Mobile Home Skirting and Insulation
Insulating under your mobile home can help you save on electricity by preventing heat loss by 13% on average. Even after taking into account the upfront cost, this is a worthwhile investment that slashes your energy cost for up to 20 years.
In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to insulate under the subfloor of a mobile home and the best insulation material to the underbelly in terms of preventing heat loss.
Why is insulating your mobile home’s subfloor important?
Some people skimp on underbelly insulation, thinking that insulating the attic and wall is enough to make their mobile homes energy efficient. However, this is far from the truth.
Another common misconception is that underbelly or skirting insulation promotes mold growth. But the truth is, the problem stems from poor ventilation, which happens when you don’t use vents to let excess moisture escape. Further contributing to the problem is the use of skirting boards with subpar quality – i.e., not weather resistant and thin (or less than 2 inches).
By contrast, using a weather-resistant and durable skirting with enough thickness that is paired with a good insulation material offers nothing but benefits, which we explain below.
Increased home energy efficiency. Mobile homes typically come with insulated walls and roofs, but not their floor. And without any insulation materials under the subfloor, your property is not energy efficient, which leads to high energy costs. Because of heat loss, your furnace is also forced to work more than necessary, resulting in its short lifespan.
Studies show you can slash up to 25% on your cooling and heating costs by installing insulation under your mobile home. Furthermore, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable temperature during the winter and summer.
More comfortable home environment. Proper insulation prevents the temperature from fluctuating by stopping drafts from creeping into the crevices of the floor.
Better condition. A properly insulated, energy-efficient mobile home stays in better condition for longer than those that lack insulation. Furthermore, you don’t have to deal with frozen pipes, mold and mildew growth, high humidity, and water damage.
What’s the best way to insulate your subfloor?
For years, blowing insulation in the belly of mobile homes has been the gold standard. However, this method is often reserved for pros because it uses specialized equipment and requires knowledge of a mobile home’s construction. Fortunately, there are state and local government programs that provide homeowners with low-interest loans and energy grants to make “good insulation” more accessible to the public.
Blown-in insulation uses cellulose that either comes from plant fibers like sisal and corn; or wood materials such as waste paper, cardboard, recycled newspaper, office paper, and the likes.
As the name implies, the method involves blowing the insulation material into the subfloor. A technician drills several holes where he inserts a blower nozzle to fill the cavities with cellulose. Next, he patches up these holes in a way that they look barely visible on the surface.
Aside from blown-in cellulose, another way to insulate a mobile home’s subfloor is through spray foam made of isocyanate and polyol resin. When inside their container, these products come in liquid form, but they increase their volume by up to 60 times when sprayed into the cavities.
Pros and cons of blown-in cellulose
Blown-in cellulose has become the standard insulation material in mobile homes because it offers remarkable benefits such as:
*It’s a fire-resistant material.
*If the insulation material is sourced from recycled wood materials like old newspapers and waste paper, it is an excellent option for environmentally conscious homeowners.
*Cellulose is notable for its sound-proofing properties.
However, this method also comes with some downsides:
*It requires drilling a few holes, which some homeowners are not keen on.
*Improperly installed blow-in cellulose leads to pockets where cold or hot air enters, diminishing the material’s insulating properties.
*It has a slightly lower R-value (or heat loss through the barrier) than spray foam; this means it takes up more space and needs more material to get the same R-Value as the other method.
Pros and cons of spray foam
Spray foam is also a popular method to insulate mobile homes because of the multiple benefits it offers.
*It has a slightly greater R-value than the blown-in method because it blocks out three forms of heat transfer.
*It’s ideal for tight areas and cavities with multiple obstructions.
However, spray foam also comes with issues such as:
*It’s more expensive than most insulation materials.
*It is best reserved for pros because of the toxic chemicals found in the spray foam.
The best insulating material boils down to your budget and what you want to achieve. For instance, if “quietness” is really important to you, consider using blown-in cellulose. On the other hand, if you live in a region that experiences a bitterly cold winter, you may want to invest in spray foam known for its impressive R-Value.
Now that you know why it’s important to insulate under your mobile home and the pros and cons of the two most popular insulation materials, the next step is to visit Storz Management Company, which operates stunning manufactured home and RV communities throughout California, Nevada, and Oregon.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly mobile home community or a place that combines rural life and the convenience of living near towns and cities, we can help you find your perfect home. Contact us now!