As the seasons change, it’s time to prepare your Haliburton County cottage for the winter. This list of top tips will help you efficiently close down your lakeside retreat while safeguarding its value and condition. This list is meant to ease your transition both currently into winter, and pre-plan to make your eventual spring cottage reopening as smooth and easy as possible!
Clean and Organize
Before winter arrives, meticulously clean your cottage, including kitchen appliances and bathrooms, and create an inventory checklist. Removing perishables, including cleaning out the refrigerator, and organizing your belongings minimizes the risk of pests infesting your space over the winter. As well, it saves you one more task the following year of cleaning up the cottage as nobody wants to show up to a dirty cottage in the Spring so cleaning ahead of time pays dividends to your future self.
Protect Plumbing and Water Systems
To prevent freezing-related damage, shut off your water supply, drain pipes, and add antifreeze to toilets and traps. Unplugging and draining the well or lake pump, if applicable, is equally crucial to prevent burst pipes and costly repairs. Trust us, you don’t want your first weekend at the cottage in the spring to revolve around getting quotes from plumbers from winter damage repairs.
Roof and Gutters
Make sure to inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles and ensure that your chimney and vents are secure. Clean the gutters and downspouts to ensure water is directed away from the cottage, preventing damage and ice dams that could affect the integrity of your property.
Secure Outdoor Items
Properly store or cover outdoor furniture, boats, and grills to protect them from the elements. Ensure they are clean and dry before storage to prevent mold, rust, or damage caused by prolonged exposure to winter weather. Winter storms can of course come with strong winds so make sure to tie down anything that could get blown away as well!
Implement pest control measures to deter rodents and insects, such as setting traps and using repellents. Seal vents and openings, including the chimney and crawl spaces, to prevent critters from gaining entry and causing damage. When the weather finally warms up you don’t want to come back to the cottage and find yourself taking measures to evict and clean up after a family of mice that used your cottage as their shelter during the winter months.
Turn off gas, electricity, and propane to save energy and reduce potential hazards during the winter. Ensure that your cottage’s electrical system is disconnected to prevent any unnecessary power consumption. After all, why waste money on utilities when you’re not even going to be there until the Spring?
By following these essential tips, your Haliburton County cottage will be safely closed for the winter, protecting your investment, and ensuring its readiness for spring. Embrace the winter beauty of the region, confident in the knowledge that your cottage is properly prepared for the season. Having the peace of mind that you have done everything to protect your property for the winter ahead allows you to enjoy the changing of the seasons, knowing that you will be all set when the temperatures begin rising to start enjoying the cottage right where you left off this fall!