Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Cottage and Watercraft

September 9, 2021

Fall can be a bittersweet season for many. With fall comes beautiful colours and plentiful harvests, but also cooler weather and closing down the cottage for the winter.

If you own a cottage and a watercraft, we have some helpful winter maintenance tips to share with you.

6 Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Cottage

  1. Critter proof your cottage: Before closing your cottage for the season, block off all possible areas of entry including your chimney. Critters are crafty and can find their way through the tiniest of spaces.
  2. Shut off your water system: This includes draining pipes and water lines because we all know the havoc frozen plumbing can have on your cottage.
  3. Turn the power off: If you don’t have appliances or outdoor lights that need to run during the winter, turn the main power off. Otherwise, unplug items that aren’t necessary.
  4. Check your roof and gutters: Replace any loose shingles and clean out the gutters. Snow and ice can build up quickly during the winter.
  5. Don’t let your cottage freeze: Does your cottage need to stay heated during the winter? Set your furnace to a temperature to avoid frost buildup. If you turn the heat off, remember to turn off the gas or propane as well.
  6. Take pictures of the inside and outside: We don’t want anything to happen to your home away from home. Should something happen over the winter, photos are always helpful when filing a claim.

Some cottage insurance requires you to be at your cottage regularly throughout the winter. Before you close up for the season, check with your broker on the requirements for your property.

3 Tips to Prepare Your Watercraft

For those who own a boat or other personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Ski), here are some things to consider when winterizing your possessions:

  1. Fall cleaning: Cleaning any watercraft before storing them will help prevent deterioration.
  2. Critter proof: Small animals like small places for nesting and keeping warm while causing damage at the same time. No one wants to find that the seats in their boat were torn up and made into a warm nest for a mouse.
  3. Take care of your baby: Get the engine flushed to prevent blockage, fog the motor and add a fuel stabilizer to help get you back out on the water next summer. While you can DIY this chore, we recommend having this done professionally.

As always, if you have any questions about insurance-related requirements (or suggestions) when it comes to winterizing your cottage, your team at Dawson & Keenan are here to help. Click here to get in touch.

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