Finished insulated skirting just in time!

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mccrackin
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:08 am

I just finished my new insulated skirting, just in time for the snow! (we got over a foot overnight last week) Glad it's finally done - what I thought would take one or two weekends took a whole lot longer. I started off following the ideas from the repair manual, and then ended up tweaking things a bit.

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Instead of using the rolls of insulation recommended in the manual, (which I couldn't find locally), I built a frame that fits normal batt insulation. Once the frame was up, I put up vapor barrier behind it, and then put the insulation in. I then covered the front of the insulation with vapor barrier as well.

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I left vent holes that I filled with styrofoam insulation for the winter and covered with some gable vents that already have screen installed on the back of them. In the summer I'll take the styrofoam insulation out.

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This is looking through one of the venting holes. You can see the insulated water pipes, some hoses that I can access if I ever need to drain the hot water tank, and the heat duct that I ran under there.

And finally, here's the access door. At first I wasn't sure how I would insulate it, but I'm happy with what I came up with.

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I had the whole thing sealed up and finished, and then less than half an hour later I had to open the access door again. It was already noticeably warmer underneath, and by the next morning our floors weren't cold anymore. Hurray!
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Greg
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Congrats on the warm floor!! looks good.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
dedou
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 am
Location: Central Vermont

Great job, thanks for the photos and description! You have snow already?!? What's up with that? We're in VT and none yet (not that I'm complaining, mind you!)
Devon
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bobfather99
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Warm floor=success!!!
Tip your bartender.....
mccrackin
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:08 am

dedou wrote:Great job, thanks for the photos and description! You have snow already?!? What's up with that? We're in VT and none yet (not that I'm complaining, mind you!)
I live way up here in the great white north, but even still the snow kind of surprised us. I went to bed one night without a care in the world, and woke up with a car I had to shovel out of a snowdrift. It would have made me grouchy, but I'm a chiropractor by day and a big heavy snow like that that people have to shovel out is a dream come true.
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Greg S
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Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Great looking job but......

I hate being the one to bring up concerns however the placing of vapour barrier on both sides of your insulation has created a envelope that will not allow water/moisture to escape from your insulation. It is inevitable that the insulation around skirting will get wet or take in moisture and when it does the insulation value will disappear. In addition it will develop mold. Insulation needs to breath stay dry and therefor the exterior should have been covered with house wrap rather than plastic.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
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JD
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Great looking job but......
I totally agree with Greg's post. Vapor barrier on the warm side only and never both sides. But the work looks great.
☯JD♫
Today is PERFECT!

All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.
mccrackin
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:08 am

Wish I had thought about the house wrap idea - that would have been perfect. If I get any problems I'll just have to take off the sheet metal and then replace the plastic with house wrap. I'm hoping it will still work OK though - the insulation recommended in the repair manual actually comes sealed in plastic. I do understand the reasons that it's not right, I just didn't think of a solution. I should have posted here first!
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Greg S
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Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

If at some time you do decide to remove the skirting and install house wrap you might also consider changing the insulation. The pink insulation does absorb moisture and when it gets wet it has zero insulation value. A better choice for skirting and basement insulation is Roxul batt insulation. It is not effected by water and actually repels water.

http://www.roxul.com/stone+wool/water-repellent
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
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flcruising
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Location: Florida Panhandle

Another idea would be to puncture some small breathing holes in the interior vapor barrier with a pencil lead.
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]
mccrackin
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:08 am

flcruising wrote:Another idea would be to puncture some small breathing holes in the interior vapor barrier with a pencil lead.
Would it be better to do this on the interior vapor barrier, or the exterior? It would be more work to get to the exterior stuff, but I think it could be doable. It wouldn't be too terrible to cut a slash in the interior barrier that would be big enough to let me move insulation out of the way and have access to the exterior stuff (from under the trailer), and then make some holes in that. And then, seal the interior barrier back up with tuck tape. But, if it would work just as well doing it just on the interior stuff, I could be done in 15 minutes vs a few hours.
Thanks for the idea.
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Greg S
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Moisture laden air moves from warm to cold areas. It is therefor imperative that a plastic vapour barrier be placed on the warm side of insulation (inside) and that it be completely sealed from air infiltration.
If you cut holes on the inside (under the home) they must be taped over when done. However it will be of very little value to simply punch holes in the plastic on the outside, or cut slashes, as this will not allow adequate ventilation to dry wet insulation with the skirting up against the plastic..
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)
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flcruising
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mccrackin wrote:Would it be better to do this on the interior vapor barrier, or the exterior?
Interior.
Based on the fact that you already have snow, I am assuming you are in a mild/cold climate. The high(er) vapor permeable barrier (vapor retarder) should always be installed on the warm side of a wall assembly. Permeable is the key word here, meaning that moisture can migrate through the material.

Polyethylene plastic is a class I (low perm) vapor retarder, therefore on the exterior it will help keep the moisture out. The warm side is where the moisture will migrate through given the ability. This is where you want a class II or III vapor retarder. House wrap is class III. Your best approach is to make your class I material more permeable. Being an 'Architectural Project Manager', I've laid hands on various types of class III vapor retarders (house wraps) from manufacturers. Since others can't imitate the 'Tyvek' (brand) house wrap because its a Dupont spunbonded (no holes) process, they simply puncture small holes in a poly sheeting.

Sorry to go in-depth on the explanation, but I wanted to be clear as to why I suggested this approach.
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]
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