set the standards for how manufactured homes are built today. This includes areas like:

  • The home’s design and construction
  • Thermal protection
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Fire safety
  • And energy efficiency

This HUD Code is followed by every manufactured home builder in America, including all of Clayton’s home building facilities, and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

And in 1994, the federal government updated the wind safety standards for manufactured homes. The update created three wind zones for manufactured homes, based on where the home will be located, and revised building requirements specific to each wind zone. Changes for homes in areas that typically see stronger winds included building requirement updates, like revised foundation specifications and wall framing that allows for the installation of hurricane shutters.

Two workers in hard hats build the wall of a manufactured home inside of a home building facility.

What makes manufactured homes safer during storms?

Now let’s take a deeper look at the storm safety standards and what they mean for you. The HUD Code has a body and frame construction section that includes requirements to help make sure manufactured homes are built to withstand the elements. The structural design requirements in this section include:

  • That the home’s roof framing is securely fastened to the wall framing.
  • That the home’s walls are securely fastened to the floor structure.
  • The floor structure is securely fastened to the home’s chassis. This will help the home resist wind overturning, uplift and sliding as imposed by design loads, which are specified amounts of weight the structure must be able to support.
  • Manufactured homes and each of the wind-resisting parts and portions of the home must be designed for horizontal wind loads of no less than 76.55 mph and a net uplift roof load of no less than 59.29 mph.
  • Manufactured homes built for areas in Wind Zones II and III, which are more prone to hurricanes and strong coastal storm conditions, are required to be built to withstand higher wind speeds.

While you’ll want to make sure your home is in good repair and that you’re prepared in case of severe weather, these updated standards mean a properly built and installed manufactured home is as safe in strong wind or weather events as a traditional site-built home. This commitment to quality construction is just one of the reasons a manufactured home can be a great choice for you and your family. And if you’re interested in learning more about the construction process and materials we use here at Clayton, you can check out the home building section of our blog today.

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