When it comes to home preparation for the fall, most people only think of cleaning their gutters and yard or adding decorations like painted pumpkins on their porch and outdoor table. However, this season is also the perfect time to schedule your HVAC tune-up and perform more involved projects to ensure that you’ll have a comfortable abode when the winter comes.
Here, we list some helpful tips on how to prepare your mobile home for the fall.
- Clean your gutters and inspect them for any damaged part that needs repair or replacement. You may also install gutter guards to prevent backups during the wet season.
- Store your outdoor furniture. Rain can damage untreated wicker chairs and other outdoor furniture. Excess moisture can also cause rot and mold and mildew growth.
- Fix cracks in your driveway. Use a concrete crack sealer to fill up crevices. Remember, when water gets into a tiny gap, it freezes and expands, making it even bigger.
- Inspect and clean your HVAC systems, ensuring that it is free of grime and dust, especially the vents and ducts. Fall is also the perfect time to schedule your yearly furnace tune-up to make sure that it will not die on you in the dead of winter.
- Weather-proof your windows and doors. There are many ways to treat a draft issue: install a door sweeper, use foam tape, re-caulk your windows and doors, install rigid foam insulation and foil stripping, and use a door snake.
(Note: If you want to know if you have a drafty window/door, close it on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, it means you have to do some type of weatherstripping project. Remember, up to 30% of air leak or heat loss occurs around the windows and external doors.
- Drain and dry your outdoor faucets and garden hoses. Turn off all your outdoor faucets before winter and disconnect garden hoses from spigots to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
- Inspect your outdoor spigots and wall water pipes. Make sure they are adequately insulated to prevent freezing and bursting pipes.
- Fertilize your lawn. If you want to keep your lawn looking great when the spring comes, you need to prep it for the fall. By scheduling your fertilizer application during this season, you can also prevent root damage.
- Prep your garden. Trim perennials and trees, remove weeds and diseased/dead vegetations, and seed and mulch the ground.
- Inspect home insulation. Call a professional contractor if you see any damage (e.g., mild/mold growth, water damage, etc.).
- Change your air filters. In general, you should replace them every three months if you have no allergies and furry companions. Remember, clogged filters force your HVAC systems to work more than necessary and consume higher energy.
- If applicable, stock up on firewood to enjoy a cozier winter season.
- Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And if applicable, also replace their batteries.
- Inspect fire alarms. Make sure that your fire alarms are working properly. The Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1976 requires that they be installed in the kitchens and bathrooms. However, it is also advisable to install them close to bedrooms.
- If applicable, check your dehumidifier. If you live in a region that experiences fall/winter rain or snow, make sure that you have dehumidifiers in good working condition. Remember, trapped and excess moisture can affect the ceiling cavities and spaces between the walls, and ultimately, the structure of your mobile home.
- Inspect and repair your roof. Your roof should protect your home from moisture and snow.