5 Tips on Preparing Your Lake Home for Winter

Tis’ the season to get your house weather ready.

The leaves are starting to change and you can feel a bite in the air, which can only mean one thing; winter is on the way and preparing your lake home for winter should be at the top of the ‘to do’ list.  With the hustle and bustle of the season approaching it’s hard to think about all of the things you need to do around the house. And there is even more when you’re living on a lake.

Not only do you have your home to prepare for the season, you also have your lakefront property and if you’re lucky some toys that need to be winterized. Here are a few tips to getting your Oakland County lake home ready for the upcoming freeze.

Store Outdoor Cushions and Boat Canopies

When getting your lake home ready for the winter it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve got protected storage for your outdoor furniture.  When you’re storing fabric like cushions and boat canopies make sure everything is 100% dry before you put it away and try to avoid damp, dark places where mold and mildew will thrive. Deck boxes and outdoor furniture covers are good storage solutions and can be found at your local big box stores or online.

This will keep your furniture and canopies looking fresh and clean for the summer season. Most furniture will do just fine outdoors, but we recommend using the furniture covers mentioned above. This will save you space as well as ensure your furniture stays in good condition.

Winterize Docks

It’s imperative that you bring your docks in to avoid any damage, one of the most important things when preparing your lake home for winter. Shifting ice can snap metal posts and wear down wood, causing you to replace parts and pieces constantly. To ensure your dock stays in good condition keep it stored away from the shore line to avoid any risk of damage due to ice contracting and expanding.

If you’d prefer to hire someone to pull your dock for you get an appointment set up before it gets too cold or they get too busy. Dock removal is typically charged by the foot, and at some places you can find it for as low as $2.00/ft. Even if you’re located in a bay area or on a canal where the water doesn’t shift, its still a good idea to have your docks removed. 

Take Care of Your Toys

The best part of owning a lake home in Oakland County is having the toys to enjoy it. This also means that you’ve got a couple extra “vehicles” that need to be tended to. Removing boats, lifts, jet skis and other recreational items from the lake should be done at the end of every season to keep them free from ice damage.

This is also a good time to check everything for damage and order any replacement parts needed.  Most marinas will pull your boat, winterize it and store it for a seasonal fee.

If you choose to remove your boat and store it on your own don’t take it out of the water before you’re ready to winterize it.  You’ll want to flush out any standing water that could cause damage when it freezes.

Power Wash Deck/Dock

At the end of every season it’s a good idea to take a power washer to all of your outdoor living spaces like your deck, your dock or your patio. Look for any loose screws, rotting wood or cracked concrete. If you find any problems make sure you get them fixed as soon as possible, leaving it through the season will only cause more damage. Also be sure to get any food stains, spills, or mud off before the freeze thaw comes.

Seal Deck/Dock

Finding a water repellent coating that will work on your patio, deck or dock will help protect them from the amplified Michigan elements you encounter on the lakes in Oakland county. And although this only needs to be done once every three years or so, it’s important that you do it. Don’t skip or it could cause some major issues and a lot of money for you in the future. You also won’t have to worry about spills or stains in the summer months because your dock, deck or patio will already be protected.

Enjoy It!

Finally, don’t be afraid to enjoy your outdoor living space, your lake house is just as awesome in the winter months as it is in the summer.  Pull out some fire pits and propane heaters and bask in the glory of your winter wonderland.

For all your lake home real estate needs contact The Lakes Lady – Marcy Soufrine and don’t forget to read about our all our happy lake home owners here.

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