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25 Comments

  1. Hi just love your information, I have a2007 Double wide about 1700 ft.²mobile home there is hardly any insulation, it’s a cathedral ceiling throughout I’m just wondering which would be the best for me to get my my home insulated and cost I’m a senior citizen trying to watch every penny But my electric bills are very high I live in Nacogdoches Texas . Would love your input thank you Geoffrey.

    1. Hi Geoffrey. Im from Lufkin. So glad to see ya on here too. Im looking to replace the insulation in my MH walls. Good luck to you.

  2. are you saying in the fiberboard ceilings would hae asbestos as inspectapedia says fiberboard is wood fibers only or you meaning the actual insulation

      1. I have a 1988 14X72′ peaked single wide that had the top front panel of the house above the window in the front of the house ripped off in a tornado. I’m looking to insulate “attic” space because we can remove the panels for access.
        What do I need to do to the places where there are lights and electrical connections that I assume are open in the ceiling space? I was thinking of blown in insulation
        and would appreciate your expertise b4 we do anything.

    1. Hi Chryss,

      Yes. Hemp is a great material and we should be using it a lot more than we do. You may want to research to see what the r-value would be based on thickness. It may be cheaper to go with fiberglass, to be honest, but you won’t have the great environmental friendliness of hemp. I would double-check that the proper additives have been added (I think fire retardant and pest control chemicals are added but hemp may already be naturally pest-proof). Best of luck!

  3. I have gutted an older mobile home,and am placing all new insulation.Should I place a vapor barrier over the new insulation?

  4. I have a 1980 mobile home that has lost it’s insulation blanket from repairs etc. I have a contractor who wants to reinstall buffalo board to insulate and let the home breathe. I’m not sure why the home needs to breathe. I suggested sprayed insulation under the home to seal everything and keep the inside cooler and the wood underneath from the hot humid air. The contractor is telling me that the spray insulation won’t let it breathe. I’ve asked several people and they have never heard of such a thing. So do I do the Buffalo board or spray insulation? Spray is cheaper

    1. Hi Michael,

      Both HUD and the DEPT of Energy recommend spray foam for the under belly of mobile homes since it has equal (or more) R-value and isn’t affected by critters or water like fiberglass batts.

      I don’t think you’d need to worry about a mobile home breathing in the underbelly (it’s called convection). Hope that helps!

  5. My 1986 mobile home has 6” walls and 6” fiberglass unfaced insulation. I’m replacing the drywall & was wondering if the unfaced is ok or should I replace it with paper faced insulation. I don’t want to create a moisture problem. The existing insulation looks to be in great shape. Live in upstate NY.

    1. Hi Rich,

      Last I read, faced insulation is best for cold insulation since it is essentially a vapor barrier. The facing does not affect the R-value of the insulation at all, but a lot of people like faced because it is easier to install. Since you are in NY the facing would need to be on the exterior of the home should you install it. For hot southern states, it would need to be facing the interior. It’s really up to you. If it’s worked this well so far or if you have an exterior sheathing you’d probably be fine without it.

      Good luck!

  6. Hi! We own a pre-1976 mobile home in Michigan. I’m in the process of removing the entire underbelly all the way to the floorboards. The old insulation and boards are pretty nasty. The home is seasonal, summers only. Do I need to insulate at all? I’m not interested in holding heat or cool air inside the home. I’d like to just clean out all the old material and leave as is. When finished, I will replace the skirting to keep critters out. Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Hi Matt,
      Yeah, you really should add insulation. It’s cheap and would be a fairly quick install since you’ve gutted the underbelly already. Just staple it between the joists.
      If you don’t your plumbing will freeze and you’ll get condensation on your walls and ceilings that will lead to mold and mildew due to temp fluctuations. Go ahead and get the ducting and venting sealed up as best as you can before you add the insulation.
      Best of luck!

  7. I don’t know if I’m commenting in the right space but I have a question that to be honest am embarrassed to ask. I removed my batten on my wall in the hallway because I hate them. I used the tape and joint compound to seal the spaces. I used a thin coat the first time and sanded it down & was going to do another coat. My husband insisted I wasn’t doing it right. I panicked and totally screwed it up. The tape I used you could see it even with the sanding. The compound was really uneven and the more I sanded the worse it got. Finally I just painted over it and hung pictures over it. I don’t want to leave it that way. I know it’s there and it bothers me immensely. Help! What can I do to fix this?

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      Please don’t be embarrassed! We have ALL done things that didn’t work out during our remodels! You tried something and it didn’t work but at least you tried! Every home has at least 3 ‘oopsies’ or it can’t be considered a true home…lol

      You probably only needed a little caulk and a little bit of mud to fill in the seams that the battens were covering. By using the tape you may have added too much ‘height’ and then when you started sanding you may have sanded the vinyl or paper off which made the gypsum show? The reason they use battens is that the VOG/POG walls aren’t tapered at the edges like sheetrock so that makes taping and mudding difficult (as you’ve found out). At this point, I would probably get the wall as smooth as possible and then find a thick paintable wallpaper. Or, maybe you could use more mud and a template to add a dimensional design to cover that seam only (a tree or Greek column would work).

      Best of luck!

  8. Hi Crystal,
    Great info here, especially for those of us who have never had to think about adding insulation. You didn’t mention insulation behind skirting, which is what I need here in upstate New York. I have the original, cheap vinyl stuff right now, but it needs to be replaced. Do I have many options?
    Thank you for any advice!

    1. Hi Robynne,

      I have read a few opinions and test results for insulated skirting and it seems every professional has a different opinion. One says you should always use insulated skirting, another has fancy charts and graphs to show that you don’t. It’s really kind of ridiculous how different opinions are about insulated skirting of all things! I’m gonna side with the numbers – the NERL did tests and it showed insulated skirting was the 5th best energy saving improvement or upgrade.

      The expert that says there are better places thinks you should spend the money to insulate the floor and ducting and lay a ground barrier instead.

      Also, think about skirting ventilation. In the winter you have vents open allowing the cold air under the home anyway (you want air circulation to dry up the snow and ground moisture) so it’s counterproductive to insulate the space you want air to flow through.

      Personally, I would buy the thicker, higher quality virgin vinyl skirting (not made from recycled material) instead of insulated skirting and back it with the cheaper foam board or fan-fold insulation behind it. Next, I would add an insulated box or ‘skirt’ around your plumbing pipes running between the ground and the home and then seal up all your ducts and either blow insulation or use foam board or fiberglass roll/batt between the joists. A new belly wrap and ground barrier are good investments (but you can always just repair that belly wrap).

      Hope that helps!

  9. Crystal,
    This is one the most informative articles I have ever read concerning home improvement. And your timing is spot on – after just spending 3 days/nights here in Florida with the evening temperature of 37 degrees the heat pump was turned on to get to a comfortable temperature. My wife suggested that I research adding insulation under the house , which I will do soon – but your information has saved me time and has educated me to what to expect once I get started. Since the interior is all done – I have plenty of “spare” time.

    Very well written and filled with facts – thanks.

    1. Thank you, Chuck! That means a lot, especially from you because you know your stuff!

      I have left out a couple things I need to add. Namely, using a flexible board to help add rolled or batt insulation between the floor joists (I can’t find photos of it and I can’t describe it properly). I also forgot to mention that drilling holes over the studs on the sidewalls will help you fill in two spaces with only one hole. Fewer holes are always good!

      I’m trying to focus on more helpful articles (though I really need to stop using the word guide, you’d think I’d figure out how to use a thesaurus by now!) Thanks again!

  10. Thank you for this informative article about insulating mobile/manufactured homes. I would like to ask about the R values for the ceiling, walls and floors. If you have that information, I would appreciate it. Thank you for your site and all the helpful information you provide along with inspiring remodels! ~Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      If I recall correctly, HUD set the minimum to R-19 pretty much across the board (walls, ceilings, and floor). It’s the most commonly available value on the market, too.

      1. TruMH by Clayton only have R-14 celiings and R-11 walls. You have to live in Climate zones 2 and 3 to even get the upgraded R-14 walls. To overcome this lack of insulation they have monster 40,000 BTU furnaces. If I were to buy one of these (they are VERY affordable, obviously for a reason) the first thing I’d do is build false walls inside the trailer with offset studs and more insulation, and that would have the added benefit of getting rid of the god awful vinyl on gypsum wallboard. Then clad the inside walls with shiplap or rough cut lumber, a much nicer more modern look. You’d save a bunch on heating in the winter, especially if you plastic the windows and could tolerate a little colder temps. For every 1.8 degrees F ( 1 degree C ) lower you can stand, you burn 10% less fuel. So if you can keep your trailer at 55 F instead of 70 F, you burn 75% less propane.