Is it time to shut down the cottage for the winter? Closing the door and hoping for the best is not a good way to leave it. This will only leave you with some likely unwanted surprises. To ensure your cottage is kept in the same condition come spring, follow these quick tips to winterize your cottage this fall.
Secure and Store Outdoor Structures
Tear down the dock, cover it with tarp or plastic, and store it in a secure place that’s clear from hanging branches and water pathways. The boat should also be removed from the water and stored in a garage or storage facility. If you have any watercraft or outdoor picnic tables and chairs, you can store them inside the shed or cottage during the winter. This will keep them safe from theft and also extend their lifespan. If you don’t have any available room left inside, cover them with a tarp and secure them to a large tree with a heavy lock and chain.
Protect Windows and Doors
Remove screens from windows and board them up to prevent any break-ins from people and wildlife. Then check the weatherstripping and seals along both the windows and doors on the inside to prevent any air leaks and replace as needed.
Throw Out the Food
Food can attract pests and insects, which is why all food should be removed from the cupboards, fridge, and freezer and brought home with you. The BBQ and stove should also be cleaned and disconnected when closing up the cottage.
It’s always wise to cover all the furniture to protect it from the weather as well as any mice or other unwanted critters that can make their way into the cottage over the winter.
Drain Your Water System
To prevent frozen or burst pipes, shut down your water system. This includes draining all outdoor faucets and taps. The sump pump should be tested and left on to make sure any melting snow and water is safely removed from the cottage. If your cottage has a septic system, drain it before closing up. In the event that the septic was already drained earlier in the summer, you should add a “good” bacteria compound to help breakdown any waste over the winter.
Double-Check Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance policy might outline certain precautions you have to take when closing your cottage for the winter. Before you lock up and close down, be sure to read over your policy and have followed all of the required steps included.
Disconnect Appliances and Lock Up
Don’t forget to disconnect all the appliances and turn the breaker off at the electrical panel. Then do one last walk around to make sure that everything has been turned off or secured as per your insurance policy. Once you’ve completed your final inspection, lock all windows, doors, gates, and outbuildings.
Find out what’s required by your insurance policy when shutting down your cottage insurance by contacting us at Rowat Insurance. We’ll also review your current policy and make suggestions if there’s a better one for your needs and budget. Call us today!