Every cottage is different, and special attentions must be paid to those differences, but here are some general ideas to follow when “winterizing” your cottage.
- If the cottage is not winterized, it is important that all water be drained from your water system. This includes the pipe (hose) that goes into the lake, the pump, as well as every pipe in the cottage. Some cottagers find a way to blow air into the pipes to clear them of all water.
- Many cottagers use shutters to protect windows and doors, but with new and improved windows, this is not always necessary.
- There is no foolproof way to mouseproof your cottage. Mice get into the cottage in the fall as the cold weather arrives. Some cottagers use traps, others use warfarin or other poisons. If mice get in, they will spread the poison around. Care will have to be taken in the spring as you open up to clean all the old poison up, particularly if you have animals.
- Be sure to make use of the Winter Surveillance programs that Block B and French Bay provide. Those who check the cottage will inform you of any break-ins as well as fallen trees and heavy snow on the roof. Some cottagers make their own arrangements to have someone check their cottage regularly.
- Be sure not to leave any food or drink in your cottage. Also items such as outboard motors, chain saws and other equipment or smaller electrical appliances are favourites for winter thieves.
- Your shed should have a strong lock which will help to prevent break-ins.
- Don’t forget to use antifreeze in all drains and toilets.
Cottagers may wish to add their own suggestions, as this list is not complete in any sense.