Underbelly Patching Questions

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Raktus84
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:27 pm

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:34 am

Over the last couple of years there have been a number of damaging events to the underside of our trailer. A number of these have cause the underbelly of the trailer to become ripped up with holes in various spots. One of them, I know, is primarily due to a possum ripping into it to gain entry to our vents. It's my intention to go down there and patch up the holes to ensure nothing else gets in and try to avoid any continuing damage to the trailer. My question to those of you here is are there any specific materials you would suggest? On my own I was likely to buy some mill plastic and flexseal tape to patch the holes...

Additionally, I have a cable wire that goes from my model to outside the home. Every couple of nights something tugs on it and knocks my modem over. I can only suspect an animal moving in and out from beneath the trailer. Not being able to afford to bring out pest control, my short term plan was to sprinkle some mothballs down there to try and dissuade any animals from entry. I was wondering if anyone had any longer term solutions, as my fear is that the mothballs will just get washed away in a rain.


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Greg
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:07 pm

I would normally tell you to repair the belly material and then install solid skirting with no gaps to allow critters to get under the home. However in this case I would install the skirting first then do the belly repair.
It sounds like you would be a candidate for steel skirting since there are very few critters that can chew through it.

Here is a link
https://www.mobilehomerepair.com/mobile ... g-install/

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

Mark440
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:56 am

Another aspect to consider: if the critters got in - they have most likely left feces and/or urine in the ducting and belly insulation. Once the urine dries, it can become airborne and blown through the ducts out into the house. As for the feces...it's icky - and can be loaded with illness/disease causing bacteria.

Orange and Blue both carry a good disinfectant that can be sprayed on. (Bleach is the best - but it will ruin most spray equipment - hence the disinfectant). Ryobi makes a portable spray unit that runs off their 18v batteries and sprays pretty well. I use it for spraying pesticides - and it has held up very well.

The BIGGEST problem is accessing the ducts. Cutting the belly back to access the ducts will generally result in a whole bunch of insulation falling out - and there is a good chance it has the feces and urine in it. Make sure you wear a full respirator - and try to avoid letting any gunk get on you. From there, it is getting the disinfectant inside the ducts, and letting it set for a bit before sealing stuff back up. And - BEFORE you start cutting or pulling - kill the power. Don't be fooled into believing the manufacturer of the home would tie up any electrical lines so they aren't laying on the belly...they didn't. (Note: Any clothing worn should be washed in straight hot ware two or three times in a row to make sure any contamination is gone.)

As for 'materials' - if there are flex duct runs under the house - I would consider replacing them with same size real metal ducting. IMO - flex duct is trash waiting to happen under a house.

Note - unless you have already run off any critters - I would not install new skirting yet until you are 100% certain no critters remain. If a critter is up in the belly - and you start removing that belly - s/he is gonna be looking for an exit. If by chance there are babies involved - momma is gonna come out in a very foul mood.
Opportunity has a shelf life.

Raktus84
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:27 pm

Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:56 pm

Well, I went with the mothball plan first and foremost to try and drive away anything that could be in the area. Thought it was doing the trick until just today the wires connecting my modem under the trailer got pulled again. Apparently the smell of it all down there wasn't enough to drive them away. Since I'm on a bit of a budget, I haven't yet collected all the materials I need to begin the repair project, but thank you all for your suggestions so far.

Mark440
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:40 am

I have tried so many different chemicals to drive them out....and all have failed. I even put 24 foggers under all at the same time...and nothing. These are some incredibly adaptable animals - so very much like the evil space monsters that we just can't kill off! lol!

The areas they will probably nest in is the areas outside of the I-beams. The flooring, floor joists, perimeter joist, and belly forms a series of perfect little cubicles for raising a little family. And they aren't about to give it up - until they are forced to - or the 'cubicle' no longer exists. The easiest way is to remove the belly as it will eliminate the supporting surface.

All-in-all, it is a major undertaking no matter how you slice and dice it. It is pretty much an "all" or fail. The skirting is the primary defense. One it's integrity is broken - it becomes an all out war to reclaim your territory. With that said - there isn't a day go by that i don't cuss the "belly" design/materials. It is one hugely expensive FAIL in my book.
Opportunity has a shelf life.


karlaneese
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 6:05 am

Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:20 am

Unless the skirting isn't the issue at all. In our case, our park doesn't have pads, so our trailer rests completely on dirt. The possum has dug in the dirt under the skirting. I'm off to get a trap from our city animal control today. Hopefully that will catch the bugger.

truckinusa
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:38 pm

Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:25 pm

I have similar problems. I am unclear how exactly you reinsulate and repair tears and large holes in the underbelly? It would really help me out this winter if the house wasn't colder.

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