What is Mobile Home Siding?

Lori Kilchermann

Mobile home siding has evolved over the past few decades from a utilitarian type of aluminum sheeting to aluminum and vinyl siding comparable to that which is installed on new home construction builds. Some of the higher-end mobile home siding is created from wood and resembles the siding found on rural cabins and retreat homes. Developments in the construction methods of mobile homes have contributed greatly to the materials used in mobile home siding. Two-by four-inch wall studs and shingled roofs have led the way to more traditional home-like mobile home siding.

Exterior siding for mobile homes is comparable to siding used on standard construction houses.
Exterior siding for mobile homes is comparable to siding used on standard construction houses.

The earliest ventures into the mobile home market left the consumer with only one choice for mobile home siding: corrugated tin or aluminum siding. This type of siding was conducive to speedy assembly and had a fairly long life span once installed on the home. The factors that were the most concerning to mobile homeowners were dents and the rusting of the screws used to fasten the mobile home siding to the home. The materials used in the sheet siding were very light and had a tendency to dent easily if accidentally struck by a child's ball or toy.

Many mobile homes have aluminum or vinyl siding.
Many mobile homes have aluminum or vinyl siding.

The early mobile home siding was minimally waterproof, as the vertical seams between the metal sheeting often allowed rainwater to seep past the overlap and enter the home. Modern mobile home siding is often the same grade siding as the kind used on a traditional home. The use of cost-effective and insulating vinyl siding offers a level of quality to the mobile home that was unavailable with the earlier barn-and-shed-like corrugated steel panels. Mobile homes have become less synonymous with disposable and temporary housing, thanks, in part, to the use of better materials in manufacturing the homes.

Many owners of the earlier mobile homes opted to refresh their homes with the newer siding. By changing the homes over to the more modern siding, the mobile home takes on a completely different appearance. Rusty and dent-riddled trailers are given a face lift with vinyl siding, and the older home takes on a fresh new appearance.

The modern siding is also easier to maintain than the old steel sheet siding. A quick spray and rinse with a hose is often all that is needed to remove dirt and debris from the siding. In the rare instance of a broken section of siding, the homeowner can easily replace the damaged section with new siding, and often the repair goes unnoticed.

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