Take time and care when shutting down family's summer place - October 15th 2012
It’s hard to believe it, but fall has arrived, so summer is officially over. Whatever you call your getaway home — cabin or cottage — the question remains: What to do when closing up for fall or winter? Depending on the type of property you have, there are specific tasks to keep in mind.
• Shut off water system by turning off pump or shutting the valve if on city water.
• Drain the pressure tank.
• Open all faucets.
• Break a union close to the valve so water will drain out clear to shut-off valve.
• Drain pump and run a few seconds to be sure all water is out of lines from the pump.
• To stop sewer gas, flush toilets and dip water out of flush tank and bowl, stuff plastic bags full of insulation into bowl.
• Drain flexible spray hoses in showers and sinks.
• Drain water heaters.
• Force as much water out of traps as possible with a plunger (Kitchen sinks, bathroom drains, floor drains and sump pump)
• Add antifreeze to trap.
• Electric heating systems require no maintenance other than shutting the power at electrical panel.
• Turn off burner emergency switch.
• If electric heat, install low-heat thermostats. By doing this, your home could be maintained at about 5 C without a freeze-up, rather than 13 C, which is the lowest temperature most thermostats can be set.
• Washer: Shut off water supply line and drain water from drain hoses.
• Dishwashers: Remove inlet and outlet connection to valve. Operate valve to remove any water. Remove drain hose from pump and drain.
• Remove food or containers that contain liquid that can freeze.
• Put non-perishable food items in sealed plastic containers.
• Store some water in plastic bottles, ¾ full to prevent freezing and cracking. Twelve one-litre bottles would be advised.
Keep pests out
• Cover Chimneys tightly to keep out raccoons, rodents and birds. (Note: Leave note that this was done previously)
• Cover any entry points in the foundation or eaves where squirrels, mice or other small animals can enter.
• Leave wooden matches in waterproof containers.
• Keep warm clothing and blankets stored in plastic containers with lids.
• Apply window shutters, which can be easily removed
• Lock doors and other out buildings with exterior padlocks.