Winterizing Your Cottage

Winterizing Your Cottage

It’s that time of year again and winterizing your cottage should be at the top of your list.  For many cottage owners, making your way up to your summer getaway just doesn’t make sense during the winter months.  And why pay for high utility costs when you’re not even there to enjoy the place?  The quickest approach to winterizing your cottage is to take out everything that you don’t want to leave there until spring, and turn the thermostat to a minimum.  But, if you’re looking to shut it down completely, take a look at the steps below.


Step 1:

Clean it up.  Go through your place with a fine tooth comb and get rid of everything that can’t survive the winter.  If you have food that the mice will enjoy, or maybe a jar that will burst when frozen, get rid of it.  Make sure there’s no leftover garbage or anything that will get funky.  It’s also helpful to give it a once over to make it more inviting when you come back in the spring.

Step 2:

Shut off the water.  In some cases you may need to plan in advance to have your local township shut off water at the roadside.  Or, if you are on a well you can do it yourself.  First flip the breaker off for your pump and hot water tank (if applicable).  If you are unfamiliar with what’s required in winterizing your water system you should make arrangements with a professional to have it done.  It doesn’t cost much and it can save you a real headache if something goes wrong.  Once your water system is drained and open you need to blow out any remaining water using a compressor (there will be a lot left in the hot water tank).  Usually it’s best to have everything drain to the lowest point.  Get every drop out.

Step 3:

Winterize your drains.  Once all of the water is out of the system you need to winterize the drains themselves.  The traps in the drains will still hold water that can potentially freeze and crack the pipes.  You really won’t want to try and blow these out with a compressor like you do the water lines.  To winterize the drains, pick up some plumber’s antifreeze and pour some down the sinks, into the toilets, into the shower/bath, etc.


Step 4:

Kill the power.  Shutting off the power to anything that is not necessary will save you money over the winter, and it will reduce the risk of potential electrical hazards too.  Nothing worse than having your electrical hot water element blasting out heat and chewing up hydro for no reason.  Figure out what stays on and what gets shut off.  Your winterizing is almost done.


Step 5:

Triple check.  Go over everything one more time just to be sure that you didn’t miss a drain, or you left a baseboard heater on.  Do you have a waterline going to your fridge?  How about your washing machine?  Do a walk around the outside to finalize your inspection.   It doesn’t hurt to make other arrangements to have someone local keeping an eye on the place while you’re gone.  Once all of your ducks are in a row, you’re safe to lock up and head home.


If this is all too much or if you’re finding yourself too busy, let us do the work for you.  Harbourview Property Management’s experienced staff can ensure your cottage winterizing will go off without a hitch.

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