If you have a beach house or cottage, it’s likely your favourite place to escape for a few weeks in the summer. However, cottage maintenance is often the last thing on your mind when you’re ready for a relaxing weekend at the lake.
To make sure your seasonal property is safe and secure for years to come, follow these simple tips for keeping things in tip-top shape:
1. Have a successful opening weekend.
Chances are you haven’t been to the cottage for a few months during the winter. So take the time and care to make sure things are clean and safe. Pack extra cleaning supplies, open the windows and make sure no critters have been hiding in the attic. The more time you spend on keeping things secure now means the less time (and money) you’ll have to spend down the road.
2. Arrange for your utilities to be turned on and inspected.
If any of your household utilities like gas or water require professional servicing, arrange that ahead of time. While they’re there, ask if things seem to be in working order.
3. Inspect your roof.
Harsh weather conditions over the winter can wreak havoc on your roof, so take the time to carefully inspect your roof for damage. And if there is an issue, like missing shingles or a cave in, have it fixed as soon as you can before further damage occurs.
4. Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Giving them a quick test should tell you if the batteries are dead or if it’s time for a replacement altogether. Regardless, you don’t want to find yourself living in a cottage without them in working order.
5. Air things out and look for mold or mildew.
If your cottage has been closed for a few months, the air inside is probably pretty stale. There could even be mold or mildew lurking around that needs to be taken care of. Open all the windows and doors, change your A/C filter, and set up a dehumidifier to help get rid of any moisture in the air. Then, check around your window and door frames for any signs of mold or mildew.