Asked on Sep 27, 2012

Mobile home floor rotten...

by Kris
I am buying a fixer on a 1979 mobile home as is. There are two holes in floor, one in the laundry room, which was a particle board under lenoliem. And the other hole is in the master bathroom under the carpet, dipping in. I am not sure yet what flooring is there ... would it be particle board too? These are 15 inch by 10 inch holes so far. Is the whole place safe? Should I do an overlay on two rooms that have holes, or replace the subfloor in both rooms??? And, would you think it all should be an overlay or entire floor in the entire mobile replaced??? hmmmmmm thanks, Kris
  22 answers
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Sep 27, 2012
    Most likely, the flooring is particle board in all areas. It's not the best material in the world to use as subfloor, and you could certainly have it all replaced with a simlar thickness plywood for more stability, and use waterproofing methods under whatever replacement floor you choose in wet areas. However, your return on investment for doing this in a mobile home is not worth it. Unless you plan on living in the same place for many, many years, I wouldn't go to that expense. The flooring can be patched easily enough, just make sure that enough is removed so that the new piece is resting on support joists underneath. I wouldn't get into overlay in the entire mobile home. That may require adjusting HVAC venting, affect cabinet heights with plumbing runs that may or may not be able to be raised to meet your new height, floor outlets (if you have any), etc. You may open several cans of worms if you start doing that. Good luck!
  • Esther D Esther D on Sep 27, 2012
    cement board is not too expensive. If one part is bad the other is bad too...I don't know if "git rott' is a solution....
  • Warren G. Warren G. on Sep 27, 2012
    Mobile Home floors are made so you can't just tare up a sub floor completely and replace it, as the walls are placed on top of it. So the only thing you can do is cut back the hole to a square to the nearest studs and fit in a patch of same thickness. Or get a Handy man or Contractor to come in and do the complete floor properly wall to wall. But it will involve cutting the sub flooring at the wall line and adding some suds to the floor so the new sub floor has something to be nailed to. I have repaired a bathroom once that had a leaking toilet in a Mobile Home. It was time consuming and not cheap for the home owner. But I did manage to repair the sub flooring and install new tile flooring. And back then (1986) I only charge $8.00 per hour labor plus materials for handyman services.
  • KneeDeep Ponds, Inc. KneeDeep Ponds, Inc. on Sep 29, 2012
    Your approach is going to depend on your long range goals. Are you fixing it up for your self or for resale? Is this a flip? Will you be doing this on your own or will there be help from family and friends? These questions go to how far you are willing to go, how much you can spend on materials and whether you have back up when you need it. Usually when I am doing something myself I upgrade on material because I am saving on labor. Good luck, BTW can you post some Photos?
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Sep 29, 2012
    Best to make sure of the cause before deciding. If it from water that is from a specific appliance or leaking pipe, you may be able to do it in pieces. If it is due to termites etc. the treatment may be more complex. Once you know you can make a decision.
  • Kris Kris on Oct 02, 2012
    This info is so helpful... Seriously. I so appreciate all the help and direction. It is for my mom, she is a senior and on a budget, If me, I would fix it and flip it. I am real worried about the bathroom soak and wet for months 16 in surrounding toilet and the laundry room laundry hot faucet dripping down the wall for months. possibly in the wall as well. Not to mention the holes in floor in, could need a hole new sub floor. I am concerned due to my moms budget. She will only have at most 2 k to fix, that would only work if the job went with no hitches and surprises... right?????? thx!
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Judy on Jan 17, 2015
      @Kris Leslie D has a good idea to see about help for seniors.... We live in a '76 mobile that we bought 2nd hand. The previous owner had overflowed the bathtub & the entire bathroom floor was weak. Eventually developed a hole just inside the doorway. We replaced the entire bathroom floor with 3/4" plywood & linoleum. Had to replace a couple of 2X4 supports too. Had 2 more spots in the hall, 1 by the outer door & another where the swamp cooler had leaked in. My son just cut away the rotten particle board & replaced it with plywood. The bouncy spot by the front door has yet to be done. As far as we've seen the entire floor throughout the house is particle board, some covered with linoleum & some carpeted. We did the bathroom for about $100 in materials, the 2 floor patches ran under $50 for both......just the cost of the plywood. I'd be checking inside the wall by the laundry faucet leak for mold. Just in case..... Sweet looking conure. I have a Senegal now.....
  • Carla K Carla K on Oct 02, 2012
    Hello Kris, thanks for following me on this site. We have something in common. I have 2 Congo African Grays ... love those birds too.
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Oct 02, 2012
    Kris, with this being for your elderly mom, on a fixed income, check with her City/County and see if they offer any programs to assist Seniors with home repairs. Many places have grants in place to pay for stuff like this, or have referrals to non-profit organizations who would do this work at cost of materials. A quick google search of "home repair elderly city name" may give you some info for financial assistance for her to get this work done.
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 14, 2015
      @Leslie D I looked into the assistance for myself and it might have been possible BUT...since I live in a mobile home park and rent the space my home is on I don't qualify for the programs. Even thought I own the home. If I lived on my own private property I could get help. Good idea to tell her though!
  • KneeDeep Ponds, Inc. KneeDeep Ponds, Inc. on Oct 03, 2012
    Try your local Christmas in April organization. Our Church mens groups have participated in this event for years
  • Rita Doyle Rita Doyle on Feb 01, 2014
    I bought a 1981 trailer in Lake County Florida in 2006 with the thought that my being out here in Ca wouldn't be "that long" well it's been 9 years now! but we have had a few "renters" (BADD BAD Idea!) and after the 1st ones move out we saw where (even though we had central heat and air) they put a window unit under the front room window and it wasn't "seated" well so the dripping condensation went through the wall/paneling onto the floor and caused a "soft spot" about 2'x3' right in the right of way towards the hall! ........Then the next renters let the washer overflow (again near that hallway) and so what we wound up doing was we called contractors that our local Mobil home supply store (Pat's Mobil Home Store in Leesburg, FL~ GREAT PEOPLE!) they had a list of about 15 "contractors" (similar to Lowes) and they had us chose the laminate and they just went picked up the flooring came to our house about 6 in the am and by 2 they were finished and by 3 we had our new tenants leases signed and they were moving equipment out and the new tenants were moving in the next day! cost was just under $600 for EVERYTHING! I could Nor would I have attempted to do that job myself! THEN after those "New" tenants moved out we had to do a bathroom remodel! the woman ( a very large woman) had somehow caused a 8" crack in the center of the tub! the gentleman that came to do our remodel (Again~ I was so blessed to find JOHN MIENALT Plumbing in Deland, FL) said that in his experience there was a ladder put in the tub but why? there's nothing that would warrant a ladder in that bathroom! SOOOOO~ we tore up the bathroom! (ALL the flooring had been done during that original flooring job mentioned above as they said that if the leak had caused even a little bit of water to seep under that flooring it would just be best to tear it all out from the kitchen to the bathroom! which was great!) John cam in looked at what we had going on I went over again to Pat's and got the "special" mobile home sized tube,Enclosure, glass doors and so in one weekend John came in fixed the tub, the water lines in the wall ( the water lines back in the 80s were copper and were wielded so we just went ahead at his suggestion and put in the plastic with the wires in the middle) I went back to check on the property and have a vacation form CA and about the 3rd day my master bedroom floor was sagging!!! I called John out, he took the wall panel off and lo-&-behold we had one of the pipes he did not touch had sprung a leak! so THIS TIME we called LOWES and they came out put in a new floor with the laminate and so every floor on that frame with the exception of the small bedroom and the kitchen have been replaced with 3/4 or 5/8th " treated plywood, I watched out of shear curiosity the guys do my flooring and my insulation under that flooring and to be honest with you~ It's a job best left to the professionals! especially if it's an older trailer! & your going to live there full time~ 100% go with the guys that come in have all the tools, they know what they are doing, they guarantee their work, and you know it's not going to be 1/2 assed because they are not going to put their contractors license on the line for a crappy job! BUT this is just my opinion! BUT because I knew how much I could afford to spend and I called around all 15 of the guys & got estimates I went with the people that were closest to my price range!
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 14, 2015
      @Rita Doyle Great info you've given!! I posted up above telling about my damaged particle board flooring.....What started all our problems was the owner of our mobile home park decided to update the entire water supply system into the park; Shortly after everything was all up and running those of us with the older homes and plumbing began getting leaks one after another as the pipes (what ever material they were) started popping spraying leaks.The new water system had created a stronger water pressure then what it was before and the old materials couldn't hold up under the new pressure. So, now we have nearly ALL NEW plumbing piping including the water heater blew! We can't afford to get the repairs done now anyway but were getting a lot of ideas and maybe we can begin to gather the supplies that will be needed. I was feeling over whelmed thinking it was far too big of a job until I read up on here and I feel better. I'm glad your story turned out a happy ending!!! I'll be happy when I can look and see my place look nice again. Right now it's a hot mess. Thanks for all the info!
  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on Feb 01, 2014
    I have been repairing my sagging trailer floors. we have lived in it for 26 yrs. First room I did was a small bedroom and I put 3/4 in plywood and a laminate floor down over existing floor. Within a year I was starting to see the sags reappear. I have started the living room. This time I removed 5ft x 13 ft section of carpet then I removed 4 ft of floor I knew my joices were on 2 ft centers and also 1 layer of 1/2 in particle board, to each 4ft section I am adding 2 new joices 3/4in plywood and am making plywood planks as finish floor. This not an expensive job. Through the years my husband and i have maintained our home the cost was a great consideration as we are talking about a 26 yr old trailer. I have done this project my self my dad was a cabinet maker and I have always worked with wood. It really feels great when people stop by and are stunned by what i have done. Just form a plan and stick to it. I will be 66 this march.
  • Victoria D Victoria D on Feb 01, 2014
    I been living in one for 14 years and I replaced part of the floor all the same as yours and now I need to do the rest after all this time that was the 1st mistake not to do it all, you have to take all off be careful I was not, it maybe asbestos so take proper measures, 2nd mistake used plywood and cement board, so that I could install reg tiles (don't) too heavy and all tiles are now broken and coming up. All you need should be 3/4 plywood make sure is level and some of the wonderful new flooring available. I will be re doing mine with peel and stick wood planks from lumber liquidators they have a good selection and you can catch a sale using your email you get offers. truthfully I am telling you I should have known then what I do now and I would not be repairing my floors now. Other veryyy important to check your beams and you be ok. My looks like a house, no panel Sheetrock walls and reg house materials because that's how we do it here in Miami and replacement parts from a mobile home dealer its more than expensiveee. Of course you do it this way if you going to live there permanent. Also if panel is good you can paint anything this days and it works until you can do otherwise.Sorry about all this writing but I I hope it serves you and you don' go threw what I did its never ending unless you do it right.
  • Victoria D Victoria D on Feb 01, 2014
    I hope she finds help from those agencies, here in Miami, its like they do not because its not consider like a house, my community is full of elders with fix incomes and trailers or Mobile homes from the 70's in desperate need of repairs and most can't afford it. I lost my job and had to postpone my repairs and its driving me crazy. So image older people in that situation good luck to them.
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Nov 09, 2014
    We live in a 1978 single wide and the subfloor is all particle board so when it gets wet it swells and stinks horrible and then stays soft. My husband cut out large sections and replaced them with 3/4 inch plywood and we laid new vinyl plank flooring throughout and it looks great and the floor where it was wet is level and solid. Our washer filled with water and overflowed when we were away and the subfloor was ruined so we had to replace it.
  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Dec 23, 2014
    First you need to go under it and check your moisture barrier. If it's okay (no rips or sagging), you probably have a plumbing problem. Always address the source of the moisture before fixing the damage. I have learned a lot in the ten years I have owned a double wide.
  • Jeri Jeri on Jun 17, 2015
    I agree with Elizabeth on repairing the cause first!! We have a mobile home park and own some of the mobile homes in south Louisiana. I hate particle board!!! If you can afford to cut out all of the particle board you would be saving yourself doing this job again but you can just cut out and replace a small section. We use 1" plywood, b or c grade.
  • Martha Bowser Martha Bowser on Jul 18, 2015
    I am looking into buying a mobile home and it has soggy floors. The home is a single wide and I am wondering if I should replace it all or just walk away from it. About how much would this cost to do? I don't have a lot of money and I am looking to stay there only a few years till I can buy a house.
  • Karen H Karen H on Sep 13, 2015
    I would pull up at least a full sheet of the particle board, check the floor joists, then replace with non-toxic pressure-treated plywood. Check insulation and vapour barrier at same time. This should give you an idea of whether or not a larger area needs to be replaced. The most difficult part of the whole project is cutting near the walls, as generally the walls are built after the floors are laid. Good luck. Daunting but certainly doable.
  • Moxie Moxie on Dec 24, 2015
    I would cut out and replace where you need to from centerline of joist to joist after any plumbing problems are fixed. Then inspect the floors overall and decide if you need to overlay. Mobil homes set walls on top of the subfloor decking so when you hit a wall you wint be replacing that and infills shpuld use the same type of decking used originally. You will find the flooring (carpet) was prob laid under the walls to and is a bummer to have to cut out. Get pricing on materials for your area as they differ gteatly. Glue and screw you patches in place
  • Gayla Mckee Gayla Mckee on Dec 30, 2015
    Outside walls how to repair
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on May 29, 2016
    We had that same problem in the kitchen and in the front bedroom closet. We replaced the flooring in the front closet because it was apparently wet and rotted. In the kitchen when we remodeled we found out it was a broken beam from underneath that was causing the soft spot we felt. We just reinforced it and moved on..... Hope this helps.. Oh and another thing part of our problem was the dryer being vented under the house. So make sure that dryer vent you see on the side is actually attached to something. My hint for everyone for the day. Only because it happened to the house my granddaughter just rented. some builders are way to cheap to do it right. So the floor are ruined and they have water ants of all things.