Are you making the most out of cottage season? There’s no better way to enjoy the last sunsets of summer than making sure your home-away-from-home is built to last this season and beyond, ready for your next escape.
But, it’s no secret that cottage maintenance is rarely at the top of anyone’s to-do list during these weeks of unplugging and relaxing. It’s easy to let the basics slip when everyone’s having fun. Unfortunately, skipping out on cottage maintenance can be costly in the long run. Worse, someday, it might be too late. And when disasters like fires and accidents happen, not only will you have to deal with extensive damage, but you can also be faced with higher cottage insurance rates.
That’s why, the next time you head up to your cottage in Pembroke, make sure to keep up with essential property maintenance. And with cottage season winding down, there isn’t a better time to start thinking about repairs and upkeep than before you’ll be away for a while. It’s also a good idea to check your cottage insurance coverage and make sure it’s up-to-date.
Read on to find out how to keep your cottage safe and free of damage.
Heading out to your little slice of paradise in Pembroke? Here are the most essential tips for keeping your cottage safe, and in tiptop shape:
1. Come prepared
Whether it’s your first trip or your last, the first rule of cottage season is to always come prepared, so you restore the cozy feeling of your home-away-from-home. This means, making sure to put deep cleaning at the top of your to-do list.
Bring cleaning supplies, open the windows to air out the space, and check for critters. By keeping your cottage clean, you can ensure it is safe and free of damage. This means more time to relax and enjoy.
2. Inspect the utilities
Your cottage in Pembroke can only be the haven that it is, if it’s fully liveable. To have that, you’ll need working utilities. Once you arrive, inspect the utilities like gas and water, and have them turned on. If they require professional servicing, make sure to arrange this before leaving, and ask them to confirm if everything is working properly. Before leaving, call the utility provider to have them shut these off.
3. Get roof repairs
Pembroke may be your summer destination, but the reality is, it still gets the four seasons—including harsh winters. These can do a number on the roofs of any property. But it can be worse on cottages since the damage can go undetected while you’re away.
So, it’s crucial to inspect the roof of your cottage as soon as you arrive. Note any damages, like cave-ins and torn or missing shingles, and have them repaired right away. And before you leave at the end of cottage season, make sure that the repairs are still effective.
4. Check for mold or mildew
Along with airing out your cottage, make sure to check for mold or mildew. During the months that you were away, the air trapped inside has gotten stale. As a result, mold and mildew can form.
If there is mold or mildew, make sure to contact a professional service in Pembroke right away. In the meantime, keep the windows and doors open, change the A/C filter, and set up a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture in the air.
5. Keep the black pipe connections tight
Black pipe is essential to having a reliable water connection in your cottage. Without it, you may have to haul water back-and-forth using buckets. To keep it working, avoid simply slipping the black pipe over the matched fittings and tightening it with a screw clamp. This can result in leaks.
Instead, make sure the connection is secured with loose screw clamps that are warmed gently with a propane torch. Then, the pipe can be fitted over the fitting, with the clamps torqued down with a socket wrench.
But most importantly, if you’re unsure about how to proceed, call a plumber. Leave it to the professionals to avoid water damage.
6. Keep stovepipes safe
Do you have a wood stove? In cottage country, it’s typical for wood stoves to be connected to black stovepipe. To prevent fires, you need to make sure that each pipe joint is screwed securely.
For best results and utmost safety, call a professional service to connect the stove to the chimney and make sure that the connection is secure. They have all the right tools and training to do this effectively.
7. Avoid wood rot
The deck is perhaps one of the best features of your cottage. It’s the best place to enjoy a cool drink and the fresh breeze. But, since most decks are built with wood, this also makes them susceptible to rot.
To prevent this, you can use a pump-up weed sprayer and clear, zinc-based wood preservative. Make sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when spraying the preservative on wood-to-masonry and wood-to-wood contact and around the edges to reach the smallest nooks where rot can start. Keep this sprayer only for this purpose, and use it only outside. Most importantly, never spray near water courses.
8. Keep your cottage insurance up-to-date
All of these tips help you keep your cottage well-maintained and safe. By averting disasters, you can expect to keep your cottage insurance rates stable. More importantly, avoiding any negligence on your part also helps ensure that your coverage is intact if a disaster actually occurs.
Basically, if you maintain regular property upkeep and safety, you can be sure that your cottage insurance will cover you—that it won’t be voided or cancelled in the event of a disaster. Similarly, cottage insurance also provides liability coverage, which can come in handy if a guest is injured during their weekend, or you cause property damage to your neighbours.
This is why it’s important to keep your cottage insurance up-to-date. Before heading out for the first weekend or cottage season and after your last trip, make sure to review your coverage so your cottage is always protected throughout cottage season and while you’re away.
At PAIB Insurance; we share your love of a fun and safe cottage season. That’s why we’re dedicated to making sure that you get the most out of your time away. Make every day at your home-away-from-home safe and memorable with a comprehensive cottage insurance plan.
With cottage insurance, you can enjoy your time worry-free. Don’t let a disaster ruin your vacation and your prized property. Keep guests safe and happy by avoiding liability issues. Make sure you’re protected against the most common hazards of cottage season.
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