Despite being an inanimate object made up of wood, metal, glass, plastic, etc., mobile homes still need some TLC to stay in good shape. Winterizing your mobile home can actually save you money in the long run. If you take reasonable steps to prevent damage, you may keep yourself from having to pay for problems after they occur.
How to winterize a mobile home that is vacant vs. inhabited
The instructions for how to winterize a mobile home that is vacant will differ from how you would winterize one you were going to be living in. Why is this? Well, consider for instance the fact that if you’re living in a home, you’re going to want running water. Flushing toilets is an important part of everyday life in your home. However, if the home is empty, you no longer need to be able to flush toilets or run the shower.
Similarly, if you’re home and it’s freezing outside, you’ll opt to keep the inside temperature warm, maybe even toasty. Obviously, you don’t want to be sitting around in a coat, scarf, and boots inside the house. You’ll likely keep the temperature at a level that allows you to comfortably get on with your life. Yet, if the home is vacant, you won’t have to keep it as warm as you otherwise would. In fact, you’ll be able to save money on fuel because you either won’t be using it, or you won’t be using as much.
Avoid water freezing inside
Even though no one will be living in the mobile home, there are still some steps you can take to prepare it for the cold weather.
Steer clear of leaking or bursting pipes
While you’re gone and your home is sitting unattended, one thing you don’t want is for water to freeze in your pipes. Water expands when it freezes. Thus, it makes sense that if water freezes and expands in your pipes, your pipes could rupture. Once the ice has thawed, you’re left with damaged pipes – not a situation anyone wants.
This is why you want to drain your pipes before you leave. Turn off your water at the source. Next, run all of the taps in the house so there’s no water sitting in the pipes. This could include running your:
- Kitchen sink
- Bathroom sinks
- Bathroom tubs/showers
- Laundry/utility sinks.
On top of this, drain any water tanks, like your hot water heater. Also, turn the power off to the hot water heater because leaving it empty of water but still on could damage it.
Taking care of toilets
Next up in the house – the toilets. Since you’ve already turned off the main water supply, you won’t need to turn the water off to each toilet individually. So, hold down the toilet handle until the water has drained out. If you can’t get it all out, you may want to try pouring a bucket of water down to force the water out.
Note that you can also pour antifreeze in the toilet tank as long as it’s the right kind for plumbing use. Flush after pouring it in so it gets through the toilet and pipes.
As we mentioned before, you’ll want to turn down the temperature in a mobile home that’s vacant. Depending on the outside temperature, your home’s insulation, and what you leave behind in the home, the recommended temperature will vary. However, 50 degrees Fahrenheit is usually a safe temperature.
Be sure to unplug all electronic devices and appliances. Just make sure you leave the power connected to your thermostat.
Areas to watch outside
Now let’s turn our attention to the outside of your mobile home. When thinking about how to winterize a mobile home that is vacant, you’ll want to pay attention to outside hoses. Unattach, drain, and store the hose. And leave the hose hookup open so that water can drain and doesn’t freeze.
Another area to consider is your gutters. Clean debris and leaves out of your gutters before you start getting major rain or snow. This can help you avoid ice buildup and prevent leaking in the house.
Get ready for winter!
Now that you’ve learned how to winterize a mobile home that is vacant, you may want to turn your attention to other home projects you’ve been wanting to get to. Before you close up the home for the cold season, why not work on some of those waiting projects? Check out our mobile home repair guide to get started or our winterize on a budget article for those looking to save some money this season.