Many cottage owners stretch the summer months into the fall to get as much cottage time as possible. But eventually, there comes a time to pack up everything and close down the cottage for the winter.
If you have a seasonal cottage, it’s important to ensure that no damage is done over the colder months when the weather causes things to expand and shift, while staying organized for when you reopen it in the spring. So here are a few tips to help keep your cottage safe and your belongings organized while you are away:
1. Avoid water damage
The best way to avoid water damage is to drain the pluming and then shut the water off to avoid frozen pipes.
2. Check your sump pump
In the Spring thaw when all the snow melts, often the water level rises. Therefore it’s important to check that your sump pump is working properly when you won’t be there.
3. Bring in all outdoor decor and furniture
Store items like your patio set, adirondack chairs, boat, barbecue, lanterns, and bikes indoors over the winter to keep them in good shape for next year. Walmart, Overstock.com, and Boscov’s have some great storage bins for the smaller stuff. You’ll also avoid the possibility of losing anything in the wind and potentially causing damage.
4. Close the stove pipes on your fireplace, chimneys, or wood stoves
These places are prime real estate in the animal world. Be sure to block them before the winter to avoid having unwanted nests! This might also be a good time to get your chimney cleaned to avoid winter buildup.
5. Trim down overhanging branches above the roof and gutters
Blocked drainage systems and heavy weight of snow and ice could cause a ton of damage, so it’s important to do everything you can to lighten the load. Clean out your eaves troughs and make sure drainage is as far as possible from the cottage.
Everyone has their own list for packing up their cottage, but hopefully this covers the basics to give you peace of mind during the winter, and when you return in the Spring everything will be organized and easy to unpack so you can get the most out of your summer.