Winterizing

How to winterize windows in mobile homes

You winterize mobile home windows by stopping air leaks and increasing the insulation (R-factor).

Use caulk and foam insulation tape to seal every place you can feel cold air coming in. Caulk around the windows both inside and outside until you can no longer find drafts. Use spray foam to fill larger gaps. Use foam insulation to stop leaks where you don’t want a permanent seal. Increase the insulation of the window using plastic film. Cover windows with blankets if you don’t need the light.

Caulking: Tools, Types, costs

Caulk is applied with a Caulking Gun. I have no idea why it is called a “gun” but that is the search term you need when shopping for one.

Caulking guns range in price from about $10 to more than $50. For casual use the cheapest is fine. For a large project, like replacing all your windows, the smoother operation of a more expensive caulking gun will be worth the money. They are more efficient at applying the force of your squeeze to pushing caulk, not lost to friction.

If your grip strength is low, pay $5 more for a caulking gun with a leverage ratio of more than 11.

Caulk is a thick, viscous liquid that requires a lot of force to squeeze out of the tube. The higher the leverage ratio the easier it will be to force the caulk out. More leverage and smoother action also make it easier to produce a smooth bead of caulk.

Not all caulk can be painted. Make sure you buy the correct type for your situation. For example, you may want to use more expensive but more durable silicone caulk on outside surfaces.

Try to use the entire tube of caulk at one time. Even if you try to plug the tip, the tube dries out over time and will not be useable in a few weeks.

Practice with a tube of the cheapest caulk. Laying a smooth bead is a skill which requires some practice. Practice with cheap caulk in an invisible area before you use your expensive silicone caulk in an area you and visitors will see all the time.

Getting ready to caulk

Lay the tube of caulk into the caulking gun and squeeze until the plunger makes contact with the caulk.

Cut off the tip of the tube of caulk. The farther from the tip you cut, the bigger the opening. Try to make the opening match the width of the crack you are trying to fill. If the crack is wider that you can make the bead of caulk, you need to fill it with something else before caulking.

With the tip cut off, the tube is still sealed by a membrane at the base of the tip. Puncture the membrane with a nail, screwdriver, or sharp piece of wire. Then you are ready to caulk.

Gun, how to open, how to use. Types of caulk might make a table.

Insulating films & fabrics

Plastic, energy film, bubble paper installation. There are interior and exterior window insulation kits.

Window treatments.

Drapes, blinds, or curtains are useful for windows you want to look out of, or which allow solar gain during the day. Properly crafted window treatments help you maximize the gain and minimize heat loss at night.

Put some foam insulation in the bottom window groove and close the window on it.

Spend your money on widow treatments where view or light is important. Hang blankets in bedrooms where light doesn’t matter.