Remove Floor Insulation?

newsomerJuly 16, 2014

We've lost power to section of our manufactured home. Aparantly rodents have establised residency in the insulation under the floor and have taken to feasting on the wiring insulation causing a short that eventually destroyed the connection.

We had a very capable and experienced electrician help us diagnose the problem and he let me do most of the work to keep cost down. Initially I have replaced all the connectors at the transition with junction boxes while removing the chewed wiring around it. Doing this has not restored power to the section of the unit though.

Our electrician from the outset has recomended that we completely remove the underside insulation and vapor barrier (replacing the vapor barrior with one laid directly on the ground underneath). This will bare all the wiring for inspection and repair. He says this is common practice around here since we are in a temporate climate in southwestern Georgia and the insulation offers little if any added energy efficiency especially if the underside is protected from the environment. We have a full brick, not facade, "skirting" around the entire house. He says the insulation is only installed because they have no idea what climate the home will come to rest in and that if it's a cold climate with less underside protection it will make a big difference.

I don't know if it matters to the subject but our place is a 2005 Brigadier Homes double wide unit 4br, 3ba, 2,350 sqft (approx). It seems to be a higher quality unit with full 8' level ceilings.

I've been on this earth for over six decades now and doing this will be a big but not impossible task. Before I proceed I would like to hear other opinions so please let me know what you think. Thanks.

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I think your electrician is not a general contractor.

No doubt the insulation needs to be removed and a good full inspection made. But not replacing the insulation makes your home not conform to the Federal HUD building code, and probably not the state or local building code either, assuming there is one. I suspect this electrician does not pull the permits he ought to be pulling when he does serious rewiring jobs like this, and can do non-code work knowing no inspector will need to approve it. His convenience is his major concern, it seems.

One of the questions you ought to be asking is how the vermin got inside your foundation in the first place. All entry points need to be found and closed off before rewiring, or else a new invasion of vermin is inevitable, and the new wiring is at risk of being chewed again. You also need to be finding out what happened to the protective belly panel that should have kept the vermin out of your home's wiring, plumbing and insulation. Two defensive layers failed you. Fix those.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:52PM
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