Do Manufactured Homes Need Gutters?

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Manufactured homes need gutters to safely divert rainwater away from the home and prevent any structural damage. Although most manufactured homes aren’t delivered with gutters due to transportation logistics, they are still highly recommended to be bought and installed by a professional contractor for the longevity and safety of your home.

Image from Rain Gutter Specialists-Gutters Sales & Installation in Los Angeles (theraingutterspecialists.com)

Why Do We Need Gutters?

Gutters are made to collect rainwater and lead them safely away from the home to prevent any structural damage in your siding, doors, windows and foundation. Whether site-built or factory built, homes need gutters or some way to divert stormwater. Unattended, accumulated water can cause the following problems:(1, 2)

  • Flooding underneath the home or in the basement (Yes Manufactured Homes can have basements!)
  • Potential foundation problems
  • Land or Soil erosion around your home
  • Water damage to the exterior siding
  • Water colorization and staining on the walkways
  • Excessive moisture and stagnant water in the crawl space

Puddled water can create roof damage as it was not equipped to carry such a load then create leaks to the inside and eventually the basement. In cooler climates the water pools also become hazardous slippery surfaces when frozen.

Do not immediately opt to install these yourself and do not wait for your old gutters to deteriorate completely before replacing them. Not taking care of your water management can also affect the structural safety of the house next door.

Professional gutter contractors will consider several things before choosing the material and sizing of your gutters: (1)

  • What is your site’s topography? What about the ones near you? Do they slope inward into your site or vice versa?
  • How much rainfall do you receive a year? Do you experience flooding?
  • What is the state of your roof? Does it need repair or reinforcement?
  • What is your budget for purchasing home gutters? Also, what is the level of maintenance you can give to it time wise?
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So Why Doesn’t My Manufactured Home Come With Gutters?

Manufactured homes are often delivered to you without a complete gutter system as this limits them in transportation. Placing gutters would exceed the height and width limits, therefore these are installed after delivery, during on-site construction.

This tactic is done by home centers to ensure they give you the maximum floor area by utilizing the width and height limit to indoor space instead of gutter width. Roof overhangs used to be 6” to 8” but can now be 12” wide. (2)

Ask your home center for gutter contractors they recommend or have worked with in the past, to make sure the gutters are properly installed and catered to manufactured homes.

Also have them install drain tiles to divert the water away from your structural foundation. Drain spout extensions also prevent moisture damage and pest problems for your home.

Professional contractors can help properly size your gutters according to the amount of rain your site gets. Usually smaller homes can use a 4” gutter, while larger homes need it 6”. They also ensure your gutter and downspout system are compliant to the building codes for your area. Local building codes may specify a minimum roof slope or pitch that will affect your gutter choice.(2)

Choosing the Right Gutter

There are several kinds of gutter to choose from, but it all narrows down to the material that suits your climatic situation and budget. Aluminum and vinyl are commonly used and affordable but aren’t as durable as copper and steel, which will cost you a pretty penny but last much longer. (1,3)

Aluminum

PROS

  • Budget friendly
  • Rust proof
  • Weather-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Ability to resist harsh climates
  • Easy to maintain
  • Seamless design available
  • Come in a variety of colors (red, green, white, ivory, black, gray, and more)

CONS

  • Color may fade in around 10 years from sun exposure

Steel

PROS

  • Great durability
  • Holds a lot water without rusting
  • Long term investment up to 20 years
  • Won’t be worn down by sun exposure
  • Best choice for homes with wooden shingles

CONS

  • Expensive

Stainless steel gutters are the best options for homes with wooden roof shingles. A highly durable material, it does not rust and preserves its shine for years. Be cautious that these come out the priciest, however are a great long term investment. 

Galvanized steel on the other hand, is also a hardy resilient material however is prone to rust (making them cheaper). Maintaining these gutters well and regularly will prolong their life. (1)

Copper

PROS

  • Natural patina or green coating developed over time through oxidation
  • Resilient, Durable
  • Long lasting
  • “Antibacterial” properties

CONS

  • Expensive

Vinyl

PROS

  • Cheapest option
  • No rusting
  • Durable
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Can easily break or sag if installed incorrectly.
  • May develop cracks if located in extreme cold climates

Zinc

PROS

  • Best for homes located by the ocean or with salty air
  • Durable
  • Resistant to Corrosion
  • Long lasting

CONS

  • Need specialized technicians to install and repair
  • Expensive

Other Gutter Options and Alternatives

For people who can’t stand the look of gutters jutting out of their home, one can opt for “built-in” or “hidden gutters.” Being concealed, these render almost invisible while using the conventional gutter system. These are great for older homes and need less maintenance.

If you want to do away with gutters completely, here are some of the alternatives to rain gutters you can use for your manufactured home:

  • Rain Chains (chains leading to a barrel or fountain)
  • Rain Dispersal System (installing louvers on the roof)
  • Drip Edge (made of galvanized steel, also giving extra support to your shingles)
  • French Drain / Ground Gutter (protects your home siding and foundation, while ridding you of freezing issues and maintenance problems)
Image from Rain Chains: A Genius Alternative to Gutters – Gardenista

Can you put regular gutters on a mobile home?

Site-built homes need gutters the same way manufactured homes do, it is still recommended to hire contractors with experience in dealing with prefabricated homes, as well as to buy gutters made specifically for mobile or manufactured homes.

For a more in depth breakdown on gutter systems and the best brands for manufactured homes, check out this site: What Are The Best Gutters For Mobile Homes? – Upgraded Home

References

  1. Stevens, S. (2020, September 22). Manufactured home gutters guide (6 types & 4 alternatives). Manufactured Home Parts And Accessories. Retrieved July 2022, from https://manufacturedhomepartsandaccessories.com/manufactured-home-gutters/
  2. Clayton. (2017, September 25). Why manufactured home gutters aren’t standard. Manufactured Home Gutters | Clayton Studio. Retrieved July 2022, from https://www.claytonhomes.com/studio/why-manufactured-home-gutters-arent-standard/
  3. Durante, N. (2021, October 14). What are the best gutters for mobile homes? Upgraded Home. Retrieved July 2022, from https://upgradedhome.com/what-are-the-best-gutters-for-mobile-homes/