HVAC Vent and Underbelly Repair

I have a 2001 double wide in Ohio that needs both the vents/ductwork reconnected/repaired as well as needs some insulation replaced and underbelly repairs. We live by the woods, and those darn feral cats, racoons, possums, and the like really line getting under there.

I had the HVAC guys come out to check on the ducts because half of the trailer has no air pressure whatsoever. They said the ducts were completely disconnected in multiple places and they weren’t able to reach them through the holes that were already present in the underbelly. They recommended removing the whole underbelly and insulation because of the amount of damage (and we think the furnace is leaking when it’s blowing AC).

Do you think it could be a better idea to just cut holes and remove insulation where the ducts need to be reconnected/repaired, and then just repair those dots of the underbelly? Do you think I need to replace the insulation throughout the whole thing? How in the world do you actually replace the entire underbelly? How expensive are these things typically?

Also, any suggestions on where to get skirting and how to install it so it doesn’t try and hide under the trailer during storms?

I have been in a very similar situation. One of my parks is in the mountains. 4000 ft, and we have rats, raccoons, possums, etc.

Those rascals love the heat in the wintertime. The home’s underbelly is usually encapsulated with a black tarp-type material, which makes it easy for the vermin to scratch their way through. They will then tear apart the vents and create a cozy home with insulation.

Unfortunately, fixing this is a very crappy job. You must crawl under the home and repair all the insulation and vents while lying on your back. Hopefully, the home is high enough so you can do it. Some homes are very low, and there is virtually no room to crawl under some parts of the house.

We put all the insulation back and reconnected the vents. Then, we covered the entire underbelly of the home with thick black plastic and MDF. It was a nasty job that took my guys a few weeks to complete. The MDF was overkill, but one of my guys was buying the house himself, so he did much of the labor during his time.

If I had done this for a resale home, I would have skipped the MDF.

Your best bet is to do as much of this job yourself. After you fix the insulation, vents, and underbelly, go around the house and reinforce all your skirting. It does not take much for a mouse, rat, or raccoon to get under your home.

There’s a good 3 feet or so of clearance, so it isn’t terrible.

Any suggestions on how big of holes should be cut, and is reconnecting the ducts easy enough to do on my own, or do you think HVAC would be necessary?

Also, where did you get your insulation and underbelly patches?

I suggest you take down some of the skirting while completing the project. It’s no fun crawling from one end of the home to the other to get materials, etc. When we did it, we took down all the skirting.

Reconnecting the ductwork is not difficult.

You should be able to buy everything you need from your local Big Box Home Store. i.e., Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.

You are my favorite person right now!!

I have skirting down in a few different places already anyway because it doesn’t like staying up. That’s another project for another day.

Is there any particular insulation I should look into using? I know there are a few options, and I would love to use the easiest one. :rofl::rofl:

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I don’t know which option works best or is the easiest to install. I suggest you go to the local Big Box store and ask the guys who work there what they think. Bring some good photos with you so the staff can make the best recommendation.

Being you are in Ohio, I assume it gets pretty cold in the winter and hot and muggy in the summer. Use the Highest R rating you can fit. You’ll save a ton of money over the years on heating/cooling bills.

Thanks a bunch. I can’t tell you how much this helped me.

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