Even if Mother Nature is slow to send us those first warm days, melting snow and the fact that the grass grows greener is the hint that it is time… to think of opening the cottage!
Alas, there is some drudgery before the enjoyment can begin. The first weekend of opening the vacation property is often spent on practical tasks to bring your cottage out of hibernation!
Electrical and propane
If you own a cottage with electrical access, a simple visual inspection of external connections can tell you if there has been any damage during the winter. Make sure the wiring is in place and that the winter’s rainfall combined with the ice did not damage the wiring and electrical connections. If something seems wrong, do not touch anything! Play it safe and contact a licenced electrician. If everything seems in good condition, simply activate the main breaker, then check the individual circuit breakers. Please note however that the water heater must be activated only once it is filled with water. Once these steps are completed, you can proceed with connecting other devices.
If your cottage uses propane as a main source of energy, first check the condition of the tank, the water main and secondary connections. WARNING: Make sure all valves are closed on devices before opening the main valve. Once the main valve is open, do an internal inspection of the cottage after a few minutes if you do not have Propane gas detectors. If you smell propane, close the main valve, open doors and make sure not to cause any sparks or open flame. I am personally always cautious about propane… The installation of a detector would provide peace of mind and protect your family.
Once you are sure that everything is in order, you can connect the water heater and turn it on. Make sure you fill the water heater before turning it on and turn the valves on for your various propane appliances.
Once the various energy sources are inspected and operational, it is time to supply the cabin with water. The first step is to conduct an inspection to ensure that the pipes and well have not been damaged by freezing.
For wastewater, you must perform a leak check of the pipes connecting the cabin in the septic tank. If you must drain the latter, be sure to contact the professionals who will ensure proper extraction and disposal of waste product.
With the drainage valves closed, flush water taps for several minutes. Water should not leak. If there is leakage, further inspection and repair of your pipes is required.
A visual inspection of all parts of your cottage is required. Look at every detail of the cottage rooms (water infiltration, condition of windows, appliances, electrical wiring inside, rodent damage, rodent carcasses, etc.) and perform the necessary repairs quickly to best maintain your investment.
Cleaning is in order!
At the start of the season, perform a thorough cleaning of your holiday property with products that protect your health and the environment.
Open windows and ventilate your cabin! A few hours of aeration is necessary because the overwintering coupled with the presence of small insects or rodents may result in odours. Of course, it makes sense to keep young children off the floors until insects have been removed and the floors cleaned.
If you do not have a cottage, we obviously have a number of vacation property solutions for you.
Have a great summer!