10 Things You Should Do to Open Your Cottage for the Season

For all of us here in Atlantic Canada, the May 2-4 long weekend is the unofficial start of cabin or cottage season.  If you have a cottage (or a cabin or a summer home), it’s time to open it up and prepare for another summer days of outdoor fun and campfire nights.

Here are 10 things you should think about to make sure you are ready for cottage season.

1.Turn your utilities back on. If any of your utilities, like water or gas, need to be turned on by professionals, remember to make arrangements well ahead of time so your cottage is ready for your first trip of the season. You should also have your septic system inspected by a professional if it’s due for a check-up.

2.Make sure your insurance policy is up to date. Maybe you have some new toys (like a boat or ATV, example), it’s a good idea to review your seasonal property insurance policy each year (before cottage season!) and contact your broker to make sure you’re properly covered.

3.Pack everything you need for a safe and successful opening weekend. Don’t forget that first aid kit. a toolkit and cleaning supplies. For your first visit of the season, it’s also a good idea to double-check that you have keys to the shed so you don’t find yourself locked out when you arrive.

4.Get your car ready for the drive. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a road trip, take some steps to get your car in shape before you hit the road so you arrive safe and sound.

5.Walk around the cabin when you arrive. Have a look for any broken windows, damage caused by pests, downed power lines, signs of break-ins or vandalism, or anything else that looks different than how you left it last fall.

6.Inspect your roof. Winter here in the Atlantic can be hard on your roof, so you should carefully inspect your roof and replace any missing shingles. If you notice any significant damage, have it repaired by a professional.  Have a look inside too to see if there is any water damage if there is any damage to your roof.

7.Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and replace the batteries if necessary. This is the ounce of prevention!

8.Air it out and look for mold and mildew. If your cottage has been closed up for months, the air inside is likely pretty stale. Open the windows and doors.  Getting a nice breeze going will do wonders.  Check  for any signs of mold or mildew.  If it`s present you’ll need to take care of it before spending any time inside. If you notice mildew or mold, you may be able to clean it up yourself, but if it’s more significant, you should contact a professional.

9.Turn on your water. If you turned off the pipes when you closed up your cottage last fall, it’s time to turn them back on. Before you do so, open one faucet and leave it open when you turn on the main valve. Once your main valve is turned back on, let water run from the opened faucet for a few minutes, then close it. If you have a pump that draws water directly from the lake, you’ll need to take some different steps to turn on your water. Contact a professional if you have questions about starting up your pump system.

10.Check for damage caused by rodents or other pests. Look for holes in your walls and flooring, as well as any debris or waste left behind by pests. If you notice any damage or waste, you may need to contact a pest-control professional to prevent further damage.

Every cottage or cabin is unique.  Yours may have require special attention on opening weekend. If you’re new to cottage life or if you’re unsure how to turn on your electricity or water, call a trusted neighbor or a local professional who can help make sure you have a smooth start to the season.

If you have any questions about your seasonal property insurance coverage, reach out to us today -at Munn Insurance toll free at 1-855-726-8627. We are here to help.

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