Having you cottage inspected on a regular basis and by keeping up with maintenance are the best ways to protect your investment. And yet, regular upkeep and maintenance are almost always dreaded because it is seen as such an overwhelming task. I would like to compile a list of maintenance that you might find helpful for each season in cottage country.
Even though winter will soon be coming to a close (we hope!) there are some important chores that need to be done around the cabin:
1. If you have a furnace, check the air filters each month during the heating season;
2. Clean radiation grilles on the back of your fridge and freezer;
3. Check and clean all smoke detectors regularly;
4. Check pressure gauge on fire extinguishers;
5. Monitor you home for excessive moisture levels;
6. Check all facets for signs of dripping water. Replace as necessary;
7. If you have appliances that are rarely used, run them to keep water in the trap;
8. Test plumbing shut-off valves to make sure they are working and will not seize;
9. Inspect windows and doors for ice accumulation or air leaks – make a note to fix or replace the affected area in the spring;
10. Inspect the attic for frost accumulation;
11. Check roof and chimney for ice dams or icicles;
12. Keep snow clear from vents, basement windows and gas meters; and,
13. Check cords, pugs and outlets to ensure fire safety.
If you do not feel comfortable undertaking these tasks yourself, you may want to consider hiring a handyman to help you. Winter cottage maintenance does not have to be an overwhelming task – as long as you try to do it on a regular basis, there should not be too many surprises!
Helpful Tip: Bring a camera to the cottage and take pictures of any problem areas you find. That way, you can show a professional in the city for an opinion.