How to Winterize Your Home Away from Home
Seasonal properties are especially vulnerable because of their isolated locations and infrequent habitation. And because most seasonal properties are located in rural areas, environmental hazards such as extreme weather can cause expensive damage.
So before you turn off the lights and shut the door for the final time this year, take a look over this comprehensive list and ensure you’ve taken all the necessary steps:
– Ensure you have backup power if necessary. A backup system will keep your cottage safe in a power failure.
– Remove any perishable goods
– Empty, clean and unplug fridge
– Store any un-opened, non-perishable dry goods in bug-proof containers
– Make sure any and all garbage is removed
– Clean out toaster crumbs, and barbecue grills to ensure no food remnants are left behind
– Strip beds, launder bedding and store either at home or in moth-resistant packaging
– Sweep/vacuum floors
– Any products you’re leaving behind should be checked to ensure they can withstand freezing temperatures over the winter (many cannot)
– Scrub toilets, sinks, showers, baths
– Bring patio furniture indoors for the season
– Un-hook barbecue and store inside if possible
– Turn down the heat to no lower than 13C (55 F). This will prevent your water pipes from freezing or bursting.
– Clean out eaves troughs so snow can melt and drain properly
– Top off any fuel tanks to avoid condensation
– Lock all doors/windows
– Shut the water off and drain the plumbing: This will prevent split pipes and water damage. Remember to drain the sink traps and toilet too.
– Use mothballs to help: Mothballs will help to discourage critters from taking over your cottage while you’re away.
– Check in with year-round neighbours. Ask them to keep an eye on the place, and ensure they have your home phone number.