For many cottage owners, itís the time of year they dread most: the time where all the fun and frolic of the summer is a memory, and the leaves and weather have both started to turn.
While the routine for closing up varies from owner to owner, virtually all cottages have very similar requirements. One of the best ways to make sure it all gets done is to create a checklist. Getting a little piece of mind for the otherwise melancholy task is as easy as photocopying the checklist once youíve got it made and hanging it on the wall, all ready for when it's needed.
The Water System
One of the biggest requirements during cottage close-up is the water system. As any homeowner knows, water damage can be one of the most costly and time consuming problems to fix. Cottage maintenance means checking the following: the water pump, the water lines from the lake to the pump, the lines from the pump to the cottage, the interior and exterior lines and plumbing, as well as all water appliances. Unlike many other compounds, water expands when it freezes. In fact, expanding water can exert enough force to split granite. So beware, if water is left inside plumbing, expansion can cause serious damage.
Other Inside Duties
Of course, the water system isnít the only cottage maintenance chore youíll need to tend to at the end of cottage season. There are a host of other things, varying in importance.
Inside the cottage, youíll want to pack up all perishable food items and load them in your car or van for the trip home. Youíll also want to pack away anything else that should not be exposed to freezing temperatures, like paint, and take all spirits with you.
The fridge in your cottage should also be cleaned out and the door left ajar. Clean all tea and coffee pots. Liquid cleaning agents should be stored in a plastic bin, and all windows should be secured for the winter months.
Outside The Cottage
Outside, the end of the cottage season means checking all pails and garbage cans, cleaning out the cottageís eaves troughs and gutters, raking the leaves, and sadly, servicing the boat and storing it for winter.
But donít let this all make you feel too bad as you lock the doors to leave. Next yearís spring and summer is always right around the corner!