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Manufactured Home Winter Maintenance

YES Communities 12/09/2021

Winter is here! Though winter doesn’t technically start until December 21st, it’s getting cold enough to say that the seasons have definitely changed.With the change in seasons comes a change in home maintenance, especially in areas with temperature drops and for manufactured homes. This winter maintenance, like prioritizing keeping heat inside the house and stopping things like pipes freezing, is especially important in older mobile homes with less efficient insulation and older windows and doors. Regardless of your home’s age, it’s always good to check on the house every season, just to make sure everything stays in good shape in colder weather.Keeping heat inside the home during the cold season can help heating costs, efficiency, and your personal comfort. Checking in on your home has the added benefit of allowing you to catch any existing issues earlier, which helps maintain an affordable home maintenance budget and helps your home stay happy!

We created a list of some things that are especially helpful in preparation for winter, and though we don’t all live in areas that get snow during the winter season, there are some items on this list that are helpful to do regardless of temperature change.

If Temperatures Get Below Freezing:

Loosen tie-downs on the home to combat any ground heave (when frozen earth changes shape) that occurs when soil freezes. Tie-downs should be tied so that the house has no room to move, but this can cause damage if the ground does move during a freeze.They can be retightened in the spring.

Check the Skirting:

Mobile homes have skirting vents so air can circulate beneath the home during the summer.In the winter, these vents should be closed to stop cold air. Skirting should be snug, but not so tight that it fully stops ventilation (your furnace needs the ventilation!). Check that there are no dents, missing screws, or damaged fasteners.Additionally, any snow and ice that begins to accumulate around the skirting should be shoveled away so the skirting isn’t damaged.

Gutter Check:

Clean out the gutters, and then check to see if there is any damage on the gutters or downspouts.

Ceiling Fans:

Did you know that ceiling fans need to be reversed during the winter?Reversing your ceiling fan’s rotational direction to clockwise pulls cold air up and helps to push rising warm air down towards the living area. There is usually a switch on the fan to change rotation direction.

Furnace Inspection:

Inspect your furnace, exhaust and intake vents, and and roof exhaust vent.Better yet, if you are not very familiar with furnace maintenance, get your furnace inspected by a professional. Change the filter if it is replaceable, or wash and vacuum the filters if they are permanent. Keep the space around the furnace clear of any objects or debris.This helps the furnace intake, and reduces the likelihood of fire danger.

Crack Open Closets and Cabinets:

Obviously it is difficult to run around the house with all the doors and cabinets open, but leaving them cracked, or even just opening them during the night helps warm air circulate into areas that do not have ventilation.This helps keep all the walls warm, and protects pipes from freezing.

Sealing Cracks to Combat Heat Loss:

Windows, doors, flooring, and even seemingly innocuous features like outlets can cause loss of heat.Make sure that frames and seals of doors and windows are in good shape. Ensure any cracks in outlets are sealed.For exterior water heaters, it’s important to ensure they are insulated with a special cover or jacket.The closet in which they are located can also be extra insulated with foam or fiberglass to help the heater work more efficiently.Finally, it can be helpful to either remove or winterize window air conditioning units if you have them.

Check Fire-Prevention Tools:

Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are functional, and change their batteries if need be. Ensure you have a fire extinguisher near both the furnace and the kitchen.If you do not own any fire extinguishers, consider investing in at least one.

When in Doubt, check the Manual:

Wondering about the specifics of your home? Manufactured homes have owner’s manuals, which can be super helpful with understanding the specifics of your own home and what it needs during the winter season. They can usually be found online.

Happy Winter!


Please remember that this post is not a substitute for advice or service from a professional. It is merely meant as a surface-level summary of several winter-related issues manufactured homes can face. 

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