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Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

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Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Hi, I had my used sectional home set up on a floating slab in the beginning of August of this year (2010) and the home has suffered some very extensive damage since then. First of all, I don't think the marriage wall is lined up correctly because there are spots where there are big dips on either side of the marriage line. I saw the marriage line before the carpeting was completed along the marriage line and the wood was not flush. Is this normal? And when the home is put together, is it normal to have a one inch space between the 2 halved at the marriage line? And does every sectional home that is set up require a gasket to be installed, or is it just some homes that need gaskets between the marriage line? The unevenness is so bad in spots that it is noticeable from quite a few feet away. Also, since about 5 days after moving in, I started noticing low/high spots in various areas of the flooring throughout the house and then one day, I walked into the hall bathroom and noticed that the tub was pulling away from the floor and there was a moderate dip down in the flooring there. Upon inspecting the area, I then noticed that the wall above that area looks like its starting to buckle. Also, in the room next to the hall bath, I noticed even more extensive damage to the flooring. All of the flooring in there is wavy like a rollercoaster and in the area adjacent to the hall bath, there are spots where you can actually feel broken wood and when I step on the low spot and apply pressure to it, it actually moves downward. This also happens in the bathroom. I'm also noticing that the bar area, where it is attached is starting to pull away from the wall. Now I am noticing that 5 windows (so far) the part of the window that moves when you open it, when it is closed, it does not line up anymore. One side sits higher than the other, so much so on one window that I can barely get the window locked on one side and I am positive that it wasn't that way several weeks ago when I gave the windows and frame work a good cleaning. I don't know a lot about the set up process of these homes, so I'm hoping to find an answer on here as to what steps I should take to get this corrected. I have complained to the dealership numerous times and they just end up getting pissed off and ignoring me. It is a 1998 Skyline home and have heard that Skyline homes are set up differently, is this true? Also, could the foundation have anything to do with it? The slab is sitting on a sand/gravel mixture and when it rains, the water drips off of the eaves right down between the end of the slab and the sand, creating a space between the sand and slab. Any advice would really be appreciated because I am so afraid that this house is going to be ruined if I don't do something about this and am sick over this. They are having the split face block skirting installed next week and am worried that if I don't find out what is going on, then I will be stuck paying for a home that is going to fall apart if the cause isn't found.

Thank you.
trixie3603 offline
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:53 pm

Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:50 am

First, there must be a gasket installed at the marriage line on every home. Sometimes it is hard to see, but if the halves are an inch apart you should be able to see it (you would have seen daylight between the floors if it wasn't there.) Second, it sounds like your floors have gotten wet. What you describe is what happens to particleboard when it has gotten wet. The most likely cause was that the halves weren't sealed properly for transportation. However, you may have a moisture problem now, especially if the marriage line gasket is missing. If your slab were at fault for the settling, you should be able to see cracks in it. That is a lot of settling in such a short time. More likely, there is too much wood on top of some piers, or you have some broken blocks. This would account for settling so quickly. Skyline homes aren't installed much different than any other home. Don't let them skirt the home yet. You need these issues resolved first. Contact your state's agency that regulates dealers and installers. They can be found in your homeowner's manual, if you have it.
trmimo offline
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Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:43 pm

If you don’t have the owners manual you can find your state agency in our Yellow Page Section.

If you made a loan or mortgage to cover the purchase of the home, you should also contact your lender. Your lender has a serious interested that the security for the loan maintains it's value. They can pressure the dealer and installer to make corrections, especially if the dealer helped you get the loan.

Contact the mobile home owners associaitoin closest to you for support. You can find them listed at www.MobileHomeOwners.org

You main concern at this time must be to get the foundation and wet floor issues corrected. It sounds like you may also have a problem with rain water undermining the slab. It is doubtful that is causing the problems with the home at this time. BUT if a new slab is starting to loose its base this early you could have additional problems later. This may also be covered under your states rules as the responsibility of the installer.
David Oxhandler
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Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:12 pm

Thanks for the quick replies. I agree about possible water damage, but does water damage usually show up within the entire house in spots, where for example, on the floors that have linolium, you can see a straight line along the length of the floor which looks to me like a seperate piece of wood in the flooring that has become higher than the rest of the floor. I am still finding these, several new spots within the last week that are popping up...and I'm not even intentionally looking for them. Also, now last night I noticed a small section of the linolium next to one of the counters is now buckling up and is no longer attached to the floor. Also, last night, I found more damage to the bathroom wall, like the wall is no longer straight, it is bending. And now this morning, the paint is starting to crack all along that line where it is no longer straight. I also forgot to mention that since the home has been set, the carpeting in the master bedroom along the marriage line (which is all wall) is now buckling up and is no longer glued down to the floor. I did check the flooring and underneath the bathtub (from inside the house)and from what I can see, it didn't look wet and there is/was no water found on the slab around the area. If this were all caused by say, a leak somewhere, could it have spread to the rest of the house that quickly? And the wood itself doesn't feel "soft". It feels solid, but just no longer flush in spots throughout the house, with the lines being seen on the linoleum. I don't think a gasket was installed on the home. And if the home wasn't properly sealed for transportation and it wasn't raining out that day, would that still create a moisture problem? If so, then could this be the cause of the uneven marriage wall?
trixie3603 offline
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:53 pm

Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:23 pm

Another question, is it common procedure to place insulation in between the marriage walls before butting them up together, because that is how the roof was done as seen from inside the house where the trimwork is not completed yet. In that area, what I can see looks to me like the 2 halves of the marriage wall, and then some insulation sandwiched in between and I can stick a pen all the way up in there about 4 inches or so and the space is actually about a 1/4 inch in between the marriage walls and I can easily move the pen around. Thanks.
trixie3603 offline
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:53 pm

Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:36 pm

If the sections were not properly sealed and rain was permitted to get into the home, during the transport or instualtion, that could be the cause of many of the problems you are experiencing. If that is the case the problems could continue to get worse and worse. You might be looking at not just structural problems but a health risk from mold.

You really need to make something happen quickly. The longer you wait the easier it will be for others to avoid responsibility for the problems.

Consider bringing in a reputable, licensed MH installer. Pay him to give you a detailed written bid, on his business letterhead, including what it will take in time, labor, materials and cost to make your home right. This will give your claims credibility with the dealer, installer and state regulators and not permit them ignore your concerns. This documentation will also give you the basis for any legal actions you may need to take to get your home made right.

The insulation between the sections is not unusual. But if your home was set up last month why is there trim work is not completed yet?
David Oxhandler
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Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:08 pm

I will check into things on Monday. Meanwhile, I did a thorough check of the blocking and wood wedged between the blocks and frame just along the outside edge of home so far. I did find one block that looks like it's starting to crumble apart and also noticed that some of the wood pieces are starting to split in half. I don't think I remember seeing that a few weeks ago. That's not supposed to be happening either, is it?
trixie3603 offline
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Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:45 pm

And when I look at the blocking job from the side, it looks like on some of them, the frame is only resting on about 1/2 of the wood and the rest of the frame is suspended. I can right through it between the wood and frame.
trixie3603 offline
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Re: Severe settling and marriage wall not lined up

Postby » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:29 am

The only way to be sure of what is happening is to bring in an experienced for a professional assessment.
David Oxhandler
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