One of the most common maintenance issues with the mobile home is damaged or rotted floors. The problem is worse in older homes due to the use of particle board. Particle board is, basically, compacted sawdust, held together with glue and when it gets wet, it begins to disintegrate. Thus, due to plumbing leaks, humidity etc .., floor repair is an ongoing chore. Through the years, manufacturers, in compliance with government codes, have raised the standards for mobile homes and the newer models hold up much better than the older ones. Sub-floors are now made primarily from plywood which holds up better to moisture than particle board. Floor repairs are fairly simple, depending on the size and location. The tools and materials need include:
- Circular Saw
- Pry Bar
- Hammer and Nails (# 8 Common)
- Screw Gun
- 2×4 Pieces
The thickness of the plywood must match the floor. It will most likely be 3/4 "but you won't know for certain until you cut into it. The 2×4 pieces are to be used as possible support but may not be needed. The following steps will walk you through the process.
- Remove the floor covering. If it is carpet, you may be able to just roll it back the re-use it after the repair. However, if it's tile or linoleum, it will most likely be ruined and unusable.
- Mark off the damaged area with a pencil, making sure that all damaged or rotted areas are included. Try to locate the floor joists which are the horizontal framing members that support the floor. You may be able to find them by looking for nails or screws that were used to fasten the original floor down. If you can't find them now, we can look after we cut into the floor.
- After you have marked the damaged area, set the blade depth on the circular saw to no more than 1 inch. This will insure, most likely, that you cut all the way through the plywood, but not deep enough to damage plumbing or electrical lines beneath the floor. If there is more than one layer of sub-floor, you will have to set the cutting depth deeper and repeat this process.
- After you have made your initial cuts and opened up the floor, try again to locate the floor joists and, if possible, expand the repair area so that 2 edges of the repair are centered parallel on the joists. If you are unable to make your cuts on floor joists, you will need to use the 2×4 pieces as bracing between the or along side the joists to support the repaired area.
- After you have cut the hole, removed the damage, and arranged for support members, cut the new piece of plywood to fit the hole as closely as possible and secure it in place. Nails can be used but screws are preferable to prevent movement.
Congratulations, you have completed the floor repair. Replace the floor covering or install new. If large areas of the floor are damaged, it may be easier and more effective to overlay plywood over the entire area rather than trying to patch several small areas.