The sun is out, and the temperatures are rising—and you know what that means: summer is here, and so is cottage season. With the days getting longer and more time for fun under the sun, it’s time to head over to Huntsville, the heart of cottage country.
But before you go for a refreshing swim or enjoy drinks out on the deck, you need to make sure your cottage in Huntsville is up for the task of keeping you cool and safe throughout cottage season, and make this summer vacation one to remember. From inspecting your property to making sure your cottage insurance coverage is valid and up-to-date, safety is the first—and biggest step—to living the cottage life in Huntsville this summer.
Are you excited to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and head to Huntsville for cottage season? Soak up sunshine on the docks and feel the summer breeze worry-free with this guide to opening up your cottage.
1. Inspect and reactivate the utilities
You can’t enjoy cottage life without the basics like water, power, gas, AC, and more. So before heading to Huntsville, get the utilities checked and turned back on by the professionals.
But hurry—get it done early, even well before you arrive, because it can be busy once cottage season is in full blast.
2. Pack essentials for the drive
Get ready to hit the road fully prepared. The roads to cottage country tend to get busy during the summer as everyone heads out to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, so make sure you’re fully equipped for the long drive. Pack essentials like a toolkit and cleaning supplies, and double-check that you have the keys, especially if it’s your first visit of the season.
3. Walk the perimeter
You likely wouldn’t be able to wait to head inside the cottage once you arrive in Huntsville. But before you do, check the perimeter first. Walk around to check for any signs of break-ins and vandalism, like broken windows and shattered glass, as well as damage caused by pests, downed power lines, and other damage. If your cottage doesn’t look the same as you left it last summer, call the authorities and/or repair professionals to get everything sorted out.
4. Inspect the roof
Winters in Huntsville can cause damage to the roof of cottages, so make sure to inspect yours as soon as you arrive. Have any missing shingles replaced right away, and get parts of the roof that have caved in repaired by a professional. They can also look out for signs of water damage as a result, and address those.
5. Check and replace batteries of the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors
Once you’re inside, test the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors right away. If the batteries have stopped working, make sure to replace them. Remember—the first rule of cottage life is safety first, so make sure you and your family are safe from fire damage.
6. Air out your cottage and inspect for mould
By the time you arrive at your cottage, it’s almost been a year since your last trip. In the seasons since, the interiors have been closed up for months, so the air has gone stale. Worse, there could be mould and mildew building up over the past seasons.
So as much fun as it would be to unpack, relax, and officially step into cottage season, air out the place first, and don’t spend an extended period of time indoors just yet. Open all the windows and doors, and change the AC filter before starting it back up. You can also use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture in the air. Then, check the window frames and doors for signs of mould and mildew and clean them out, or call a professional for extended damage.
7. Turn on the water
You should have turned off the water supply when you left last fall to prevent the pipes from freezing and causing water damage. So now that you’re back for cottage season in Huntsville, it’s time to turn on the water supply.
To do this, open one faucet first when you turn on the main valve. Once it’s on, let the water run for a few minutes, then close it. If you’re using a pump to draw water directly from the lake, you may need to take a few extra steps and need the help of a professional.
8. Check the septic system
If you have a septic tank at your cottage, make sure to check it when you arrive. Generally, septic tanks should be emptied every 5 to 7 years. If you’re not sure when yours was last cleaned, now is a good time to book a service. And even if it was recently cleaned but you notice bad odours and water pooling around the drain, and gurgling sounds in the plumbing, you need to call a plumber to prevent a sewage back-up.
9. Check for critters and rodents
Nobody wants unwelcome guests at their cottage, and there’s nothing more unwelcome than pests. When you arrive, check the drawers and cupboards for droppings, as well as shredded paper or fabric nests. Check for holes in the walls, window screens, and floors, as well as bad odours, and chew marks. Call an exterminator for pest control and get pest traps for future prevention.
10. Keep your cottage insurance up-to-date
Your cottage requires seasonal home insurance. It’s a coverage designed to protect your property and everything in it against the biggest risks to seasonal properties that face periods of vacancy. Cottage insurance protects your property against risks like fire, break-ins, vandalism, and other damage. It is especially handy during the off-cottage season, when you’re back in the city, and your property isn’t occupied.
Are you headed to Huntsville for cottage season? Make sure your cottage insurance is up-to-date and comprehensive. Whether you’re new to cottage life or you’re returning for the season, our insurance brokers are here to help you get the cottage insurance you need and tailor your coverage to your property and the unique risks of owning a seasonal home.
Find the insurance coverage you need and review your policy before you make the trip out to cottage country. Have your best summer yet in a safe and well-maintained cottage, made even more secure by comprehensive insurance coverage.
Can’t wait to head out to cottage country for the summer? Neither can we. But before you go, prepare to spend cottage season in Huntsville with up-to-date insurance coverage. Talk to a PAIB Insurance broker today about cottage insurance.
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