FINALLY, the long weekend is here, the one that symbolizes the start to our (sometimes short) Canadian summer. For many of us, it also means opening up the cottage and all the work that comes with it.
Let North Bay Property Shop help you out with a short list of things to do to start your cottage season off right.
Before you go
There’s nothing worse than arriving at the cottage to realize you’ve forgotten some critical items at home. Some of us are close enough to the hardware store to make a quick trip however some of us are far away from civilization and have to be as prepared as we can. Here’s a list that may help keep you organized:
- • Call your electricity, phone, gas and whatever other services required to have them turned on before heading up. It’s aways best to make this call a week or two ahead to be sure someone can help you.
• Be sure that insurance is back on for the summer. This includes boat, trailer, and cottage insurance. If you’re pulling a trailer, be sure to test all the lights, brakes and connections before your family is loaded into the vehicle.
• Remember to bring all the keys you need. It is a huge inconvenience to be without them.
• Put a tool kit together. You will need tools this weekend. Figure out which ones you’re going to need and pack them. Especially don’t forget the duct tape!
• You will need some cleaning supplies. You’re definitely going to do a little bit of cleaning this weekend. Even if all you do is wipe off a deck chair so you can sit by the water and have a cold bevvie, you’ll need to have the right equipment to do it!
• If you’re going to need filters or batteries, then charge them and pack them. And obviously you’ll need clothes, water and food.
After this year’s dramatic spring, there’s no telling what could be waiting for you when you arrive at your cottage property, especially if you haven’t been there all winter. The first thing you’ll want to do is look around for any outdoor or indoor issues that need to be fixed.Keep your eyes peeled for any water damage.
- • Check for any damage to power lines, phone lines, the chimney, the deck, the dock, windows, screens, and under the cottage at the posts, pads, and beams. Small animals can squeeze into very tiny holes so be sure to fill and cover any you find.
• After surveying your property, head inside and check cupboards and counter tops for signs of mice or other animals, and look for any evidence of water damage that may have occurred over the winter.
• Make sure your fire extinguishers are charged.
• Replace batteries in any flashlights, smoke alarms and CO2 detectors.
• Clean the eaves and any large branches off the building and around it.
• Replace any filters that may need to be changed.
Turning on the taps
Perhaps the most involved part of opening the cottage is getting your water system going. If you have a pump that draws directly from the lake or a well, here are the steps to get it up and running.
- • Inspect the lines for signs of damage.
• Replace the pump’s filter.
• Prime the pump.
• Open a cold-water tap in your cottage, and be sure the cold-water valve to your hot water tank is closed.
• Switch on the water pump at the panel box.
• Open all valves between the pump and your cottage.
• Open all cold water taps to remove air from the system.
• Close all the taps and look for leaks and hissing.
Once your water’s running, you need to fill your hot water tank with water before turning it on. It’s pretty simple, really, but there are a number of steps you should follow to ensure you do it right.
- • Be sure the hot water tank is off and all your taps are closed.
• Connect a hose to the drainage valve and run it outside. Open that tap.
• Open a hot-water tap.
• Close the drainage valve.
• Turn on the cold water intake to fill the tank.
• Watch the open hot-water tap. Once water is flowing through it, the tanks is full.
• Turn on the hot water tank, and watch for leaks.