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Two hurricane-damaged manufactured homes

How Well Do Mobile & Prefab Homes Withstand Extreme Weather?

Mobile and prefab homes can provide a wealth of comforts. However, one topic that goes by the wayside is their ability to withstand extreme weather. The United States experiences an extensive range of weather patterns, making it essential to choose the right prefab home for a given location. 

With that said, you might be surprised how these homes perform when nature gets active. This post will examine the weather in the five states we cover and how different housing types fare in these conditions. 

House Type/Fate Against Weather 

Most homeowners are familiar with the safety features of traditional houses and condominiums. Prefab houses occupy unfamiliar territory for interested buyers, and many aren’t sure whether they’re safe from extreme weather. 

Well, the short answer is that they’re stronger than most think. Here’s how various prefab houses fare when nature unleashes its fury. In this article, we will consider atmospheric conditions instead disasters such as earthquakes and fires. 

Tiny Houses

A tiny house is a micro-dwelling that’s 400-square-feet or less in area. They’re also movable. Because of their small stature, people often assume that they can’t withstand severe or extreme weather without sustaining damage. 

That is mostly untrue. Manufacturers build tiny homes with heavy-duty steel or wood. That makes them strong enough to survive tropical storms, intense winds, and heavy rain. However, tiny homes on wheels are more likely to sustain damage or fall over in a tornado or hurricane. 

ADU Homes

ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, are structures that sit on pre-existing lots occupied by a single-family. They may or may connect to the main house. ADUs, are extensions of traditional homes and get constructed with similar materials. 

In theory, an ADU should offer the same protection against high winds, torrential winds, and extreme winter weather as a traditional house does. And an ADU such as one situated above a garage unit may be less likely to sustain flood damage. 

Manufactured Homes

Any “mobile” home built after 1976 falls into the manufactured home category. Since that year, manufactured homes have been subject to strict building standards and must withstand extreme wind speeds reaching 160 mph. 

To put that into perspective, Category 5 hurricanes and EF3 tornados produce 160 mph winds. So manufactured homes can take a beating! That’s not to say they’re as sturdy as a traditional house, but they can stay put in the most severe weather conditions. 

Modular Homes

A modular home is a prefab house built in two to five pieces meant to occupy a location permanently. They resemble traditional homes more than any other type of prefab. But when it comes to withstanding extreme weather, their safety profile might surprise you. 

They are just as good and, at times, better at withstanding harsh weather conditions than traditional houses. They contain elements such as hurricane clips/straps to secure roofs to walls, steel frames (instead of wood), and structures glued together. 

These design elements make them structurally more robust than traditional homes. They can take a beating from intense winds, rain, and flying debris if they’re free of foundational weaknesses. 

Weather in States We Cover 

Of course, the United States is a vast country. Here’s a fun fact: the U.S. is so large that it consists of five climate zones. That’s why you can experience bitterly cold temperatures in New York or scorching days in California. Building a prefab home in one state versus another can yield different experiences and weather risks and something to consider for homeowners insurance for manufactured homes. 

If you’re hoping to live in a prefab house in any state, you should be aware of the climate in the state of your choice. More importantly, you should consider how those weather patterns affect your comfort and safety. Here’s a snapshot of the climate in the states we operate in and our recommendations for prefabs. 

Arizona

  • Semi-arid, one-third arid and humid climate
  • Heavy thunderstorms occur in July-August 
  • Regional and flash floods do occur 

Prefab Recommendations: All Prefab Homes are acceptable here, although tiny homes and some ADUs may experience more damage during floods and storms. 

Indiana

  • Subtropical humid climate
  • Temperate winters, warm summers
  • Thunderstorms and hailstorms occur in summers; tornadoes occur too
  • Flooding happens in spring due to heavy rainfall 
  • Winter snowstorms happen in the north

Prefab Recommendations: Modular homes and ADUs are ideal for a state like Indiana with active weather. Be selective of your location if building a tiny house. 

Ohio 

  • Humid, continental type of climate
  • Spring and summer thunderstorms are prevalent
  • Severe thunderstorms can trigger intense winds, lighting, and hail
  • Flash flooding and tornadoes occur 
  • Snowstorms do occur in the winter

Prefab Recommendations: Modular homes and ADUs are ideal for a state like Ohio with active weather. Be selective of your location if building a tiny house or a manufactured home. 

Michigan

  • Continental type of climate
  • Short warm summers, long cold winters
  • Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the summer
  • Flooding is common
  • Bitter snow and ice storms in the winter
  • High winds are common in Michigan

Prefab Recommendations: Modular homes are ideal for a state like Michigan with very active weather. ADUs are suitable as well, but they should have reinforcements if necessary. Be selective of your location if building a tiny house or a manufactured home, and opt for regions where the weather is less active.

New Mexico

  • Mild, arid or semiarid continental climate
  • Warm and pleasant summers, relatively cold winters
  • Heavy thunderstorms in the summer
  • Rare flooding
  • Infrequent occurrence of tropical storms (that usually cause minimal damage) 

Prefab Recommendations: All Prefab Homes are acceptable here, although tiny homes and some ADUs may experience more damage during floods and storms. 

Insurance Policy By State 

There is always a risk of extreme weather in the U.S. Freak weather and shifting patterns related to climate change make it essential for every prefab homeowner to have suitable insurance coverage. Whether you need manufactured home insurance or specialty insurance for a tiny house, you should choose a policy that covers you against extreme weather damage. 

Common policies include HO-3s for modular homes and ADUs since they are more like traditional homes. Manufactured homes and tiny homes are closer to RVs, and more likely to fall under HO-7 or specialty insurance. Regardless of your prefab choice, you can find the insurance coverage that gives you peace of mind no matter what weather you face in any state. 

Here at CoverTree, we offer coverage for all types of prefab homes that will only take 3 minutes to find and get approval for! Plus save up to 40% online. 

Interested in a better kind of manufactured home insurance?

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