DIY Fix For Your Belly Board
Have you ever wanted to fix your mobile home belly board but don’t have the funds to hire a professional to do so? Not to worry, because we will be going through how you can DIY with a budget and get your Mobile Home belly board working again.
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Belly Board Vs Underbelly
Before we get started, though, it’s important to understand the difference between a belly board and an underbelly. Most people regard them as the same thing, but there are slight differences between them.
The underbelly is the area that is covered by a belly wrap, and it starts at the bottom of your floor to the top of the belly board. The underbelly consists of the chassis, joists, wiring, insulation, and plumbing, but some also include the piers and footers and moisture barrier as well.
The belly board, on the other hand, is a material made of polyethylene and is black in color. The belly board looks like mere plastic, but it actually has much more strength than that. The belly board prevents animals from damaging it and has chemicals infused in it to deter animals from straying to your house. Furthermore, it allows for better air circulation and prevents any mold or condensation from occurring.
The next thing you might want to know is the moisture barrier, which is yet another essential component in a mobile home. A moisture barrier is different from the belly board, and it is laid on the ground to act as a shield from the moisture and weeds that come from the ground. If your mobile home doesn’t have a moisture barrier, it is imperative that you get one installed. When getting a moisture barrier, it should be more than six inches larger than the perimeter of your house.
Damaged belly board
Even though a belly board is relatively strong, it can still sustain damage. The most common damage is caused by animals or repairs, so the belly board should be the last to repair when you are getting your house repaired.
A damaged belly board is never something that you want on your hands. With a damaged belly board, you incur high energy bills because there will be a lot of heat loss and cooling loss. Pests will be able to enter your house, so that’s another headache to bear. Furthermore, your water lines are more prone to freeze and the subflooring will not be protected from moisture. This means that the underbelly is crucial to the overall condition of your house.
How to repair a belly board
Repairing a belly board is easy when there is precise planning and some helping hands, albeit still a little tough.
1. Remove the damaged insulation and belly board
Remove and throw away everything carefully including the insulation and belly board with a knife. With a clean canvas, you can then start repairing your belly board.
2. Replace the ducts
Secondly, you need to replace or do a resealing of the ductwork, ensuring that each and every corner and crevices are properly sealed.
3. Check your plumbing
Now, you should check that your plumbing system is in good condition. If you find that there’s something wrong with your water lines, this is the time for you to repair or call a professional as well. If you live in colder countries, then you might want to run your water supply lines beside the ductwork so that the heat prevents the pipes from freezing.
The fourth step would be to install new insulation. Insulation comes in various forms, like foams or fiberglass. There are different pros and cons to them so you should do your research on that as well. Foams may be cheaper and environmentally friendly, so that is a popular choice among many mobile home homeowners.
5. Set your new belly board up
Finally, you can now install your new belly board. If you already have a belly board with only little damage here and there, you don’t have to replace the entire belly board, you just have to patch it. You could consider zipper patches for places where you need to access the board often. Otherwise, the tape is a good alternative to cover those holes as well.
Other tips you might want to know
Trap flaps are a great product to invest in if you need them for places in your belly board that you need access to so it is more convenient for you. They are definitely useful in the long term and save costs.
Many owners might think that they do not require a belly board because of how tedious it is to repair the plumbing or wiring. It is also not easy to detect a water leakage with a belly board present. However, this can be circumvented by using a small pin to push through the belly board under bathrooms and kitchens where there will likely be water leakage if any. This is so that you can spot the water easily since you already have a moisture barrier installed so you know that the water is not from the ground. However, if your house is prone to bug infestations, then you might want to reconsider this tip.
There are many owners who choose to install Tyvek instead of a belly board, but with a Tyvek, you have to ensure that it is facing the right way. Tyvek can be great in the sense that it is free from oil additives so that mice do not come and chew on it, unlike a belly board.
The crucial thing is to always have a sort of a belly board, regardless of whether it is the real belly board, or Tyvek, or foam or tarps layered up. They are better and safer than having no form of belly board under your house at all. Of course, always do adequate research, including the type of mobile home you have, because all of these can make a difference as to what and how you should install your belly board.