It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about what you need to get done to prepare to close your cottage for the winter season.
There are countless things to consider when closing your cottage and many of these yearly to-dos are worth the effort as they help to reduce and prevent serious damage.
Cottage Closing Priorities
Here is a list of our top ‘must-dos’ when closing up your home away from home:
- Drain your water pipes and water heater: cottages have different types of pump systems and connections, but it is important to remove any water from the pipes to prevent freezing and bursting.
- Wood stove clean-out: clean out any residue in the stove, fix any repairs in the flue, and close the damper.
- Ensure your roof is winter-ready: repair any damaged shingles to prevent leaks, and clean out the eavestrough to allow the runoff from melting snow to flow.
- BBQs and propane tanks: clean and disconnect your bbq from the propane tank or gas line and store both the bbq and the propane tank in a protected location.
- Recreational watercraft and toys: remove all canoes, kayaks, water trampolines, etc. from the water and store them in an outbuilding, or lock them together in a protected location.
- Docks: remove and safely store your dock(s) on land in a protected location, or install a water agitator to ensure that ice doesn’t form around the dock over the winter. If you install a water agitator, remember to post a sign at its location so that it is visible to snowmobilers and skiers.
- Lock your doors and windows: close and shutter any windows and lock all your doors to prevent vandalism or robbery. Don’t forget to lock your outbuildings too!
A closed cottage is not a vacant cottage.
If you are away from the cottage for more than four days in a row it is important to have someone check on your cottage daily. Depending on your policy, you may have specific required checks that need to be completed to ensure coverage.