Mobile home living is becoming increasingly popular. During a time of fast-rising real estate costs, more consumers are opting to reside in these simple, space-saving units that offer incredibly low overhead costs and extensive peace of mind. When choosing this non-traditional type of dwelling, however, there are a few special precautions that buyers need to take. This is especially true when it comes to weathering natural disasters such as earthquakes. Following are several ways in which a high-quality mobile home earthquake bracing system can protect by your living space and anyone else residing in this structure.
Due to the inherent nature of their construct, mobile and manufactured homes have a much higher than average level of seismic vulnerability. This means that when the ground beneath them begins to shakes, they are likely to sustain a very significant amount of wear. Absent of a strong and connected foundation, such as the foundation that stick built homes have, these structures are unlikely to remain standing or in tact following any significant earthquake event.
This is a huge concern for people who are using these buildings as primary residences. This is all the more true when people are living in mobile homes in areas that exist along major fault lines. Given that earthquakes are all but inevitable in this area, advance planning must be done to help mitigate the damages that these events are likely to cause.
Tie-downs are one option for mitigating earthquake-related damages for these structures. With tie-downs, the likelihood of having the entire structure topple during the wave-like motion of the ground is minimized. Unfortunately, however, this manner of prevention might keep the building upright, but it will do little to protect the building itself.
From an engineering perspective, tie-downs can actually be more detrimental than helpful. Given that they restrain the natural responsive movement of freestanding structure, much of the stress that results from a shaking surface will ultimately be absorbed. If the unit is older or has inherent design flaws and structural weaknesses, this excess stress will not likely bode well for those on the building interior.
Conversely, bracing systems are specially designed and engineered for exactly this type of mitigation. They are meant to both keep mobile homes upright during times of significant ground movement, even as they help protect the building structure. As such, not only will occupants be much safer during these events, but they are also likely to still have homes after them.
If you are in possession of any insurance for your unit, then you may find that such a preventative measure helps lower your premiums. In fact, bracing systems can often qualify consumers for coverage in times when the risks of insuring the same structure would otherwise be too high. There are even certain policies for which these products are essential for remaining in compliance with the terms of coverage.
Although these home types tend to be much cheaper than stick-built houses, they still represent a significant investment. The right precautionary measures in earthquake-prone regions are absolutely vital for protecting these investments. In many cases, the right system can also play a pivotal role in keeping owners and their loved ones safe by preventing tippage and other forms of serious structural damage.