Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Terminology Tuesday - Kool Seal

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

Video Link

As defined in eHow:

"Kool Seal is one of several reflective coatings on the market to finish or retrofit roofs increasing their thermal resistance and improving their resistance to water damage. Kool Seal comes in tow formulations, one a white elastomeric flexible finish that is painted on with a roller or compressor sprayer. The second is an aluminum based sealant that is painted on with a roofing brush and is embedded with aluminum particles. Both products are designed to be applied full strength and should not be thinned. Kool seal also makes sealing tape used to prep the roof for its reflective coat."

Source Definition Link

When going out to inspect a mobile home, it's really important to look for signs of any water damage on the outside and the inside of the home.

For damage to the outside of the home, check the siding - make sure there is proper flashing, and the roof. If the roof looks like it is deteriorating and/or rotting away, ask the seller when the last time the mobile home was property sealed.

(Note: As a general rule of thumb, mobile homes should be inspected and re-sealed every 2-3 years. However, this will vary on the type of mobile home (i.e. materials used, age of roof, etc).

Without proper sealing done to a roof, there is always a chance of water getting into the home. Over time, if the mobile home is not properly sealed water will seep into the home causing water damage. And, that is not a good thing.

Recently, I looked at a home that had not been properly sealed. The seller bought the home 5 years ago and had not done any sealing to the home whatsoever.

When I first walked into the home, I knew it had major issues due to the roof not being re-sealed. Here are a couple pics to show signs of water damage:

Living room area

(Note: Recently painted walls near the floor - visible signs of water damage).

Floor area replacement - whole area under plywood covering hole where particle board eroded

(Note: When inspecting a home, be sure to lift up everything including the carpet (if you can) to check the floor underneath).

Soft spot in floor (left corner)


Kitchen sink - water seepage and possible mold

Utility room - floor damage

(Note: Here there was a hole the floor - the particle board gave out. Usually, any sign of water indication of water damage will speed up the deterioration of particle board. Before, there was a hole here - the seller replaced it with a piece of plywood as seen here).

Closet - water stain

Bathroom sink - water seepage and damage to wood (left side)

Master bathroom - Foam used to stop water seepage

(Note: Any time I see this yellow foam, I always ask the seller about it. Most times, sellers will tell me (if they are being upfront and honest) it's due to a water seepage issue).

Bathroom - floor replacement due to water seepage issue

(Note: If I see a lot of areas in a home that have floor issues, I know it's going to involve a lot more money and time. Plus, it shows the home has issues and mostly probably due to water damage. One or a couple areas of a home needing floor work is ok. But, if floor work is needed in multiple areas then it becomes more involved).

Ceiling stain - inside of bedroom closet

(Note: When inspecting homes, be sure to look at the ceiling not only in the open areas (i.e. living room, bedrooms, etc) but also in the closets. Most times, if there are issues the seller does not take the time to check the closets when presenting a home to show).

Front door entrance - foam used to stop water seepage

Outside of home - no flashing and rotting wood near the top of the roof

Like a car, a mobile home needs regular maintenance. It's imperative this be done on a routine basis. Otherwise, over time it will cause issues and get worse if not properly taken care of.

Water damage is a big issue and very common in many mobile homes I've inspected. Be sure to always be on the lookout for any signs of water damage. I hope these pics help you to see the issues that can come up when inspecting mobile homes.

Happy investing!

p.s. If you'd like to read about a case study on a home that had water damage issues, you can find the post here. Thanks for reading!


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Julie Broad said...

Rachel - I love terminology Tuesday!! This is yet another thing I had never heard of. It's also news to me that mobile homes need to be resealed!! I wonder if mobile home owners know that?!!!

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Julie, glad you enjoyed it!

Yes, mobile homes do need to be resealed. Just as a regular single family home has shingles and need to be replaced over time (as the wear and tear erode them due to weather issues), so do mobile homes. The roofs of many mobile homes do not have shingles (I think the newer ones do now though), so there is basically no protection on the roof to ward off weather issues (i.e. hail, snow, rain, etc). Over time, it will wear down and will need re-sealing.

Some mobile home owners know about the resealing and some don't - they find out the hard way. It's kind of crazy some of the homes I've been to that have not been properly sealed, major water especially ceiling damage. I remember one, the ceiling had fallen through and the owners had a big piece of plastic to cover the ceiling (as water was coming through), the water had filled up fast and this thing looked like it was going to pop - wish I had a pic of that!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

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