It is starting to feel like summer is over... kids are back in school for the year, you spend the last few weekends on the boat soaking up the sun and then Alberta receives snow. Mother Nature wanted to remind us that we are in Canada and that the wonderful weather will soon be at an end and it will be time to get the snow tires on our vehicles and the snowblowers and shovels ready for the long haul of Winter... perhaps a bit sooner for Alberta this year. But for the most of us, we have fall which gives us a couple months to prepare for winter.
Whether you spend time at your cabin or cottage during the winter months, now is the best time to prepare for the changing seasons
1. If you are not planning to return during the winter months, consider turning the water off, draining your water supply from the pipes and adding anti-freeze to the drains. This is especially important as overnight temperatures drop below zero.
2. Remove any perishable food items and take this opportunity to clean the fridge and freezer. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises when you return to your seasonal property.
3. Clean your eavestroughs, downspouts and inspect the roof. Leave all downspouts down to allow water to drain away from the home. This maintenance will reduce the risk of water damage through ice jams or leaks. This tip is very important even if you plan to use your cottage or cabin during the winter.
4. Make arrangements for regular snow removal from driveway and roof. This will allow easy access to the property over winter and can prevent damage to your roof from a heavy snow load.
5. Your woodstove and fireplace should be well cleaned. Make sure you remove any coals and ashes safely. This will not only reduce the risk of fire, but can save you from returning to a big mess during the changing seasons.
6. If you use an oil tank, get it inspected to avoid any leaks developing during the winter months.
7. Secure all your windows and doors to make your property less attractive to potential thieves. Make sure there are no valuables visible from outside. Safely store all belongings like the boat and outdoor furniture to protect them from the elements.
8. Be sure a trusted neighbor or friend checks on your property while you are away. Make sure they have your updated contact information incase of an emergency.
9. Inspect trees in close proximity of your cabin and get them safely removed if needed before winter settles in. The last thing you want is for trees to fall and damage your property during the winter months.
10. Don't forget to contact your insurance provider to ensure your seasonal property is properly insured over the winter.
Once your cottage or cabin is ready for winter, you can relax and enjoy the season. Or, if winter isn't your favorite time of the year, you can start planning for next spring and summer.