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Top 10 steps in preparing your cottage or cabin for that long cold winter sleep

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sat, 02/19/2011 - 09:52

When the changing leaves signify fall is upon us and although it brings with it one of the most colorful of seasons it also signifies that the summer is past and it’s time to shut the summer place down. Here are a few of the important tasks to remember to protect your cottage or cabin and allow you a little peace of mind while away.

1) Cover the chimney flues to help prevent pests entering and setting up house keeping for the long winter’s night. Clean out any ashes in the stove or fireplace, not only to assure that all embers are really out, but to make next season’s first fire just a little easier.

2) Check the roof for any missing or damaged shingles, making certain that the caulk around any flashing doesn’t need renewing, and be sure to check that gutters are not blocked and in good condition. It’s also time to have any potentially hazardous trees or limbs removed that might damage the roof or structure over the winter.

3) Take a walk around looking carefully for any openings in the fascia or soffit, window and door frames and window wells or crawl space vents. These openings are “Welcome” signs to any pest looking for a warm winter nest so make certain that are all sealed.

4) Recreational equipment should be readied for storage. Follow the manufactures directions but at a minimum make sure all fuel is drained and stored safely. If you are having boats and docks professionally removed and stored, confirm arrangements.

5) Bring in the yard fixtures, picnic tables, chairs, lounges, barbeque grills and any thing else weather might damage. If you plan on leaving some things outside, consider covering to help protect them.

6) Place any valuable items, which remain in the cabin, out of sight to help reduce temptation to any potential thieves. Check that all door and window locks are operating properly and are locked. Keep in mind that window locks also form part of the weather seal and have any damaged or missing repaired or replaced.

7) Notify the local law enforcement agency and/or neighborhood watch association when the property will be unoccupied.

8) Turn off the water heater and shut down the well and open and drain the water supply system, leaving faucets open. Flush the toilets, removing any remaining water from the toilet tanks and add approved antifreeze to all sinks, tubs, showers and toilet drain traps. If this is your first time to winterize the water system consider having it done professionally and observe the procedure for next year.

9) Items, such as food, drink, (Yes, wine will freeze) and some cleaning and toiletry products, that might freeze should be removed also to help avoid a mess to clean up in the spring.

10) Shut off (or have shut off) fuel, gas, oil, propane serving the cabin. Turn off the lights, unplug all appliances, shut off the main breaker and lock the doors.

Submitted by SterlingBrown on Sat, 02/19/2011 - 09:52