Mobile home skirting is an essential aspect of a mobile home’s structure. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of your home, but it also provides a range of functional benefits.
Mobile home skirting, often referred to as mobile home underpinning, is used to cover the lower part of a manufactured or mobile home.
Insulated skirting is a type of mobile home skirting that comes with an additional layer of insulation.
This insulation aids in maintaining the temperature within the home, hence making it more energy-efficient.
Whether it’s cold winters or scorching summers, insulated skirting can help maintain a comfortable indoor environment in your mobile home.
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Understanding the Importance of Mobile Home Skirting
Mobile home skirting is more than just a decorative feature. It plays a vital role in maintaining the structural integrity of your home and ensuring its longevity.
Here are some key ways skirting helps protect your mobile home:
Protection from Animals and Pests
One of the primary functions of mobile home skirting is to keep out animals and pests.
Skirting acts as a barrier that prevents critters like rats, raccoons, and insects from getting under your home and causing damage. This can save you significant repair costs in the long run.
Protection from Cold, Snow, and Water
Skirting also protects your home from the elements. In colder climates, it prevents snow from accumulating under your home and causing damage.
In rainy regions, it keeps water from seeping under your home and causing dampness or mold growth. Insulated skirting offers an added layer of protection against these elements by providing thermal resistance.
Protection for Plumbing Work
Most mobile homes have their plumbing lines running underneath them. Without proper skirting, these pipes are exposed to the elements and at risk of freezing during cold weather.
Insulated skirting can prevent this from happening by keeping the area of the home warm. This minimizes the risk of frozen pipes, which can lead to costly repairs.
The Process of Mobile Home Skirting
Now that we understand the importance of mobile home skirting, let’s delve into the process of installing and insulating the skirting of a mobile home.
Installing the Skirting
The process of installing skirting involves several steps. First, you need to decide on the material you want to use.
Then, you need to calculate the amount of material needed based on the linear foot of your home.
Finally, you need to install the skirting, ensuring that it is securely attached to your home and properly sealed to prevent air leaks.
Deciding on the Material
When choosing the material for your mobile home skirting, there are several options available. These include plywood, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), T-111, Hardiboard, and others.
Each material has its pros and cons. For example, while wood is a popular choice because of its natural look, it is susceptible to rot and insects. On the other hand, Hardiboard and OSB are very sturdy and resistant to moisture.
Calculating the Needed Linear Foot
The amount of skirting material you need depends on the size of your home. You can calculate this by measuring the perimeter of your home in feet.
This gives you the linear foot needed. Remember to consider the height from the ground to the bottom of your home as well.
The price of skirting panels is approximately $10-15 per foot, and the installation kits depend on the linear foot needed.
Insulating the Skirting
Once the skirting is installed, the next step is to insulate it. This step is crucial to maximize the benefits offered by skirting.
Insulating your skirting increases your home’s energy efficiency, reduces heat loss, and prevents frozen pipes.
Understanding the Benefits of Insulation
Insulation works by slowing down the transfer of heat. This means that during the winter months, it keeps the warm air inside your home and the cold air out.
Conversely, during the summer, it keeps the cool air inside and the hot air out. By insulating your skirting, you can significantly reduce energy costs and create a more comfortable living environment in your mobile home.
Completing the Home’s Energy Envelope
Insulating under the skirting completes the home’s energy envelope. This refers to the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a house.
By completing this envelope, you can ensure that your home stays warm in winter and cool in summer, thereby enhancing comfort and reducing energy costs.
Different Skirting Options
There are multiple options available when it comes to mobile home skirting.
Depending on the specific needs of your home, you can choose from a variety of materials and designs. Let’s explore some of these options:
Plywood, OSB, and T-111 Skirting
Wooden skirting options include plywood, OSB, and T-111. While wood offers a natural aesthetic appeal, it may not be the best option unless treated properly.
Wood is prone to rot and insect infestation, and quickly absorbs water.
However, if treated correctly and your property isn’t overly wet, wood can be a viable option for skirting. Some people recommend using a sealer and
Pros and Cons of Wood Skirting
Wood skirting, while aesthetically pleasing, has its downsides. It is susceptible to rot and insect infestation and can absorb water quickly.
However, if it is treated properly and the property isn’t overly wet, wood can be a good option for skirting. One advantage of wood skirting is its versatility.
You can use planks and get the look of siding, offering lots of potential for customization.
Installation Tips and Tricks
When installing wood skirting, you can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional. The installation process can range from simple to complex, depending on your chosen material.
Some people recommend using a sealer and caulking the ends of the boards before putting them up, as an added precaution against moisture.
Regardless of how you choose to install your skirting, it’s important to ensure that it is securely attached and well-sealed to prevent air leaks and moisture penetration.
Hardiboard and Other Sturdy Materials
Hardiboard and OSB (Oriented Strand Board) are sturdy materials that offer excellent durability and resistance against moisture.
OSB is cut with the tree’s grain and engineered to create a very strong product.
It’s important to note, however, that wood products that aren’t waterproof will swell from moisture.
Therefore, choosing a waterproof material like Hardiboard can save you from potential damage and repair costs in the future.
Benefits of Using Sturdy Materials
Sturdy materials like Hardiboard and OSB offer several advantages. They are extremely durable, resistant to moisture, and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
Additionally, they are resistant to pests and insects, making them an excellent choice for mobile home skirting.
These materials may cost more upfront, but their durability and low maintenance requirements make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Other Skirting Options
Besides wood and Hardiboard, there are other skirting options available as well.
For instance, metal skirting is a popular choice due to its durability and affordability.
The designs for metal mobile home skirting have become more attractive in recent years, and they can be painted any color to match your home.
Another option is foam-insulated skirting. While it may not be the best place to spend your money, according to the NREL tests, it can still increase energy efficiency by 7%.
Skirting and Home Heating/Cooling Systems
Mobile home skirting plays a vital role in your home’s heating and cooling system.
By creating a barrier between your home and the outside environment, skirting helps regulate the temperature inside your home, saving you money on energy costs.
How Skirting Helps in Heat Retention
During the winter months, skirting helps retain heat under your home. This reduces the amount of heat loss through the floor, keeping your home warmer.
Insulated skirting offers an even greater level of heat retention, providing a layer of thermal resistance that keeps the cold air out and the warm air in.
Skirting’s Role in the Cooling System
In the summer, skirting helps keep your home cool by preventing hot air from getting under your home.
By blocking the hot air, skirting reduces the amount of heat that enters your home, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.
Again, insulated skirting offers superior performance in this regard by providing a layer of insulation that keeps the cool air inside your home.
Cost Considerations in Skirting
While the benefits of mobile home skirting are numerous, it’s important to consider the cost implications as well.
From the price of materials to installation costs, several factors can affect your overall expenditure on skirting.
Price Ranges for Different Materials
The price of skirting material varies widely, depending on the type of material you choose. For instance, the price of metal skirting panels is around $10-15 per 5-foot panel.
On the other hand, wood and Hardiboard might cost more.
It’s important to consider not just the upfront cost of the material, but also the long-term maintenance and repair costs when choosing your skirting material.
Beyond the cost of materials, you should also factor in the cost of installation. Some skirting materials are easier to install than others, which can affect the overall cost.
If you plan on installing the skirting yourself, you’ll need to purchase an installation kit, which depends on the linear foot needed.
Alternatively, you could hire a professional to install the skirting for you, but this would increase the overall cost.
FAQs about Insulated Skirting
Here are some frequently asked questions about insulated skirting for mobile homes.
Do they make insulated skirting for mobile homes?
Yes, manufacturers do produce insulated skirting specifically designed for mobile homes. This type of skirting comes with an additional layer of insulation that helps maintain the temperature within your home, making it more energy-efficient.
What is the best way to insulate the skirting of a mobile home?
The best way to insulate the skirting of a mobile home is to use insulated skirting material. This type of skirting comes pre-insulated, eliminating the need for additional insulation.
Alternatively, you could add a layer of insulation to regular skirting, but this would require extra effort and cost.
What is the cheapest way to put skirting on a mobile home?
The cheapest way to put skirting on a mobile home would be to use affordable materials such as vinyl or metal.
These materials are cost-effective and easy to install, making them a popular choice among homeowners on a budget.
What is the best material to skirt a mobile home?
The best material to skirt a mobile home depends on various factors such as budget, climate, and personal preference.
Some popular options include vinyl, metal, wood, and Hardiboard. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your specific needs before deciding.