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WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE CLOSING MY CABIN UP FOR WINTER?

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Here are 9 tips to ensuring your beloved second home is still there and waiting for you next time you come to visit:

  1. Shut off the water and thoroughly drain water out of the pipes. Start by finding the lowest faucet in your system, usually on the exterior, and opening it up. Then go back through the cabin and open every sink, shower or bath faucet and flush every toilet to remove remaining water. You also have to turn off electricity or the pilot light on the water heater and drain the water heater into a floor drain or to your yard using a garden hose.
  2. Disconnect garden hoses and drain the pipes leading to outside faucets.
  3. Do NOT turn your heater off. Leave the heat on at about 60 degrees if possible to prevent the buckling of grouted tiles in bathrooms and the kitchen due to the cold weather and humidity. Leaving your heat on can also help prevent freezing pipes on the interior of your cabin.
  4. Remove all food, including boxes of cereal or crackers that could attract rodents or insects. Wipe down counters, appliances and kitchen table. Unplug all appliances, including the microwave, toaster oven, coffeemaker, TV, and/or stereo. Close and securely lock all windows and doors.
  5. If you are unplugging the refrigerator, be sure to clean it out completely – including the freezer and prop the doors open for ventilation.
  6. Turn off the pilot lights on stoves and fireplaces and turn off the gas. When you do so, check for possible gas leaks.
  7. Check your chimney and put a chimney cap on it or cover it to stop animals from entering and building a nest. Clean and sweep out the fireplace.
  8. Store all your lawn furniture and your barbecue into a garage or shed.
  9. Make sure vents are open on the crawl space under the house but that the crawl space itself is secure against critters.
  10. If you have rain gutters installed, make sure they are cleaned out from any leaves, branches, dirt and debris so that any rain or snow melt will be properly drained away.

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