How to Get Your Cabin Ready for Summer

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With the snow melted, birds chirping and flowers blooming, it is a great time to ensure that your cabin is maintained after a long winter and is ready for the busy and fun summer months ahead.

Spring is a great time for renewal and cleaning.  So schedule some time to clean and refresh both the interior and exterior of the cabin.  Transitioning the cabin from winter to summer is an important time for any maintenance and repair as well as spring cleaning.

If you’re not sure where to start,  here’s a guide to help get your cabin ready for summer after a long winter.

Image Credit: Stiluuus via Creative Commons

Inspect Exterior

Winter can be harsh on your cabin.  Depending on what weather you’re dealing with, the exterior of your cabin might need some attention.  It’s a good time to do an evaluation of the exterior and note any damage or deterioration.  You might also need to address water damage such as mold or mildew.

When doing your evaluation, include the following areas:

  • Decks
  • Roof
  • Siding
  • Doors & windows
  • Gutters & overhangs
  • Foundation

Check for Water Damage

You will want to test the moisture levels of your exterior to ensure it’s ready for summer.  Winter can leave exteriors with mold, mildew, or other damage.  An easy test is to throw some water on your exterior (or decks) and see what happens.  Does the water soak in? or does it run right off the surface.  If the water runs off the surface, you should be in good shape for summer showers.  If you find the water soaks into your deck or siding, you’ll want to refresh it with a new coat of paint or stain.

Decks and Patios

Forest cottage deck and chairs

Decks can suffer in winter under the weight of winter snow, wind, and rain.  If you have wooden decks, check the boards for wear or rotting.  Nail down any loose boards as these can be a liability and remove any loose screws or nails to ensure that the deck is smooth underfoot.  Replace any rotten boards with new decking.

Decks need a coat of stain every few years and maintaining them regularly will help extend their lifespan.  Staining your deck provides critical protection from the elements and will refresh the color and texture of the wood’s surface.

A modern log cabin in the mountains

Doors and windows

Inspect doors and windows for cracks, leaks, and any drainage issues. Check the sealant around your windows to ensure they are watertight.  Check the window tracks and how well the windows open and close – if they’re not gliding easily, they may need lubricant.  If needed, use a water-based lubricant as oil-based lubricants can attract dirt and grime which can clog up the window tracts.

Now is a great time to clean your windows – clean not only the glass but the tracts and sills to ensure they are free of dirt and debris.

Clean Gutters

Ensure that your gutters are clean and free of debris after winter and readily flowing for summer showers.  This task can be done with a gloved hand to simply remove any leaves or materials that are in your gutters. Please use caution when cleaning gutters – it’s best to use the buddy system to hold a ladder – especially if you have uneven terrain around the house.  For safety, avoid climbing on your roof.  If there is debris built up in your gutters, you may want to use a power tool – a leaf blower is a handy tool to help clear your gutters. If in doubt, hire a professional to get the job done quickly and easily.  It’s a good idea to schedule gutter cleaning in both spring and fall for regular maintenance.

Spring Clean

Well, it might go without saying that your cabin probably needs a spring clean after winter.  Whether you close your cabin for winter or use it all year, there’s probably mud and dirt tracked in during the winter months.  The floors and surfaces will benefit from a deep clean.  Also check light fixtures, fans, and window sills for dust and dirt.  Get into corners and baseboards for a thorough cleaning.

Open the windows and air out the cabin.  Your cabin might need a fresh scent – burn lightly scented candles such as grapefruit, basil, or summer blooms for a fresh new seasonal scent.

Declutter by storing winter gear, flannel sheets, and heavy blankets.  Now is a great time to swap out your bedding for cotton or linen.

cast iron stove with small fan on top

Wood Stove and Fireplace Maintenance

It’s easy to forget about the wood stove or fireplace when winter is over and the temps are warming, but spring is a great time to schedule maintenance so you’re ready when it’s needed again.  Depending on your location, you might still be enjoying fires on a cooler summer night.   Hire a professional chimney sweeper to ensure that you are properly maintaining your fireplace and keeping your cabin and family safe.

Store Firewood

If you’ve stockpiled firewood over winter, make sure it’s stored in a dry place away from your cabin when not in use.  Firewood left too close to the cabin might attract critters.


Spring is a great time to spruce up your property.   Remove any dead branches and twigs as well as other debris such as leaves, pine needles, and winter weeds.  Mow the grass and weed as needed.  Spring is a great time to plant, start with cleaning any garden beds and re-edging as needed.

Safety First

Ensure your cabin is safe and healthy for summer fun ahead for the whole family.

Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and make sure they’re all working, replacing batteries as needed. Ensure that you have working fire extinguishers.

Replace air conditioning and heating filters and ensure that your ducts and vents are clean.

Outdoor Space

Spring is a great time to refresh your outdoor space.  Check outdoor cushions for wear and tear. Gently wash with a soft cloth and gentle soap and water (or a solution with half a cup of vinegar in the water).

A simple way to revive an outdoor space is with new cushions or cushion covers for a fresh new look.  Choose all-weather fabrics that are easy to clean and durable.

Plant some fresh flowers and herbs in containers to enjoy around your outdoor space.

Consider some accessories to truly finish your outdoor space – a ceiling fan on a covered patio, some outdoor art, a water feature.  Lighting can make the space – a trendy pendant or string lights will add atmosphere and coziness to your outdoor space.

Add a firepit and some outdoor games for creating memories all summer long.