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5 Tips for Opening Your Cottage for the Summer

The Victoria Day long weekend, on the third Monday of May, marks the unofficial start of cottage season in Canada. If you own your own cottage, there are several things you need to do to get it ready for the season. Here are some things to look out for and the important steps you should take before you start enjoying your cottage this summer.

1.     Take a cursory look around the outside

Make a preliminary walk around the outside of the entire cottage. Look for overhanging branches, and for squirrel holes or other entrance points for animals like bugs or birds. Your cottage may have become a resting point for little critters over the winter, without your knowledge. Look out for broken windows, loose deck boards or shingles, and general outdoor wear and tear that should be tended to soon. Inspect electricity wires going into the home, keeping a safe distance if any are damaged. If a wire is down, stay at least one bus length away, and call Hydro One’s emergency power line: 1-800-434-1235.

2.     Do the same check inside

Walk through the cottage and check pipes, faucets, outlets, and appliances like the fridge, dishwasher, and air conditioner. Disinfect surfaces, especially counters and dishes, particularly if you have mice or other unwelcome critters (see next point).

3.     Check for indoor critters

Mice are a common nuisance at cottages, and if you’ve been gone for a while, they may have taken up residence. Check through the cottage for signs of infestation, such as droppings, especially in the pantry. Set traps if you can, and use steel wool to plug any holes where mice can enter or exit.

4.     Water works

Reconnect your water pipes, and prepare your water pump. Fill the hot water tank before turning it on to avoid damage. Visit the Hydro One website to learn more about preparing your hot water tank and other electrical systems in your cottage.

5.     Restock your shelves

Once everything at the cottage checks out okay, it’s time to prepare for the summer by stocking your food shelves and medicine cabinet. In regards to the latter, make sure you have Band-Aids, sunscreen, bug spray, calamine lotion, and pain relievers on hand, in preparation for emergencies.

After all your hard work, it’s time to sit back with your favourite beverage and put your feet up!
Don’t forget to consider your insurance options before you open your cottage for the summer.

Insurance for your secondary home is listed on your primary home insurance. Just like home, your cottage has to be insured against all eventualities, which can be more likely since it’s unoccupied for the majority of the year. Contact me to learn more about the different options for insuring your home away from home.

Posted: 5/23/2016 11:37:11 AM by Marianne Cipollone | with 0 comments
Filed under: broker, Cottage, home, insurance

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