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null Closing Up the Cottage Checklist

For most cottage owners, the cottage season has ended. Now, you must think about closing the property to keep it secure and safe during the winter months. To help get the job done, we’ve provided a closing cottage checklist to make sure your seasonal property is ready for winter weather.


  • Walk around the perimeter of your cottage and inspect the area for any damages such as wrecked roof shingles or broken screens and windows.
  • Look for cracks or holes that animals might get into and cover up the areas with steel wool.
  • Clean roof eavestrough to make sure the snow drains properly.
  • Trim any overhanging branches that might dump heavy loads of snow and ice on your cottage roof.
  • Store boats, canoes and kayaks on sawhorses or on a rack that is tucked away from the lake or road. Chain them together and cover them up with a tarp.
  • Dismantle dock and remove it from the lake.
  • Store boat motors and additional engines in a weatherproof place like the inside of a boathouse or a shed.
  • Store outdoor furniture indoors.
  • Disconnect BBQ from propane tank. Store them in a secure area.
  • Pump or clean septic system if needed.


  • Remove food from the fridge and kitchen cupboards.
  • Defrost and unplug fridge.
  • Deep clean the fridge and kitchen cupboard to get rid of any food stains or particles to prevent curious critters from getting in.
  • Unplug other appliances in your cottage such as the microwave, toaster, television, etc.
  • Check and clean the fireplace or wood stove. Close the damper vent.
  • Remove bedding and place plastic sheets on the mattresses to prevent animals from nesting them.
  • Use plastic sheets to cover chairs and couches.
  • Put fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers to prevent rodents from getting inside them.
  • Wash linens (either at the cottage or at home) and store them in a secure area.

Water Supply

  • Drain all water pipes to prevent pipes from bursting.
  • Fill water supply line and toilet tank with anti-freeze.
  • Turn off main water supply.

For more information about draining the water supply visit the Cottage Tips website.

Last Minute Checks

  • Take plenty of photos of your cottage interior and exterior to document it in case any damage happens to the property.
  • Turn off breakers at the electrical panel.
  • Take out garbage and recycling.
  • Bring any personal items you may need home with you.
  • Perform a final inspection.
  • Lock up the cottage for the winter.

Lastly, make sure your cottage is protected with seasonal home insurance. Our licensed insurance advisors can help you choose customized coverage that fits your cottage and your lifestyle.

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Closing Up the Cottage Checklist

outside of cottage during fall

All good things must come to an end.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.

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