How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Which is better: vinyl or brick manufactured/mobile home skirting?
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Both vinyl and brick skirting have advantages and disadvantages. Here’ s listing of the pros and cons of each.
• Much less expensive and easier to install than brick.
• The required ventilation openings are already in each panel.
• Makes it easy to access the underneath of the home from anywhere in the perimeter.
• Can be installed and repaired by a homeowner.
• Easy to replace any damaged areas.
• Can be damaged by weed-eaters.
• Not as durable as brick, and budget-priced vinyl becomes brittle and easily damaged after just a few years of sunlight exposure.
• Does not add curb appeal to home.
• Adds curb appeal and value. Makes a manufactured home look more substantial.
• Can be expected to last for the life of the home.
• Much more expensive
• Requires professional installation and a foundation.
• Ventilation panels must be installed at regular intervals.
• Access to crawl space only from access panel location(s).
Unfortunately, brick skirting can also end up causing long-term problems in the crawl space if improperly installed. Any skirting needs to be set so that it sits just behind the siding of the home's walls above it—creating a lap to shed rain water that runs down the wall. But all manufacturers' installation instructions specify setting perimeter piers (the ones placed directly under the outside walls for additional support at the sides of window and door openings, as shown below), and those piers can obstruct the correct placement of brick skirting.
So some installers in our area set their brick skirting so the back surface of the brick overlaps and sits against the bottom area of the front surface of the exterior walls. This looks good and makes installation of the skirting much easier, but allows rain water running down the wall to drain down the back surface of the brick and puddle in a line behind the skirting.
Water under a mobile home is never good. Many of the HUD installation regulations are specifically there for keeping water out of the crawl space, but this installation routes the water into it. Here’s some photos of a recent inspection of a home with the problem. You can see stains running down the back of the brick and, in one case, a sunken pier due to water undercutting it.
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