Before the cold season, you should do a yearly pre-season inspection to ensure that your heat tapes are plugged into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet and that the outlet has power to it. You can also have a switch installed inside the home to turn on the heat tapes as necessary if you don’t already. Insulating your pipes is necessary but it is not always enough when the temperatures stay cold for days at a time, therefore, installing quality heat tape can be a lifesaver when water lines are exposed to freezing temperatures. If you have ever experienced frozen or broken waterlines, you know what a good idea it is to be prepared.
Types of Heat Tape
There are a few different types of heat tape that can be used on water lines. Knowing what options are available will help you make the best decision when winterizing your home plumbing.
- Self regulating heating cable: This type of heat tape can be cut to any length for a custom fit. Quite a few brands make this relatively new type of heat cable that automatically varies its heat output with changes in the surrounding temperatures. Often this type of heat tape can even be overlapped safely (check the manufacturer’s instructions) and there is no temperature control required. You can buy self regulating heat cable by the roll and sometimes even by the foot in some hardware or home improvement stores. A connection kit with an end plug and outlet are required for this type of heat tape.
- Non regulating heating cable: This type of heat tape is regulated by a thermostat. It can be purchased by the foot or in a roll as well. The heating cable can be custom fit to your application because it can be cut to any size that is needed and the ends are then added to the length of cable. This type of heat tape will require a connection kit with an end plug and outlet as well as a thermostat to regulate the temperature.
- Heated water hoses: These are great for anyone who needs to use water hoses in the winter. Heated water hoses come in many lengths and they are made by many manufactures. Having a heated water hose means you can have reliable running water in freezing temperatures. Heated hoses have wires that are embedded into the hose wall. When they are plugged in the wires heat the hose all the way through to the end. These hoses will shut off automatically in warm weather to save on electricity and prevent overheating.
- Automatic electric heat cable kits: Heat tape kits are now smarter than ever and probably come in just about any length you might need in an already pre-terminated complete package with a power indicator light at the plug. Most of these units come with a built in thermostat that will turn on and off saving electricity because it only heats when the temperature is cold enough. Installing the new complete package heat tape is quick and easy.
Mobile Home Skirting
The main reason behind the importance of mobile home skirting is that it can save you money on things like utilities and it can protect your home from environmental elements like flooding, provide support for the mobile home itself, and add insulation and protection from rodents, animals and pests which often use this space as a shelter. The effects of climatic factors can also be held responsible for the cracks and ruptures in flooring and the elements placed below your mobile home. Skirting can efficiently help to reduce ruptures and cracks thereby protecting your home.
Various Types of Skirting
There are many different types of mobile home skirting that exist, leaving you with a vast array of options. Some important factors you should also consider include what exactly you want to do with it including aesthetics vs saving money on heating and cooling, or both. Also, what type of budget you’re working with.
- Vinyl is one of the most popular choices because it’s easily the cheapest one for mobile home owners. it is easy to install, flexible, very washable and durable. Although, compared to other materials, vinyl is quite flimsy and if you have any case of extreme weather or various animals getting under your mobile home, investing your money into something more durable or stronger would be wise.
- Galvanized metal and aluminum are both economic and also come in an array of styles and color, with natural metal seen as beneficial, since it can help insulate your home with light-reflecting capabilities.
- Concrete and stone are the least popular considering it is very costly and extremely hard to work with due to its lack of flexibility, since mobile homes tend to shift a lot, leaving holes and cracks. In general, when dealing with heavy material, you’ll have to understand that they usually do require things like ventilation and sometimes professional installation.
- Brick is probably the best option in terms of aesthetic and attractiveness. However, brick is expensive and requires masonry equipment and mortar, so you might want to hire a professional to do this for you. It is also very reliable in extreme conditions.