All You Need To Know About Mobile Home Winterization
Winterization refers to the process of preparing a home, be it a stick built or mobile home for the harsh conditions brought about by the winter season. Winterization is not a single act but is a combination of various preventive measures taken so as to protect the home against damage meted out by cold temperatures. As is the norm, this is usually done or performed during the fall before the excessive cold and snow arrives.
Winterization does have numerous benefits; top of the list though is the cost savings that the homeowner does accrue from winterizing his or her manufactured home accordingly. Apart from reducing the energy costs, proper winterization does reduce the need for repairs in the home during and after the winter season. It also does protect against damage caused by bursting water pipes and from heat loss brought about by unwanted openings in the building envelope. Here are more of these valuable mobile home winterization tips worth considering;
For a mobile home, just like in a conventional home all the water pipes in cold areas such as crawlspaces, attics and garages should be insulated accordingly. Insulation such as foam and fiber glass is the best options and should be used appropriately. When insulating pipes, make sure the insulation covers the entire piping. If you live in very cold regions, it is advisable to use approved plastic plumbing as plastic tends to be more tolerant to steel or copper.
Leaky window and door frames as well as electrical outlets tend to allow lots of warm air to escape into the outdoors. Feel for drafts with your hand or watching for any horizontal smoke from an incense stick are some of the easiest ways of inspecting for leaks. It is also worth noting that leaks are more likely to be present in areas where there is a seam between 2 or more building materials. Most leaks can usually be repaired by either using the appropriate tape or by caulking.
Because you are bound to use the heating system a lot during the winter, it is imperative that you make sure the unit(s) is functioning, test the furnace using the thermostat to raise the temperature, note how fast or slow it is in responding to the adjustment, slow response does imply that the unit is broken. Check the air filter and replace it if it is dirty. If you furnace is equipped with a propane tank, make sure the tank is full.
For a cooling system, make sure you get rid of all the leaves and any other debris that may have accumulated in the outdoor condensing unit; you can use a hose for this purpose. Such a unit should be protected using a waterproof and breathable cover so as to prevent the freezing and rusting of any of the internal components of the unit. It is also advisable to reverse the ceiling fans; have it spin clockwise so as to warm all the air that may be trapped beneath the ceiling and then re-circulating it in the home.
For the roofs, make sure there are no debris left in the gutters as they tend to freeze and get wet, this does allow for the formation of ice dams which may end up preventing water from draining. In addition, the extra weight can damage the gutter. Trapped water can also get its way to the house, leading to the growth of mold.
If you have a chimney, make sure there are no nesting animals trying in the chimney trying to escape the winter cold. Animals such as raccoons and squirrels are quite common in chimneys during this period. If the chimney will not be in use, make sure the damper is snugly shut. An open damper can allow lots of precious warm air to escape. If you will be using the chimney, make sure the damper closes and opens with ease; smoke will normally rise up the chimney once you have opened the chimney. If it doesn’t, most likely there is an obstruction in the chimney that requires removal.
If you will not be occupying your home during this season, you can winterize the home by ensuring that the toilets are emptied and pouring some antifreeze in the toilet and other fixtures. You should also disconnect water from the mains, drain all pumps, water tanks and leave the faucets open during the entire season. All water should also be drained from both the outdoor and indoor plumbing. All the unnecessary electrical appliances, especially the refrigerator should be unplugged. If you won’t need any electrical appliances running, you can shut off all electricity from the main breaker.
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