Manufactured Home Belly

An airtight belly is very important in heat and cooling efficiency and in preventing water lines from freezing in cold weather. However, it is penetrated by the drain, supply and electrical and gas lines. These openings may or may not have been sealed properly. In addition the belly may have been damaged during transport and not carefully sealed again. Cats and mice are not stupid either and love to get inside where it is warm. A mouse can get through a 1/4″ opening!!

Mobile home supply places sell belly repair material and aerosol adhesive that is used to attach it. You simply cut a piece large enough to cover the problem, spray adhesive on both the repair piece and the surface it will be attached to, wait for it to set and press it in place. If that sounded real simple, you have obviously not had the pleasure of lying on your back in the dark under a home, breathing adhesive fumes, trying to keep the repair surfaces clean and dry, while you position it properly.

Is it any wonder that most belly damage is “repaired” with a few strips of duct tape? The repairman knows duct tape won’t hold well or for long, but there could easily be 30 minutes or more extra work to do it right. The homeowner probably got bids for the job so time is money and the homeowner doesn’t know a good job from a bad one anyhow. It’s frustrating, because sometimes it seems like the whole system is set up to ensure shoddy workmanship. The advantages of doing it yourself are obvious.

{ 12 comments… read them below}

louise
Where does one find this belly material? And how much does it cost?
Paul
Click on this belly repair link and on the page that comes up, type belly into the search box and hit enter. That will show you all their belly related products.

mike
I was looking to replace the carpet in my livingroom. the problem I got is my modular is double wide and I want to lay wood flooring across both sides and not sure how I would lay the flooring over the split in the middle of the floor conneting the two sides. I’m wondering as the modular settles this could be a problem later in years?
Paul
Assuming you will be putting down wood laminate with the padding on the bottom I don’t believe the “Marriage line” will be a problem.
The two halves are held together with heavy lag bolts every foot or so. I doubt there is going to be any movement. If the foundation was done right why are you expecting settling issues?

Todd
I inherited a 77 doublewide from my father. I’m in the process of renovating it and one of the things I’m preparing to do is replumb the entire house with pex. My question is, since my house sits on a foundation with a half-basement, can I just get rid of the belly insulation? The stuff just looks nasty, probably has mold and insects in it, and I just like the nice, clean look of being able to see my floor joists and other structure. Thanks.
Paul
I have been in the basement under a modular home where all the floor joists were exposed so I don’t know of any reason why that wouldn’t work. It will certainly make the plumbing work easier.

Tom O’Byrne
what would be involved with removing and replacing the old bottom board and insulation? thanks,Tom
Paul
A lot of really scratchy, itchy work, in cramped spaces. The younger and skinnier you are the easier it will be.

ANGEL R MARRERO
AC AIR IS ONLY COMING FROM ONE SIDE OF THE DOUBLEWIDE MOBILE HOMES. IT APPEARS THAT MUST OF
THE AIR IS BEING BLOWN TO THE GROUND. IS TGHERE SOME IND OF A TEST THAT I COULD DO TO FIND O LOOK FOR
THE PROBLEM?
Paul
hi Angel
Find someone young and skinny to crawl under the home an look for air blowing into the crawl space. It will probably be coming from a failed crossover duct. The crossover duct looks like the exhaust duct on your clothes dryer; only a lot bigger. They are usually made of wire & plastic. They fail when they weren’t properly connected and slip off, from age when brittle plastic fails, and animals tear them up.
Paul

Wendy Roth
How does one find a person to replace the insulation and under belly vapor barrier for a double wide? I’m in the Palm coast Florida area
Paul
I don’t have any really good answers. I was always the guy they were looking for
Are there any mobile home parks near you that have a lot of rentals in them? You might see if any of their crews do side jobs. Craigs List? Call companies that do mobile home setup and see if they have any suggestions?
Paul

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