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Old 12-10-2009, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,360 posts, read 11,362,492 times
Reputation: 3867

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I was wondering what things people do when they close up there winter places for the season so that they are most nearly the same when they come back? I realize a mobile may not be as tight as a home.

Just got down here and have spent the past week cleaning far more than I anticipated in order to remove mold on wooden furniture and kitchen cabinet doors, and animal droppings everywhere including dresser drawers.
I'd rather spend this time having fun.

Some ideas we were given before we left included covering the windows with aluminum foil to keep the sun out and coating the refrigerator gaskets with petroleum jelly. I had also covered all of the made up beds and couches with plastic shower curtain sheets. All of the utilities were shut off.

I am allergic to moth balls and won't use any insecticides or other toxins either but have purchased cedar balls for the clothes.

Any hints would be appreciated. Do you leave the AC on low (and cost as opposed to min $25mo when off), crack windows, just electric w plug in repellers, anything else? Thanks
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY / Seneca, SC / Venice, FL
33 posts, read 142,487 times
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We have three properties that we close up for the summer and have none of these problems.

First and most important is that you MUST leave your air conditioner running. Set the temp at 80-83 degrees. Our Villas that we rent are under 10 years old with high ceilings 1600 Sq ft. cost for each unit is around $50-$60 for electric during the hottest months. We also have a double wide that we live in when we come down to SW FL. Cost for electric is $40-$50 per month in the middle of the summer. We shut the power off to all the other appliances except the refrigerators.

We use 4-5 gallon milk jugs 3/4 full of water in each freezer and put 4-5 in each refrigerator. We also set the temp a little higher, because we will not be opening and closing the doors.

Mold is very toxic much more so than any bug spray you would buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. We treat all 3 of our properties our selfs inside and out and have had very good luck with Ortho Bug Stop. We treat the homes 2-3 times a year inside and out side. In the eight years we have been doing this we have had NO bug problems.

Sound as if you may have a rodent problem in your home. You will want to check under your sinks in the kitchen and bath rooms were the pipes enter the home. Buy some Steel wool and pack it around the pipes. Check the cupboard above your stove there is usually a vent pipe located there and use the steel wool to block any holes or gaps around the pipes. Make sure when you leave that NO food (Dry Goods) are left in the cupboards. Check the under belly of your home and make sure if there are any tears in the fabric, if so get this fixed. This barrier will keep a lot of unwanted pest out.

Food and water will call rodents and bugs. Pour a cup of bleach down every drain and close the stoppers. Also pour a cup of bleach in the toilet. Take clear plastic wrap and cover your toilet bowl this will slow down the evaporation. Make sure you shut your main water off before you leave.

We close all curtains and blinds to keep the sun out. Our double wide has Bahama shutters on the front and the older stile Clams shutters on the back and sides. We close these also to reflect the sun off the windows. We do have friends that check the homes out every couple of weeks or so for us. We pay them back with a night out dinner and drinks, as they will not except money.

Hope this helps you out. You should never come home to a moldy house.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,940,156 times
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Great advice right there!
RODENTS! They gotta go! Whatever steps you need to take to rid your property of them...do it! While you're gone they can take over the home and do an unimaginable amount of damage. They'll literally chew up the PVC which includes the water lines under the floor and then you'll have water damage, too. Call a professional if necessary.

If you have a septic tank, I'm not sure that putting bleach in it is a good thing.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:29 AM
 
2,688 posts, read 6,913,071 times
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Putting plastic over bedding will block ventilation causing moisture.Our Fleetwood is 100 percent sealed by manufacturer,with spray foam,outlet boxes,all holes and plumbing.I would never leave my home without AC on,moisture in home would be like a sauna!Neighbor has monthly pest control,chemicals,no thank you.We have no roaches or any thing in home,even when we leave for a period of time.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Floribama
17,458 posts, read 35,351,141 times
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Is your a/c central or window unit? If it's a window unit you will need to get one with a 'power saver' setting, that way the fan cycles on and off and doesn't run 24/7.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:44 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 5,187,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by On-da-Beach View Post
......

If you have a septic tank, I'm not sure that putting bleach in it is a good thing.
Its never good to put bleach in a septic tank because it kills off the parasites that divulge on the solids thats in there. In fact, when you close up your MH for the season, its a good idea to put a bag of Parasites down the toilet and flush a few times so they end up in the septic tank ; you can get them at Menards or Lowes . It IS a good idea to put some bleach down the Well ... maybe a half gallon followed by a few gallons of water...then run the Well pump till you get a strong odor of bleach thru ALL your water faucets. Then close all faucets and turn off power to the Well Pump. Letting the bleach sit in the Well and water lines of your house will kill any bacteria whilst youre gone . When you return, flush out good till the odor is gone.

I would spray around the outside perimeter of your house with something like Ortho , as well as around the inside perimter of your house. Id leave mousetraps or Decon Mouse Poison in a few areas of the house in dark locations too.

Have a couple indoor lamps placed on a Timer when youre away operating at different times at night . Shut off the electric water heater , fridge , and Well Pump. Put an outdoor security light on a timer or a dusk to dawn sensor.

Leave a dog dish and dog chain attached to your front porch ,and put a Beware of Dog sign up...so it looks like you have a Pet . And ask the neighbors to watch the house. Have the grass cut often so it looks like someone is living there.

Last edited by 007.5; 12-11-2009 at 01:46 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,360 posts, read 11,362,492 times
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Thanks everyone for all the great advice. I really appreciate it. I don't ever want to have to go through this again. I was mortified when I looked around and already tired when we arrived without this addl work. Hopefully this list will help.

We aren't on a well here as we're in a senior park. I'm familiar with wells because of growning up with one.The neighbors do keep an eye on the place, have a key, and make sure the grass gets cut. The AC is a central ac/heat unit located outside. Right now we pay $25 a month not to have the utilities on so another $25 a month to have it on won't be so bad especially since everything in here is brand new.

One mistake I made was to sprinkle the rugs with baking soda to help with any smells and moisture, guess that didn't work. We also have an unfinished laundry room attached to the enclosed sunroom which is open to the main trailer. No way to really seal it up other than to better seal up the doorway to the sunroom leading into it. This isn't a new trailer and there are various cracks all over - that's another project I guess.

I'm not familiar with the concept of a fabric barrier under the trailer and doubt this one has it as it's a 1971? I haven't seen any mice and just put out stickies, haven't seen any roaches either but did have one of those big a$$ palmetto bugs jump out at me when I opened a drawer and a couple of teenie spiders.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 12-11-2009 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:45 AM
 
1 posts, read 21,894 times
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Default need best summer close-up procedure for mobile

We cannot leave our AC on. We will turn off electric and water, put containers of damp-rid and kitty litter throughout and remove all perishables.
Would appreciate hearing of any other methods. Thanks
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:04 AM
 
35,318 posts, read 45,278,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra hanna View Post
We cannot leave our AC on. We will turn off electric and water, put containers of damp-rid and kitty litter throughout and remove all perishables.
Would appreciate hearing of any other methods. Thanks
I'd find away to ventilate the place while you are away,whether thats leaving a few windows open an inch and discovering ways to avoid rain getting in or you may want to invest in a roof mounted vent.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:24 AM
 
2,688 posts, read 6,913,071 times
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Could not imagine trying to live in and maintain a 71 mobile home,difference of night and day between a 71 and 98 home,our home is 97 fleetwood all sealed,plumbing and electric. by mfg. with foam.Went to Ct for several months,AC on 80 and water off,everything unplugged,no problems.We have not had a single incidence of any kind in 4 years.Very pleasant living.
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