After the winter that we had this year, many people are a bit nervous as to what to expect when they finally make their way to cottage country to open their cottages for the season. Although the May long weekend has come and gone, I have noticed that not very many cottages have been opened this year. I will chalk it up to the cold rainy spring we have been experiencing. That being said, the weather is (finally) beginning to turn and summer is just around the corner. Which means – it is time to open up that cottage or recreational property and enjoy the summer up north!
I have complied a list of chores that need to be done the first weekend up – don’t worry, it is not too overwhelming, it is a bare bones list of what needs to be done. This way, you can still enjoy a nice cold beer while relaxing on the deck (the dock might not be in yet).
Opening the Cottage – Chore List
You will want to start with a walk around the property to see if there is any damage to the grounds or buildings – especially if you haven’t been up North all winter.
• Check for any damage to power lines, phone lines, the chimney, the deck, the dock, windows, screens, and under the cottage at the posts, pads, and beams; and,
• After surveying your property, head inside and check cupboards and counter tops for signs of mice or other animals, and look for any water damage that may have occurred over the winter
Next, a few safety chores to make sure that everyone is safe and sound while enjoying the great outdoors:
• Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors;
• Make sure your fire extinguishers are charged;
• Replace batteries in any flashlights;
• Clear any large branches off the building and trim any that may have become too close to your cottage over the winter; and,
• Replace any filters that may need to be changed
The next job is turning on the water. If you have a pump that draws water from the lake directly, here are a few steps that will help get it up and running:
• Inspect all lines for signs of damage;
• Replace the pump’s filter;
• Prime the pump;
• Open a cold-water tap in your cottage, and be sure the cold-water valve to your hot water tanks is closed;
• Switch on the water pump at the panel box;
• Open all valves between the pump and your cottage;
• Open all cold water taps to remove air from the system; and,
• Close all the taps and look for leaks
Finally, you will have to turn on the hot water tank. You will have to fill it with water before you turn it on.
Grab that cold beer – relax and enjoy the cottage. The rest of the chores can wait until next weekend!