Mobile home code requires 99MPH stability - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mobile home code requires 99MPH stability

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September 13, 2004

Dougherty County-- Many people in mobile homes think straps that anchor the home to the ground are strong enough to resist strong winds, but that's not always the case.

There are several reasons why mobile homes cannot resist winds very well. State law requires mobile homes be strapped to the ground with anchors that screw into the ground. They protect the frame, but not the body and the roof in high winds, like those expected to come this way.

David and Margaret Howe are doing just what most south Georgians are doing, watching the weather forecast. The Howes say they're not leaving their Albany mobile home just yet. "I have 18 tie downs, 8 on front, 8 on back, and two on the ends," says David.

Federal law requires all manufactured homes, in non-coastal areas, be able to resist winds of up to 99 miles per hour. "Each manufacturer has its own set of specifications," said Tracy Hester of the Planning and Zoning Department.

Hester says each mobile home is inspected by the state before it's sold. The County checks to make sure the homes are installed safely. "Our local jurisdiction is strictly with set up, tie down, and the issues of skirting and stepping."

Hester says straps that wrap around the mobile home aren't required by law, but are safer. "It actually straps over the entire mobile home securing the roof as well as the body versus just the under strapping."  

Skirting around the bottom of the mobile home can stop strong winds from picking up and tipping over the structure. The Howe mobile home has proper skirting and ground anchors. However, they know just because law requires their home be able to resist 99 miles per hour winds, doesn’t mean it will.

"The Good Lord gave me enough sense to know that if the trees start bending and breaking the winds, to get some yonder."

That's good common sense; we hope most people will take as well.

Another problem, most mobile homes are made with aluminum siding. Flying debris or tree limbs can easily pierce this siding, tearing the wall. So if the wind picks up, just stay somewhere else for a few nights.

In coastal areas, mobile homes are supposed to be able to resist winds of up to 110 miles per hour.

posted at 5:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com