Closing the Cottage for the Winter

It is always a sad day when you are sitting at the cottage, and the leaves start to turn, and you realize that the nights are getting cooler. We usually delay the decision to close up the cottage to the last minute. Given our uncertain weather events these days, it is best not to wait. Frozen pipes can cause a great deal of damage.


This is also the best time of the year to check your insurance policy. If any neighbours can check on your cottage throughout the winter months you can let them know that you are closing. They should have your phone and email details in case of an emergency.


The closing of the cottage routine can be broken into two areas, inside and out. Take photos of all areas, including the dock, water/septic system and inside. This can help with insurance claims and to show you how to set things up next year.


If your cottage contains many valuables you plan a Winter visit, you may want to consider alarm and monitoring services.



.u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .postImageUrl , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .centered-text-area { min-height: 80px; position: relative; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:hover , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:visited , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:active { border:0!important; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .clearfix:after { content: ""; display: table; clear: both; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 { display: block; transition: background-color 250ms; webkit-transition: background-color 250ms; width: 100%; opacity: 1; transition: opacity 250ms; webkit-transition: opacity 250ms; background-color: #3498DB; box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.17); -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.17); -o-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.17); -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.17); } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:active , .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:hover { opacity: 1; transition: opacity 250ms; webkit-transition: opacity 250ms; background-color: #2980B9; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .centered-text-area { width: 100%; position: relative; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .ctaText { border-bottom: 0 solid #fff; color: #ECF0F1; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; margin: 0; padding: 0; text-decoration: underline; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .postTitle { color: #ECF0F1; font-size: 16px; font-weight: 600; margin: 0; padding: 0; width: 100%; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .ctaButton { background-color: #2980B9!important; color: #ECF0F1; border: none; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: none; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 26px; moz-border-radius: 3px; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-shadow: none; width: 80px; min-height: 80px; background: url(; position: absolute; right: 0; top: 0; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:hover .ctaButton { background-color: #3498DB!important; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .centered-text { display: table; height: 80px; padding-left: 18px; top: 0; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56 .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56-content { display: table-cell; margin: 0; padding: 0; padding-right: 108px; position: relative; vertical-align: middle; width: 100%; } .u21ef7fe8358457b5a0bb6f6d8e18be56:after { content: ""; display: block; clear: both; }

RELATED:  Looking To Buy A Cottage? 8 Things To Consider Before Making Your Purchase


Outside the cottage


  • Take a walk outside of your cottage and conduct a detailed inspection of the building
  •  Check for loose boards, missing siding or chipped paint
  • Check the drainage around the cottage, ensure the water can always run away from all the buildings
  • Check for any small holes that animals could use to find a warm Winter home
  • Check downspouts and make sure they carry the water well away from the foundation
  • Check the roof, if you can get on it, check for loose or missing shingles or any gaps in the flashing and if possible, remove moss and leaves
  • Check and, if necessary and use silicone caulking around windows and doors
  • Clean the gutters and consider installing gutter guards
  • Turn off outdoor taps and on the inside, if there is a shut off valve
  • Bring in any toys, lawn furniture and BBQs
  • Store all dock ornaments, ladders, life jackets, ski equipment and boats
  • Conduct annual maintenance on the motors
  • If your cottage has a septic system, follow the manufacturer’s service recommendations and timelines
  • Turn off your water supply and drain your pipes and all water containers to prevent them from freezing
  • Rake and remove leaves from around the cottage


Inside the cottage

  • Unplug major appliances
  • Turn off your entire power supply, unless you have a sump pump, exterior lighting or alarm system
  • Remove all valuables
  • Remove bedding, towels and other fabrics
  • Get rid of all  fire hazards that could easily catch or spread a fire
  • Clean out the fridge and cupboards
  • Leave the refrigerator door cracked open to prevent musty smells
  • For each toilet, shut off the water on the wall, flush it and remove the remaining water from the tank
  • Close curtains to prevent fading from the sunlight
  • Close fireplace damper

It is never a happy time when we drive away from the cottage for the last time each year. However, if you follow the checklist and perform some basic maintenance tasks, the cottage will be ready to greet you and your family next year. 

Royal LePage Team Realty

384 Richmond Rd,

Ottawa, ON

K2A 0E8 


Direct: 613-552-5300

Whether you are looking to buy, sell or invest in the Ottawa real estate market, we can help. Contact us today for to discuss your real estate needs.

The trade marks displayed on this site, including CREA®, MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos and design marks are owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association. REALTOR® is a trade mark of REALTOR® Canada Inc., a corporation owned by Canadian Real Estate Association and the National Association of REALTORS®. Other trade marks may be owned by real estate boards and other third parties. Nothing contained on this site gives any user the right or license to use any trade mark displayed on this site without the express permission of the owner. 

powered by curious projects