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Solving Skirting and Belly Board Problems


Problems with manufactured home skirting and belly boards are common, and repairing them is easier than you might think.

• Replacing your home's skirting


Most manufactured homes have some type of skirting attached to the base of the home. This skirting protects your home's pipes and fixtures from the elements, reduces updrafts and helps to
control moisture. Damaged aluminum and vinyl skirting panels should be replaced, not patched. Fortunately, individual panels are not very expensive and are easy to replace. If you have trouble finding identical replacement panels, switch the damaged panel with one in a less conspicuous location. Or, if your skirting is aluminum, buy a panel in a similar pattern and paint it to match. In warmer climates, a screen or louvered vent can also be used as a replacement.

Besides your replacement panel, you'll need tin snips and a measuring tape.


Step 1: Remove panel. Slide the panel up until it is above the ground channel. Pull it out from the bottom and slide the rest of the panel out. With some types of skirting, it's easier to remove panels if you unsnap the trim.

Step 2:
Cut to fit. Measure the damaged panel to determine the size of a replacement panel. Both aluminum and vinyl skirting panels can be cut with tin snips. Remember to keep the top of the panel straight.



Step 3:
Replace panel. Slide the top of the panel in first, and then lift to insert the bottom into the ground channel. If you removed the top trim front, make sure the replacement panel is in place, then snap the top trim front in place.

• Patching belly board

Belly board, also known as blackboard, shepherd board or a rodent barrier, is typically an asphalt-impregnated fiberboard, asphalt-impregnated fiberglass cloth, or heavy tar paper. The belly board serves to prevent moisture infiltration, insulate the subfloor and keep animals and insects from gaining access to your manufactured home.

Tears, holes or any area that sags in the belly board should be investigated and repaired promptly. Before you make repairs, assess the damage. If a moisture build-up was responsible for the problem, locate and repair the leak. You'll need to replace any damaged materials like insulation and flooring as well. If the tear was caused by pests, get rid of the animals and any nests they built.


To patch belly board, you'll need precut sections of repair material (available through manufactured home supply catalogs or stores), self-tapping coated screws, washers, some short 2 x 4 inch or 2 x 6 inch boards, hammer, screwdriver, saw, nails and utility knife.

Step 1: Assess damage. Crawl under your home to determine the extent of any damage. Do not repair belly board until you determine the cause of the damage and make those repairs.

Step 2: Locate joists. Remove damaged belly board back to the center of the nearest floor joist.





Step 3:
Build frame. Rough in a smaller frame to use as a nailing surface between the nearest joists. Attach one side of this frame to a joist.



Step 4:
Cut patch. Cut the new piece of belly board larger than the damaged area. Size the patch to fit your frame.



Step 5:
Cover hole. Screw the patch to the frame, over the existing belly board. If the damaged area is extensive, size the patch so you can attach it directly to the joists. This will eliminate the step of building a smaller frame, but you may still need to frame in one side.
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Mobile Home Skirting
 
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