Home Care Guide: Maintaining Exterior Surfaces of a Manufactured Home

Learn how to take care of your home's siding and more.
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The exterior of a manufactured home is just as important to maintain as the interior of the home. Being exposed to the seasons and elements means that the exterior of the home is often exposed to harsh weather, direct sunlight and other natural occurrences. Luckily, each Clayton Built® manufactured home is built with quality materials such as:

  • Vinyl or fiber cement siding
  • Wooden exteriors
  • Roof shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Windows
  • Decorative accents
  • Paint
  • Caulking

Maintaining these areas properly is important so your manufactured home stays beautiful and can withstand the elements.

Manufactured Home Siding

Siding on manufactured homes often consists of vinyl or fiber cement materials. This siding is meant to withstand tough weather and grime, but will need to be cleaned to remove built up dirt and mildew. We recommend following the manufacturer's recommendations to do so, as some products can damage the surface of the siding.

manufactured home siding

For most siding materials, you can follow these maintenance steps:

How to clean siding

  1. If there is loose dirt on your siding, a quick rinse with the hose should be able to clean it.
  2. To remove tougher stains or dirt spots, wipe down the area with mild detergent and a non-abrasive sponge, then rinse it off with water.*

*Your siding may need to be cleaned differently depending on the material. Check your Homeowner's Manual, or ask your home center, for tips on how to clean the siding on your home.

If mildew is present:

  • First, dab black spotty stains with a small amount of diluted bleach to confirm that the splotches are mildew.
  • If the black area disappears with a little scrubbing, it's mildew.
  • Next, create a solution of one-part bleach to four parts water.
  • While cleaning the area with a non-abrasive brush or cloth, make sure to wear eye protection and avoid spilling any solution on plants.
  • To finish, rinse the area thoroughly with water.

Remember:

  • Do not use abrasive cleansers or pads on siding.
  • Use extreme care if you're using a power washer, as improper use can lead to damage of the siding and caulk.
  • Apply wax or protective sealer to metal surfaces periodically to prevent oxidation and keep colors bright.
  • Vinyl siding may expand during extreme heat, creating a wave look on the exterior which will disappear with cooler temperatures.

Wooden Exteriors

Manufactured homes sometimes have wooden exteriors or trim. Because wood is more susceptible to rot and decay caused by moisture, it is important to keep these areas protected.

Wooden elements on the exterior of the home can expand and contract with normal changes in humidity and temperature.¹ This may lead to chipped or cracked paint finishes and can cause caulked seams to separate.

Maintaining exterior wood can be done by properly finishing the surface with paint, stain or a clear sealer.

Cleaning Wood Exteriors

Cleaning the wood exterior of a manufactured home is recommended once or twice year to prevent discoloration from dirt. This can be done using warm, soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.¹

Clean 20-foot sections at a time using a mild soap solution. Clean each section from top to bottom and rinse thoroughly before moving to the next section.

Restoring Natural Wood Color

Over time, wood exteriors may become discolored. Applying a wood cleaner or brightener will help restore the wood to its original color. These products can be found at home improvement stores and the manufacturer's instructions should be followed when applying them to wood exteriors.

Prevent Damage to Wood Siding and Exteriors

Wood is susceptible to water damage, so to prevent this, we recommend inspecting caulking at windows, doors and corner moldings at least once a year.

Remove cracked, dry or peeling materials and reapply caulk to these areas with flexible, non-hardening exterior caulk.

Roofing

The roof of a home is exposed completely to the outside elements and should be inspected semi-annually to make sure sealants around vents, joints and roof caps are still intact. Other roof penetrations can occur from harsh weather and other unexpected events.

Caring for Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are constructed in one of two ways. The first is rolled steel sheets that are seamed together across the length of the home. The second is made up of individual ribbed steel panels.

Metal roofs require regular preventative maintenance to avoid possible damage or leaks. Ribbed panel roofing requires very little maintenance, but make sure to inspect metal roof surfaces twice a year for any damages. Manufactured homes with rolled metal roofing should be coated entirely with a high quality white or aluminum roof coating after the first year.

Caring for Shingled Roofs

At least once a year and after harsh storms, roofs should be inspected. For safety reasons, we strongly recommend that having a roofing professional do inspections, maintenance and repairs of your roof.

During inspections, you should be looking for:²

  • Buckling, curling or blistering shingles
  • Shingles that are missing or broken
  • Cracks or other damage

If any of these issues are found, we recommend hiring a roofing professional to make the proper repairs.

Keeping the exterior surfaces of your home maintained will help keep your home looking beautiful so you can keep making memories that last a lifetime.

  1. Schwartz, Donna Boyle. "How To: Clean Exterior Siding - Bob Vila." BobVila.com. May 04, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2018. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-exterior-siding/.

  2. Yancey, Scott. "How to Inspect a Roof for Damage." The Huffington Post. December 01, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-inspect-a-roof-for-damage_us_58404de2e4b0cf3f645587ab.

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