As we bid farewell to another summer, autumn is upon us and it’s time to start preparing for winter. For many in Saskatchewan and beyond, this means closing up the RTM lake house until spring comes again. With a little seasonal maintenance for your RTM home, you can prevent costly problems from arising and save money in the long-term. By following these tips for seasonal maintenance on your RTM home at the lake, you will continue to enjoy cottage-life for summers to come.

RTM Cleaning

Remove all trash and clean all surfaces. Clean and unplug all appliances including the bbq. Unplugging appliances will prolong their life, conserve energy and prevent any risk of fire. If you have a fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned as well. 

RTM Storage

It’s best to pack everything away in closed bins, and store them off the ground, if possible. To avoid smells or dirt that might attract industrious pests, clean everything before putting it away in sealed bins for over-winter storage. Avoid storing any food items or anything that would give off odors, including scented detergents or toiletries. Take all scented items away from the cottage when you go. You’ll also want to avoid storing anything liquid that could freeze and burst into a mess.

RTM Pest Prevention

In addition to thorough cleaning, there are a few extra measures you can take to prevent any crawlies or critters from entering your RTM lake house during the winter. Use steel wool to plug small holes or cracks where tiny pests might enter. Dryer sheets or moth balls placed throughout the home will deter insects and mice from setting up camp in your lake home.

RTM Security

Walk through the entire home and check that all windows and doors have functioning lock mechanisms. As you do this, notice any air leaks or windows that could be sealed to conserve energy and increase security. Light timers or sensor lights are great ways to deter break-ins. You might even consider installing a security system or asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your home. 

RTM Plumbing

To winterize the plumbing and prevent issues caused by frozen pipes in your RTM lake house, shut off the water supply, bleed pipes and water heater lines and use antifreeze rated for potable water lines. You may want to consider wrapping pipes with foam or insulated heat tape. If you’ve never winterized plumbing before, call us for professional assistance to ensure it is done properly.

RTM Heating System

Keep your furnace clean and well-maintained every year to save money and prolong the life of your lake house furnace. Change the air filter and vacuum the interior of the furnace regularly. Be aware that cold temperatures inside the home can damage pipes, flooring, and other areas, and decide whether to turn the heat completely off, or turn the heat down to low and open any cupboards with pipes inside.

RTM Septic System

As with the heating system, your septic system will last longer if you have it inspected and pumped out regularly. The frequency depends on the size of your tank and the amount of wastewater created, but early fall is always the best time for assessment. If it is kept clean and well-maintained, you’ll also decrease any risks of septic system leaks and groundwater contamination. To prevent your tank from freezing, spread a thick layer of leaves over the tank which will act as a layer of insulation underneath the snow.

RTM homes are becoming an increasingly popular choice for seasonal cabins and cottages at the lake. As you prepare your summer RTM home for the approaching winter season, it’s important to consider anything that might happen to your dwelling while you are gone. Taking steps to leave your RTM clean, sealed, and safe will ensure that it’s ready for you to enjoy when you return in spring. Tending properly to the plumbing, heating, and septic systems at your lake house will give you the most efficiency and lifespan from these costly but essential home systems. With proper seasonal maintenance, your RTM home can transition gracefully through the seasons of the year so you can continue to enjoy cottage-life for summers to come.