Open up your summer house
It’s finally spring! And so it’s time to open the cottage with pomp and circumstance, play some music, dress slightly cooler than the weather really allows, and start working on the cottage checklist.
Look over the whole house. Is the roof intact, or is it broken anywhere? Fix what needs to be fixed so you don’t get rained on in your bed. How do the gutters look? Clean them out if needed. Are the windows alright? If not, you can use putty and paint where required. If you have your own well, it’s a good idea to send a water sample to the municipality every other year to check the quality. If you have a chimney, try to figure out if there is a bird’s nest inside before you put a fire on.
The cold of winter can be nasty to cottages, and something may have frozen and broken while you’ve been dreaming of warmer times. When you get to your house, check that the water meter doesn’t show anything before you turn the water on, as if it does, it could indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Once you have turned on the water and the heating, stay around the house so you can hear and see any leaks, damage or rabbits. If you see a rabbit outside, that’s fine, but it’s important to enjoy yourself.
If, however, you see a mouse or rat in the house, it’s time to check that the cables haven’t been chewed through. Using cables that have been eaten by rodents could cause a fire. Bear in mind that right now, when you’re heating the house for the first time in a while, the risk of fire is greater than at any other time. Then, think about something nice again.
Then, let’s get the toilet going! If you have a urine diverting toilet, ensure that the fan is quiet and doesn’t sound bad, as that could mean that something is stuck there. If that is the case, check the fan housing; how you do this depends on the model, but the main thing is that the housing is disassembled, emptied of any rubbish, and then reassembled again. You can now check that the urine drain is still in place.
If you have an incinerating toilet, I think you should check the whole ventilation pipe and the ventilation cap for obstructions. Look inside the toilet and the ash container to ensure that no little animal has made your toilet their home. Once you’ve given the toilet a once-over, put the ash container back, connect the toilet to the ventilation pipe, and put the plug into the socket. Start a programme. If you’re unlucky, and the radiator doesn’t work as it should, damp may have gotten in over winter. Have you tried turning it off and on again? Turn the toilet off and on again, put on the heating in the space, and leave the toilet for a few hours before trying again. Once you’ve gotten a programme going and the toilet is heating, let the whole programme run without any waste in the toilet. Did it go well? Great!
Now, you can let go of the everyday life of the city, and enjoy the lovely sunshine at the cottage! Welcome.
Save this checklist for later if you live in a colder climate than we here in the south of Sweden.