Mobile Home Insulated Skirting – The Myths and Facts
There is a lot of misinformation and foolish myths regarding insulated mobile home skirting. People have told me that they have heard that it will promote mold growth and that the underside of the home has to breath. Others have told me that they have heard insulated skirting doesn’t offer any advantages such as prevention of frozen pipes. I can comfortably and confidently tell you that if done properly, these myths are false.
Insulated skirting can be one of the best additions to your home. People who have struggled with frozen pipes year after year have stopped struggling after they installed insulated skirting. There are a few different types of skirting on the market but they all behave the same way and these principles are universal.
Ventilation: Your home needs adequate ventilation during the warmer months so the underside can breathe. This is the only time of the year, when it is above 50 degress fahrenheit, that you need ventilation. Automatic vents that open and close are the best mainentance free option. The minimum required ventilation for a home that does not have a ground cover is not less than 1 square foot of vent per 150 square feet of floor space. If you have a ground cover, 6 mil poly plastic, you can reduce the requirement to 1 square foot to 1500 square feet of floor space. Please note: installation of the ground cover needs to be installed to a local building code and should be done properly.
Insulating Strength – Whatever material you choose to use, make sure that the R Value meets at least a value of 8. You also want to make sure the outer material is weather resistant. A pre-made insulated skirting product is usually the best bet. It will be the most cost effective way to complete the product.
Thermal Envelope – When installing an insulated product you need to make sure that the material goes all the way around the home. If you have a porch, deck, or addition attached to the house, make certain you install adequate material behind the structures to maintain a thermal envelope. You are capturing the warmth of the ground which is a constant 53 degrees all year round, and with out a complete installation, you will not capture it. If you stopped short of a porch, the warmth would escape to the outside. This is why your pipes will not freeze with a properly installed system.
Durability – Insulated systems are typically 2 inches thick and are very strong. You will not suffer from wind blow outs like you may have encountered with non-insulated systems. Keeping critters out from under your home is also an important goal. The strength and durability of an insulated system will keep them out.
When done properly, mobile home insulated skirting will end your frozen pipe woes, cut down on utility bills, and offer a much longer lasting skirting compared to non-insulated systems.