I was visiting The Lake Channel the other day and thought what a great article this would be to share with the folks at Smith Mountain Lake. It speaks in detail regarding all the things you want to consider getting ready for winter when you have a home at the lake. If you live there year-round this may not apply to you fully, but you will still find some helpful advice.
It is time to think of protecting your lake house from cold weather, snow, ice, and winter winds. You will want to make sure that your year-round lake retreat is ready for winter. Even though you will be there from time to time, you will need to ensure that some basic winterizing is done to protect it. If you get your lake home ready now, when you come back for your winter getaways, you’ll have a terrific weekend! Here are some tips to make sure everything is battened down for winter. Even if you plan to leave some heat on in the house, winterizing means you’ll be covered in case of power outages.
Protect Your Lake Home From Fire Hazards
- Unplug electronics and appliances in case of a power surge or lightning strike.
- Clean and dispose of ashes from fireplaces and woodstoves.
- Remove all combustibles including paint, turpentine, household cleaners, etc.
- Drain gas out of mower, trimmers, and other lawn equipment as well as drain the fuel line. This will avoid varnishing in the carburetor, which would result in a repair next spring.
- Remove all containers used for fuel storage.
- Remove rags used for gas, oil, turpentine, etc.
- Check smoke detector batteries and test them. A neighbor may be able to hear them go off in your absence.
- Invest in a security system. They can do everything from warning of a break-in to alerting you at your winter residence if there is a fire, etc.
- Check for any openings that pests may use to find their way into the house. Stop up any places in the foundation or around the eaves, windows, or doors where squirrels, chipmunks, mice, snakes, or other small animals can enter. Put mousetraps or other mouse control devices in the basement, in closets, and in the kitchen.
- Check the chimney to be sure it is covered to prevent animals and birds from entering.
- Remove food, cosmetics, or medicine containers that contain liquid that could freeze from shelves.
- Food in paper or plastic containers should be put in large metal containers to protect it from mice or other rodents.
- Remove or hide valuables, or any articles in the house that can be sold and converted to cash such as guns, radios, TV sets, and tools.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Remove any tools a vandal may use to enter your buildings.
- Ask a local permanent resident to check on your property periodically.
- Have your furnace checked annually. If you have air conditioning, pour bleach into the condensate pump to keep the condensate line clear.
- Do a thorough cleaning. Stains that sit for six months are much more difficult to remove.
- Make a list of what needs fixing. Make a note of any part or model numbers so you can get parts over the winter.
- Make a list of things you want to bring back in the spring or on your next visit.
- Check with your insurance agent to be sure you have your lake house properly insured. Find out whether it is insured at replacement value or actual cash value. If you have any new items make sure they are added to your policy.
- Check into local home management service companies. They will “manage” your property by doing such things as removing your dock, cleaning the gutters, shutting down irrigation, water softener salt, etc.
Thanks so much to the good people at The Lake Channel for this great information.