How To Winterize And Close Your Cottage For The Winter

Home Insurance

There are two ways to winterize your cottage. One is to convert it for use all year ’round and the other is to safely close your cottage for the winter. In last week’s blog post, we shared some tips on transforming your cottage into an all-season getaway. Today, we’ll be sharing some important steps to closing it for the winter. Either way, winterizing your cottage prevents loss and damage to your property.

Here are a few things you should do to protect your seasonal property from the weather, wildlife, and thieves while you’re away. 

Plumbing and heating

Heat source – Set your furnace temperature down to 10°C to avoid frost build-up or completely shut it off if your pipes are prepared to prevent freezing.

Water system – Completely drain the water system as the water inside the pipes will expand when it freezes and cause your pipes to burst. Cutoff water from source. Unplug the water pump.

Septic system – Have the septic system cleaned out. If you’ve already had them drained, pour in septic system bacteria to help break down organic waste.

Drains – Pour plumbing antifreeze down the drains in the sink, bath, shower, and toilet. For the toilet, once the tank is completely drained of water, pour in the antifreeze into the tank and hold down the flush handle.

Sump pump – Keep the sump pump on to keep water away when the snow starts to melt in the spring.

Outside your cottage

Windows and doors – Board up windows using plywood, metal or any material recommended that can withstand winter storms as well as wildlife from breaking into your cottage

Picnic tables and watercraft – Chain your picnic tables and watercraft and to a tree and make sure to lock them to prevent thieves from stealing them or . If you have a shed to store your watercraft, keep them safely locked in the shed. If there’s some space available inside your cottage, keeping picnic tables inside will prolong its life.

Outdoor tables – To prolong the life of picnic tables, it is best to store them inside the cottage. However, if there isn’t any room for the table, you can chain it up to a tree with a secure lock.

Lawnmowers and other outdoor power equipment – Make sure to lock up all gardening and outdoor power equipment inside your shed.

Before you leave

Refrigerator – Clean out the refrigerator to avoid any unwanted surprises when you come back in the spring.

Appliances – Unplug all appliances and electrical devices. Turn off breakers at your electrical panel.

Buildings – Lock your cottage and all outside buildings to keep them safe and secure.

Keep critters away – Seal and cover any holes and pipes which critters can use to enter your cottage. Store all food in secure storage bins and dispose of garbage and fruits that can attract critters to your cottage.

Preparing to close your cottage for the winter might take a weekend to complete but you’ll be thankful you did it when you get back in the spring. If in doubt, you can contact a contractor to help you close your cottage for the winter.

If you would like to know more about the insurance implications of winterizing your cottage or want to discuss your coverage with a licensed expert, contact us at 905-886-7277.

By Katia Barretto