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Perimeter Enclosures Bozeman MT

Well, we aren't supposed to call it skirting anymore are we? In some ways it would be a mistake to think of it as just a sort of "cover-up" for the frame, pipes and wheels under the home. There are reasons why we need it on our homes and extremely good reasons for it to be done correctly. Improperly applied skirting can damage the home.

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Perimeter Enclosure

Perimeter Enclosure
Fri 03/18/05 10:06:55 pm
By GEORGE PORTER

Well, we aren't supposed to call it skirting anymore are we? In some ways it would be a mistake to think of it as just a sort of "cover-up" for the frame, pipes and wheels under the home. There are reasons why we need it on our homes and extremely good reasons for it to be done correctly. Improperly applied skirting can damage the home. Yes, I said skirting! The way I see it a perimeter enclosure can be several things. It can be vinyl sheets you screw to the sides of the home (we will get back to this), or it can be a block wall around the edge of the home required by most banks called a "permanent foundation" (even if it doesn t touch the home at all), or it can be a real foundation (all types of which should be permanent by the way), or it could even be a basement wall. Let s look at each in some detail:

Some basic rules for perimeter enclosures:

1. The ventilation required is directly proportional to the moisture that can get under the home. The more it leaks, the more air it needs.

2. It must comply with the factory installation manual. This is how we maintain the warranty.

3. If the ground and/or home move in relation to each other, then provisions must be made to accommodate this difference as it occurs.

4. Enclosures should be made of something at least as durable as the exterior of the home.

Skirting.

If you look in a manufactured home installation manual, you will see that there are requirements for proper venting in the skirting. 99.9 % say that ratio is 1:150. This means that for every 150 square feet under the home you must have at least one square foot of free vented area. Free vented area means the size of the actual hole in the skirting. You must also have a vent located within 3 feet of every outside corner of the home. When you apply the skirting you can t mess up the home and if the ground is subject to frost heave then the enclosure can t be allowed to affect the side wall of the home.

Why is it a good thing to have skirting? Properly applied skirting does many jobs. It makes the home look better, no doubt about that, but it performs some other very important functions as well. Eliminating wind chill, believe it or not, is one and controlling rain water is another. There is also the ability to create a geothermally heated area under the home. Creating this barrier changes the environment below the floor, for the better we hope. For instance, in the State of Kentucky, if you have skirting on a home, the frost depth required for the footings more than 24 inches from the perimeter of the home is cut in half. If the home has no skirting, the footings must be full depth. This policy has been in effect for about 10 years, covering many thousands of homes, and has caused no problems. There has been enough concrete saved to probably build a highway across the entire State. Frost heave needs water to make the ice and the skirting keeps...

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