When winter comes around, you’ll want to make sure that your summer cabin is winterized and ready for the change in weather. Even if you plan to spend a portion of your winter there, you should take steps to ensure that your summer cabin is ready to withstand the inevitable cold. The cold months are coming, and in this article, we’re going to give you some tips to winterize your summer cabin.
Start out by ensuring that all of your summer cabin’s plumbing is taken care of and is prepared for the winter. As you probably already know, one of the worst things that can happen in your vacation home, or any residential property, is for your pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes can lead to a whole lot of trouble, and if you aren’t regularly checking in on your summer cabin, then the fallout of frozen pipes can be costly. If a frozen pipe cracks, then it will likely leak water when it thaws out. This can be a huge problem!
1. TAKE CARE OF THE PLUMBING
The best way to avoid frozen pipes and the problems that come along with them is to winterize your summer cabin.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to cut off the water at the main supply point. This is an exterior point that feeds all water to your summer cabin.This will prevent water from seeping into your cabin’s pipes and potentially bursting them on a freezing day.
Now that the water is shut off, you’ll need to get water out of all the water lines in your cabin. This can be done by opening all the faucets to let all the water drain out. Make sure to drain your summer cabin’s water heater, too, as well as toilets and the expansion tank. To remove leftover water, you can use an air compressor.
Is there a pool at your summer cabin? If so, then you should plan to drain all of the water out of it for the winter.
A few other items that should be cleared of water include dishwashers, washing machines, and even refrigerators with ice makers or water dispensers.
2. CLIMATE CONTROL
One of the most important things to remember when winterizing your summer cabin is to turn down the thermostat when you leave. The temperature should be set to a lower degree yet keep everything above freezing level. If you have a Nest thermostat or other smart thermostat, then you can more efficiently control the climate of your summer cabin, no matter where you are.
3. UNPLUG APPLIANCES
As part of winterizing your summer cabin, you should unplug all the appliances. This can also help you save a few dollars during the winter months. Some electrical products use power when plugged up, even if they aren’t powered on. If you unplug them, however, you can save that bit of electricity. Another reason to unplug appliances? During a bad storm, lightning could strike and potentially fry thousands of dollars of appliances. If that’s not enough, another risk of leaving products plugged in is fire. A faulty wire or switch can cause a fire, as well as a rodent nibbling on wires.
4. CLEAN OUT THE KITCHEN
During this step, you should ensure that the refrigerator and freezer are cleaned out. Imagine if there was an outage – what would the cabin smell like if food went bad? Also, you’ll want to remove any items that could be damaged when they freeze. These include anything in bottles.
5. REMOVE TRASH
While you’re winterizing, you should make sure to remove all trash. In addition, make sure to remove anything that could react badly to freeze – for instance, paint. Anything that shouldn’t be sitting up in the cabin over the course of cold months, freezing weather, and potential power outages should be set at the curb or taken with you to a warmer climate.
6. SECURE THE PROPERTY
As one of the last steps of winterizing your summer cabin, you should ensure that your property is secure. This can be done simply by closing blinds and curtains, closing exterior shutters, and setting alarms. You can use timers for exterior lights to give the illusion that there’s someone occupying the cabin. On the inside of the property, make sure that you aren’t leaving valuables behind. In essence, put your cabin in “sleep mode” and make sure that there isn’t anything that could lure potential burglars into the cabin. You might even consider using security cameras during the winter months.
7. CONSIDER VACATION PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Leaving your summer cabin alone for the winter can be stressful, but there is one way that you can get the best of both worlds. You can get your beautiful summer cabin without the stresses of winterizing when you consider property management. Vacation property management can actually help you earn money through the cold winter months while helping to ensure that your property is taken care of. Companies such as Minnestay allow you to list your property during the winter only, which eliminates the hassle of winterizing and makes you money.
With the bitter cold months just around the corner, your summer cabin needs to be winterized. Preparing for winter will give you the peace of mind in knowing that your summer cabin is ready to weather the cold, inside and out. As mentioned earlier, think of it as putting your cabin in “sleep mode”. If you don’t really want to put your summer cabin in “sleep mode”, then property management might be the best way for you to make money off of your cabin and not have to worry about winterizing this year. No matter what you choose, be sure to protect your summer cabin this winter!