Cottage Opening: The Best Day of the Year and How to Keep it That Way!

cottage in winterWe live in Canada where technically there are 4 clear seasons. For cottage owners, we really only have 2: cottage season and wish we were at the cottage season.

This is the start of Cottage Season. Cottage opening day brings with it equal parts apprehension and exhilaration. You just don’t know what you’ll be walking into.

If you’re a cottager you’ve either heard of opening day nightmares or been a part of them: family of raccoons moved in, mouse or other rodent infestations, damage from ice or trees, flooding, etc. We’ve even heard of someone living in a cottage while the owners were gone!

This is our 8th year here and so far we’ve been really lucky. One year we had one tree down across the driveway after a particularly mean winter storm. Another year our water pump didn’t restart. Still, we always seem to hold our breath as we come down the road on that first day back.

Well, we’re not actually “lucky,” Brian’s done a lot of work to mitigate our risks both over winter and all year long. Here are a few things he’s taken care of:

  1. Caulked all of our wooden fascia seams outside
  2. Spray foamed thicker gaps between the inside and outside
  3. We don’t keep clutter around so pests don’t have places to hide (and make nests)
  4. Put screens on our soffit and exhaust vents
  5. Replaced our windows and doors. The pest control is actually a side effect of this investment but the proper installation of windows and doors closed of a LOT of access points!
  6. Installed pest chaser / electronic devices in the crawl space and inside the cottage. We’re not really sure if they work but it makes us feel better!
  7. Reconfigured the plumbing so that it could all drain back to one main manifold for easy
  8. Replaced all the inflexible piping with flexible piping to prevent splitting if it did freeze
  9. Boxed in the plumbing area, insulated it and installed two incandescent lights to keep the equipment just warm enough so it doesn’t freeze.
  10. When we had to replace our well pump, we had a submersible pump installed – no more worrying about an indoor pump cracking or whatever other scary stuff a pump could do.

Most of this work was quick to do and not too expensive and certainly increases our peace of mind, but there’s always that little nagging of what could go wrong. There are a lot of things we can’t control, so why not take care of the ones we can?

Now that we have the all-clear that everything is safe and sound, we can turn our attention to fun projects, thoughts of spring gardening and GOING FISHING!

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