Making sure your lake home is ready for the bitter cold of winter can be beneficial all year round. There’s nothing worse than showing up to your dream getaway at Grand Lake to find that your pipes have burst and you’ve got a mess on your hands. Take the time to run through a few items to make sure your home is ready for all that winter brings. 

Insurance: It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance agent to ensure your lake home is adequately insured. Your home is your biggest investment, so it is wise to ensure it is protected when you are away from home in the winter. At Grand Lake, winter can wreak havoc on your house, so it’s a good time to review your homeowners’ policies, update if necessary, and make sure you have the coverage you need. 

Quick Check: You’ll want to check your heating system as soon as possible or schedule an annual inspection with your service provider, so your system is checked and set up for the winter. Changing your oven filters every few months will help your heating system run more efficiently.   

Water LInes: If you are more than a quick drive away from your Grand Lake home, you should consider turning off the water and draining the water lines the next time you leave town. If you live in colder climates where freezing pipes can be a problem, be sure to drain the toilets and water heater. Turn off the water supply for summer cottages without heating and drain the pipes to prevent freezing.   

If you do not heat in winter, be sure to drain the water from the pipes by connecting the hose to the lowest point of the water supply and blowing all the water with an air compressor. You can turn off the oven if you do not plan to use the cabin during the cold winter months and have your plumbing ready for winter. If you choose to close your lake house for the season, you can turn off the water and winterize the plumbing. If you plan to visit your home during the winter months, it is still a good idea to drain your pipes every time you leave.  

Ensure there are no openings in the roof or under the house through which cold air can enter the pipes. You can also leave the cabinet doors that lead to the lines open (under the bathroom sink) to allow heat to flow. Close the vents of the foundation so that cold air does not enter the house. If some areas of your property are prone to freezing pipes, it is recommended to look for additional insulation. 

Heating: If you occasionally come to the lake in winter, set the thermostat to at least 50 degrees and open the doors of the cabinets to let heat in. Leaving the heating on at a low temperature (at least 50 degrees) will prevent pipes from freezing and ensure that the hut or lake is ready for your return. Whenever you leave the lake, and there is a possibility of freezing temperatures, be sure to prepare the exterior faucets.  

This will help keep your lakeside home warm and make heating less demanding during the winter months. This way, your home can be held at around 40 degrees without freezing, rather than 55 degrees, which is the lowest temperature most thermostats can be set to. Install a low-temperature thermostat to save energy when no one is in the house. Even if you plan to leave some warmth in the house, winter means you will be covered in case the power goes out.   

Home Appliances: If you are not going on vacation or some time at the lake house, consider turning off your home appliances. Before going on vacation, do simple things like unplugging electrical appliances, turning off the water, and draining water pipes to prevent disaster when you return. Whether you’re going to be out all winter or going on an extended vacation, it’s essential to prepare your empty home for the winter before you leave.    

Pipe Insulation: Insulate exposed pipes with fiberglass or foam, available at most home improvement stores. Seal drafts – seal drafts (you can find them with a candle – watch out for dancing flames), and then repair cracks around windows and doors to reduce heating costs during the winter. Every winter, be sure to cut the swab and dispose of the scrap properly. Also, when removing trash, you can get some kind of shelter where pests could settle for the winter. 

You may not need to do all these things to your lake home on Grand Lake, but we hope it prompted you to think about what may need to be done. Whatever you need to do to your home to ensure a wonderful time at the lake, it’s always a good idea to consider how best to maintain your property. A good maintenance plan can make your lake house a home away from home for generations to come.