Belly board repair and Questions

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Moderators: Greg, Mark, mhrAJ333, JD

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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 4:46 pm

Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 pm

Hi guys, found this site through a search, and I'm super grateful! Bought a late 90's mobile home in NW Florida a couple years back, ducts/vents running overhead. Around here, temps run from high 90's-low 30's. Have a list of projects/repairs in the works, and yet, while I'm slowly learning about mobile homes (and home ownership in general :D), I don't have any previous experience with them.
First thing is the belly board. We've taken care of some mice that have come in through several large tears there. Looking to repair, but still unclear/unsure about a few things...

-01 Air circulation: In a warm area like NW FL, how is the "ventilation" system under the house supposed to work? If skirting is vented and belly board breathable, is an open system/air circulation what keeps humidity down and moisture/mold from developing in the insulation, subfloor, etc?

-02 Rodents: Worried about them getting back into the insulation and nesting there, but should new belly board and skirting that's free of access points solve most of that?

-03 Type of insulation: Looking at fiberglass mainly because of $, but read several instances of fiberglass trapping moisture and damaging the subfloor, joists, etc. Any input or suggestions on that?

-04 Installation: does the insulation go in between the joists directly underneath the subfloor, or does there need to be an air space? And is the belly board run tight or should there be a sag?

Hoping to learn as I go, and I appreciate any input you can offer! Thanks!

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Posts: 5682
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Wed May 20, 2020 7:30 pm

Air circulation, the belly is designed to breath, Belly wrap is usually woven to allow air and water to get through.

Critters, Skirting is your first line of defence against them. I like steel or concrete personally. If a critter chews through it they can have it I'm not messing with them.

Insulation, most use fiberglass. It is designed to hang under the joists like a blanket .

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

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 4:46 pm

Fri May 22, 2020 9:38 am

Thanks for your input! Couple more things if you don't mind:

01: Want to lay moisture barrier on ground (right now it's just dirt). What thickness would you recommend?

02: Remember you suggesting mobile home repair book to several people, I think you said written by Mark. Would love to check it out. Could you give me the name and/or link?

03. Belly board I purchased is 30'' x 100'. For repair, there are large tears that need insulation added/belly replaced. After removing old material, I'm thinking to install in runs--cut belly to fit over 16oc joists, staple/glue portion of belly to joists, stuff insulation, finish stapling. Similar to how you'd insulate/sheetrock a wall. Have never done this though. Original installation seems more like what you said--huge sheets of belly with insulation that just sort of sits on top. Everything just kind of sags--no staples, wires, etc to hold anything up. Could you give me any input on this and how you'd recommend doing it?

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