Mobile Home Subfloor – Water Damage Repair

Mobile Home Subfloor - Water Damage Repair

Updated 1-12-23

When you’re central heating and air leaks, make sure and check the floors. Phil shows you what to check on your a/c to prevent this problem. Then they take the toilet out and start repairing the subfloor.

00:00 We’re finishing up a job someone else started
00:10 They called to have him explain it and then wanted to just have us fix it
00:26 First thing he sees is the a/c has leaked more than once
01:00 There’s a coil here that freezes up
01:22 Has a plastic overflow pan, but not very big
01:35 Need to clean the a-coil at least once a year
02:02 We recommend you keep the a/c clean for it to run good
03:07 First thing is to take off the door, so it’s not in the way
03:56 Quick tip on how to fix doors not working, bent hinges
04:37 Easy way to make the place better
04:50 Next we’re going to make a starting point to pull the bad floor out
05:10 They put the linoleum down before the walls at the factory
05:26 We’re going to replace it with house type. You can put house type materials in the mobile home
05:51 There are always obstacles, want to watch for water and electric lines
06:12 Want to run a shallow, long cut with the sawzall
06:48 Have an oscillating saw, which is cheap and we keep finding more uses for
07:15 Pulling the toilet up
07:51 You can take a hacksaw to get the nuts off
08:06 Want to take the lid off, and then best place to put the toilet is in the tub
08:20 If you try putting in another room, the trap can spill water
08:43 Things you want to keep in mind when working. If you break the top, not likely to be able to replace it.
09:11 The rusty bolts aren’t always because of a leak
10:29 Cut the bolts off and ready to move the toilet
10:52 When you get the toilet up you want to plug that hole with something while you’re working
11:20 This floor vent is smaller than usual
11:34 A lot of times if you’re losing a/c or heat it will be because this is loose. Easy fix
12:20 We use screws, never staple the vents back in like the factory does
13:04 We’ve taken a sawzall and cut under the wall at an angle to avoid lines
13:32 This wall is a little difficult because floor joist is just under the wall
14:00 With flooring, sometimes you can cut it in the middle and take it out in big chunks
14:20 Putting in the floor supports
14:57 How to pull up floor supports that are down
15:53: The ductwork is odd, not something we’ve seen before
16:25 So, we need to support the floor there to make sure the ductwork isn’t smashed
17:09 That plastic barrier is why you don’t have to have a vapor barrier on the ground under a mobile home
17:32 If you want to hold water under your house, put plastic on the ground
17:57 Mobile homes have the vapor barrier against the house, holding the insulation in
19:00 Where we’re putting the support and why
19:30 Measured and cut the 2×6 for under the cabinet
21:00 Supporting the entire area where the ductwork is
21:42 Pre-drilling the area
22:43 Ready to lay the plywood
23:06 Want to run the plywood across the two bys, not with them

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Uh, this is us trying to finish up what someone else started actually called me out and said, hey, can you explain things on how to do it? And I did. And they got. It’s discouraging at first if you don’t have experience,or haven’t watched one of these videos, maybe. But he got started and we’re going to finish it up. The first thing I see whenever I got here is, although this is a wet area where you got a toilet that could leak, a sink that can leak, a bathtub that could overflow or leak.

It looks like the air conditioner central heating air has been leaking down. They’ve already replace the floor once and it’s been running down through here. And this had linoleum. And then they took the linoleum up, and then it got underneath the linoleum, which is quite likely what happens is you come over here with the. There’s a coil. If you don’t change, the filters sometimes they are in the door. This works just fine. If you don’t change the filters like this one’s totally clogged up, this thing will ice up and it will overflow. There’s a plastic pan right here. It doesn’t have very much room. Let me see if I can get this light.

“Ya, that’s better.”

That light in there. See, that’s not much of a pan. And you need to clean these coils once a year at least. So there’s a drain that comes out of this pan right here. You need to clean that out once a year, at least. And so clean your coil, clean those things, and change your filter every month. But this wasn’t done. So it overflow, went down, hit the floor, and soaked back and went back into here.

I can promise you that’s what happened. So what I recommend to avoid this and for your air conditioner to run good is to clean the coil that way it pulls air through it regularly and like it’s supposed to and change your filters again. The same as if you took your car and put your, you know, mud over top of the radiator or put your hand over your mouth running up a hill.

You’re asking a lot of that air conditioner and it will freeze up if it’s restricted that way or if it’s low freon or freeze up, go past the pan, which it only has like a half inch of room in this case, and then it’ll just run water down and then you’ll have water damage on top of the non running properly air conditioner.

So we’re going to fix what they ask me to fix in this case this customer. The renter is a very good renter in that the renter actually tries to fix things, but lack of experience kind of discouraged him. So the first thing we’re going to do is take off this door so it’s not in the way for doing what we need to do there.

And then we can get real close to the edges and what I normally do is just take the hinges loose. This is way I can put them right back. You can almost always see where they did go, and I usually do the… The bottom first, put my foot underneath this. Elbow’s kind of holding it to the wall.

Then I put the screws over here. By the way, a lot of times people say, well, my door doesn’t work. What do I do? It’s got a problem. See how this if you notice right here, this hinge is bent because it’s bent this door will be having a tendency to be tight over here. What you can do. Let me see that hammer right there, by you.

“All right,”

Just flip that hinge over to the door. Little cheapy hinges. Just flatten the hinge out. And guess what? It’ll work for a while longer. This one is bent also not very much. Not yet where it’s a problem. But I already know in order to make my work look right, you know, fix the door and they’re like hey, something feels better about this place.

So, when we put that… What we’re going to do next is I’ll make a starting point with like a hammer, get real close, we’ll being and prime this batten strip up because it’s nothing there. But to seal the bottom of the drywall, it really is not much in the way of trim. And they put this linoleum down before they put the walls down. So the walls, they don’t have to cut it.

They just roll it over at the factory and then put the wall on top. So the trim is not covering the edges of the linoleum or tile, which they don’t have tile. So we’re going to replace that with a regular house type.
That’s usually my goal is to make a mobile home a lot more like a house, a conventional home, than to try to say, Oh, well, it‘s a mobile home, you can’t do it.

So here we go and I’m going to. There’s a vent here, in this case, but there’s always obstacles if you notice over here. Bring that camera.


There’s water lines and quite often, there’s electric lines. So you don’t want to run deep cut with a sawzall and then hit a water line. Because I’ve done that, and it ain’t no fun. So what I end up doing is run a shallow, long cut with the sawzall, and in this case, you’re going to have to be careful not to get into the duct work which you can patch.

But it’s better not to just do the damage. You know, we’re not going to use this three-eighths or half inch plywood that I guess they put in here to walk on. And we’re going to probably replace that over there by the doorway because that doesn’t look right either. So we’re going to cut all this out with a sawzall.

I have an oscillating saw, which we’ve had more and more ways to use. Didn’t buy anything expensive. Like we got it from Harbor Freight. It’s like $20 for a cheapy one. The blades for a package of them it’s like $9 package of three which get one cut blade and two scrapers. So for very little money, you can be doing this yourself and I’ll try to take you on very slowly through all this.

Looking at the… We want to get this out of the way whenever you start taking the toilet out. And one, you want to take this loose. If you’re in a house that hasn’t had the tremendous amount of damage like this one, you’re going to want to put a towel down because the remainder of the tank in here, after you shut it off
and flushed, it will still run water down on the floor.

And then you create more damage, which can take a little while to show up. But anyway. Put a towel down and take this loose. In this case, we know we’re not going to be able to get these nuts through all that rust. As a rule, you won’t you can use a hacksaw. In this case I’m using the, a Ryobi battery powered Sawzall, and we’re going to cut these off.

And we’re going to lift this toliet up. We’re going to take this lid, placed it in another room and then put the toilet in here quite often we’ve put a rag and set the toilet on that, but reason to do that is because if you try to move it into another room, the trap inside this toilet, it will run water on to the floor because you’re moving around.

And what we do is put it in here on the rag, and rock it back and forth and all the water, most of the water it never gets all the water will go into the bathtub and then we can just left it back in here when we get the floor in, so these are things you need to be conscious of.

You want to protect your tops. So you don’t lose it, drop it and break it and then you gotta, these are. You’re just not going to find one like it they they buy things in lots and when the manufacturer runs out of
those. They move on to another and then make a deal with another manufacture or those manufacturers may not even be in business and they certainly may not have made that toilet anymore.

So as far as the the rusty bolts, not always. Is it because of a leak? A lot of times it’s because the water inside here, which comes from outside through the ground, it cool it’s cool. And so, like when you’re sick and you’re feeling really good, put your head up against a cold toilet. They call that toilet cold temperature where the warmer temperature inside causes condensation and ends up collecting down here and making these rust and have a decorative cover on there doesn’t change that.

The moisture is still going to be there. So that’s not unusual. Even in a high dollar house, even with a bidet, you’re going to have some condensation because the change in color, they don’t make insulated toilets, that I’m aware of. So I put my hand on there and I can feel just a little bit of moisture. Is it going to cause the floor to go?

No, it’s not that much moisture, but it hits this metal and collects around it and this is what happens. So you’re going to want to cut this off and you can use a hacksaw. So we’re using metal cutting blade. In this case, that’ll be…

We cut the bolts off with the sawzall. It usually doesn’t. Do any kind of porcelain and took the lid off. Put it out of here. We’re going to lift this thing out and expect a spit a little water. In this case, it wasn’t very much. Next, when you get that toilet it up, you’re going to want to put something in there to toilet paper. Otherwise, you’re going to get all the fumes, which is why the traps are there, on sinks
and there’s a trap in there on the toilet so the smell doesn’t come up. And anything else it wants to come up.

So there’s always water in there, to stop that smell. So we got to stop that smell by putting something in the hole. This particular vent is smaller than normal. Normally there are like a 4×10”. This one is 4×8. They’re all held on with aluminum, really flimsy aluminum and staples generally.

A lot of times I will, people say man I’m losing a lot of air conditioning underneath the house, because I can feel it when I open up my skirting some of the time.

Some of the issue is this area here on underneath where it connects to the ductwork is got foil tape and it’s open on the corners. You can do that yourself. You pull your vents off and seal it all, make sure everything’s fastened. And sometimes the ductwork is litterally in the cold and these are not holding anything. We’ll pull all of these stapled out and we’ll end up using screws into the plywood and sometimes can be a little more difficult to get the vent in, but not always.

Well, I don’t staple anything, and that’s sometimes theorized that the mobile home factory, the people who work there and have had a piece of trim on a double-wide was in the middle what they call marriage wall. They had over a hundred staples in it and it still has fallen off. So I don’t understand. We see it all the time.

There’ll be six, four, five, six staples in one little tiny area, and then other areas might grow 15 inches. But they kind of they kind of encourage it obviously somehow by putting staples in lots. So what I’ve done here is cut with the sawzall, at a hard angle, like so, in that way I don’t hit an electric line because I’m not going so far under that I cut anything that’s underneath the wall. But stand like so. And then I’ve also done it so that I don’t cut into this ductwork that you can see right here, this looks like a strap, that they left over. Part of the a strap they just left it under there. It happens to be this one is a little more difficult because the wall ends up in the floor joist ends up being right there next to the wall.

But that’s kind of an advantage in that we can put a 2 by right to that. And we’ll set a floor on that and it’s just all brute work. If you watch any of my other videos, you’ll see how I deal with a lot of different
situations when it comes flooring, sometimes you can cut through the middle. In this case, you wouldn’t want to cause there’s ductwork right there, and then step on one side in the other and pull it loose.

Other times you just got to smash it out and get it all out. And that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to go through here and I’ll show you as we go along, how what we’re going…

Now, we‘re going to screw, there’s a lot of different ways. You can do this. You can like I did on this one, go at an angle through here and then go through here. The goal is to get underneath, to help support the tub. And, also in this case and even with the floor joists. Now, in a case like this where it’s kind of dropping down back there, a lot of times what I can do, put a screw in like so, get this started over on this side and then I’ll try to pull it up and pull the screw back out. Put it over here. That kind of pulled down, I don’t like that. But that’s all right. So in this case, it was kind of an odd.

I’ve not seen it, there’s no reason for this ductwork to go over here. This is outside of the wall. There’s no ductwork running to the sometimes they haven’t flexible ductwork running into the kitchen cabinets. That’s not the case here. For whatever reason, they say the whole trunk and there’s folded up underneath here. So, in this case, you’re not going to see this very often because I haven’t seen in 30 years, but we’re going to put a two by four right here and we’re going to make it, where even though this is smashing into ductwork.

We’re going to put that there. Looks like we’re going to have to go and get some 5/4ths material, which is a little bigger than three quarters of… It’s inch and a quarter, instead of inch and a half. A lot of people
use wood decking, so we’ll put it right there. So we get the most amount of wood along side here, because a two by won’t fit, because this is a really weird situation you don’t normally see ductwork run parallel.

Usually it’s down under and it runs that way is protected by the the plastic barrier, which is why you don’t have to have a plastic barrier on the ground underneath a mobile home even though. So the building code on read your houses having if you put it there water gets underneath that house, it stays there if you want to make a pond but dig a hole, put plastic on the ground and it will hold water for a long time.

Okay. So if you want to hold water under your house, put plastic on the ground, the mobile home here in this case has a vapor barrier which is right here holding the insulation. It protects the plumbing, whereas a house, house has block walls it’s just, you know, around the outside dug into the ground where water doesn’t pass through like it does on skirting on a mobile home and a mobile home, has it’s vapor barrier here, whereas a house puts a vapor barrier on the ground and the insulation is exposed. You don’t want that in your mobile home because you don’t have the block walls to protect you from the wind.

We get into that discussion several times and I get lots of questions and a lot of people talk about Square footage of venting. They’re trying to apply what works with. A house to a mobile home. It doesn’t work, I promise you.

You can put all of the vents that you want and I’ll crawl underneath that house and there will be water, especially if you put plastic on the ground. So in this case, we don’t have that situation. We’re working with a of vapor barrier that’s still here, the insulation still here. There’s actually a frame right here, which is usually about three foot from the outside wall.

And then outriggers to support the ridge beam out there. So this is necessary. We’re going to put a two by here and we’re going to put fine force there. And we’re going to pre-drill holes into this this board so that we can put a two by all the way across here and give us a little more support right here.

And we got to you’re not gonna be able to see anything with my big body in the way, but we’re going to fasten a two by six here, and a two by six over there underneath this cabinet, kind of support it. And then we’ll put a little two by in there and I’ll show you how I cut that two by to do that.

But you won’t be able to see anything if you if you watch me video wise. So we’ll bring you back when we get to the next level. What we’re done is measure this, get a little bit of room and added two inches on each side, which would be a total of four. And then we notched out an inch and a half depth. And that way we can put it in because it’s going to be difficult to hold in place. I mean, I could reach underneath with my arms and let’s put it in there. Looks like we’ll have to cut it down some.

Even though it split we just moved it over a little bit wide gap because we had it like a quarter inch or less too long and he’s made sure that it’s not going to be a problem. So anyway, the now will have support for the foot area. I don’t think anybody ever that fat is going to put that much weight right on their toes, but hey, we’re ready for it if they are.

So now we’ve got to get five-fourths. So I have to go to the mobile home park that I have and see if I can find some five-fourths material or in the other place. We had a hardware store close by and by that, but we’re close to my mobile home park, so we’ll run over there and do that.

The whole area beside the ductwork they got goes to nowhere and we’re putting a five-fourths board to rip down because the depth of their flange on the side and pinches together is not going to make it available for us. We’re hoping we get this squeezed in there, but staples and things like that. My discourage
us trying to get, the two by six, not the…

We’re going to pre-drill. I think it’s like an eighth inch drill bit.

“It is.”

I don’t know what that is.

“A dog.”

That tap, tap, tapping?

“Ya, ya sounds like a creature from the deep underkneith that? Got it all.”

All right now we can lay plywood and screw through something too. And we’ve got the board over here. What we’re going to do next. I want to run my plywood across the two by.

So that way you don’t lose strength. The board is laminated and length this way the tree would have been this way. And we want that to go across the two bys. If you run with it then it might bow in between.

And I don’t want that. So mug way in my dress so 53 and a quarter is what I measure from that wall to that wall. And then we’re going to go out there and roughly measure it and then we’re going to measure all our cuts, which is a lot we’ve got.

If you notice over here, a two by on each side of this that allow us to cut any angle we want to to get that plywood in there. So what we’ll probably do is go at an angle from this point, the center of this floor joist. And angle through this water line and that flange.

To see if we can get that piece in. Quite often end up having to cut that piece and two pieces also. But you will be there when we go outside. We’re going to measure and I got 53 and a quarter and I’ll end up with
a cut at…

There’s that same sound again.

“It’s in the vent.”

34 and seven-eighths.

“It’s coming from that.”

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