Getting the Cottage ready for Spring

The ice has melted away, the mosquitoes and black flies have taken hold of the airways, and the trilliums are starting to bloom.

Unfortunately as cottage owners, we can’t focus on rest and relaxation right away, there is work which needs to get done prior to summer rolling in.

The May long weekend is typically recognized as the traditional opening ceremony for cottagers, and the amount of work that goes into opening the cottage in spring can seem overwhelming for some. Below is a list of tips that will remind you of everything you need get done prior to enjoying the cottage to it’s fullest potential.


Exterior of the cottage

  • Check your roof for any shingles which may have come loose or been torn off all together
  • Clean your eavestroughs
  • Check your eavestroughs and downspouts to make sure nothing is damaged or loose
  • Inspect siding for damage
  • Check decks/and patios for any damage, and any loose boards or railings
  • Remove lo hanging/broken branches within close proximity to the cottage
  • Check the shoreline for anything that may have washed on or washed away, as you may have erosion
  • Inspect for torn window screens
  • Check your deck for broken or splintered boards, nails or screws that might be sticking out.
  • Inspect your dock as well, check anchor points, loose boards etc
  • Rake away dead leaves, sticks, branches, and other debris.
  • Make sure your patio and walkways are sloping away from your house to avoid water pooling near your foundation.
  • Clean your outdoor furniture

Interior of the cottage

  • Check for any water damage in basement or that may have occurred in your main living quarters from ice daming etc.
  • Check your appliances to make sure they are functioning correctly
  • Check your taps and faucets for any leaks.
  • Check your water heater, pumps and pressure tanks to make sure they are working properly

Fire safety

  • Make sure your fire extinguishers are still charged
  • Change the batteries on all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, test them  or change alarms if past their expiry date
  • Replace batteries in flashlights

Check for any unwelcome guests

  • Check closets, pantries, and cupboards for signs of animal nesting or damage.
  • Look for mice droppings or bug remains. If you see any holes make sure to fill and seal them.
  • If you discover evidence of any unwanted visitors head to the local hardware store to pick up any bait, repellant or traps.

Clear the air

  • Go around and open up windows and screens. Letting fresh air into the cottage will also help dry out anything that might have accumulated dampness over the winter, and will lessen the small of mustiness.

Make a to do list, and a list of supplies that are required.

  • As you walk around and find things, not only should you add them to your list, but prioritize them in order of importance.(Items associated with Safety and structural should always be prioritize over cosmetic items)
  • Keep the list hand so you can easily add to it when required.

Replenish your Medicine cabinet and first aid kit

  • Check for expired medication and replace
  • Identify supplies and restock the first aid kit.
  • Make sure you’ve got calamine lotion, sun screen, bug spray

And finally the most important step, possibly the most important! ENJOY yourself at the cottage, break out the Muskoka chairs, open your favourite beer, invite some friends over and enjoy your cottage!

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