Guy cleaning the gutters of a home.

Tips to keep your house and property in tip-top shape

It’s been a long winter. Before summer arrives and you’re out on some much-needed adventures, now is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves for some springtime home maintenance.

1. Start with the Yard

The grass is getting greener and taller. To prepare for the current and oncoming grass-cutting season, give your lawn equipment a tune-up, new parts, and oil change.

While you’re outside, cut down and clean up any brush and overgrowth in your yard or near your siding and foundation. Not only does it increase your curb appeal, but it prevents mold build up and pests from invading your home. Finally, hire a tree service to cut down any diseased branches or full trees at risk of coming down.

  • Clean the lawn mower
  • Remove dead shrubs and trim (or remove) overgrown trees

2. HVAC Maintenance and Air Filters

If you have an air conditioner, chances are it’s been idle and needs a good servicing. This can go for your heating system too. Call your local HVAC servicing and repair company or do the work yourself. Be careful not to damage any wires or components.  

Spring and fall are the perfect times of the year to change out your system’s air filters. Doing so will improve the air quality in your home and allow your system to run more efficiently. Changing the air filters also helps minimize mold and pollen build up.

If you use a window unit for your AC, you should clean out the air filters and clean the coils in the front and back of your unit so air flow is not hindered.

  • Clean your HVAC
  • Replace air filters

3. Foundation and Leaky Gutters

Do a walk around of your foundation. Check for any large cracks and areas where critters may have gotten into your crawlspace. If you spot any issues, call a professional. Additionally, clean out or replace leaky or damaged gutters. With the early summer rains on the way, this simple step will keep walls of water from overflowing out your gutters and into your carefully manicured landscaping.

  • Look for cracks in your foundation
  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts

4. Siding and Eaves

Look for any mold, chips, peeling paint, or dry rot (if you have wood siding) on the bottom portion of your siding. The best thing you can do is to sand down the exposed area, replace severely damaged wood, and apply a coat of primer before painting. This process holds true for peeling paint as well.

You will also want to clean your siding with a pressure washer to minimize mold growth and prevent bees from building nests. Be careful not to have too strong of a spray to avoid damage or cause the paint to peel.

  • Find and repair dry rot on wood siding homes
  • Power wash your siding to remove mold and winter gunk

5. Windows and Screens

Pop out the screens and clean your windows on the inside and out. Also, rinse off the screens and allow them to dry. Finally, check to see if the caulking around your windows is getting brittle from sun and weather exposure. If there are issues, scrape off the old and add new caulking. This will reduce airflow and improve insulation, keeping the cold out during the winter and the heat out in the summer.

  • Clean your windows and screens
  • Replace window caulking for improved insulation

6. Clothes Dryer Vents

You should clean out your clothes dryer vents every spring to reduce the chance of a fire. Make sure to clean out both vents, exterior and interior (where the pipe connects to the dryer). You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean any excess lint that may have clogged the piping.

  • Clean dryer vents on the inside and outside of the home

Have Questions About Home Loans?

Our home loan resources page can help you make informed decisions as you prepare to purchase a home or apply for a home equity loan. And, as always, you can call Rivermark and speak directly to a mortgage expert by calling 503.906.9497.

Home Loan Resources

7. Fireplace and Chimney

If you have a wood- or pellet-burning fireplace, now is a great time to clean the flue and close it up before birds, bats, and bees make a home there. Covering the top of your chimney with loose chicken wire can keep the birds from turning your chimney into one big nest.

  • Clean your chimney flue if needed
  • Discourage wildlife from making homes in your chimney

8. Roofs

Inspect your roof for any missing shingles or moss. In addition, look for cracked or worn gaskets around ventilation piping and replace if necessary. Do not use a power washer to clean your roof. Instead, stop by your local hardware store and pick up roof cleaner.

  • Remove moss and replace damaged shingles

9. Deck and Outdoor Living Areas

First, sand down any rough patches where stain or paint are coming off the wood, especially in high traffic areas. Next, clean the wood with a pressure washer to get a deep clean. Then wait for a couple of nice sunny days to stain or paint. Finally, power wash your concrete or stone patio.

  • Sand and repaint or stain rough wood on decks
  • Power wash patios

10. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change out the batteries if needed. Replace any units that are not working properly.

  • Check and change the batteries
  • Replace outdated or malfunctioning units

11. Water Heater

Flush your water heater to clear out any gunk and mineral deposits. Some units allow you to attach a standard hose, while others require you use a large bucket. Either way, this easy chore can help prevent blockages, maintain water heater efficiency and longevity.

  • Flush out the water heater to improve efficiency

12. Refrigerator and Freezer

Carefully use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt from visible refrigerator and freezer coils. Do not remove the back cover from your appliance to clean any other parts. Doing this once a year can increase the longevity of your appliance and decreases the chance of it dying on you in the middle of summer.

  • Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils
  • Clean the inside of your fridge and freezer

More Expensive Repairs

Need a new roof or water heater? Is your air conditioner on the fritz? Rivermark can help you finance those big repair bills with a Home Equity Loan and Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Check out your options, stop by any branch, or give us a call at 503.626.6600 or 800.452.8502.