Preparing your cottage or cabin for winter

Oct 25, 2013 2 minute read

You are probably still enjoying the last days of fall and don’t want to think about winter and snow yet. Whether or not you spend time at your cottage or cabin during the winter, now is the best time to prepare for the changing seasons.  Our tips can help you keep your “home away from home” safe and secure for this upcoming winter season.

  1. If you don’t plan to return to your cottage or cabin during the winter, consider turning off your water, draining your water supply from the pipes and adding anti-freeze to your drains. This is especially important as overnight temperatures drop below zero.
  2. Remove any perishable food items and take the opportunity to clean your fridge and freezer. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises when you return to your seasonal property.
  3. Clean your eaves-troughs, downspouts and inspect your roof. Leave your downspouts down to allow water to drain away from your home. This maintenance will reduce the risk of water damage through ice jams or leaks. This tip is very important even if you plan to use your cottage or cabin during the winter.
  4. Make arrangements for regular snow removal from your driveway and roof. This will ensure easy access to your property over winter and can prevent damage to your roof from a heavy snow load.
  5. Your wood stove and fireplace should be well cleaned. Make sure you dispose of any coals and ashes safely. This not only reduces the risk of fire, but can save you from returning to a big mess during the changing seasons.
  6. If you use an oil tank, get it inspected to avoid any leaks developing during the winter season.
  7. Secure all your windows and doors to make your property less attractive for potential thieves. Make sure there are no valuables visible from the outside. Safely store all belongings such as a boat or outdoor furniture to protect them from the elements.
  8. Be sure a trusted neighbour or friend checks on your home while you are away. Make sure whoever is checking your seasonal property has your updated contact details in case of an emergency.
    • If your home is insured as a seasonal property you should have it checked regularly. If the property is considered a secondary home, we recommend it should be checked every 24 hours while you are away.
    • Contact your BrokerLink broker to clarify which coverage applies to you and how often your property needs to be checked as outlined by your policy.
  9. Inspect weak trees in close proximity to your cottage or cabin and get them safely removed before winter settles in. The last thing you want is for trees to fall and damage your property during the winter months.
  10. Don’t forget to contact your BrokerLink broker to ensure your seasonal property is properly insured over the winter.

Once your cottage or cabin is ready for winter, you can relax and enjoy the season. Or, if winter isn’t your favourite time of the year, you can start planning for next spring and summer.