You would not fail to notice the boards that adjoin the wall and the floor of your house. They are called skirting boards for obvious reasons. Their purposes are to protect the walls from accidental contact with the furniture, hide electrical connections, hide unattractive floor and wall edges, etc… There are various materials used for skirting: wood, metal, pvc, and others.
Skirting is used not only inside the home. If your home is manufactured or mobile, you would need to close the gap between the floor and the ground. You need to put a skirting board that can serve as an underpinning material, meaning that it can be buried and allows backfilling. The HUD has a guide on the foundation of manufactured homes and they include skirting and backfilling. They are meant to strengthen the foundation of manufactured homes. There is another good reason why you can’t skirting and refilling for granted. They prevent rodents and insects from making the gaps underneath floor their home. These animals pose health risk to yourself and your family.
There are many materials used for external skirting and the materials used by different manufacturers are seldom the same. But all of them will try to portray their products as the best you can find. You will have a serious problem if you do choose the brand very carefully because not all brands work well with backfill. You can’t for example use skirt boards containing wood fibers. They are not durable. When you apply the backfill materials, they can be damaged quite easily. Also wood fibers cannot withstand wear and tear and moisture for long. Once decay sets in, the boards will have to be replaced. The problem is you may not notice the damage until the boards are actually falling apart and rodents are already living underneath your home. In such a case you will have to spend money not only for replacing the rotted boards but also for hiring a professional to take care of the rodents.
Choosing the right brand is really the only way you can avoid the problems created by inferior external skirt board. The right brand would not contain materials that are easily damaged by the pressure exerted by the backfill materials and cannot withstand moisture or humidity. It would have to be made solely of hardy materials such as concrete or similar products. Concrete is one of the most durable and strongest underpinning materials. Moreover, it is also less expensive compared to other materials.
There are several companies involved in the manufacture of concrete external skirting boards. You should take although they are using the same materials, the quality of their brands are not necessarily the same. This means you still need to make comparisons. However, the most important basis for choosing a brand over the other is its compliance to HUD requirements on home foundation. Compliance with the requirements gives you the benefit of getting better financing terms. It would also be a good idea to choose a brand that offers warranty.