How to Winterize a Cabin 

How to Winterize a Cabin 

Your cabin may be a perfect getaway during the summers, but you must winterize it after the season to prevent property damage by seasonal changes.

Learning to winterize your cabin is effortless and helps you save maintenance costs, as poor plumbing, roof leaks, and rodent infestation can create a horrible mess in your rustic getaway home if you do not correctly winterize your cabin. 

Winterizing Your Getaway Home

If you do not drain the pipes and the faucets, the water freezes into ice. This type of water expansion makes the pipes swell. As a result, they burst and leak.

If you forget to turn off the water supply, your cabin may get flooded. Outdoor water pipes may also spew water and ruin your lawn. You must drain the pipes and the faucet system. 

It would be best to keep the cabin’s interior warm when you go away for the winter. Here are some measures you can take to winterize your house properly. 

Winterize Plumbing and Water Pipes

The most crucial part of winterizing your cabin is checking your water supply and drainage system. Flooding can destroy your cabin, causing you a significant amount of repairing money if your insurance doesn’t cover it.

If you are going away for the winter, you must winterize the plumbing and water pipes. People who use the getaway home periodically must set the thermostat to 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the pipes from freezing. 

Ideally, the cabin’s water system connects to the faucet or the valves. You can find the lowest point of this water system to drain all the water. If you have a basement, check it for the drain valve. 

Shut off the cabin’s water supply and open all the faucets and drain valves to empty the pipes and keep the water from freezing.

In addition to this, you must also ensure that you thoroughly flush the toilets in your cabin. Take off the water tank’s lid and hold down the flush until you drain all the water. 

Next, pour one cup of antifreeze liquid into the drains and sinks to prevent the remaining water from freezing. Also, make sure that you disconnect all the appliances from the power supply. 

In addition, you can use pipe wrap over exposed water supply lines to prevent the cold from affecting the pipelines. 

Winterize the Water Heater

If your cabin has an electric water heater, you can leave it on. You have to turn down the temperature dial to the minimum to save energy. Make sure to close all the water outlets and inlet valves. 

However, if you want to turn off the electric water heater to save electricity or own a gas heater, you should turn them off right away.

Sometimes particles and sediment collect at the bottom of the water heater, hindering the heater’s efficiency. It can cost you a lot of money. Therefore turning off your gas heater is wise. 

But wait for the water to cool down before closing the water inlet valve. Next, make sure that you drain the tank. Once the tank is empty, you can turn off the faucets and outlet valves.

Disconnect the Dishwasher and the Washing Machine

If you’re going to leave the heater on in your cabin, you don’t have to worry about your dishwater as the water supply pipes won’t freeze. But if you’re turning off the centralized heating in the cabin, you must turn off the hot water valves under the sink. 

Disconnect the water supply hose from the valve and drain it thoroughly. You must also remove the water from your washing machine.

You can disconnect the water supply pipes and put the washing machine on its drain cycle. Then, pour one cup of antifreeze into the draining basket to prevent residual water from freezing. 

Check Your Appliances

If you’re going to close the cabin for the winter, you must drain all the appliances, including your refrigerator.

Many appliances come with a user manual containing specific winterizing guidelines. For example, if you’re going to unplug your refrigerator, you must drain it properly. 

Once you unplug the power supply, make sure to leave the refrigerator door open. The water will drain into a pan. Keep the tubing disconnected. 

Unplugging electrical appliances will conserve energy and prevent a fire. Therefore it’s a crucial step in winterizing your cabin.  

Insulate Outdoor Pipes

You must insulate the exposed outdoor pipes by using pipe insulation once you turn off your cabin’s outdoor water supply.

If your cabin has a sprinkler system, you must drain it in a sequence. If you notice any pipe leaks, try to use pipe wrap to keep the cracks covered. 

Maintain the Septic System

You wouldn’t want your cabin’s septic system to freeze once you’re away for the winter season. Therefore you need to pump out the septic tank to avoid any leakage.

If you notice a weak toilet flush or slow sink drainage, you must have the septic tank pumped.

Check your tank for leaks, foul odor, moss growth, and pooling water, which indicate that your tank is full. Also, spread a layer of straw over the system for insulation. 

Check Your Furnace

A clean furnace saves you from paying hefty heating bills and prolongs your furnace’s life. However, you must vacuum the furnace and replace the filters before closing the cabin for the winter. 

The furnace filters help remove mold spores, pet dander, and soot. Unfortunately, this is why filters are likely to get clogged. If your furnace filter gets clogged, it does not warm your cabin. 

Moreover, clogged filters force the furnace to work more to produce heat, increasing the heating cost. Therefore you need to use a cost-effective solution to replace the furnace filters when you winterize your cabin. 

Insulate the Roof

Roof leaks cause massive damage to your cabin during the winter as they can cause ice damming and flooding. In addition, when snow accumulates on the cabin’s roof, water starts accumulating on it. 

When this snow melts, water seeps into the cabin through roof leaks. Therefore you need to inspect the roof and look for drywall cracks and water stains.

Check the roofing materials to ensure that they aren’t damaged or cracked. You must also remove debris, pine needles, leaves, or any material that can trap water on the roof. 

Clean your cabin’s eavestroughs and gutters so the water runoff isn’t obstructed. Also, if trees surround your cabin, you must cut the branches over the roof. 

Discourage Rodent Intrusion

The National Pest Management Association estimates that rodents get into 21 million US homes every winter. Rodent infestation is a massive problem for cabin owners during the winters. If you’re winterizing your cabin for the season, you must keep the rodents out. 

Seal all the cracks and holes. Ensure that you weatherstrip the doors and windows to minimize entry points for the small animals and insects. 

Rodents reside in warm places during the winter, so you must remove dry food from the cabin. Vacuum under the couch, behind refrigerators, and cooking range. 

Thoroughly clean the appliances, countertops, and cabinets. Make sure to seal all the pipe openings. Also, inspect the wires and insulation for rodent infestation.

If you notice any signs of a rodent infestation, contact a pest professional before shutting off your cabin for the winter. 

Final Thoughts

A small cabin in the woods is often the perfect getaway. But if you do not properly winterize it, your cabin can experience seasonal damage and have rodent infestations.

Every season, repairing your cabin will cost you a fortune, but learning to winterize your cabin will save you time and repair costs. These winterizing tips and tricks will also keep you from paying hefty maintenance and heating bills every season. 

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

Recent Posts