It's time to start thinking about closing up your cottage for the season. Properly closing your cottage is essential to ensure it remains in good condition, safe, and ready for your return next year. To help you with this process, we've put together a comprehensive checklist with tips for closing your summer cottage. By following these steps, you can enjoy peace of mind and a worry-free off-season.
Begin the process by giving your cottage a thorough cleaning. Remove all perishable items, food, and trash to prevent pests. Clean out the refrigerator, pantry, and cupboards, and make sure to leave them open to prevent musty odors. Tidy up the living areas and bedrooms, and wash and store linens and curtains.
Shut off the water supply to prevent freezing pipes and leaks during the colder months. Drain the water lines and open faucets to remove any remaining water. Turn off the gas supply if applicable. Unplug all electronic devices and appliances to prevent energy consumption and protect them from power surges.
Before closing up for the season, inspect your cottage for any needed repairs. Look for leaks, damaged roofing, loose siding, or broken windows. Address these issues promptly to avoid more significant problems later on.
Rodents and insects can be a real nuisance during the off-season. Seal any gaps and cracks that pests might use to enter your cottage. Consider setting up traps or hiring a pest control service to deter unwanted guests.
Clean and store outdoor furniture, grills, and equipment in a dry and secure location. This will protect them from the elements and extend their lifespan.
Close and lock all windows and doors to keep out wind, rain, and snow. Install storm shutters if necessary. Cover your cottage's air conditioning unit to protect it from debris and ice. Make sure the chimney flue is closed to prevent drafts.
Remove valuable items such as electronics, jewelry, and important documents from your cottage. Store them in a safe and secure location at your primary residence.
Consider installing a security system or using motion-activated lighting to deter potential intruders. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your cottage and report any suspicious activity.
Set your thermostat to a low but not freezing temperature to prevent the cottage from becoming too cold and damp. This will help protect the structure and furnishings.
Mow the lawn one last time and trim back any overgrown bushes or trees that could cause damage during winter storms. Remove leaves and debris from gutters to prevent clogs.
Speak to your insurance advisor about any seasonal changes in your coverage. They can help you adjust your policy to ensure your cottage remains adequately protected during the off-season.
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