Summer is over and for many Canadians that means closing up the cottage until next spring. If you’re preparing to close your cottage, here are six tips to help you do so before the winter season.
Tip 1: Clean up and remove all food items before you close your cottage for the winter. Not only will this help prevent attracting animals, it will also make opening your cottage in the spring much easier and pleasant.
Tip 2: Shut off your hot water tank, heaters and pumps, unplug devices from the electrical sockets and then shut off the main circuit breaker. This will not only help protect against fires, it will also protect your cottage in the spring when you turn the power back on.
Tip 3: Keep your gutters clean. Hiring a gutter cleaning service will help prevent leaves and sticks from piling up which can cause ice damming. This tip is especially important if you are not planning on returning to your cottage until springtime.
Tip 4: Inspect your roof for missing or broken shingles. Over the winter snow can build up and can cause water to leak into the building.
Tip 5: Turn off your main water supply and drain the pipes. Any remaining water could freeze resulting in extensive damage and repair costs.
Tip 6: Check your cottage regularly during the off-season. Cottages that sit empty for long periods of time are more susceptible to burglaries. If you’re unable to do so, arrange for a neighbour or family member to check-up on your cottage periodically and consider installing a monitored alarm system.
Even with regular check-ins, it’s important to bring all your valuables home with you and to cover the windows to prevent people from seeing inside. For any of your items that are left, it’s a good idea to take a home inventory. See our blog post about home inventory for more information.
Taking precautions can help mitigate the risk of the worst happening when you’ve closed up your cottage for the season—but the unexpected can happen no matter what. For complete peace of mind, speak to your insurance broker about protecting your cottage with comprehensive coverage against burglary, vandalism, weather-related damages and more. You may even be eligible for discounts when combining your home, auto and seasonal property coverage!