It is safe to assume that summer is behind us, fall is around us, and winter is just around the bend. One of the most important parts of owning property is appropriately caring for it. In Nova Scotia, many of us have cottages and cabins. During the winter, these properties are commonly used less frequently. It is essential to plan how to winterize these places so we run into fewer issues in the future that require extra time and money to repair. Here is a step-by-step checklist for how to shut down your cottage for the winter.
- Clean and store boats, dock ornaments, ladders, life jackets and ski equipment.
- Mow the lawn one last time.
- Clean and winterize lawnmower and other gas-powered yard equipment.
- Rake and remove leaves within at least 30 feet of your cabin.
- Store fire pit, decorations, emptied flower pots, drain hoses and sprinklers, and deflated water toys.
- Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, pipes, windows and doors; then seal leaks with caulk or insulation to keep out cold air and pests.
- Insulate pipes in crawl spaces by wrapping them with heat tape or thermostatically- -controlled heat cables; open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
- Clean out gutters and inspect the roof for raised or cracked shingles; leaking roofs and clogged gutters can lead to significant water damage.
- Store outdoor furniture, picnic tables and hammocks.
- Make sure your winter sports gear is ready to go. Is the Snowmobile tuned up? Skis waxed? Where are those snowshoes?
- Ensure that the power and water are in the proper mode for vacancy.
- Set the thermostat no lower than 12 or 13 degrees.
- Clean furnace filters to maintain an efficient heating and cooling system and reduce fire risk.
- If you are shutting off the refrigerator, open the door to prevent musty smells from developing. Also, unplug computers and major appliances.
- Pull shades or cover furniture to keep it from being bleached by the sun.
- Take out all perishable foods; store those in air-tight/critter-tight containers.
- Turn off the dehumidifier and water heater.
- Close the damper and clean out the fireplace. Seal the box to prevent critters from entering the cabin.
- Winterize the washing machine and kitchen appliances.
This is a great list to start with while adding your custom parts as you go. Furthermore, if you still need to find and purchase the cottage of your dreams, I am ready to help you. Please reach out to me today so we can find your oasis together.