Heat Loss From Older Manuf'd Home

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Old 10-12-09, 03:10 PM
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Question Heat Loss From Older Manuf'd Home

My older 1800 sq. ft. manufactured home [1980] has lost the trailer house look interior with 5 years of progressive remodeling. That facade hides all the old, cheap paneling and wall paper but what can I do, if anything, to add R-value to overhead insulation?

As some of you know, older manufactured homes have no practical attic space or accessibility. Slopes are typically less than 2" in 12." What passes for trusses in roof construction is a joke. They are composite, sandwich fabricated 1x3 pine or OSB between 1/8" skins of paneling stock. I have sheet rocked all the interior walls. However, because of the weight, I'm afraid to hang 1/2" wallboard on the ceiling joists in larger rooms over the trailer house type acoustic ceiling material used throughout.

With that said, my dilemma is how can I add R-value to R-19 fiberglass bats that lay on top of the acustic ceiling between the 16" spaced joists? Short of ripping off shingles and the 3/8" roof deck to add insulation from the outside, what can I do to give my over-worked heat pump a rest and reduce the energy exit from my humble home? I never seen a thermal image of heat loss but I'm convinced the 14 y.o. heating system cannot warm the entire world!

Having done what I could with new vinyl siding over styrofoam and new double pane windows, what can I do for my biggest energy lost through the roof? As I have explained, structure, weight and access to the space between ceiling and roof deck are formidable problems with expensive solutions. Could it be I'll have to bite that bullet?

I have investigated some exterior roof insulation coverings but I have concerns about adding heating retention capability to the attic space from the outside because the roof vents used in conventional construction would only let out all the heat I hope to retain --not to mention the resulting condensation?

Sorry for this rambling, verbose explanation and question. Someone out there has surely encountered the same predicament and has either learned to mitigate it, live with it or find and employ some practical solution? I would much rather pay the power company less and apply the savings to the ever rising costs at the grocery store. Given a choice between freezing or starving I'd choose the former --it's quicker!
 
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Old 10-12-09, 03:23 PM
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Hi Mike and welcome to the forum. So far I have avoided these mfg units for just some of the reasons you mentioned. I have seen new roof structures that simply become the roof, attic and new insulation right over the top of your existing structure. Not sure how they attach or support it, but it is one option.

the state weatherization programs deal with a lot of them and as I understand, they blow-in cellulose insulation. Again, I haven't so no details. I have an internet contact who works with one of the WAP's and I can e-mail him as I'm sure he has done many. We will see if anyone here has a solution first.

Another step you can take is to run one of the heat loss programs. It is helpful to see the energy broken down into windows, walls, floor, ceiling, and air leakage. For example, r-19 in the ceiling isn't terrible, perhaps there is another place that would yield better results. Waiting for other comments,
Bud
 
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Old 10-12-09, 05:07 PM
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Does your MH have the old style almost flat roof or is it like the newer ones with the 3/12 pitch? You said 'shingles' so I hope it's the 3/12 pitch. I'm a painter not a roofer but unless I'm mistaken a 3/12 is the least slope they will warrant shingles on.

My house has an old MH inside it. I've built around it and now have an attic over the MH part with added insulation over the old roof. It isn't overly complicated to roof over the flat MH roofs and gain the air space afforded by an attic.

The only way to drywall the ceiling is to tear out the existing ceiling and beef up the MH "trusses"
 
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Old 10-14-09, 12:27 PM
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Mark,

The MH roof pitch is indeed 3/12. Sorry about the 2/12 misinformation. I had not considered the house-within-a-house solution. Don't think I want to dump that kind of $$ into it. Rather than doing that, my wife and I probably would elect to scrape this old disposable house off the lot and purchase a new MH. As you know, they are now very comparable to stick-built homes.

A drywall alternative I have considered would be to fur out across the joists in the one room with water damaged fiber, acoustic ceiling panels and staple up Armstrong ceiling tiles over the existing ceiling. I'm not sure that alternative would be weight acceptable for the flimsy truss structure to support. One would think furring and ceiling tiles would be lighter/sq. ft. than sheet rock? Guess I could call the Armstrong people for advice and questions. However, they may be a little biased...

Mike
 
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Old 10-14-09, 12:51 PM
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Thanks Bud for your response.

Blow-in insulation would be the best solution but there is no place to blow it in from. No attic/or air space access. Removing and reapplying deck panels, blowing loose insulation or adding blankets from the outside is the only way I can see to beef up the Ceiling R value?

I would think the roof structures you mentioned would have to be self-supported in order not to over stress the light construction of existing roof? Maybe not, though. Could be that someone posts to this thread with more comments or particulars about that type of solution?


Mike
 
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Old 10-14-09, 03:33 PM
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The way I beefed up the MH trusses [mine were 1x2 with scrap paneling for gussets] was to nail sawmill 1x's [full 1"thickness] to the side of each MH truss. For the most part that worked well. I do have 1 sheet of drywall on the kitchen ceiling that the seam shows.... but you have to know where to look.

My MH was here when I bought the place. They said it took 2 bull dozers to get it up to the top of the hill - 1 pulled and 1 pushed. Probably the main reason I built around it was that allowed me to pay as I went and I got to skip getting a mortgage

When I lived in fla I saw a lot of alluminum roof overs. They were mostly on the older flat roof MHs and were supported by the MHs framing.There basic purpose was to stop leaks and add a layer of stryofoam for insulation. Around here there are quite a few MHs that have roof overs allthough the majority are over the flat roofs and often supported by 4x4s [in the ground] run along the lenght of the MH.

If you do decide to buy a new MH - inspect them closely!! At first glance they all look the same and they do make them look nice but some are built better than others. As far as I know, all of them utilize a double storm window instead of the tradional double pane windows. While a little more expensive you might check out the manufactured homes that are basically plant built but put together [with a crane] on a site built foundation.
 
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Old 10-14-09, 10:46 PM
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Thanks Mark, you have given me considerable to think about. Do you have any motivation and determination to send my way also?

Mike
 
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Old 10-15-09, 04:11 AM
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I think I saw the weatherman pointing to a large cold front setting just below Alaska headed your way.

Bud
 
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Old 10-17-09, 10:52 PM
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Cold front arrived 2 days ago East of the Cascades. Eastern WA, ID & MT took the hit. It remains balmy (62 today) here in W. WA, Puget Sound land. Buckets of rain have been pouring on us for the past 48 hours though.
 
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