Winterize Like a Pro

We’re making a list and checking it twice!

No, it’s not Christmas time yet but the season is just around the corner. We’d like to help you get ready for the chilly weather by providing a checklist to help you ‘winterize’ your summer home or cottage like a pro! Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a first timer getting everything ready to winterize your property can be a daunting task. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it and prepared a list of tasks to be completed before leaving your property for an extended period. Taking the necessary precautions when winterizing your summer property will save you money and give you peace of mind.

1. Utilities and Plumbing

Turn off the power to the water pump and the hot water tank before draining anything.
It’s a whole lot easier to drain the tanks if you’re not continuing to pump water into them. Turning off the power also protects the heating elements in the hot water tank, so they’re not trying to warm water that is no longer there.

Open all faucets and drain all waterlines.
This is an important step for anyone who lives in an area where freezing pipes are a problem. Don’t forget to drain the toilet, water heater (turn off the gas or electric supply first), expansion tank, fountains, any sources of standing water, dishwasher, refrigerators with water supply, and washing machines.

Winterize the sewage system.
Flush the toilet to get as much of the water out of the tank and bowl as possible. Add a generous amount of antifreeze to the tank and the bowl to prevent any remaining water from freezing and cracking the toilet, and to stop sewer gas from venting back through the toilet trap. Pour a cup of antifreeze down every sink and tub drain, and two cups down shower-stall drains, which have larger traps.

For more tips on winterizing plumbing read the full article here http://cottagelife.com/8640/diy/maintenance-diy/10-tips-for-winterizing-plumbing.

Adjust the Thermostat
Set your thermostat to a level adequate to keep the inside temperature above freezing and to keep things dry.

Unplug all Appliances
Do this if you leave the electric power on and avoid the risk of fire in the event of a faulty switch or a rodent gnawing the wires.


2. Prepare Your Home’s Interior for Winter

Start with the Kitchen

Cleaning out  and prepping the kitchen for while your away is very important for keeping vermin at bay. It’s necessary to get rid of any open food and food particles that attract rodents.

  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer and wash them thoroughly
  • Remove all food items from the pantry and ensure dry foods that are staying are in metal containers with lids
  • Take precautions to deal with rodents and insects, such as: washing kitchen trash containers and putting away soap, sponges, candles and other possible sources of food for vermin. Use rodent repellent where necessary
  • Remove items that could freeze
  • Take out all the trash before you leave


Prep the Rest of the House

  • Wash everything (drawers, linens, bedding, towels) and store in containers with lids
  • Vacuum carpets and floors
  • Remove all fire hazards
  • Close flutes and dampers

 3. Clean Up Outdoor Areas

  • Protect the lawn and garden. Arrange to have someone mow the lawn if necessary and cover any plants that are frost intolerant
  • Store outdoor furniture to protect them from the elements
  • Lock away expensive vehicles. Pleasure craft such as boats, ATVs, bicycles, canoes, kayaks and cars should be locked in a garage or storage shed. Block window views into this storage space.

 4. Security

Lock your house at all entry points.
High quality locks for your doors and windows are important to keep your belongings safe from potential intruders. Check that all your windows and doors are shut and locked before you leave for the season.

  • Close window shutters. Aside from enhancing security, shutters will, along with drapes, blinds and curtains, keep carpeting and fabrics from fading.
  • If you are really concerned have someone you trust make regular check-ins.


Do not leave valuables  laying around that may attract thieves.

  • Try and lock up valuable items and take small items with you.


Stop your mail
.

You may want to forward your mail to your permanent address and pay all your bills before leaving.

Plant your Shoreline

Fall is also  great time to plant your shoreline. Contact us to find out how to do it for free!

 

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