De-winterise your Holiday Lodge

As the holiday parks are re-opening, it’s time to de-winterise your holiday lodge, so you can enjoy it for the rest of the year. You may have left it unoccupied for a few months and have consequently taken measures to protect it during the winter season. This checklist is here as a reminder of the things you might need to check up on, undo or do now spring is upon us.

  1. External checks.
  • Signs of vandalism or break-in

We all hope that this won’t be the case, but in this event contact the police and do not enter your property.

  • Storm damage

High winds, heavy snow or storms may have damaged your holiday lodge during the winter. If you see any damage, be careful to make sure your property is safe before entering.

  • External security and emergency lighting

If your motion sensitive security lighting is not responding, you may want to check that it has not been vandalised or knocked out before going in to your property. Again, contact police if you are at all suspicious.

  • Boundaries, gates and fencing

Take note of any damage that has occurred to boundary walls, fences or gates for later repairs.

  • Paving and paths

Take extra care on paths and paving on your property as months of winter weather can leave them slippery and potentially hazardous. A good clean with a stiff brush and oxygenated bleach can help to clear them and make them safe again.

  • Guttering and drains

When you have time, getting the ladder out or recruiting or hiring someone to have a look and clear your gutters and drains of debris collected during winter months may help avoid problems developing in the future.

  • Air vents

Clearing air vents on the outside can avoid build-up of condensation in your lodge and aid with general air circulation.

  • Roof damage

Another trip out with the ladder may be necessary to check the roof if it is not visible from ground level. It may have damaged tiles and a swift repair might be needed to avoid the problem leading to water ingress.

  • Door and window seals

You can check door and window seals to keep your holiday lodge draught-free and energy-efficient. Replacing them now may stop further damage.

  • Skirting and underneath the chassis

To prevent debris or damage to your holiday lodge chassis or foundation, do a quick circuit of your holiday lodge to check the skirting for any holes or cracks. This may also help to prevent any unwanted pests taking up residence under your lodge.

  • Decking

As with paving, decking can become slimy and slippery over the winter months and may need a good clean before it is safe to use again.

  • Remove sandbags

This may seem obvious as you probably won’t be able to get in without taking away any sandbags you used to prevent water ingress. Store them in a dry place and they will be ready to use again next time.

  • Hot tub

If you have a hot tub, it will probably need a clean and you may need to put its plumbing through a cleaning cycle. Standing water can be a source of disease so it is a good idea to give everything a good flush through. Consult the manufacturer’s information for guidance on this.

  • Outside storage/garden equipment and furniture

Hopefully this was all be packed away and stored securely before you left your holiday lodge for the winter. You may want to check it is all where it should be and in one piece particularly if you secured it outside.

  1. Internal checks to de-winterise your holiday lodge
  • Alarm system

If your lodge has an alarm system, which is recommended by police, don’t forget to come armed with the codes to deactivate it on entry.

  • Lights, electrical sockets and gas appliances

A quick check that the energy supplies are on and working in your lodge is a good idea on entry to your lodge, as you may need someone to come and remedy any problem as soon as possible. Early detection may really help you get on and enjoy your stay as soon as possible.

  • Plumbing

If you drained down the system for the winter, then turn the water back on and let it re-fill. Check pipes, and that the taps and appliances are all working ok. If you didn’t need to drain down the system, then you may want to run the taps for a couple of minutes to remove any water that may have sat in pipes over winter.

  • Boiler/heating

Similarly, checking that the heating is working even if you arrive on a day when you don’t need it. This may help to make sure it is there when you do need it.

  • Emergency lighting

Checking the batteries or power supply for your emergency lighting if you have it may avoid problems if you do suffer later from a power outage.

  • Vents

As with outside, your vents may have collected debris or dust that can hinder the air flow inside your holiday lodge and lead to condensation or poor air quality.

  • Fridge/freezer

Checking your fridge and freezer are in good working order when you arrive may help you avoid problems later and lead to a swift repair should you need one.

  • Windows and doors

We’ve already mentioned door and window seals, but it’s also a good  idea to locate spare keys and window lock keys if you have them, to make sure none have gone missing or been forgotten.

  • Beds and bedding

You may want to give mattresses an airing, vacuum clean and turn them to prevent mites and dust accumulating.

  • Clean and dust

Even if you cleaned your holiday lodge before the winter, dust can accumulate and ‘condense’ out of the air during your absence. Giving it an all-round clean when you arrive may help to avoid any health problems that can arise from dust.

  • Airing

If the weather is good enough, throwing open the doors and windows to get in some fresh air helps you enjoy your holiday lodge to the full as you settle back in.

  1. Other jobs
  • Neighbours

Letting your neighbours know you are back in your holiday lodge may help with security (theirs and yours) and it never hurts to have friendly relations with those nearby.

  • Cleaners and other services you use

You may want to give cleaners, handymen or other professionals that you employ at your holiday lodge advance notice of your return so that they can be ready and prepared to assist once more.

  • Park management

Letting park management know of your arrival may not be obligatory but can be reassuring for them and you. They know no one else has gained entry into your property and you know they can keep an eye out on your behalf too.

  • Something to eat and drink

Finally, you may want to pack some food and drink that’s ready to eat. This will save you time on your arrival and if you do have any problems with the fridge, freezer or  cooker, then you won’t go hungry.

We hope this list helps you to de-winterise your holiday lodge and settle back in with the peace of mind that you need to enjoy it to the full.

If you are concerned about problems you may encounter on your return, you may want to look at Home Emergency Cover for your holiday lodge. With one phone call, we can provide swift professional help with no call-out charge and no excess to pay for a number of issues. You can find out more in this article: home emergency cover for your UK holiday home or phone us on 01604 946 796.

This is a marketing article from multi-award-winning Park Home Assist.

Please note that all insurance cover is subject to acceptance of terms and conditions.

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Published – 28/03/24