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Crawl Space Problems

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Some of the typical problems we see in manufactured home crawl spaces are:

  • Inadequate skirting around the home providing many access points for rodents and animals

  • Dryer venting directly in the crawl causing higher humidity levels

  • Excess construction debris especially wood, cardboard or other organic material in contact with the ground

  • Inadequate vapor barrier

  • Torn belly wrap and contaminated insulation This leaves the home exposed to outdoor air that robs energy in both winter and summer.

  • Inadequate drainage

  • Plumbing pipes that are not insulated

Of all the aforementioned problems, the greatest of these is that the skirting is often times not very effective in keeping rodents and other animals from nesting under their home. Rodents can burrow their way through the factory installed belly wrap (this is usually a fiberboard or 10mil. plastic) and into the insulation and once there can not only contaminate the insulation but can cause very powerful odors. This is especially true if one of them dies in the insulation. Unfortunately I know this from practical experience.

I once had to find one of these nasty critters that had died inside the insulation of the home of an 80 year old woman in Tacoma. There was no odor in the crawl space but one of the most powerful odors in her home I have ever encountered. It was impossible to tell where the rodent was and the homeowner was unable to replace all the insulation in her floor so I had to make small cuts in the belly barrier in each insulation bay and stick my fully gloved hand in until I found the critter. It took until 7:30 that evening but I found it and disposed of it. It took a couple of days for the odor to completely go away.

In addition double wide manufactured homes have a large cross vent duct that carries conditioned air from one side of the home to the other. This can be easily damaged by animals. If the heating vents in your home are stronger one side than the other then chances are your cross vents has been damaged.

The point here is that even if you do a complete restoration of the crawl space under your manufactured home, if the animal access and entry points are not sealed you may have the same problem all over again.

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