There are two types of people in New York: those who look forward to cooler temperatures and Pumpkin Spice lattes and those who refuse to even think about winter coming and, dare I say it, snow.

Either way, homeowners should be prepared and take some time to inspect their homes. Use our checklist below to help:

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts and make sure all drainage is free of debris. Verify that all water runs away from your home to prevent damage to your exterior walls, foundation, basement, and landscaping.
  • Prepare your windows: wipe down the glass, clean out the tracks, wash off the window screens, and put on the storm windows. While you’re at it, inspect windows and doors for air leakage and drafts; caulk and install weather stripping as necessary.
  • Inspect your roof for loose or cracked shingles and check the flashing around skylights, pipes, dormers and chimneys.
  • Inspect trees for dead branches and remove them. You never know how much the snow will weight this winter and those branches could damage your home and yard.
  • Put away your garden tools and sports equipment until the spring. Make sure everything is clean, empty the lawnmower of gas, and either store or cover your deck furniture and grill.
  • Turn off the water to the exterior hose and ensure that all water is drained so it doesn’t freeze and cause damage when we’re knee-deep in snow.
  • Replace the filters in your HVAC system, check your thermostat settings, and put new batteries in the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Even if you’re the type that doesn’t want to admit it, winter is coming. Routine inspection and maintenance in the fall can go a long way in protecting your home and keeping your family warm and comfortable until spring.