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8 Tips For Winterizing A House, Cabin, Or Cottage

Those long, relaxing hours at your cottage, cabin, or vacation house are winding down as the leaves change colors. Winter is almost here, and that means winterizing a house might already be on your mind. Luckily, we’ve compiled a checklist of eight tips for winterizing a house so that you don’t find costly problems in the spring!


  1. Turn off the water. This should always be the first step in winterizing a house, no matter if it’s your hunting cabin or a vacation home in a warmer climate. You never know what kind of temperatures or pressure changes may occur and lead to a flood.
  2. Drain the hot water heater or pressure tank. Not doing these things as part of your checklist for winterizing a house can lead to expensive replacement parts or an entirely new heater or tank.
  3. Flush and drain all pipes. Pipes with water left in them can freeze, expanding the pipe until it fractures and leaving it unusable for spring! To drain the dishwasher, allow it to run for a few minutes after the water is off.
  4. Pour antifreeze into every drain. As an extra measure when winterizing a house, you may consider adding a capful of antifreeze to each sink, shower, washer, and toilet.
  5. Store outside assets. Invest in a shed or cover assets such as a kayak, BBQ, or picnic table. Unplug your propane tank from the BBQ, no matter where you store it. In addition, some smaller items like garden tools may be able to be taken inside when winterizing a house.
  6. Cover and unplug inside assets. After cleaning, take photos of your assets for insurance purposes. Then, cover your furniture with sheets to keep them in top condition and give you an easier time unveiling them for use in the spring. Also, unplug every electronic and appliance in case of a power surge.
  7. Lock and shutter all windows and doors. Chances are that you have (at the very least) some furniture in your home away from home. Lock up the cottage to protect your assets and remove temptation from the eyesight of potential thieves by drawing all curtains and shutters closed. It also keeps thieves from the knowledge about if you are home.
  8. Board up the screens. Boarding over the screens on the outside of your home helps protect them from damage in storms and keep animals out!

As you can see, many of these tips for winterizing a house have a plumbing component. Consider hiring a professional plumber to help you through the steps. Being proactive in the fall and paying a professional potentially saves you five times as much on a plumber who might need to replace pipes and repair your cottage in the spring.
A getaway cottage and cabin can and should be covered by insurance just like your home. In addition to winterizing a house, you should review your home insurance policy. A Higgins Insurance representative is ready to give you options for protecting your cottage or cabin. Simply call 1-866-273-2911!

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