As colder, wetter weather approaches, you may be thinking about how to protect your mobile home from the elements. Perhaps you’re worried about a leaking roof, faulty pipes, or power outages. Maybe you’re thinking about the family of raccoons that are making a home under your foundation. But have you given any thought to your mobile home’s siding?
What Does Mobile Home Siding Do
Siding (along with skirting) is a mobile home’s first line of defense against the outside world. Not only does it protect your home from water, snow, and wind, but it also keeps out insects and other pests. Siding also helps to keep your mobile home’s internal thermostat steady by keeping temperature-controlled air inside.
Types of Mobile Home Siding
There are many types of siding materials for mobile homes:
Vinyl is one of the most popular choices for mobile home siding panels. It’s low-cost, comes in a variety of styles and colors, and is easy to install. It’s also easy to clean and mildew-resistant. It’s one of the less durable siding options, however.
Fiber cement is an extremely durable type of siding that’s immune to rot and comes in many sizes, thicknesses, and styles. It’s one of the more expensive siding options, however, and is more difficult to install.
Metal siding was one of the most popular siding choices for mobile homes before the introduction of vinyl siding. It's durable, fire-proof, and easy to install. However, it is more prone to scratches and dents, which can be unappealing.
Wood is a popular siding choice due to its warm, rustic appearance. It comes in several varieties, from versatile plywood to strong, striking cedar. Regardless of what wood you use, this siding requires extra care to ward off rot and mildew.
Stone siding can be natural or man-made faux stone. It’s rot, water, and insect resistant, and offers a unique look that can add resale value to your home. However, it’s also very expensive and requires expert installation. Improperly installed stone siding can damage your home or lead to leaks.
Choosing Siding for Mobile Homes
With so many varieties of mobile home siding, it can be difficult to choose one. Here are a few things to consider when looking at siding.
Your budget will always be the first and last consultant in your home choices. Each siding material has a different price (not accounting for installation costs). Note that more expensive options, such as stone or fiber cement, are more durable and therefore last longer than cheaper sidings like vinyl. In these cases, a high initial expense can be offset by cost-efficiency over time.
Next, you need to consider the climate. Different siding materials are more water-resistant than others, so it’s important to know what weather conditions you can reasonably expect. For example, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, wood wouldn’t be a good siding choice due to its tendency to rot.
Certain siding materials require more upkeep than others. For example, vinyl siding is very easy to clean compared to other sidings, meaning you won’t have to dedicate as much time to cleaning it. Inversely, fiber cement must be painted often, which takes time. Make sure you know how much time you’re willing to invest in your mobile home’s siding repair and maintenance before you choose a material.
Once you’ve determined what siding you’re able to get, the final decision comes down to your preferred style. Mobile home siding comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Are you looking for something rustic? Something modern? Do you like the look of metal? Stone? Do you have no preference at all? At this point, the choice is yours!
How Often Should I Replace Mobile Home Siding?
The life expectancy of your mobile home’s siding depends on the material it's made of, as well as the climate in your area. In general, you’ll want to replace vinyl siding every 10-20 years. More durable materials, such as aluminum or fiber cement, can last anywhere between 20-50 years. No matter the material or climate, be sure to check your siding frequently for cracks, warping, or missing sections and replace it accordingly.
Exterior Repair from Star Mobile Home Supplies
If you’re looking to fortify your mobile home’s exterior to prepare for winter, shop at Star Mobile Home Supplies. We’ve been selling mobile home parts for over 31 years and take pride in the quality of our services and staff. We offer a wide variety of repair hardware, as well as replacement parts for nearly any part of your home. Don’t delay—shop at Star Mobile Home Supplies today.