Guard Against Lightning
Unplug all electrical devices and appliances to prevent damage during a thunderstorm. If nothing in your cottage requires a constant supply of electricity while it is unoccupied, turn off the main power switch. Another option is to shut off all the circuit breakers, except for the one connected to the alarm system. While damage from surges or outages is rare, this will reduce the risk to zero.
Prevent Broken Pipes
When pipes freeze, they can burst and cause expensive water damage when the weather warms up again. Stop this from happening in your cottage by closing the water inlet and draining every water line. If you notice any loose pipes or worrying signs of rust, carry out repairs immediately!
Keep Your Textiles Bug-Free
Your mattresses and linens are not only a comfortable place for you to lay your head, they can also be a cozy nest for insects. Hermetically seal them to keep bugs out. Use plastic sheeting to protect fabric-covered couches and armchairs. Smaller textile items, such as towels and pillows can be stored in airtight plastic bins. You will be happy to find all these things in good condition when you return for the summer. They’ll just need a spin in the washer to remove any musty odour (including the curtains). Consider renting a steam cleaner to freshen upholstered sofas.
Bring back any valuables with you, or at the very least, hide them out of sight of the windows. Buglers are well aware that unoccupied cottages are a golden opportunity, especially in areas where many seasonal cottages will remain closed for winter. Their favourite items to steal are tools, small electrical devices, and bottles of alcohol.