Tips for Maintaining a Vacation Property

If you are lucky enough to own a vacation home or cottage, you know that maintenance and repairs are necessary in order to keep up with wear and tear. Whether you have a cabin that’s tucked away in the woods or a peaceful cottage on the water, here are a few things to look for when planning your projects.

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Water Safety

Having your camp situated near a body of water can be one of its most attractive features. Making sure family and guests have safe access to a lake or pond is a top priority. A yearly check of all docks and watercraft should be on the checklist to ensure maximum enjoyment. Inspect all landings for loose boards or exposed nails and screws. If the structure dips into the water, consider installing an empty 55-gallon plastic drum under the base to provide extra flotation. Replacement marine parts may be necessary for boats or rafts that have worn engine hoses or minor body damage. Always scan the underside of all vehicles for damage.

Proactive Trimming

Predicting when a tree will fall is a lot harder than just taking the time to trim a potential problem before it happens. A quick inventory of the forest that surrounds your structure should yield enough info on what to cut and which timber can be left to grow. Be aware of fungal growth, invasive roots, dead branches and evidence of pests. These issues on a tree are good indicators of which ones you should harvest before they fall and cause damage to the premises. Most jobs can be handled on your own, but if the size of the nuisance is greater than your confidence, hire a professional.

Exterior Care

In addition to protecting a cabin from falling branches, make sure the siding and shingles are in good condition. Any cracks or openings are invitations for wildlife to invade. Chimneys should be swept once per year minimum and covered with a screen to prevent debris from entering. Removable covers are also a good idea for all windows to discourage birds from accidentally breaking in.