Home Care Guide: How to Maintain Manufactured Home Walls and Ceilings

Check out this post to learn how to care for the walls and ceilings of your new home.
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It is important keep all the parts of your manufactured or modular home in tip-top shape so that you can continue making lifelong memories in your home. The walls of your home may not be something you often think about maintaining, but they are equally as important as other areas of your home.

Taking care of your home walls is simple for smaller projects such as minor fixes and painting. Let's learn how to maintain your manufactured or modular home walls.

What types of walls are in manufactured homes?

Materials stacked inside a manufactured home building facility.

Have you ever wondered what types of materials are used in manufactured home walls? The walls of many manufactured homes are made with materials such as drywall and vinyl-covered wallboard. Drywall is the most commonly used for manufactured home walls, but vinyl-covered walls have their benefits as well¹.

Both drywall and vinyl-covered wallboard (or paneling) have their benefits. Drywall often provides more design options, like space for a built-in TV, and has a slightly higher insulation value compared to some of the thinner vinyl paneling. However, vinyl paneling is often easier to clean because it does not absorb liquids as easily as drywall.²

How to Repair Manufactured Home Drywall

Making minor repairs in the drywall of your manufactured home can be as simple as just patching a couple of holes, embedding nails that have popped (when the nail pulls away from the drywall) and filling small cavities. Remember that you will most likely need to touch the paint in any area of drywall that you fix.

Follow these steps to fix smaller holes in drywall:

  • Using a vinyl spackling compound and a 3-inch putty knife (which can be found at your local hardware store3), apply the compound smoothly over the dents or hole.
  • Flush the compound so that it matches the thickness and the consistency of the rest of the wall's surface.
  • If your walls are painted, make sure to paint the area of drywall you have fixed so that it matches the rest of your wall.

How to repair vinyl-covered wallboard

Repairing vinyl-covered wallboard is a little trickier than repairing drywall. For major fixes, we recommend calling an expert to do the job. Smaller repairs can be fixed in a similar way to repairing regular drywall, however, you must prepare the wall differently.

To prepare your vinyl walls prior to repair, wash the entire surface with a cleaner containing trisodium phosphate. This will remove stains and grime so that the new paint or covering will stick better to the surface and without stains³.

How to paint manufactured home walls

Couple painting a manufactured home wall.

Adding a new coat of paint to your walls is a great way to update the interior of your manufactured home. It’s fun to stay in style and keep up with current paint trends. And just like any other wall, you can use paint and primer in one or separate the products.

Follow these steps to paint your walls:

  • Clean your walls according to whether they are drywall or vinyl-covered wallboard as stated above.
  • Fix any cracks, nail pops or other repairs, according the repair guidelines for each type of wall.
  • Cover floors and furniture with drop cloths so that you don’t drip paint anywhere you might not want it.
  • Apply painters tape to cover your trim, ceiling and flooring so that your paint is crisp cut along the edges of the wall.
  • Prime your walls with light coats and even coverage.
  • After the primer dries, the best way to paint your walls is with rollers. Roll paint on evenly to achieve the look you want! Most painting experts recommend doing two thin layers of paint.
  • For trickier areas, such as edges or batten strips, use an angled brush or smaller roller to get paint in all the nooks and crannies of the wall.

What types of ceilings are in manufactured homes?

Manufactured home ceiling with wooden beams.

Manufactured home ceilings are made of either mineral fiber or drywall panels. As with any home, occasionally maintenance issues may occur. These might include gouges, water stains and smudges.

How to repair drywall in a manufactured home

Gouges: If you find that you have gouges (small dents or loosening of drywall) in your ceiling, take the following steps to resolve the issue:

  • Remove all loose pieces.
  • Fill the gouge in with speckling paste, and apply with a clean putty knife.
  • Make sure to level the paste off to the surface of the panel.
  • Once the compound dries, touch up the area with paint.

Water Stains: If you see water stains on your ceiling, this could be an indication of a roof leak or condensation problem. Make sure to first correct or repair the issue that is causing the water stain. If you need help determining the cause of the water stain, contact a professional or your home center for assistance. Once the leak has been stopped, in most cases you can repaint the area. If the ceiling has undergone too much water damage, you may have to have the area replaced by a professional.

Smudges or Loose Dirt: If you notice smudges or loose dirt on your ceiling, the fix is straightforward and easy. You can dust the area with a soft cloth or use a vacuum cleaner attachment.

If you find yourself needing to repaint your ceiling for any reason, make sure to use a good quality product suitable for the surface to be painted. If you're unsure of what type of paint to use, consult your local hardware store or home center.

Keeping your walls and ceilings properly maintained will help keep your manufactured home interior looking fresh and Prefabulous®!

  1. Johnson, Jackie. "What Types of Walls Are in Manufactured Homes? | Hunker." Hunker.com. Accessed June 05, 2017. https://www.hunker.com/12529066/what-types-of-walls-are-in-manufactured-homes.

  2. Johnson, Jackie. "What Types of Walls Are in Manufactured Homes? | Hunker." Hunker.com. Accessed June 05, 2017. https://www.hunker.com/12529066/what-types-of-walls-are-in-manufactured-homes.

  1. Vandervort , Don . "How to Repair Drywall (Sheetrock®)." HomeTips. January 16, 2017. Accessed June 05, 2017. https://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/sheetrock-drywall.html. "How to Cover a Vinyl Wall." Home Guides | SF Gate. Accessed June 05, 2017. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/cover-vinyl-wall-102271.html.

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