Tips for Closing Your Cottage

With fall approaching, it’s time to start thinking about shutting down summer properties. There’s more that you can do, however, than locking the door and hoping for the best. Follow these tips where they apply to your situation, and it’s a solid bet that your cottage or other seasonal property will be in the best shape possible come next spring.


Create a list of significant items in the cottage that run of the risk of being damaged or stolen. You can also take pictures of the items, of each room, and of the property outside.

Seasonal Equipment

Seasonal equipment such as canoes, kayaks, picnic tables, bikes, and barbecues should be stored in a shed, or if no shed is present, inside the cottage itself. If indoor storage is not an option, certain equipment – kayaks, canoes – should be placed on sawhorses, covered with a tarp and secured with bungee cords and placed against a side of the building, preferably a sheltered side, and away from public view to help reduce the risk of theft. If you have a propane barbecue, disconnect the propane tank from the unit and make sure that its valve, and the barbecue burner controls, are in the off position.


Board up windows or install storm windows. This goes for out buildings, gazebos, etc. as well.

Clean out eaves troughs to ensure proper flow.

Inspect trees and remove any branches that could cause damage to your building(s) due to snow or wind.


If you have a wood stove or fireplace, make sure to clean the firebox of wood and debris, and ensure that the damper vent is closed.

Remove all perishable food and alcohol, clean and disinfect your refrigerator and freezer, and prop open their doors to prevent mildew.

Cover furniture with sheets to help prevent fading, dust and damage.

Drain the water system and shut off the water supply. As residual water may still be found in pipes, it may be best to have this step done by a professional. Residual water can freeze over the winter, causing the pipes to burst. You can also add plumbing anti-freeze to the drains, toilet bowl and tank.

Although country roads can sometimes be impassable in the winter, it’s recommended to visit your property occasionally, and if possible, especially following a storm. An option is to arrange with a friend or cottage neighbour, or to hire someone to inspect your property from time to time throughout the winter season.

Of course, insurance is essential protection when it comes to summer properties. Cooke Insurance Group offers Seasonal Homeowner, Rented Dwelling, Vacant Dwelling, and Property in Storage policies, among others. A conversation with a Cooke agent can ensure you get the coverage you need. Call a Cooke Insurance Group agent at 1-800-566-5666 or click here to talk to a broker before the first snowflake flies.















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