5 Tips for Closing Your Cottage
You’ve enjoyed some long, lazy days at the cottage. It’s been great just to sit back and relax and soak in the summer sun. Maybe you’re even planning on leaving the cottage open for a few more months to enjoy the fall weather.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Unless your cottage is fully winterized, you’ll need to get ready to close it. If you’ve done this year after year, you may have a pretty good routine. If you’re new to cottaging, you may be a little unsure about what to do.
These are our top tips for closing your cottage down properly:
- Take care of everything associated with plumbing.
- Check your roof and gutters.
- Take steps to prevent pests and fires from damaging your cottage.
- Adjust your heating appropriately.
- Remove any valuables from your cottage.
1. Take care of everything associated with plumbing
To avoid any unpleasant surprises in the spring, ensure everything associated with plumbing at your cottage is taken care of. There are three main steps you need to take:
- Inspect your septic tank or arrange to have it inspected. Your septic tank should be professionally inspected every three years.
- Make sure your sump pump is on. You don’t need your sump pump to run over the winter but it’ll definitely come in handy once the snow melts in the spring. A good sump pump in working order can help avoid any flooding.
- Turn off your water supply and drain your pipes. Pipes bursting in cold weather can be a real problem.
Taking these precautions will help decrease the risk of a plumbing disaster.
Curious about what kind of cottage insurance coverage you have for flooding? We’re happy to answer your cottage insurance questions.
2. Check your roof and your gutters
Another way to ensure that your cottage doesn’t get water damage over the winter is to take good care of your roof and gutters.
Once the majority of the fall leaves have dropped, it’s essential to do a final clean out of your gutters (or hire someone to do so). Clogged gutters can cause a backup of water which can then end up damaging your roof.
Check your roof thoroughly and replace any broken or missing shingles. Over the winter, an extensive build-up of snow can cause your roof to leak or, even worse, cause your roof to cave in.
In addition, you can help protect your cottage over the winter by cutting back any tree branches that could potentially fall on the cottage during a bad winter storm.
Concerned about what kind of structural damage your cottage insurance covers? Give us a call.
3. Take steps to prevent pests and fire from damaging your cottage
Another thing to consider is rodents making themselves at home in your cottage over the winter. Take a good look around your entire cottage and block any small holes that a mouse or other rodents could use to get inside. If your cottage has a chimney, you’ll need to get a cover for it – never underestimate what animals can do to get inside.
Remove any food (even dried food and canned goods) from your cottage and take them home with you. This will help make your cottage less attractive to pests.
As well as pests, you need to prevent fire from damaging your cottage. Start by unplugging larger appliances to help prevent electrical fires. Also, remove any chemicals and loose paper products.
4. Adjust your heating appropriately
You can decrease the heating at your cottage when you close it down for the winter. Keeping it around 10°C can help avoid issues with frost buildup. If you choose to turn it lower, make sure you’ve drained your pipes, so they don’t freeze and burst.
Always unplug space heaters. Depending on how old they are, they can be a serious fire hazard.
5. Remove any valuables from your cottage
You don’t need to remove your twenty-year-old TV, but take home expensive or tempting items like jewellery, alcohol and cash.
Also, remove or securely store items like motors, generators, water skis and chainsaws.
Not sure what kind of contents coverage is included with your cottage insurance? The answer is just a call away.
Why should I buy cottage insurance from Archway Insurance?
Cottage insurance protects your cottage, even when you’re not there for extended periods of time. Cottage insurance is essential to help protect you from losses and damages due to natural events and accidents.
Your cottage insurance covers these main areas:
- Structural damage. It protects your cottage and any outdoor structures (like a boathouse or shed) for events such as fire, theft and vandalism.
- Personal property. Cottage insurance covers damages or the complete loss of important items like furniture and appliances.
- Liability claims. Cottage insurance will cover legal fees and settlements if a guest or any third party is injured on your property or suffers other damages and losses.
Not sure how much cottage insurance coverage you need? Looking for customized cottage insurance? Contact us to get the right cottage insurance coverage for you.
Make sure your cottage is protected over the winter
Whether your cottage is an investment property or your summer getaway, it’s important to make sure you take all the steps necessary to close it properly. Another way to protect your cottage over the winter is to ensure you have the right cottage insurance.