Skirting Vents

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hhb
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:14 pm

Wed May 29, 2013 8:23 am

We bought our mini home and moved it to our lot last year (New Brunswick, Canada - close to state of Maine). We put OSB around it for skirting (cheapest option due to necessity), and because it was late fall didn't put vents in it as we didn't feel it was needed for winter. Of course, now it's summer almost and we need to put them in very soon.

So, the question is, are the plastic vents you can simply open and close manually worth it? They look like furnace register vents, sort of. They are around $16 each. The alternative are the steel vents backed by mesh, around $6 each for about the same size (around 8" x 14" or so). The down side is you can't close them, of course, but I wonder if it would really make that much difference in the winter. The skirting is not insulated now, and just closing a plastic vent isn't going to keep that much cold out I wouldn't think.

Most other mini's I see around here have vinyl skirting, some of which is permanently vented (some panels are perforated). The whole underneath of the home is well insulated and sealed below the joists, and the water pipe has heat tape, fibreglass pipe insulation, then a sleeve of pink R12 over that, and foam over that. We had no problems last winter. I'm considering the cheaper metal vents because a) I really don't have much money at the moment but know I need to get this done ASAP, b) the metal vents seem much sturdier than the plastic ones anyway, and c) they look better to be honest.

So does it really matter if you can close the vents, if the skirting isn't insulated anyway?


1987Commodore
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Location: Steuben County, NY

Wed May 29, 2013 5:32 pm

If it is not insulated, it won't make much difference in the temperature. I know it can get a little chilly up there. :) I've been there in the winter. You do want to keep air from blowing directly on the water lines as much as possible, since if the air can flow around the lines they can freeze quickly, so locate any vents a little way away from them. I wrapped my water lines and drain lines with plastic over the insulation so air cannot penetrate.
You could cut out sections of the osb and make screened panels to install in the warmer weather, then remove the screens and put the osb you cut out back in place for the winter. Screen material is pretty cheap, and then the cost of a few boards to make the frames. It would maybe cost less than buying enough of the metal vents to do the job.
I think forum member Greg did that with his.

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Greg
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Wed May 29, 2013 5:42 pm

Yup, thats what I did. A few 2'x3' panels, just remove the panel and slip in a screened section.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Greg S
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Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

Are you renting a lot in a park. If so you may want to check with management regarding the skirting material before you invest any time and effort in venting.
If the park rules do not allow OSB for skirting you may end up having to remove it and install vinyl.
One thing park owners usually hate is residents doing anything outside without first checking to see if it is allowed.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

hhb
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:14 pm

Wed May 29, 2013 10:36 pm

Thanks, pretty much what I thought, as long as cold air isn't blowing directly on the pipes I should be good. Not in a park, this is on our own land, so we're free to do as we want. I may look into the screen panels idea, in fact I think I may have just the thing, you jogged my memory. Eventually I want to put cement blocks for skirting, the OSB should last until then I hope, as long as it's ventilated well enough so as not to rot too quickly.


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Greg S
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Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Thu May 30, 2013 7:11 am

Venting will not prolong the life of the OSB. It will rot first closest to the ground due to rain splashing against it.
Make sure you get a good quality paint applied to both the inside and outside, hopefully seal the bottom edge, of the skirting and the life of the skirting will be extended considerably but even that is questionable with OSB.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

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Greg
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Thu May 30, 2013 4:57 pm

If possible don't waste your time with any skirting material other than steel. Wood rots, vinyl is great weedeater food. With steel you can hammer on it all day long with a weedeater and only set a headache.
See "A better skirting idea" in the articles section.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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