Closing up the cottage in the fall is an important task for every cabin owner. Here is a good checklist to help you winterize the cabin.
Winter preparations are made easier when you follow the right steps. Doing a proper job when closing up the cottage for the winter season means you will have a more enjoyable weekend opening up the cabin in the spring.
Board up the gazebo and any screen windows on the cottage and guest cottage. The extra effort is worth the trouble as you may otherwise spend even more time in the spring repairing damage and cleaning up after the animals that have broken-in.
Canoes and Kayaks
Stack the canoe and kayak on sawhorses or on a rack that is out of view from the lake or the road. Chain them together with a good lock.
Move the picnic table inside the cottage if you have room. It preserves the table and gives you something to place boxes on.
BBQ and Propane Tank
Clean the BBQ and disconnect it from the propane tank. Store them in a protected place.
Lawnmower, Chainsaw and Weed Whacker
Garden Tools and Storage Sheds
Tear down the dock and store it in an organized way so you can quickly re-assemble it in the spring. Re-paint the crib with rust-proof paint.
Under The Cabin
Remove all garbage that has been stored under the cottage and take it to the dump. This improves air and water flow, and removes potential homes for the critters.
Spread mothballs liberally around the support posts to deter mice and other wildlife from trying to enter the cabin. Fill all holes with steel wool.
Septic System And Outhouse
Consider having them pumped or cleaned out if they are due.
Otherwise, add some approved “good” bacteria to your septic system and outhouse to help breakdown the waste over the winter.
Gather all the clothes, hats, shoes, pots, pans, etc. that have accumulated but never get used and donate them to charity. This is the perfect time to reduce the clutter.
Refrigerator And Freezer
Note: Remove all food from the cabin, even the canned goods.
Beds And Furniture
Cabin Water System
The water system must be drained properly. Residual water in the system will freeze during the winter and may cause the water pipes to burst.
Drain The Water Heater
Draining The Rest Of The System
Ideally, gravity does most of the work and the water in the line all runs back to the lake once you turn off the power to the water pump. Some water will remain in the water traps ( u-shaped parts of the pipes).
For Land-Based Water Pumps
Note: Some people also remove the intake line and foot valve from the lake and store them. While not necessary, the practice is a good idea and allows you to inspect for damage and clean the screen.
Leaving The Cabin
Once you know that you have closed the cottage properly, it is time to relax and enjoy the ride home.
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