How to Winterize a Log Cabin or Cottage
When winter begins its approach, creeping in ever so gently, it’s time to start thinking about how to winterize a log cabin.
It doesn’t matter whether you plan to stay there through the winter or head out and leave the home vacant, and it doesn’t matter whether you are going to rent you cabin or cottage, being able to properly winterize your cottage will make those cold winter months much more enjoyable, and tolerable.
Check for leaks
It doesn’t matter whether you need to winterize a log cabin or winterize a cottage, the ideas here apply to both. Every home has the potential for leaks. Log cabins have even greater potential for leaks because of the manner in which they are built. A steady rain may not always show these leaks, so it’s a good idea to take a hose around the log cabin and spray along every point of possible entry.
Snow can blow in sideways, infiltrate the smallest cracks and gaps, then melt and cause a leak. Any water than gets into these tiny gaps can freeze as well, causing the gaps to widen, allowing more water or snow in, and creating a larger leak.
Next, clean the gutters
Not all log cabins or cottages have gutters, but if yours does, one aspect to properly winterize a log cabin or cottage is to make sure the gutters are clear of debris. Leaves and sticks and acorns, for example, can clock gutters, causing snow and ice to build up and then push up under the roof tile or thatch.
Have a chimney?
Most log cabins have at least one fireplace, which means that you will have at least one chimney. With winter approaching, you want to check that chimney and have it cleaned. Many fires and smoke damage occur in the winter months because of chimneys that are not cleaned.
Before starting that first fire of the year, just take this simple and often forgotten step. If no one will be staying in the cabin or cottage for the winter, or for an extended period of time during the winter, then close the flue to ensure that cold air doesn’t penetrate the house, causing pipes to freeze.
When you plan to winterize a cottage or log cabin, don’t overlook insulation. Pipes that are close to the exterior of the cabin or cottage are most susceptible to freezing and when these pipes freeze, the water inside expands and can crack the pipe. When they thaw, then you will have a devastating leak that won’t stop until you return there to see the water damage.
Any pipes that are questionable you will want to insulate. There are many types of pipe insulation to choose from. If you don’t plan on staying in the cabin during the winter months, then drain all of the water out of the system to avoid any chance of freezing. Some winter months can see extremely low temperatures, far below normal, and that can wreak havoc on many plumbing systems.
Get rid of perishable foods
If you don’t plan on staying at the cabin or cottage in the winter, make sure that you get rid of all perishable food items. These can invite insects and small critters into the home and they may find the lodging to their liking.
When you winterize a log cabin or winterize a cottage, you are adding security to your home. Winter months are rough on homes, so give them that little bit of extra care and winterize.