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.

Vinyl Skirting
• 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.

Brick Skirting
• 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.

    Also see Does mobile home skirting have to be ventilated? and What are skirting access panel code requirements for a manufactured-mobile home?  

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More links to some of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

How can I remove water under my mobile home?

What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home? 

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

 What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

When were the first double-wide mobile homes manufactured?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

Can you put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

What's the differences between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home? 

What is a D-sticker mobile home? 

What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?

How fireproof is a mobile home?  

Can I install a mobile home myself?

Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code? 

What walls can I remove in a mobile home?

How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

       Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES  page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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