Muskoka Cottage Closing Done Right!
It’s that time of year again. That brisk, northern Ontario wind has returned and our team of plumbers, electricians and HVAC systems technicians are gearing up for the cold winter ahead!
Grab your toques team, we’re in for another frigid season!
If you’re like most of our Muskoka cottage owners, closing your cottage has been a task that you’re just not quite ready to give in to yet. Especially after those few, surprising summer days we’ve had sprinkled about the month of October.
But with the start of November comes the unpredictable late fall weather - AKA unprecedented snow storms, lakes unexpectedly freezing overnight, boats freezing to the ground and wooden paddles cracking with sudden (and intense) temperature changes.
In other words, with November comes winter!
If you haven’t closed your cottage yet, we’re glad that you got to experience those last few weekends on the water. However, unless you’re planning on winterizing your summer home, it’s definitely time to begin pulling out your cottage closing checklist once again (and possibly checking it twice!).
Your 2021 Cottage Closing Checklist
Our Gravenhurst cottage closing team has been closing cottages in Muskoka, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Port Carling and surrounding regions for roughly 76 years, so we’ve got a few notches of experience on our belts!
If closing your cottage is not something you have time or energy for, contact our team today! We’ll ensure the job is done properly so that you don’t have to double-think your work all winter long.
If you’re ready to do it yourself, here’s your 2021 cottage closing checklist - starting from inside the cabin and working your way out!
Inside The Cabin:
- Empty out and defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Remove all perishable food items.
- Turn off all of your appliances and disconnect them from their power supply.
- Turn off your water and drain your pipes.
- Turn off your power supply (ie. gas, hydro). Or, if you plan to leave the power on, set the thermostat to around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), just to keep frost damage from occurring within the cabin.
- Ensure that you take all of your valuable items home with you.
- Install a battery or backup generator for your sump pump in order to prevent a flooded basement.
- Leak proof your hot water heater.
Power On or Power Off? That Is The Real Question
One of the biggest cottage closing decisions you’ll have to make is whether to keep your cottage power supply on or off throughout the winter months.
Many Muskoka cottage owners decide to keep their main power on in order to run both their security system and a low level of heat to prevent frozen pipes.
As you will notice in our 2018 Cottage Closing Checklist, the decision of whether to turn the power off or on actually influences what you will do with each major system and appliance within your cottage.
We’ll make it simple for you:
If you have a sump pump or security system that you need to leave on, then we suggest keeping your power running throughout the winter months.
However, if you do leave your power on and you rely on electric power to run either system, be sure to incorporate a standby generator in order to serve as a backup in case of a power outage.
Outside The Cabin:
- Inspect your roof for damage.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts.
- Wildlife-proof your roof, vents, main cottage, and storage shed areas.
- Take in and secure all equipment, furniture, docks, vehicles, and gear.
- Check to be sure that all seasonal vehicle and cottage insurance is up-to-date. Insurance may not be the most fun part of owning a seasonal cottage and seasonal vehicles/recreational gear, but it sure comes in handy when these treasures become damaged, vandalized, or stolen.
- And lastly, lock the door before you leave!
Your Cottage Closing Doesn’t Have To Be All Doom and Gloom!
Closing your cottage properly in the fall can actually make next year’s cottage opening experience much smoother!
Here are some things you can do this year in order to give yourself less of a hassle in the spring:
- If you rely on a gas wood stove for heating, chop and stack some wood in advance for an early (and cozy) spring visit to the cottage!
- Remove debris (ie. sticks, branches, leaves etc.) from the property to prevent clogging during the winter.
- Clear your pathways for an easy, spring entrance!
Schedule Your Cottage Closing With Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric!
Our Gravenhurst plumbers, electricians and HVAC systems technicians make your seasonal cottage opening and closing chores as straightforward and simple as possible.
If you need guidance on your particular cottage fixtures, appliances and power supplies, we can help!