Preparing your cabin or lake home for winter

Fall has arrived and it is time to start planning out what needs to be done around your cabin or lake home to prepare for the frigid Minnesota and NW Wisconsin winter months.

Some of you may be planning to visit your cabin or lake home during the winter and some of you may be shutting down these locations until next Spring. Below are a few checklist items that will help keep things in the condition they are when you leave this fall and make things quick and easy to fire back up when you visit this winter.

Check over the heating system

This system plays an important role over the winter months, especially if you are planning to visit during that time. Leave the heat on at a low temperature (at least 50 degrees), this will keep the pipes from freezing and keep the cabin or lake home ready for your return.

It’s beneficial to have your heating system inspected by a professional to make sure it is clean and serviced for the upcoming months. This will also give you some peace of mind when you leave the space vacant and the heat on for an extended period of time.

If you are planning to leave the space vacant for the entire winter season, it is still important to check over your heating system and make sure all heating system items are fully turned off. You will also want to make sure the system is clean and ready for your return in the cold Spring months.

Check around for leaks or drafts

You may have noticed a draft or two during the summer months and let them slide until now. This is a good time to locate these spots of concern and seal them up. This will help keep your cabin or lake home warm and put less of a burden on your heater over the winter months. This will also help prevent potential damage to your space due to water, ice or snow.

The gaps or drafts from window spaces can be sealed up with some caulk in the gaps or it may be as simple as installing some indoor window film to block the drafts. You will also want to check the spaces around the cabin where there are potential leaks. These spots could be where the utilities, lighting or plumbing enter the cabin from the outside. These spots can also be filled with caulk where fitting or removed and covered for the winter months.

Wrap and/or fully drain your pipes

You are going to want to investigate your pipes while it is still warm and plan on what you want to do with them for the winter months.

No heat

If you are planning to leave the space vacant and unheated for the winter months, you will want to drain the pipes to the lowest point possible. If you have the capability, it’s recommended to blow out the pipes with an air compressor to make sure they are fully clear of any water.

With heat

If you are planning to visit the cabin or lake home over the winter months, it is still a good idea to drain the pipes each time you leave. You can also have your exterior pipes wrapped/insulated and look around to make sure that your interior pipes have access to the heat. This can be done by installing heat units in or near to those areas or it could be as simple as leaving certain cabinet doors open so the heat can get to those areas.

Whenever you are leaving your cabin or lake home and there is a chance of freezing temperatures, make sure you prepare your piping. This could be a costly repair if a pipe bursts and it is definitely a nuisance to arrive at your cabin and have to wait for a pipe to unfreeze.

Follow your checklist

Everyone’s space is a little different and these are just a few of the things that should be looked at in preparation for winter. Be sure you do your usual checklist and take care of all the items that are unique to your space both inside and outside. If you’d like some further information on items you could add to your checklist take a look at this helpful link.

Enjoy the last couple months of these warmer temperatures, enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and all that the Fall season offers. Prepare your spaces for the Minnesota and NW Wisconsin winter and if you need any assistance or have any Fall or Winter remodeling needs, contact us, we’re here and we’re ready to help.