Your mobile home provides the backdrop for many parts of your life. In some ways, it’s a stage on which your life takes place. From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night (and other activities in between) your mobile home is the place where plenty of your daily life takes place. Your home can be your retreat from the outside world, and at the same time, it can be your place to welcome the outside world in. Where you live impacts how you live in some ways, so it’s natural to want to get your mobile home into tip-top shape.
But, thanks to the nature of real life, our homes aren’t always in tip-top shape. Sometimes, they need a little leg up to get them looking great and functioning at their maximum capacity. While there are plenty of parts of your mobile home that could have fallen prey to natural downgrade, today we want to talk about one place in particular. What can you do to give a fresh look or a fresh start to your mobile home windows?
Why the windows?
Your windows let the outside in, and regardless of where you live, the outside has one tremendous thing to offer—natural light. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on that. So, windows are pretty important as they lighten the home and prevent you from feeling stuck in a dark cave.
The downside to windows is that light isn’t the only thing they let in from the great outdoors. Actually, they can let in heat and cold, too (depending on the season). And they can let in unwanted animal life, too—think bees, flies, ants, crickets, and more. In addition, windows can become repositories for other nasty life forms like mildew or mold.
But the current state of your windows, whatever it is, doesn’t have to be its future state. There are plenty of actions you can take to change whatever’s going on with your mobile home windows. We’ve broken down some common problems and solutions below.
Problem 1: Leaky windows
Maybe you hear it during a fierce rainstorm. The slow (and almost soothing) drip, drip, drip of H2O coming through the surroundings of your window. Once you realize what it is, though, it’s anything but soothing. Rainwater that sits unattended can lead to staining, wood swelling, and other undesirable things like mildew.
You know something needs to be done about those leaky windows. Naturally, your first step is to figure out where exactly the water is coming from. Start by identifying where you see the drips. While that may help, you may also want to head to the outside of your home to determine how the water is reaching that spot on your window.
Solution A: Seal the window area
You’ll need: caulk, a caulk gun, a rag
How to do it: Insert the tube of caulk into the caulk gun and cut off and poke a hole in the tube’s sealed tip. Hold the tip near the crevice you need to fill and squeeze to release caulk. Note: you might be well served by testing the caulk before filling the gap. That way you’ll know how fast and thick the substance will come out, which might help you do a neater job on the windows.
Once you’ve filled all the offending crevices, wipe up any excess with your rag before it has time to dry. Now, allow the caulk time to dry. And don’t ditch that leftover caulk yet. Keep it on hand so you can monitor the window area during the next rainstorm, searching for any leaks you didn’t catch.
Solution B: Install gutters
Guess what — another method for handling leaky windows is actually gutters. True, they aren’t in direct contact with the windows. Yet, they’ll divert water away from the house before it gets a chance to get to the windows.
The second piece of good news is that you actually can install gutters yourself. So if you’ve always wished for these helpful home elements but never had them, perhaps now is the time. Take a look at Gutter Replacement: How to Install Gutters to fight back at the encroaching rain.
Problem 2: Sunshine
If you’re thinking Wait, sunshine is a problem? we completely understand your skepticism. Actually, sunshine is one of the very best things in the world. And we know the world couldn’t get along without it.
As terrible as it may sound, there are times when you want to dial back on the light that’s entering your home. That doesn’t make you a grouch for rejecting sunlight. Instead, it just means you know the reality of having too much of a good thing. (And maybe your wallet feels the pinch when your air conditioning bill goes through the roof, too).
So just what can you do when the great glowing mass of hydrogen gas (and helium, too) is getting on your nerves as a homeowner?
Solution: Tint your windows
While we typically think of tinted windows as something normally occurring in cars, we may be less inclined to consider them for houses. However, you actually can tint your home’s windows. And it doesn’t have to make the area hopelessly dark, either.
For one thing, you can have your windows tinted by a professional. But if you’re the DIY-only type, you may just decide to have a go at it on your own. Get started with the DIY Network’s Window Film Can Make Your House More Beautiful and Save Money.
Problem 3: Ancient windows
Some windows are old. And they may be weighing down the overall appearance of your mobile home, both inside and out.
Solution: Replace your mobile home windows
Now, you probably don’t need us to tell you that the number one way to get rid of something that’s old and yucky is to replace it. But maybe you haven’t given much thought to replacing mobile home windows. It’s easy to just accept something as is and fail to realize that we might have the power to change it.
We’ll break it down into some simple steps for you:
- Measure your window areas. It goes without saying that you’ll need to find new windows that fit your space.
- Find and purchase new mobile home windows. Or, if you’ve hit the jackpot and discovered some used windows in good condition that another homeowner is discarding, then go with those. (Just be sure to check the measurements).
- Of course, you’ll have to remove the old windows, which could include unscrewing them and cutting through or removing the caulk that helps seal around them.
- Clean the area as needed to get it ready for the new window.
- Install the new window according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Or use Home Depot’s instructions for window installation).
Can you use regular windows?
You might be wondering if you can put regular windows in a mobile home. And that’s a great question. We actually addressed it in another blog post, so check out our FAQ: Can You Put Regular House Windows In A Mobile Home?
Problem 4: Drafty windows
Maybe you live in a climate where spring, summer, and fall are temperate seasons. But come winter, cold weather is unleashed with a vengeance. Well, here are some things you can do if your windows are leaking not water but unwanted air.
Solution A: “Seal” those windows with caulk
Just as we suggested you caulk the area when you’re dealing with water leakage, we also suggest you seal things up if the problem is air. But if you’re not comfortable doing this without some guidance, check out How To Caulk Windows to get you started.
Solution B: Seal those windows with plastic
Here’s a great option for keeping some of the cold out and some of the warmth in during the frigid winter months. Seal your windows with plastic.
According to EnergyStar.gov, “The use of plastic heat-shrink window coverings is an easy, effective, and inexpensive window option.” And the great news is that their instructions leave you with functional blinds—as in, you can still shut out or let in the light as the day progresses.
And if you have windows in a room that you’re not using, you can take the insulation to the next level. Home Repair Tutor uses more than just plastic, they also use bubble wrap. Of course, if you’re going to be using the room this window is in, that wouldn’t be the most scenic option. But if it’s a window in a storage room or even a garage, you might consider this option.
Problem 5: Dirty windows
Let’s say your window is fine structurally. But it just looks grubby all over. From the sills to the frame to the glass and everything in between. In fact, in between the window and the screen, the sill looks like a dead bug farm.
Solution: Clean ‘em!
Okay, this one’s really not hard. It’s going to take a vacuum, warm soapy water, fresh rinse water, a few rags, a cleaning toothbrush, window cleaner, and paper towels. The simple solution is to clean all the different areas according to their needs.
Clearly, the window cleaner and paper towels are for the glass. The vacuum is to suck up all those dead bugs. And the warm soapy water and rags can get to work on the window frame and the sill. Plus, wipe down all the non-glass parts of the window, too.
Naturally, that cleaning toothbrush is to help you get any hard to reach places. Clean thoroughly and prepare to be amazed by how fresh your windows look.
Problem 6: Ugly curtains or no curtains at all
Maybe your window is just as clean as can be, but it still needs a fresh start.
Solution: Choose new curtains
How about replacing the curtains? Choose valances or drapes that fit with your room’s style and color palette. And you can even consider selecting some that seem to fit with the upcoming season. Then, you can enjoy them for a time and swap them out when the seasons change.
Afraid you don’t know enough about curtains to make a sound decision? Try The 7 Dos and Don’ts of Finding the Perfect Curtains from The Spruce.
Problem 7: Broken shades
You can see them from the outside or the inside—window shades that hang crazily at all sorts of angles. Maybe every time you try to open or close the shade, the problem gets worse. And every once in a while, one particularly rebellious shade launches out of the window frame and smacks you before crashing to the floor.
Solution: Replace them
Brilliant and original, here’s our highly secretive method for combatting the broken shade problem. Take the old ones down, throw them away, and don’t look back. It’s that simple. Sure they might have a few more miserable months or years in them. But why put yourself through the agony?
Buy new shades for every spot that needs them. Oh, and for the sake of uniformity, try to raise or lower them all to the same level. That way, from the outside of the house, your shades create a systematic and tidy look instead of a roller coaster array. For sources, try Apartment Therapy’s Style on a Budget: 10 Sources for Good, Cheap Blinds, Shades, and Curtains.
Problem 8: Ineffective windows
Sometimes your window area could use a little visual sprucing up, yes. But it could also use a little insulative treatment before cold weather hits. The reason for this is twofold. For one thing, you want to keep the frigid air from seeping in around them.
And for another thing, you want to keep your energy bill down. Because who doesn’t like saving money when they can?
Solution: Hang insulated curtains
One simple answer here is drapes that double as insulators. Obviously, a sheer, lightweight curtain isn’t going to count for much when trying to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. But warm, cozy drapes — now those might just be a different story.
Not all drapes or curtains are created equal. While you won’t find valances to have much power to keep your living room cozy and warm, other options have more insulating value. Enter thermal curtains.
Some curtains do a great job of looking beautiful. Other curtains have been designed with more than visual appeal in mind. Spark Energy explains what insulated curtains are and how they work.
Take on your windows this fall (or any time of year)
It’s a great idea to get your windows ready before cold weather hits. Or if you’re anticipating more rain, that’s another great reason to think about your windows. Plus, you can tackle other around-the-mobile-home projects before the colder season, like doing a check-up on your mobile home roof. Or, you can even update the interior with cozy rugs or a fall makeover.