How are Modular Homes Anchored?

When you own a modular home, you likely want to keep it safe from strong winds that come with storms and other weather-related concerns.

Anchoring down your home with steel straps and other materials can help to ensure that your house has protection from any threat.

How are Modular Homes Anchored?

Most of the time, you, as the homeowner, should be able to tie down your home yourself. Professionals can help, however, if you are unsure of yourself in the installation process.

According to MHB, the following nine steps are typically the process that you will use to anchor your modular home.

  1. Get the foundation level.
  2. Look up the wind zone in your location.
  3. Test for the type of soil your foundation lies on.
  4. Select the best anchors for your needs.
  5. Purchase a hook-up based on the anchors you bought.
  6. Locate all cables, wires, pipes, and other hazards that lie under the soil.
  7. Install the tie downs first.
  8. Put in the anchors.
  9. Tighten the tension until you reach the recommended pressure.

You will find each step in more detail below.

Step One

As mentioned, the first step is to ensure your foundation is level. If it is not, your walls can buckle, and the modular house can even collapse over time by slipping off of the base.

You will likely need to remove the skirt first to examine the stilts that carry the weight of your home. Measure the level with a leveling tool at each.

If there is an uneven spot, jack up your home. Raise the beam to the right level and slide blocks under the house to support its weight and balance it out.

Step Two

After your home is level, look up the wind zone for where you live. Either your mobile home community or town should have a chart listing this information.

Each zone has several anchors required associated with it. Install at least that many, and do not go under the limit.

Step Three

You must test the soil your foundation is on to know the types of anchors to purchase. It is best to hire a contractor, as your guess is not always accurate, for the safety of your house.

Step Four

Purchasing the anchors, as mentioned, is dependent on your soil. Auger anchors are for any variation of soil, while rock anchors are best if you have a firm foundation such as rock.

Step Five

After you have your anchors, you will need the hook-ups. If you have tie-downs that secure over the top, you will need a different type from tying down on the frame.

Step Six

When you anchor your modular home, you have to dig. Before you start this process, however, it is essential to ensure that you know the location of any wires or cables under your home.

If you accidentally hit one of these wires, you could electrocute yourself or cut off the electricity in your home. It is also imperative that you do not hit pipes to cause a water line break.

Step Seven

Securing the tie-downs is the first process after you know it is safe to dig under your home. For over-the-top options, you will need to place the straps against the rafter.

This type of tie-down is the most common, so be sure you use a roof protector so that your strap does not face damages. You also need to avoid covering any exterior entrances into your home, including the windows.

Step Eight

After your tie-downs of choice are secure, you can place the anchors. This step is the finalization of the actual installation process.

Any variant of anchor you buy should come with its instructions. No matter the variant, however, you will have to stabilize the product using a stabilization product.

Step Nine

After installing everything, you need to fix the tension to obtain the appropriate level of tightness and pressure. The type of tie-down you purchase should have a recommended number to reach by making adjustments.

Why Anchor Your Mobile Home?

Anchors work in combination with tie-downs to keep your home safe from high winds. These manufactured houses are more lightweight and easily movable than a typical brick-and-mortar building.

Wind also gets under modular homes as they are often on stilts. When this happens, your house will lift off of the ground without appropriate anchors and tie-downs.

Types of Tie-Downs

There are typically two types of tie-downs to choose from for your mobile home. Each has its use. 

Over-the-Top

Over-the-top tie-downs go on the roof of your modular home. They are more common for single-wide houses.

Frame Anchors

Frame anchors attach to the rails on the actual build of the house. Sometimes, older single-wides require both types of tie-downs, and double-wides only need this type.

Types of Anchors

Ground anchors attach to the tie-downs to firmly secure your house. As mentioned in the above steps, the type you use is dependent on the soil under your home.

Deadman Anchors

Another name for a deadman anchor is a concrete anchor. This alternate title is because the device has concrete on one end that gives secure stabilization, especially if your house is on soft soil.

Auger Anchors

The auger anchor is one of the most versatile and common. It has a use for soft or hard soil, and you only have to screw them into the ground.

Drive Anchors

Drive anchors are best for hard soils. They can even go into concrete or rock due to the structure of the device.

Hard Rock Anchors

These rock anchors are unique in their design as they have three rods. These are best, as the name implies, for securing your home to rock soil.

Concrete Slab Anchors

If you use a concrete slab anchor, it will typically be for reinforcement. These can help stabilize your home when it sits on a foundation of this type.

Stabilization Devices

Stabilization devices not only prevent your home from lifting, but they also stop it from sliding back and forth off the foundation. Single-wide homes typically need eight of these devices, and double-wides need 16 of the longitudinal variety.

How to Install Stabilization Devices

The steps for installing the actual device are below.

  1. Bury the steel plate under the soil.
  2. Connect the steel arms to the beam with a clamp bracket.
  3. Install the long steel arm to the inside beam using a bracket made from steel. It will support the most weight.

Do not worry, as the brackets and clamps you require will come with the device package. You do not have to buy any extra materials unless something breaks.

Home Requirements for Stabilization Devices

The type of stabilization device you purchase will depend on your home. You will need to determine how long and how wide your modular house is, as well as how high the roof is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Government Requirements for Anchors?

If you have a mortgage from the FHA, VA, or USDA, you need a permanent foundation under your modular home. Any private loan can utilize tie-downs and anchors instead.

Does Anchoring My Modular Home Make It More Secure?

Many who live in modular homes worry about the security of their houses during bad weather. Anchoring your home by following the specified requirements will keep it stable.
You should also know that every modular home has to pass government inspections and abide by community regulations. It is uninhabitable if there are concerns regarding your safety.

How Much Do I Need to Dig to Anchor My Home?

The deepest any type of anchor needs to go in the soil is five feet. If you have a concrete slab anchor, however, your plot must be four inches in height.

How Many Tie-Downs Do I Need?

The number of tie-downs you need depends on the wind requirements for where you reside. Zone ones require two verticals and three diagonal on each side, while zone twos need two verticals and four diagonal.

How Do I Remove Anchors?

If you want to move the location of your modular home, you will have to remove the anchors. You can do this process by pounding the device out using a hammer, or cutting off the anchor at surface level, then hammering it into the ground.

How Strong are Anchors?

Even the smallest modular home anchors can withstand strong winds. If you use a device that meets the requirements of HUD regulations, it should withstand at least 4,725 pounds.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the answer to the question, how are modular homes anchored, you should be ready to secure your house. Make sure that you follow each of the nine steps above to achieve the highest level of safety for your loved ones.

Remember, you will need tie-down straps, ground anchors, and stabilization devices that are each dependent on the specific build of your home. Make sure you also perform a soil test because this will determine the anchoring device that you need.

When you anchor your home, you will be safe from the strongest winds. You can rest easy knowing that your house will not move from the foundation it sits on.