AllState Offers Tips To Close The Cottage

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As the air becomes crisp and leaves start to change colour it is hard to ignore the fact that fall is here. For many Canadians this means it will soon be time to close the cottage. Taking a few extra precautions at the end of the season may save you unnecessary grief come spring. Consider the following:

  • Remember to donate any food items to your local food bank.
  • Inspect the roof – Roof leaks make up the majority of water damage insurance claims. Replace any missing or broken shingles.
  • Hide valuables and deter thieves – Take valuables with you and close all blinds and curtains, or use bed sheets to cover windows.
  • Shut off and drain plumbing – Lingering water can freeze in the pipes over the winter which could cause pipes to burst.
  • Trim over-hanging and dead branches – Weight from snow can cause branches to snap which may result in damage to the cottage.
  • Pack up all food – Dry food, and even canned goods, can attract animals if left behind. To prevent animals from moving in, throw a few mothballs around and remove all food from the cottage.
  • Remove fire hazards – Remove loose papers, newspapers, old rags and chemicals. Turn off all utilities and unplug all appliances.
  • Defrost the refrigerator – Unplug the fridge and leave the door open a little to prevent mildew from growing. An open box of baking soda placed inside will also help neutralize odours.
  • Block off the flues, stove pipes and chimneys – Make sure you’ve closed the flue on your stove. Chimneys from fireplaces or woodstoves should be professionally checked to ensure they don’t have hazardous amounts of creosote accumulation. Also, sealing flues, stove pipes and chimneys with a metal cap should keep birds out.
  • Clean out eavestroughs – Make sure they are clear of leaf buildup and saplings which can obstruct drainage when the snow melts in the spring.
  • Say goodbye – Have one last walk through and check for anything left outside that should be stored for the winter. Ensure sheds, bunkies, garages, windows and doors are properly locked, and finally, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your cottage with regular security checks.

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