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Winter cabin care tips

Cabin Care

April 14, 2020

We’ve all got that go-to winter moment at the cabin. For some, it’s playing board games with the family by a crackling fireplace. Or a game of shinny hockey with neighbours on the lake.

For others, it’s warming up after a day carving up fresh powder at nearby Panorama Mountain Resort. Or trading corporate meetings for a Kindle.

Our time in the Columbia Valley is best spent getting away from the day-to-day grind, not being bogged down with another list of time-consuming chores. Yet that’s where you might find yourself if you don’t prep your property in advance.

Total Care provides some easy-to-do cabin care tips that will help you enjoy your time here sooner.

Water management

Homeowners who forego spending winter at the cabin will drain their pumps before they can freeze. Some will even pour RV-grade eco-friendly antifreeze down the toilets and sinks to prevent the traps from icing up.

Yet if you plan on spending anytime in the mountains this winter, that process can become time-consuming. Instead, consider installing a compressor fitting and drain valve unit at a couple locations throughout the house. That will reduce the amount of time it takes to drain the water while still protecting the pipes from freezing you’re not around.

You might also want to consider purchasing in-line heaters. These inside-the-pipe heater cables provides effective freeze protection for water supply lines. They are easy to install and plug into standard electrical outlets.

Pest control

Cabins are havens for wildlife when the mercury drops. Skunks, mice and squirrels, to name a few, will find any crack in your home’s armour to find a place to stay warm.

Seal cracks with expandable foam, available at any hardware store. You might also want to install wire mesh at strategic places around the cabin to keep larger critters at bay.

Plastic window kits are an inexpensive way to close gaps near windows – plus they’ll keep the heat in. And don’t leave any food or garbage hanging around outside. Unless, of course, you want a visit from Yogi Bear!


If you plan to spend any time in the Columbia Valley this winter, consider upgrading your home’s insulation. Pay special attention to the attic, where properly installed insulation can help keep moisture at bay and the internal temperature balanced.

Also consider adding insulation inside crawl spaces and closed or empty wall cavities, between wall studs, around windows, doors and vents, as well as around wires and pipes – anywhere in your cabin that has the potential to trap cold air.


As much as we want to, most of us won’t be able to spend all our time in the Columbia Valley this winter. And while our doting neighbours will surely keep an eye on things in our absence, our winter getaways are still tempting targets to would-be thieves.

Avoid potential break-ins by installing locks that can be monitored and controlled remotely. You might also want to consider switching out traditional deadbolts with keypad locking systems. These offer the added benefit of allowing you to provide access for service calls at certain times and avoid you having to co-ordinate the exchange of keys.

Consider installing a camera security system that will allow you to see what’s going on inside your home away from home. Some alarm systems will also monitor the cabin’s temperature and warn you if you lose power – thus avoiding frozen pipes.

Lastly, consider working with a local company that has boots on the ground and can respond to any non-life-threatening issues that might arise. Not only will this provide you with peace of mind, but it can give you the ability to respond sooner and avoid potential disaster.

Total Care monitors your property while you are away so you don’t have to. Our year-round services include everything from co-ordinating home repairs to dusting off the driveway. Contact us to book your next appointment.

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