You need to winterize your mobile home to prevent costly damages such as freezing pipes, cracks on its foundation, and other signs of water damage. Winterization is particularly more important when your property is going to be vacant during the winter months.
In a nutshell, winterization means turning off the water system and draining the water heater, ensuring that all water is removed from your plumbing system. Of course, you should also improve your home’s energy efficiency to reduce electricity bills and enjoy a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the cold season.
Here are the other tips on how to winterize a mobile home.
Inspect the water heater
Inspect your water heater right before winter begins for cracks and other signs of damage, especially in the valves and drain lines. Meanwhile, you may need to replace it if it’s more than 12-15 years old to ensure that your tank will not die on you in the dead of winter.
Weatherproof your windows
Did you know that 25%-30% of your heating and cooling energy is lost through “inefficient” windows? Remember, this represents money going down the drain, so you must weatherproof them before winter arrives.
Nowadays, the most common ways to weatherstrip the windows involve using foam tape, rubber, window films, or a combination of them. You may also consider installing additional window panes or using double or even triple glazing to further reduce heat loss.
Winterize your door
Fill all the holes and cracks with caulking; this is a simple DIY project that requires waiting for the caulk to dry completely before reapplying another layer as needed.
You should also weatherstrip around your doorframe. You can do this by simply applying door snakes, also called draft stoppers, placed in front of the bottom of the door where the draft creeps in and out.
Another simple hack to weatherproof your door: Anytime you close it, lock the deadbolt to reinforce the seal and keep the draft away.
Don’t turn off your heating
Some mobile homeowners think that turning off their heating can help them save electricity without realizing that this could lead to pipes freezing and bursting, especially if your region experiences harsh winter.
The general rule of thumb is to keep your thermostat not lower than 50-60 Fahrenheit. Also, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated, so you don’t need to set your heating on full blast just to keep your mobile home warm at all times during winter.
Let your water faucet drip a bit
If you have exposed pipes and it’s freezing outside, let your faucets trickle around the clock to prevent your plumbing system from bursting; the goal here is to have a little water movement. Don’t worry, the dripping will not cause your water bill to skyrocket.
Use heat tapes
Heat tapes are plugged into an outlet, protecting your pipes from freezing temperatures; they are also used to prevent ice dams from forming in downspouts, gutters, and roof edges. At a glance, they look like electrical extension cords that are specially designed to produce heat.
Place your radiator in the coldest part of your mobile home
If you’re using a radiator to heat your mobile home, install it in the coldest part, which is usually beneath a window. Meanwhile, keep it away from curtains, furniture, and other fire hazards.
Improve your insulation
If your mobile home is drafty or it experiences fluctuating temperatures, it may be a sign that it has poor insulation, which can spike up your energy cost by up to 30%. Fortunately, there are certain types of insulation materials that you can install on your own. However, other materials such as foam insulation require hiring a pro.
Check your skirting
Make sure that you have adequate skirting, which is the wall or panel that protects the bottom part of your mobile home and covers its “underbelly” (i.e., wiring, plumbing system, and HVAC).
Mobile home’s winter preparations are a bit different from the stick-built houses, although they are not necessarily more expensive or difficult to undertake. In fact, you can DIY most of the tips mentioned above.
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