Winter Cabin Checklist
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Your Must-Have Winter Maintenance Checklist

Five things to do before the snow and cold come to your cabin.

Written by Megan Schetzsle
Photography by Megan Schetzsle
 
The weeks leading up to winter are often some of the busiest of cabin life! No matter how long you’ve lived in a cabin, winter has a tendency to sneak up on you. When the first snow comes, suddenly you remember all the things that needed to get done before winter. Don’t forget to carve out some time to check off the items on this list so that you’re ready to enjoy winter when it comes. Here’s a handy winter cabin checklist to keep you well-prepared this year.
 

Check for Gaps

 
Before the cold of winter comes, one of the most important things that you can do is check for gaps in your logs. Gaps or cracks in your logs will result in cold drafts in the winter. Seal up any small cracks with caulk and for larger gaps use a backer rod beneath your caulk. 
 

Clean Your Logs

 
Throughout the year, the logs of cabins accumulate dirt and grime. If not cleaned, this buildup can lead to issues with your stain as well as attract insects. Keep your logs clean (use water and a wood-friendly detergent) to remove any dirt. 
 
 

Maintain Your Fireplace and Chimney 

 
Whether you have a fireplace or a wood stove (or even an electric heater) double check that it’s well-maintained prior to winter. Clean it and have it serviced (if needed, by a professional) to ensure that it’s ready to operate safely all winter long. 
 
If you have a wood stove, here’s a helpful Guide to Maintaining Your Wood Stove.
 

Protect Your Pipes

 
One of the most vulnerable parts of your cabin during winter is the pipes, especially in places like basements, attics or crawl spaces (these get the coldest). Make sure that your pipes are well-insulated and check for areas that may need to be reinforced. Even if you’ve never had issues with your pipes before, check them every year to be sure that there are no new problem areas. 
 

Clean Your Gutters

 
Another crucial task is to clean your gutters. Keep your gutters free from debris to prevent ice from accumulating in the winter and overflow in the spring. If your gutters aren’t draining properly then there’s a good chance the result will be extra moisture on your logs, which can lead to broader damage. 
 
 


About Megan

Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. 

Megan runs her blog The Cabin Diary (www.thecabindiary.com), and can be found sharing day-to-day cabin life through social media (@thecabindiary).

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