Insulating an older mobile home, and even the newer manufactured homes as they are now called, is somewhat different than homes that are architecturally designed and constructed. Skirting is placed around the base of the mobile home to enclose it and prevent animals from foraging under the home. Insulating under the skirting completes the home’s energy envelope, reduces the chances of frozen pipes and floor heat loss, and serves as a windbreak.
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Make sure the mobile home remains properly leveled, anchored and blocked before installing the insulation. Check all vents to make sure that they are in proper working order. Inspect the framework and skirting and replace or repair any damaged areas. Properly installed skirting forms a seal against the edge of the home and the ground with just a slight amount of give and take to allow for frost upheaval.
Insulating the Floor
Insulating the floor of your mobile home is not always necessary. If you have insulated skirting that is properly vented for the seasons, you may not need floor insulation under the skirting. However, older mobile homes, regardless of the type of skirting, will benefit from installing floor insulation beneath the home. This gives added protection against heat loss through the floor and is more energy-efficient.
Insulation acts as a barrier to resist heat from flowing through it. This resistance is measured and the measurement is referred to as an R-value. High R-values indicate a greater resistance to heat flow. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Energy Star program has determined recommended R-value ranges for attics and floors according to zones throughout the United States. Depending on what region you live in, this could range from R13 to R30 for floors.
Types of Insulation
Rock wood, cellulose or fiberglass are the most common types of insulation. These are available in a roll, blanket or batt form or loose fill. This type works well under the skirting for floor insulation. Other types that can be used is the rigid insulation such as polyurethane and expanded or extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate. This type of insulation typically carries a higher R-value but is more difficult to install under the skirting of a mobile home.