Properly insulating your mobile home is critical if you want to save on heating and cooling bills and keep your home comfortable. Unfortunately, many mobile homes are poorly insulated or allow air leaks around windows, doors and other openings. In this article, you will learn how to identify and correct draft points, and how to add insulation to both the roof and underside cavities of your mobile home.
Locate the draft points in your mobile home. They will be easy to find on cold or windy days in particular. You should check all doors leading to the outside and all windows to see if drafts are entering your home. Most of the time, these drafts can be fixed by adding some simple weather stripping available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Other draft points may include vents leading to the outside, such as a vent for a clothes dryer. If you find a small gap, you may be able to close it with weather stripping. For larger gaps, spray foam works best.
Consider upgrading your windows. Many mobile homes today have well-insulated windows, or even storm windows, but others have low-quality or older windows that provide little protection against the elements. Poor-quality windows can inflate your heating bill by as much as 25 per cent, so replacing windows often pays for itself. You should look for windows with a U-value of 0.35 or below, which means the windows insulate well in colder climates.
Add roof insulation. For many mobile homes, this is easier said than done. The cavity beneath the roof may be completely sealed, and in some cases you may need to create a hole to gain access. (Hire a contractor if you're uncomfortable with this.) In other cases, you will be able to pry open some space where the outer wall meets the roof. Once you have determined how you will access your roof cavity, rent or purchase a fibreglass insulation blower from a hardware or home improvement store. Next, if you need to create a hole in your roof, use a circular saw to cut a hole that is large enough for the blower nozzle to gain access and have some manoeuvring room. You also may need to attach a pipe or hose to the nozzle in order to extend the blower's reach. Get advice from an insulation contractor if you're not comfortable with this. Fill the roof cavity evenly with insulation. When you're finished, if you created a hole, you will need to patch it. Surround the hole with two-sided tape, and place a galvanised metal patch over it. Caulk the seams and cover the patch with a waterproof roof coating.
Add insulation beneath your mobile home. This part of your home should be considerably easier to access than the roof, particularly since some mobile homes are not completely set on the ground. Use the insulation blower to add insulation evenly to this underside area. As with your roof, you likely already have some insulation in place, but the added insulation should make your home more energy efficient. The cold air from the ground can enter your mobile home through the floor and increase your heating bills if the underside of your home is poorly insulated.
Do not create a hole in your roof or any other part of your mobile home unless you are absolutely confident you can patch it correctly. A poor patch job could let in moisture that will create mould, mildew and rust.