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DIY Old Mobile Home Insulation

Most of the problems with old mobile home insulation is due to the limited space between structural elements like the ceiling and roof and in between wall studs. Often, the amount of time it takes to repair these insulating gaps can be daunting, but it is well worth the investment to make the home a comfortable living space throughout the year.

Precautions and Considerations

Before attempting any insulating repair jobs, determine first if the walls and structural elements can bear the weight of the extra insulation.  While insulating is an easy DIY project, call a professional to inspect the structural integrity of the building Establish your climate zone and R-value required to maintain a comfortable living environment. R-value ratings represent the insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer from one area to another.  In warmer regions, you may not need as high a rating as those who live in colder climates. This can affect the type of insulation you select and how much of it you need to apply. 

Ceiling and Roof Insulating

One way to add insulation to the space between the ceiling and roof is to remove the fasteners that secure the long side of the trailer and pry up the edge.  You can then insert blown or loose-fill fiberglass insulation into this space via special equipment you can rent at the home improvement store. Have a friend on the ground that fills the hopper with loose-fill while you insert the pellets into the cavity with a long hose.  Use fiberglass instead of cellulose, which is too heavy and will corrode the metal surfaces of the roof and any electrical wiring. To achieve an R-19 rating for your ceiling, you should have approximately 8 to 9 inches of loose-fill insulation.  Carefully refasten the roof, re-attach the fasteners, and reseal the roof to prevent leaks and drafts Another easier and structurally safer way to increase the insulation properties from the roof is to purchase a DIY roof-over kit. Although more expensive than traditional insulating materials, the roof-over offers greater protection from leaks, is white or silver to reflect sunrays better, and reduces exterior noise from rain or hail.  A roof-over installs directly on top the existing roof, much like a shower cap, for a seamless fit. To increase insulating properties, you can add polystyrene rigid foam insulating boards between the two roofs. 

Wall Insulating

Adding wall insulation can be difficult since you have to remove the siding first.  You can install lightweight fiberglass batting or fiberglass blown insulation into the cavities. Before installing loose-fill insulation, tape off any interior outlets and fixtures that will allow insulating fibers to enter the home.  Re-attach the siding and caulk around windows, doors, and exterior outlets to prevent air leaks.

Floor Insulation

The easiest way to insulate the floors, which require a lower R-value, is to crawl under the manufactured home and fasten rigid foam insulation directly to the under belly board.  Caulk around any pipes or wires that exit from under the trailer. You could also install [batt insulation](https://homesteadycom/info-12003942-batt-insulationhtml) between the belly board and flooring material.  If the flooring has no insulation, install the batts with the vapor side up. If there is insulation, use batts without vapor barriers.  Re-attach the belly board and caulk around seams and plumbing or electrical fixtures.

Photo Credits

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