Preparing Your Cottage for Winter: A Guide for Cottage Owners

As the crisp autumn air settles in Kingston, cottage owners face an annual ritual: shutting down their beloved summer retreats for the winter. While saying goodbye to your cottage until next summer can be bittersweet, ensuring that it’s properly closed to prevent damage and keep it in top condition for the next season is essential. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the vital steps to shutting down your cottage effectively.

Start Early

The key to a smooth cottage shutdown is to start early, preferably before the first freeze. This allows you ample time to complete all necessary tasks without rushing. Here’s a checklist to help you get started:

  • Schedule time for cottage closing.
  • Make a list of tasks and gather necessary supplies.
  • Inform family and friends about your plans.

Clean Thoroughly

Begin by cleaning the cottage inside and out. Remove all perishable food items, clean the refrigerator, and empty cupboards. Give the interior a good scrubbing to prevent pests from taking up residence during the winter months. Remember to clean the outdoor furniture and grill as well.

Winterize Plumbing

One of the most critical steps is to protect your cottage’s plumbing system from freezing. Here’s how:

  • Turn off the main water supply and drain all water lines.
  • Open all faucets and fixtures to allow water to drain completely.
  • Add antifreeze to toilets, sinks, and drains.
  • Ensure the hot water tank is turned off and drained.

Check the Roof and Gutters

Inspect the roof for any damaged or missing shingles. Clean out the gutters to prevent ice dams and water damage during the winter. Consider installing gutter guards to keep debris out.

Secure Windows and Doors

Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent drafts. Lock all windows and doors securely to deter potential intruders.

Disconnect Appliances

Unplug all appliances and electronics to prevent power surges or fires. Clean the stove, refrigerator, and microwave thoroughly and leave their doors slightly ajar to prevent mould growth.

Pest Control

Take measures to keep pests at bay. Use traps or consult a pest control professional to ensure your cottage remains critter-free during the winter.

Turn Off Utilities

Switch off the main power supply at the breaker box. If your cottage has a gas line, ensure it’s turned off. This step saves energy and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

Store Outdoor Equipment

Store outdoor furniture, kayaks, canoes, and any other summer equipment indoors or in a secure shed. Cover more oversized items like boats with a tarp to protect them from the elements.

Set Up Security

Install security cameras or alarm systems to deter potential burglars. Notify a neighbour or a local friend that your cottage will be vacant so they can watch for any unusual activity.

Shutting down your cottage for the winter is vital to maintaining your cherished property. By following these steps and planning, you’ll ensure that your Kingston cottage remains in top condition and is ready for you to enjoy when the warm weather returns. Remember, proper winterization is about protecting your investment and ensuring your peace of mind during the off-season. So, take the time to close your cottage carefully, and you’ll be rewarded with years of cozy, worry-free winters in your Kingston retreat.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, contact us. Your cottage deserves the best care, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

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