Opening & Closing Your Cottage

Posted: September 25, 2018
Tagged As: Cottage, Risk Management, Winter

Image of green canoe on lake

There is something exciting about opening up the cottage after a long winter. Make sure your annual ritual includes tasks that will help you make the most of your time at the cottage. Theses simple tips from Frank Cowan Company will help prevent easy fixes from ruining your relaxation.
  • Do a walk-around inspection of the cottage, looking for damage that needs to be repaired.
  • Inspect the roof for loose or missing shingles, faulty flashing and holes.
  • Trim back trees overhanging the cottage and clean the eaves troughs.
  • Check and replace damaged caulking and weather stripping.
  • Check for and replace chewed electrical wires. Inspect for other animal related damage.
  • Disconnect or Reconnect water pipes. Always turn off the main water value when leaving the cottage for the winter and between visits. Leave taps inside and outside open for the winter, flush toilets to drain them of water.
  • Turn off power to any water pumps and drain your hot water tank.
  • Replace batteries and test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as flashlights or any other emergency lighting.
  • Have the woodstove and chimneys cleaned annually.
  • Close propane or natural gas lines and turn off pilot lights.
  • Restock the first aid kit.
  • For added security, use automatic timers or smart home technology for indoor and outdoor lights.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked and secured.
  • Hire a property manager or arrange for someone to check on your cottage regularly. Most insurance policies require a property to be entered and checked every 48 hours.
  • Hire a snow removal person to ensure there is no buildup of snow on any roofs, balconies, or decks.
  • Winterize your seasonal vehicles, secure and disable them during the winter months.
  • Keep boats, motors and lifts covered, and locked.
  • Document belongings and the premises with a camera or simple video.
  • Secure windows and doors, close curtains or blinds.
  • Consider installing water mitigation devices, such as battery powered sump pumps, automatic shut off values, and centrally monitored water and temperature sensors.
  • Regularly check and maintain your septic system.
Frank Cowan Company is a LAS Partner offering municipalities greater access to risk management expertise. To learn more visit the LAS website. 

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