Spring is a time when the cold weather fades, plants bloom, and we all look to make sure our homes are in tip-top shape. We have compiled these tips for spring for every mobile home owner to use when the cold breaks!
Mobile Home Spring Maintenance Tips
- Unplug or turn the switch off to your heat tape. This applies only to those who have heat tape without a thermostat.
- Make a visual check of your skirting. If you have frost heave problems, there is a possibility that a panel could have split or broken.
- Take a strong flashlight and go under the home and make a visual inspection of the underbelly. Check for any suspicious bulges or water leaks. Repair any torn material, using belly repair tape.
- It is essential you keep your skirting and underbelly in good condition. It is your first line of defense against keeping animals from getting under the home and creating havoc and possibly causing costly damages.
- Being very careful, use a ladder and make a visual check of your roof for damage. If your at all scared of heights or not experienced in using ladders, get a friend to do this. At the same time check the sealant around the vents to be sure there is no cracking or missing sealant. Vents are often the cause of roof leaks so pay special attention to them.
- Spring is an excellent time to scrub your siding. Power washing in the hands of the inexperienced can cause damage. I recommend using a long handled scrub brush and the cleaner of your choice. Ordinary powdered non bleach clothes washing detergent can be used. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Hosing off as you go.
- If you have or have had rodent problems, spreading moth balls on the ground is a cheap deterrent. Never use poison bait to control rodents. They will crawl in your duct or belly and die and of course smell. Use live traps or spring traps can be used up top if you check them regularly.
- If you have not had your furnace and AC checked by a professional in the last few years, spring is the time to do it. Having both checked at the same time will save you a few bucks. Have it done early in the season before the heat gets here.
- Now for a special note about Air Conditioners. Every year in the forum we see numerous posts about the drain pan leaking all over the floor. You must have the person who checks your furnace and AC check the drain pan. If it’s plugged or has holes in it due to rust your just liable to have a flood. We see this year after year in the foum, so be warned and have it checked.
- Check your windows for proper sealing. With the onset of spring and summer rains, you might just head off a damaging leak.
- Weed and grass growth around the perimeter of the home. Never use a weed whacker to trim around your skirting. Here are a couples of suggestions to aid in weed / grass control. I have used Roundup grass killer successfully to edge around my perimeter. The trick is to not use too much or allow the killer to spread out too far, making it too obvious. Just take your time and apply it only a couple of inches out from the skirting.Another tip was given by a group member Carl. If you go to your local home store and can find a deal on some cheap roof shingles, you can lay them under your skirting so that only about 3 or 4 inches protrude out. Just enough to allow your to mow over them. This will prevent the grass from growing too close to the skirting.
- Do you have a few holes in your skirting? Here is one trick I did. This will not work if you have many holes, only a few. Take a piece of duct tape, cover the hole from the backside. Make sure it seals well. Now from the outside take some white caulking and spread it over the hole that the duct tape is now covering. Don’t skimp, then take a straight edge or something like cardboard and smooth it flat. Of course, if you have a different colored skirting, find a colored caulk that matches.
- Make a visual check of your dryer vent hose. If it has holes, replace it. Never allow dryer vent air to exit under your home, it must exit to the outside. If you allow it to vent under the home it will cause mole and / or frame rusting problem. Inexpensive kits are available at your local hardware store.
- Never use plastic dryer vent hose. Is is illegal in most states and a potential fire hazard . Use only metal straight pipes with no ribs, if possible. If you cannot configure it with the straight hose, use a the flexible ribbed type. If you do use the ribbed you must make it a point to clean it out once a year. It has a tendency to plug up, so be very careful.
- It is never a good idea to use the underside of your home as a storage place. Spring is a good time to clean it out. An accumulation of items only makes it that much harder for you or a repairman to find leaks or other problems under the home.