Cottage properties have a distinct charm but they also come with special risks. It is essential to include Cottage inspection in your offer to purchase a cottage property. Cottages range from new construction to century log or stone construction. Expect anything and everything from basements with dirt floors to innovative energy systems. Many cottages have alternate heating and/or energy systems such as wood, pellet, wind, solar or photovoltaic. Most cottages properties have a septic system and well. (Ground-source heat pumps may require an additional well.)
It is better to inspect septic systems when the ground is soft from late spring until frost in fall. Make sure your septic system inspector is qualified by Ministry of Natural Resources as an installer and inspector. Having the septic tank pumped at the time of the septic inspection will aid in the complete review of the septic system and may reveal problems with the tank or upgrades that could be made.
If member(s) of your family are taking medication, their discharge may harm or kill the useful microbes in the septic system, reducing it’s effectiveness. If you wish more detailed testing, you will probably have to go to a private laboratory. Also, if the home has a water softener, you should ensure that there is an untreated supply for drinking water for testing, usually an exterior tap. Discharge from the water softener should not connect to the septic system as the salts may damage the primary concrete septic tank and diminish the ability of the microbes to break down the organic matter in the septic tank.
For general guidelines on the inspection process, please see our FAQs section.
or call 1-613-322-3682
If the cottage is not used all year round you should not pump the septic tank in the fall. In the spring when the frost comes out of the ground it may lift and damage the tank and connection. You will now have an environmental clean-up on your hands.
If the cottage is a 2 or 3 season style dwelling you should be looking for low-point-drains. These should be installed on both the hot and cold water lines and they are used to drain the water out of the system to avoid freezing and damaging the pipes over the winter months.
W.E.T.T. Wood Energy Transfer Technology is applied to cottages that have wood burning appliances. Most insurance companies will require a certificate of compliance that your wood burning devices are installed correctly.
Co and Smoke detectors are essential in rural settings. Cottages are time consuming for fire department vehicles to reach fires. So do not expect the men and equipment to save your cottage. At best fire departments maybe able to prevent further damage to the surrounding forest and neighbours cottages.