Take time and care when shutting down family's summer place

October 15th 2012
Take time and care when shutting down family

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.


Water System

• 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.


Sewage System

• 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.


Heating System

• 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.


Stored items

• 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.


Other tips

• 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.