Winterizing Your Cabin in Four Easy Steps

There’s nothing cooler than going to your summer retreat and enjoying an extended vacation at your cabin. But when wintertime rolls around, these structures are often left alone throughout the winter. While it’s not always possible for everyone to enjoy these fun times, winterizing your cabin (or home) is crucial to it maintaining its integrity during the wet and cold conditions of winter. Use these simple tips for winterizing your structure and prevent damages to your home or cabin during the frosty months of winter.

  • · Plumbing Pipes- One of the biggest problems with winterizing a cabin during the cold winter months are the water utilities. From water lines to drains, water utilities are the lifeblood to your cabin or home. Plumbing pipes can easily burst when frozen, that’s why it’s imperative to keep these materials well protected against the cold. Thermal protections like insulating water lines and covering your well head with an insulated cover can prevent damages to these sensitive utilities. By draining all the water from the water heater, plumbing pipes and well head, you can reduce the chances that a pipe fracture will occur during the winter. Drain pipes are especially vulnerable because getting rid of all the water is nearly impossible. Use one cup of drain pipe antifreeze to keep them safe all winter long.
  • · Turn Off the Power- Electrical lines can cause some serious problems if they are allowed to draw power all winter long while you’re not around. Unplug your appliances and turn off the main breaker to the structure. In some areas, the electric company will provide you with a discounted bill when you’re not using your cabins power.
  • · Check the Openings- Windows and doors are the nose and ears of your structure. Just like your own face, without the right protection against the elements, these areas can suffer from the moisture and cold of extended wintertime conditions. By covering your windows and doors with storm protection (or even a piece of plywood) you can easily prevent damages that cold weather conditions present to an unoccupied structure.
  • · Insulation Concerns- Without the proper insulation system, your cabin is at serious risk from cold damages. Mold growth, water damages and dry rot are all serious concerns to an unoccupied structure during the winter. All insulation is standardized by “R-value”. This term uses a number to rate insulation effectiveness. The higher the number, the better the insulation. This number can be misleading because R-value is determined in the lab under perfect conditions. Water and air movement can lower R-value to nothing in fiber-based insulation. Use a solid foam insulation to keep R-values high all year long.

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