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Tips for Winterizing Your Cottage

Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, there’s something special about being able to get away to your very own private cottage during the spring, summer and even fall months of the year. Few people make the trek to their cabin during winter—snow, ice and subzero temperatures make it more difficult. That’s why it’s so important to winterize your cabin during your last visit of the summer or fall season.

Winterizing your cottage or cabin doesn’t take all that much work, and you’ll rarely need any special tools or supplies. Really, what you need is a good checklist and a little know-how. You’ll find both below.

Cottage winterization checklist

Winterizing your cottage means getting it ready for months and months of emptiness. The goal is to prevent any unexpected problems from arising, since no one will be there if they do! Here are the must-follow steps for cottage winterization and why they’re so important:
  • Turn off the water and drain your pipes - Freezing temperatures and stagnant water are a bad combo. The last thing you want to find in spring is a pipe that burst months ago!
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts - Snow and ice are bound to accumulate on your cottage’s roof over the winter. Make sure they have a clear path to drain when they melt.
  • Check the sump pump - If your cottage has a sump pump, make sure it’s working properly. In the event of a flood, this is your first line of defense!
  • Unplug appliances - There’s no sense in leaving your stove, oven, fridge, microwave or other appliances plugged in if you’re not going to use them for months to come.
  • Turn the heat down or off - Some people choose to keep their cottage just above freezing (~45-50 degrees), while others turn it off altogether.
  • Close and lock doors and windows - Close all doors and windows tight and lock them to prevent pests and the elements from getting inside throughout the winter.
  • Tidy up - Give your cottage a good, thorough cleaning before you lock up for the winter season. It’ll leave you with a clean slate come spring and prevent pests this winter.
In addition to the above tips, do a thorough outside inspection of your cottage’s perimeter and tend to anything that might need it. Trim back brush and foliage. Open and drain spigots. Seal up any cracks or holes. A little maintenance goes a long way in winterizing your cottage appropriately.

Make repairs and get ready for inclement weather

Winterizing is also a time to make repairs to your cottage or cabin. Even simple repairs will help protect it from the impending elements and inclement weather. Pay attention to crucial areas like the roof, siding, foundation and essential systems like plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Make sure these important systems and infrastructure are in their best condition before you leave for the year, and you’ll come back to a cottage next spring that’s ready to relax in.

If you’re closing your cabin or cottage for the winter and need help with the plumbing, contact one of the professionals at PipeMasters today: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063. We’ll help you make sure your waterworks are winter-ready.

PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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