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Winterizing a Cottage For All-Season Use!

Winterizing a cottage in Muskoka, Ontario.

Winterizing a Cottage For All-Season Use!

Striving for the perfect cottage lifestyle? We love that! But why limit it to just three seasons? 

Cottage goers are always excited about improving their spring-to-fall lake experience. We like to think cottage season can last all year though! 

Winterizing a cottage is the perfect way to extend your cottage enjoyment. And we can help make the process easy and affordable!

A few key investments make your temporary weekend home a winter wonderland dream house!  Keep reading for our GPHE team’s top tips on how to winterize a cottage.


4 Key Steps to Winterizing a Cottage

Instead of closing your cottage down for the winter, we’ll teach you how to prep it for the cold!

The main thing you’ll need to consider is heat. As well as effectively keeping that heat IN! 

Step 1 - Improve Your Insulation 

Canadian winters are cold and unpredictable - especially up North! 

Improving your insulation is crucial to keeping that frigid air outside where it belongs. 

Areas to insulate in your cottage:

  • Attic 
  • Attic access door
  • Crawlspaces
  • Exterior walls
  • Between and over floor joists 
  • Floors above unconditioned spaces
  • Band joints, etc.

Using a vapour barrier to prevent and protect your cottage from rot and mould is also top priority. 

Psst…if insulation is not improved before further upgrades, you’re wasting your time! All other improvements become counterproductive if this initial step is not complete. 

Step 2 - Ensure Proper Heating is in Place 

Once your cottage is properly insulated, it’s time to ensure you have the right heating system.

Selecting the most appropriate heat source is imperative to winterizing a cottage. It affects,

  1. The level of risk you are to the insurance world, 
  2. Your energy bills, 
  3. The comfort and safety of your cottage, etc.

Not sure what heating system best suits your cottage? See our heating selection!

We offer a variety of furnaces, fireplaces, heat pumps and more! 

Step 3 - Update Your Windows And Doors 

Good insulation and the right heating system only get you so far if your windows and doors are out-of-date. And Canadian homeowners can’t afford to heat the outdoors! 

Did you know that old windows and doors can account for up to 25% of total heat loss

Outdated or broken seals lower the energy efficiency of your home - making your heating system work harder and less effectively!

If replacing your doors/windows isn’t necessary, here are a few other tips to improve their energy efficiency. 

Tips to improve the energy efficiency of your windows/doors:

  • Caulk around window seams
  • Replace weather stripping 
  • Install functional shutters
  • Upgrade your window coverings 
  • Repair your windows/doors

Energy-efficient doors and windows ensure your hard-earned heat stays IN!  

Step 4 - Check-Up Your Utilities 

Utilities play a key role in ensuring the proper functionality of your cottage - especially in the winter months! They should operate in prime condition, no matter how cold it gets!

Your electrical and plumbing systems are about to get a lot more use throughout the winter. This means they may need a quick checkup or upgrade before temps drop. 

For example, is your cottage plumbing prepared to handle frigid temps?

The main concern for your plumbing when winterizing a cottage is the risk of frozen pipes. 

Frozen pipes can damage your heat circulation, halt water flow, cause water damage in your home and increase the risk of mould! 

To prevent this, we recommend placing your pipes within the warm side of your insulation. This should help prevent them from freezing and breaking. 

We also recommend installing frozen pipe protection for the plumbing in colder areas of your cottage. 

Need help getting your cottage plumbing in order? Our GPHE plumbing team can take care of this for you!


Winterize Your Cottage With GPHE

Ready to convert your summer cottage into a winter wonderland? Our Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric team can get the job done for you!

Contact our team today for a free quote.

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