Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last yr)

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mjberg

Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last yr)

Post by mjberg » Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:28 am

My wife and I bought a 1999 Redman 16 x 80 manufactured/mobile home in January of 2000 brand new in south Louisiana. The design from left to right is master bedroom/bathroom, kitchen & washer/dryer room, living room/front door, hallway going to two smaller bedrooms, a small bathroom and the AC/Heating unit located in between the two small bedrooms. It has raised ceilings, 7 feet at the outer walls and 8 feet center.
For the first couple of years, the house seemed to be in good shape other than a couple of very minor cosmetic issues. Then, in May of 2003, I was in the first of the two small bedrooms, one we only use for storage that we rarely go into that will eventually be a child's room when we finally have one, when I was stunned by a discovery. I was trying to grab something that fell behind the headboard of a bed in that room and my head was against the wall when I noticed that my head was getting very little resistence from the wall and that it was soft. I looked up and there was an indention from my head in the sheetrock wall. I gently pressed against the wall with my thumb with very little pressure, enough to press in a slightly dry sponge, and I was able to press in the wall about halfway between the floor and ceiling. I started to check all of the walls around the house and eventually discovered that I had about 21 different wall panels around the house that had softness in them halfway up the wall. All of the wall panels were on outer walls except for one inner wall panel next to the one I originally discovered, located in every room except for the master bedroom, master bathroom, rear kitchen wall and the washer/dryer room. Basically looking from the front left to right as I described in the beginning of this letter, every wall panel from the kitchen through the living room, hallway, first bathroom panel, then jumping to the rear wall in the two bedrooms and living room going back to the left, except for the panels located above and below windows, which were fine. The worst ones were the hallway walls near the central AC unit and the ones in the 1st small bedroom. These walls could have been like this for a while, but I didn't make it a habit to go pressing and leaning against the walls in my house, I only discovered this by accident. Gateway Homes, the manufacturer who bought out Redman, sent out two contract repairmen to look at it and they pulled of the two worst panels to look and sure enough, they were wet and crumbling. The outside walls are two sheets of plywood, one at the top of the wall and one on the bottom and 2 x 6 wall studs, making for strong walls. Well, it could be seen from removing two panels that there was a small separation between the two sheets of plywood on the outer walls at the level of the soft, wet spots in the walls and there was dirt and dust at that level of the insulation, which was only 3 inches thick, although there is 6 inches of room inside the walls between the panels. It could clearly be seen that the AC was pulling moisture and dirt through these separations in the plywood panels and that this was causing the problem. They checked the roof and under the outside siding and no leakage could be detected from the roof and upper part of the house, especially since there isn't one single water stain on my ceilings.
A different crew showed up a few weeks later, one which was inept in my opinion. By this time, the two temporary sheetrock wall panels that replaced the ones pulled off a couple of weeks later were already soft. Gateway only replaced the inside sheetrock walls, wouldn't put thicker insulation in the walls, and the crew made a complete mess. We had pulled everything off the walls and pulled away all of the furniture from the walls, but the crew only covered the floors, not our furniture. Then instead of pulling off the wall panels intact, they ripped the wall panels off in pieces inside of the house, causing a huge dusty mess on everything, I had to cover my furniture myself that night after they left, but everything was covered in dust already. They also placed another vent in the ceiling in the hallway above the AC unit. It took three days with me, my wife and our two cats living out of our bedroom, the only area of the house not touched by repair.
Well, within 2-3 weeks, the walls were soft AGAIN. This time, it was 24 panels, adding two more panels inside the second bedroom, and a two more in the front part of the kitchen, but no inner wall panels this time. After some resistence from Gateway again saying it wasn't their responsibiliy (I forgot to say they said this the first time before giving in), but then agreed to repair it again. In October 2003, they sent a much better repair crew this time, one that insisted that they must be allowed to do the job their way doing what they had to do to fix the problem, or else they wouldn't do the job for them. Well, they replaced the indoor sheetrock walls, removing the whole panels and taking them outside intact, and then removed all of the siding on the outside, sealed all of the separation between the sheets of plywood, wrapped the outside walls of the house then DEMANDED that Gateway pay for new siding on the whole house to replace the old ones because the pieces removed cracked and broke and my color siding wasn't made in the same shade anymore. It took four days to do the job this time, having to go through the crap of living out of our bedroom again (we were miserable and sick of it), but it seemed fine.
Well, it took longer this time since they wrapped the house the second time in October, but here it is in July and we have soft walls again, not as many, but the rest of them will likely get there eventually. I left a message with the same person with Gateway on Tuesday, July 6 (haven't heard from her yet, but will call again on Thursday) and also went to talk to the owner of Teche Manufactured Homes in New Iberia, Louisiana, where we bought the house. He knows my father and he knew of the first repair, but didn't hear about the second one until we talked to him Tuesday. He came out and looked at the house and can't figure out why the repairs done before didn't fix the problem. He did talk to Gateway himself on the way to our house and they were supposed to be figuring out what to do over there (Gateway is located in Alabama), but haven't called me back yet, which doesn't surprise me because I had to call a few times each time to get them to respond. We live in an suburban area that is humid, 80-95 degrees from April-September and we are in a very rainy period right now. We operate our AC well within the specified range, only setting our AC unit at 75-77 degrees during the day when we are gone and 70-72 degrees at night (they say not to set it above 80 or below 69 degrees). The ground is raised below the house, so no water collects under the house and it is insulated down there too.
I refuse to flip our lives upside down again for them to replace the walls, only to have it happen again several months from now. It is in my opinion that this is a major defect in the construction of the house, but I am afraid we will be in a huge fight over this matter with Gateway Homes due to the resistence we had from them before. This house is only 4 1/2 years old and we still owe $21,000 on the loan for it over another 10 1/2 years. When I finally talk to Gateway, we will demand that the house be replaced with a model above this one, maybe 18 x 90 or something like that, to make up for all of the trouble this has and will cause us. If they refuse to replace the house, we will get an attorney and file a lawsuit.

HAS ANY OF YOU HAD A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THIS AND, IF SO, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR US? I am confident we can succeed in this matter and get what we want, one way or another, but we could use some advise.

THANK YOU.

Mark

mjberg

Re: Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last yr)

Post by mjberg » Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:47 am

I forgot to mention that we didn't pay for the repairs the first two times, Gateway Homes did pay for it completely. The thing is, if this keeps happening, this could eventually cause black mold to accumulate inside our walls, which is becoming common in South Louisiana homes with leakage problems and a major health hazard. We also have an insurance policy on the home that we pay about $500 per year for, especially since we are in an area that gets hit hard by hurricanes periodically (we are about 25-30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in Lafayette, LA). We are located on a piece of land given to us by my parents that is just under an acre that we have plenty of room to build a house on behind the current placement of our current manufactured home in about 5 years or so, but don't have the money to do this right now. I have 4 cousins that placed new manufactured double-wide homes on land within a 1/4 mile of me, all doing so within a few months after my home was placed here in 2000, including one about 150 feet away from me that I share a driveway with, and none of them has had this problem.

Thanks again,
Mark

Tom

Re: Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last yr)

Post by Tom » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:17 am

Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I agree with you, this is one of those ocassions where the home should be replaced. But getting that done is another matter. You need a sit down meeting with your dealer and a factory rep. Bring all your documentation, list of the repairs previously done, dates, names, etc. If they hem and haw about this and want to keep repairing, use threats if necessary. Tell them you will contact the county health, building inspector, lawyers, etc. Be polite but firm. Im afraid your in for a long haul however. The health/mold issue is your best avenue here I would think. You also need to bring your insurance company into this. Also threaten to bring the media into this. A call to a newspaper or TV station would not be welcomed by the dealer and or manufacturer. I wish you luck and hope it works out for you. Tom

Mark

Re: Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last

Post by Mark » Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:05 pm


Gateway sent one of their contractors to look at the house again today (same one that came here to look at it the first time over a year ago) and here is what he said:

1. Everything that was done in the wall replacement/repairs that were done last Spring, 2003 and in October should have taken care of this problem.

2. There is no negative pressure in the house.

3. The AC unit is the correct size for this house.

4. There is no leaks or wetness around the windows.

5. The plywood on the outside is dry.

6. The roof is not leaking.

7. There is no moisture coming from under the house.

8. The vinyl covering the sheetrock panels are supposed to prevent air and moisture from being sucked into the house. So is the wrapping placed around the outside of the house under the siding.

9. Basically, he said that he sees no reason why this should be happening and he has no clue what is going on with this house. Both times he has been here, he seems to be extremely knowledgeable and knows what he is doing.

I haven't talked to Gateway Homes myself today, but he talked to them and now Gateway is talking about sending an engineer to look at the house. They can waste more money on inspections if they want, but they can hang me by my ******** and I refuse to allow another repair to this house that turns our lives upside down, only to have it happen again. We are telling them to replace this house with a brand new one, or we will sue them. I'll be talking to my insurance company, the bank that has the loan on the house, and a lawyer.

Mark

Krwin27
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:40 am

Re: Need advice for possible defects causing soft sheetrock walls(2 repairs last yr)

Post by Krwin27 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:44 am

Did you ever get this problem fixed? I bought mine in 1996 and have this problem all over my Redmen Home

mjberg wrote:
Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:28 am
My wife and I bought a 1999 Redman 16 x 80 manufactured/mobile home in January of 2000 brand new in south Louisiana. The design from left to right is master bedroom/bathroom, kitchen & washer/dryer room, living room/front door, hallway going to two smaller bedrooms, a small bathroom and the AC/Heating unit located in between the two small bedrooms. It has raised ceilings, 7 feet at the outer walls and 8 feet center.
For the first couple of years, the house seemed to be in good shape other than a couple of very minor cosmetic issues. Then, in May of 2003, I was in the first of the two small bedrooms, one we only use for storage that we rarely go into that will eventually be a child's room when we finally have one, when I was stunned by a discovery. I was trying to grab something that fell behind the headboard of a bed in that room and my head was against the wall when I noticed that my head was getting very little resistence from the wall and that it was soft. I looked up and there was an indention from my head in the sheetrock wall. I gently pressed against the wall with my thumb with very little pressure, enough to press in a slightly dry sponge, and I was able to press in the wall about halfway between the floor and ceiling. I started to check all of the walls around the house and eventually discovered that I had about 21 different wall panels around the house that had softness in them halfway up the wall. All of the wall panels were on outer walls except for one inner wall panel next to the one I originally discovered, located in every room except for the master bedroom, master bathroom, rear kitchen wall and the washer/dryer room. Basically looking from the front left to right as I described in the beginning of this letter, every wall panel from the kitchen through the living room, hallway, first bathroom panel, then jumping to the rear wall in the two bedrooms and living room going back to the left, except for the panels located above and below windows, which were fine. The worst ones were the hallway walls near the central AC unit and the ones in the 1st small bedroom. These walls could have been like this for a while, but I didn't make it a habit to go pressing and leaning against the walls in my house, I only discovered this by accident. Gateway Homes, the manufacturer who bought out Redman, sent out two contract repairmen to look at it and they pulled of the two worst panels to look and sure enough, they were wet and crumbling. The outside walls are two sheets of plywood, one at the top of the wall and one on the bottom and 2 x 6 wall studs, making for strong walls. Well, it could be seen from removing two panels that there was a small separation between the two sheets of plywood on the outer walls at the level of the soft, wet spots in the walls and there was dirt and dust at that level of the insulation, which was only 3 inches thick, although there is 6 inches of room inside the walls between the panels. It could clearly be seen that the AC was pulling moisture and dirt through these separations in the plywood panels and that this was causing the problem. They checked the roof and under the outside siding and no leakage could be detected from the roof and upper part of the house, especially since there isn't one single water stain on my ceilings.
A different crew showed up a few weeks later, one which was inept in my opinion. By this time, the two temporary sheetrock wall panels that replaced the ones pulled off a couple of weeks later were already soft. Gateway only replaced the inside sheetrock walls, wouldn't put thicker insulation in the walls, and the crew made a complete mess. We had pulled everything off the walls and pulled away all of the furniture from the walls, but the crew only covered the floors, not our furniture. Then instead of pulling off the wall panels intact, they ripped the wall panels off in pieces inside of the house, causing a huge dusty mess on everything, I had to cover my furniture myself that night after they left, but everything was covered in dust already. They also placed another vent in the ceiling in the hallway above the AC unit. It took three days with me, my wife and our two cats living out of our bedroom, the only area of the house not touched by repair.
Well, within 2-3 weeks, the walls were soft AGAIN. This time, it was 24 panels, adding two more panels inside the second bedroom, and a two more in the front part of the kitchen, but no inner wall panels this time. After some resistence from Gateway again saying it wasn't their responsibiliy (I forgot to say they said this the first time before giving in), but then agreed to repair it again. In October 2003, they sent a much better repair crew this time, one that insisted that they must be allowed to do the job their way doing what they had to do to fix the problem, or else they wouldn't do the job for them. Well, they replaced the indoor sheetrock walls, removing the whole panels and taking them outside intact, and then removed all of the siding on the outside, sealed all of the separation between the sheets of plywood, wrapped the outside walls of the house then DEMANDED that Gateway pay for new siding on the whole house to replace the old ones because the pieces removed cracked and broke and my color siding wasn't made in the same shade anymore. It took four days to do the job this time, having to go through the crap of living out of our bedroom again (we were miserable and sick of it), but it seemed fine.
Well, it took longer this time since they wrapped the house the second time in October, but here it is in July and we have soft walls again, not as many, but the rest of them will likely get there eventually. I left a message with the same person with Gateway on Tuesday, July 6 (haven't heard from her yet, but will call again on Thursday) and also went to talk to the owner of Teche Manufactured Homes in New Iberia, Louisiana, where we bought the house. He knows my father and he knew of the first repair, but didn't hear about the second one until we talked to him Tuesday. He came out and looked at the house and can't figure out why the repairs done before didn't fix the problem. He did talk to Gateway himself on the way to our house and they were supposed to be figuring out what to do over there (Gateway is located in Alabama), but haven't called me back yet, which doesn't surprise me because I had to call a few times each time to get them to respond. We live in an suburban area that is humid, 80-95 degrees from April-September and we are in a very rainy period right now. We operate our AC well within the specified range, only setting our AC unit at 75-77 degrees during the day when we are gone and 70-72 degrees at night (they say not to set it above 80 or below 69 degrees). The ground is raised below the house, so no water collects under the house and it is insulated down there too.
I refuse to flip our lives upside down again for them to replace the walls, only to have it happen again several months from now. It is in my opinion that this is a major defect in the construction of the house, but I am afraid we will be in a huge fight over this matter with Gateway Homes due to the resistence we had from them before. This house is only 4 1/2 years old and we still owe $21,000 on the loan for it over another 10 1/2 years. When I finally talk to Gateway, we will demand that the house be replaced with a model above this one, maybe 18 x 90 or something like that, to make up for all of the trouble this has and will cause us. If they refuse to replace the house, we will get an attorney and file a lawsuit.

HAS ANY OF YOU HAD A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THIS AND, IF SO, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR US? I am confident we can succeed in this matter and get what we want, one way or another, but we could use some advise.

THANK YOU.

Mark

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