Replacing Your Mobile Home Windows in 9 Easy Steps
Signs you should replace your home’s windows.
There are quite a few indicators of when you need to replace your mobile home windows. This is a quick guide showing you some of the biggest issues and how to fix them. The following are prime signs you need new windows:
- Your windows let in a strong draft on windy days.
- Drafts let in allergens, so an increase in allergy-related symptoms may be a reason to check your windows.
- Drafts also mean that insects, small pests, etc. may be making their way into your home. Check the condition of your windows if you notice a lot more little critters.
- Drafty windows mean more energy is needed to cool or warm your house. Rising utility bills may mean it’s time to replace those windows!
- During rain or snowstorms, your windows are constantly letting water seep through.
- Leaky windows can lead to mold build-up around the window frame. If you are noticing mold, then before it begins to damage your walls, consider getting your windows inspected.
- If the windows are hard to open or stuck.
- Side note: this sign by itself could indicate that your mobile home is not level, or that your window needs to be lubricated.
Do your windows match any of these descriptions? If you’ve realized that it’s time to replace your windows, then follow the steps below.
Please note: the following supply list and steps are for owners of mobile homes that have horizontal or vertical sliding windows, not older mobile home models with windows that open outward. Also, these steps will not perfectly apply to double-hung windows if you are wanting to replace those.
- Carpenter Square
- Hand Held Drill
- Measuring Tape
- Steel Brush
Other supplies may be needed if you are looking to do any custom upgrades, like soundproofing for example.
Step 1: Measure the Window
Before purchasing a new window to replace the older one, measure the current window. Measure all four side as well as diagonally. The size will have to be an exact match for that perfect window fix you’re hoping to achieve! Check out this video tutorial for extra tips!
If the replacement window is too big, it’ll be a no-go for squeezing in. Also, if it’s too small, the window will fall right through!
Step 2: How is the current window mounted?
This step, along with measurements, is key to an easy window replacement. Mobile home windows tend to have two different ways in which they are mounted:
- Flush-Mounted: The frame is screwed on over the siding.
- Lap-Siding Mounted: The frame’s screws are covered by the siding.
- If this is how your frame is mounted, then you will have an added step of removing the siding that covers the window.
Installation will be much easier if the way your new window mounts is the same as the old one.
When it comes to purchasing the window, if you’re not sure who to buy from, you can always contact the manufacturer of your mobile home and ask them for recommendations.
Step 3: Remove the Window
- Remove the screws from the window frame.
- Make sure to either keep a screw, or write down the diameter of the screws you take out, so that way the new screws fit nicely into the already existing hole. Besides paying attention to diameter, make sure your screws are longer than your previous ones.
- After all the screws have been removed from the frame, carefully remove the mobile home window.
Step 4: Clean Up Time
Use a steel brush to make sure you remove all the old sealant and putty. If you don’t, you might find it difficult to fit the new window into the frame. You may also be unable to create an effective seal around the window if the old is still in the way.
Step 5: Apply New Putty
Once you have removed the old putty, it is time to prep the putty for application. Work the putty with your hands until the putty becomes smooth. If you are finding it difficult to muster the elbow grease needed to make the putty smooth, you can do two different things to help:
- Add some linseed oil to the putty which helps soften it up.
- Leave the putty in the sunlight while you are doing the previous steps.
If you used linseed oil to soften the putty, apply the oil to the window frame as well. It will keep the putty from seeping into the wood, which can eventually lead to the dry, cracked wood.
Apply the new putty to the window frame. For added protection against moisture, apply two layers of putty at the top of the opening. This is a simple step with major, practical benefits.
Step 6: Launching Off: Inserting the Window
Put the new window in the window frame. Drill one screw into the middle of the window frame on each side of the window. Do not tighten the first screws you put in until the rest are in place.
Make sure that you drill the screws in straight. If you are having trouble, or have had difficulty before, then check out these helpful tips over at Family Handy Man.
Step 7: Mobile Home Windows Squared?
No, no, no. We are not talking about algebra homework! We are talking about the shape of your window once placed in the window frame.
If a window is not square, you will have a difficult time opening and closing. But, if you want a window to only look through and not open, then don’t worry about it.
Grab a trusty, but hopefully not rusty, carpenter’s square. Use the square to make sure that all the corners of your window have that oh-so-desired 90-degree angle. Check one more time if the window can open and close without any bending.
If the window is square, drill the corner screws into the frame.
Step 8: Screwed Up Tight
Squared window? Check.
All screws are in place? Check.
Now will be the time when you tighten all of the screws completely.
The reason for waiting until now to tighten the screws is that if you had tightened the screws earlier, and the window was not square and did not open and shut properly, then you would have had to spend more time and effort to fix the new window.
Waiting to tighten all your screws also ensures that the window doesn’t shift during installation.
Step 9: Seal the Window
It is time to do some sealing!
The sealant is the icing on the cake, the last step, or the grand finale! The sealant will work at protecting your wall, frame, and window from moisture seeping in, as well as keeping your heating and cooling inside of the mobile home.
There are two choices that stand out as sealant options for exterior windows:
- Siliconized Latex
The benefits for the siliconized latex is that the latex component makes it an easier sealant to use. However, silicone sealants are not only waterproof, but they will are mold-resistant! And they won’t damage your siding.
Whichever you choose, either of these sealants will work properly for your newly installed windows!
Maintaining Your Mobile Home Windows To Last!
New windows will only be new for so long. In order to keep them working like they are new, you will need to do some occasional tender love and care on them.
- Extendable Squeegee
- Measure your window panes to buy the correct size head for your squeegee.
- Squeegees usually come with a rubber blade.
- Smaller sizes will be easier to carry around and should be big enough for mobile homes.
- Lint-Free Rags
- These will not leave fuzz on the window when you dry off any remaining water. After using the rubber blade to squeegee the window, you can use a lint-free rag to wipe excess water off the blade.
- Cleaning solution
- Dawn dish soap and water.
- Soft bristled brush
- Fill your bucket with water and mix in the dish soap.
- Give the window quick sweep with the soft bristled brush. This will get rid of any built up dust, animal hair, cobwebs, and loose dirt off the window before washing.
- Dip the squeegee head in the solution.
- Wring out the excess solution from the squeegee head.
- Scrub the window thoroughly.
- Use the rubber blade to wipe off water and soap.
- You can either swipe down from the top, or horizontally from one side to another. It has been argued that doing a reverse-S pattern is superior to the other techniques because it leaves less water.
- Whatever technique you decide to use, avoid blade skipping and overlapping swipes.
- Wipe the rubber blade dry with the lint-free cloth.
- Finally, use the lint-free cloth to dry off the window frame and panes.
Follow these steps for cleaning both the inside and outside of the windows on your mobile home.
If you decide that cleaning the windows are not worth your time, or maybe it is to dangerous for you, then you can easily look-up and contact a local window cleaning company. For a mobile home job, they tend to be quite affordable.
- Silicon Lubricant
Follow these steps:
- Remove the window sash.
- This can look different depending on the model of the window.
- Use a dry cloth to remove loose dust, debris, and dirt from the window track and frame.
- Use a vacuum to clean up any left-over debris in the track and frame, as well as the sash.
- Take a cloth dipped in cleaning solution to clean up mold, mildew, and heavy dirt build-up that didn’t come off with the dry cloth and vacuum.
- A good cleaning solution can be made by mixing 1-1/2 cups of vinegar to a gallon of hot water.
- Rinse off the vinyl with clean water, and then dry it up with a clean towel.
- Using a dry rag or cloth, wipe silicon lubricant into the window tracks and also the liner where the window sash slides open and close.
- Spraying directly from the can is not advised. If it gets on the glass, it can leave permanent grease stains. Also, if you get any on the vinyl, you will have a greasy mess to deal with.
- Reinstall the window sash, and then open and close the window repeatedly. This allows for the lubricant to be distributed evenly.
Old windows that are not in good condition are not only hard to open and annoying on windy days, they can also cause serious damage down the line. Mold, higher bills, and water damage are only a few of the problems.
New windows are easy to install and not too expensive to buy. Instead of ignoring your old problem-causing windows, take our guide and get to work!