The leaves are falling and the mornings are getting crisper. Now that cottage season is over, it’s time to get the cottage ready for the winter. Doing a proper job when closing up for the winter means you will have a more enjoyable weekend opening up the cottage in the spring. Although every cottage is different here are some things to keep in mind while putting your cottage to bed for the winter.
- Shut off the main water valve
- Open all taps and leave them open
- Drain the water from the water pump
- Drain water traps (found under the kitchen and bathroom sinks)
- Drain the toilets
- Drain any garden hoses
- Turn off the main breaker. Be sure to turn off all major appliances, your water heater, and electrical room heaters before you turn off the main switch.
- Remove any electronics or valuables that can be easily stolen
- Cover any TV’s or valuables that are being left behind with plastic or a blanket (out of sight, out of mind)
- Take all perishable food items from the drawers and shelves
- Remove any refrigerated and frozen items from the fridge and freezer
- Remove any alcohol in your cottage. In many incidents where a cottage is broken into, liquor is the most common item taken.
- Cover beds and furniture with plastic (to prevent moisture and mold growth)
- Lock all doors and windows and shut the blinds (blinds being closed can deter theft)
- Lubricate locks for easy spring re-entry
- Make sure docks are secured, hoisted, or protected by a bubbler
- Remove all boats from the lake
- Put a lock and chain on any canoes, kayaks, or tin boats to a tree or together if putting them in a shed is not an option.
- Any small engines should have fuel line stabilizer added to prevent condensation build up (run the engine with fuel line stabilizer for around two minutes to get the liquid into all lines)
- Install a cover over the chimney opening to prevent furry tenants from moving in.
- Take picture of the cottage, inside and out.
- Tell your neighbours when you are closing up for the year. Permanent residents living close by can be your eyes and ears while you are away.