Monday, February 14, 2011

Winter Stuff Revisited

     In response to my recent post about cold weather and related issues, Keith Howard at sent me a link to their blog about avoiding frozen pipes.
It's good advice, and the rest of the blog is well worth reading. Of course, when my pipes get frozen, it's more a case of being lazy than not knowing what to do. 
     In a mobile home, like ours, the number one weak point to freezing is the service line that must come out of the ground and enter the floor of the mobile home. You've got maybe three feet of exposed pipe that really must be insulated. Just because we typically only have a few days of freezing weather here, that doesn't mean the pipes are safe. The second great idea is to under pin the house, or close up the underside so wind can't blow under. That's important not just for the pipes, but it keeps the floor cooler in summer and warmer in winter and will cut down those utility bills. 
     Sometimes varmints, dogs, and repair processes can leave a portion of the insulation under the mobile home open, exposing the pipes and floor to cold air. Close that up any way you can. 
Mobile homes tend to be built using different methods and materials than conventional housing. That sometimes means that what is needed to make repairs is not the same standard stuff you would run into at the lumber yard. Doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, piping and fittings, even sizes of lumber used are usually "special" types or sizes.  You may wind up seeking a dedicated supply store for mobile homes.
     The insulation and closure material under the mobile home is usually a continuous sheet of insulation, covered by another continuous sheet of plastic or other material. Easy to cut a hole in and work on stuff, but complicated to re-seal, since there isn't really much but sheet material to attach to. It can be done, but it requires thought and lumber, usually. I wind up adding some sort of framing around a hole, just to attach new insulation, etc. to. 
     Of course your mobile home may have other exposed pipes. We are attached to a rainwater collection system. There is a pressure pump and tank involved that can freeze also. Those are enclosed, insulated, and heated in winter. 
     Don't be lazy. (That was me telling myself!) A few extra minutes of preparing things in nice weather is a lot better than crawling around in the snow thawing pipes, repairing plumbing, and controlling damage from leaks. Tell yourself that, I'll tell myself the same.
     That always makes me think of the old story about the guy with the leaky roof. He never fixed it when the sun was shining because it wasn't leaking then!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you've managed to stay warm out there! Cover those pipes...