Winterizing Your Cottage
Winterizing your cottage for winter’s arrival is an important process and can help to avoid a myriad of problems. Irrespective of whether you’ll be stopping by occasionally during the winter months to check on your cottage, or closing it down completely, the following list will safeguard you against unpleasant surprises.
Canoes and Kayaks – Stack canoes and kayaks on sawhorses or on a rack that is out of view. If you do not have sawhorses make sure they are flipped upside down to prevent water accumulation. Don’t forget to chain them together with a good lock.
Clean the gutters – Clogged gutters can cause water to back up underneath shingles and get into the roof structure below. This build-up could also lead to ice damming. Wait for the leaves to fall and make sure you get the gutters nice and clean before winter comes.
Closing up the Gazebo – Board up the gazebo and any screen windows you may have on the gazebo. Use plastic frames, plywood or a properly tied down tarp to protect the Gazebo from the elements. Consider using your screened in gazebo as a storage space to forMuskoka chairs, and kids water toys.
Check the Exterior – Inspect the exterior of the cottage for any openings small animals can get in through. Make sure your chimney cap or covers are secure.
Check the Roof – A cottage can carry a large snow load over the winter, therefore conduct an inspection of the roof too ensure that the roof is in good shape. Replace any missing or broken shingles.
Prevent Natural Damage Over the Winter – Trees and branches can often come down, so take some time to trim back any branches that could cause damage, or any unhealthy trees that could potentially damage your cottage or belongings.
Store Seasonal Items – Store seasonal items such as patio furniture, barbecues, and canoes in a safe location. If you don’t have a garage, consider storing in a shed to keep these items dry and secure throughout the winter months
Boats – Make sure your boats are well away from the water and away locked safely. To winterize drain the water out of smaller outboard motors and store them out of sight or preferably indoors.
Locking up – Enure sheds, bunkies, garages, storage areas and gazebos are properly locked
Keeping an eye out for you – If you are lucky enough to have a neighbor that lives up in cottage country full time, ask them politely to keep an eye on your cottage.
Winterizing your Land Based Water Pump – Make sure you turn off the power to the pump. Remove the intake line and foot valve from the lake and store them. Drain remaining water from the pump, and pour some plumbing anti-freeze into the pump. Seal off any openings to pumps to avoid critters getting in.
Floating Dock or Swim Raft – Raise anchoring mechanism and bring to shore
BBQ and Propane Tank – Clean the BBQ and disconnect it from the propane tank. Store them both in a protected place.
Lawnmower, Chainsaw and Trimmer – To winterize run them until you burn off all the existing fuel. Clean the equipment and inspect filters, spray moving parts with lube, and store in a secure storage area.