Halloween at Lakeport

Halloween was celebrated a little differently in Lakeport this year in response to COVID, but that did not diminish the experience for the kids (and adults), as the photos below show. In fact, many thought the event was more festive than in the past and should continue. 

Kids turned out in costumes for a parade through the neighborhood and then enjoyed trick-or-treating.

Adults got into the act by handing out candy in Covid-sensitive (and sometimes creative) ways …

… and even dressing up themselves.

Many homes sported Halloween decorations.


Fall 2020 Issue of Ripples

Fall 2020 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor - Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

News from Outside Lakeport

Helpful Information


Thanks to Our Volunteers


Please take time to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to get to know people and contribute to your community.

Covid-19

  • Those who serve on the front line of our community’s battle with Covid-19
  • Those who practice safe distancing and wear masks to keep us all physically well, and those who also perform random acts of kindness or just smile and say hello to others they encounter while they’re outside (even if they don’t know them) to help compensate for our loss of social interactions 

Landscape Projects 

  • Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement – co-chairs of the Landscape Committee
  • Rich Shelton – cutting down a half-dozen dead trees on Sunrise Valley and Lakespray, trimming a half-dozen others, and grinding tree stumps
  • Melanie Clement, Gail Pitches, and Carol Leos – assisting Rich with grinding stumps
  • Melanie Clement and Stephen Sapp – removing small dead trees and trimming branches from trees west of entrance 
  • Melanie Clement, Gail Pitches, Henry and Mary Strickland, Eva and Illana Collingham – thinning plants at the end of Triangle Park 
  • Stephen and Mary Sapp – cleaning out the shed next to 1963 Lakeport
  • Henryk Gorski and Melissa Green – watering the new liriope on the Lakespray hill

Governance

  • Dave Fleming and Barbara Khan – collecting ballots for vote on Bylaws Amendments
  • Terrill Evon, Dave Fleming, and Pete Hatfield – collecting proxies for the Annual Meeting

Standards

  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee

Social

  • Michelle Simoneau – chair of the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – chair of the Welcome Committee 

Maintenance

  • Paul Renard – staining the benches on the dock, repairing rock wall in Triangle Park, and cleaning mailboxes
  • Annabelle Hammer, Jonathan Hammer, and Paul Renard – keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – restocking doggie-bag stations

Other 

  • Barbara Khan – representing Lakeport during meetings to discuss renovations for Lake Thoreau Pool and coordinating the Lakeport Book Club
  • Kevin Burke – monitoring County construction projects
  • Chuck Foster – chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee 
  • Tom Barnett – maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – editing Ripples


Reminders


Improve Lighting in Lakeport:
Now that it’s getting darker, please leave your lights on at night. A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community. 


Report Suspicious Activity.
If you see suspicious activity, don’t confront anybody but instead call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 (use this number also to report vandalism or any other crime that has already occurred). The police request that even if you just have a “gut feeling” something is wrong, you notify them with as many details as possible. It is helpful if you can also take photos unobtrusively. Police will be dispatched (or you may be able to provide a report over the phone). Also notify Lakeport’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator Chuck Foster at chuckfost@aol.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Maintenance of the exterior of your home: With the RA inspection approaching in the spring, now is a good time to line up contractors to make repairs to the exterior of your home to avoid a violation. Also check out the Fall Maintenance Checklist article in this issue for smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future. 

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove. If you recently removed a tree (dead or alive) on your property, remember that Reston Association requires that you replace it with another tree. RA has several resources for finding a replacement tree: See the lists of recommended small trees at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a1epMYHN4gx8EB7l_K68ewk8bZnXnh1-/view

and https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5eeek6x2yjzhzl6/AAC5MThw7Rx_e-zZ108TCq2_a/Nature%20%26%20Environmental%20Resources/General%20Information?dl=0&preview=Trees+in+Reston.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1.   

Party Walls: Although sometimes counterintuitive, the RA Deeds make the repair of any architectural element that falls on the property line between two houses (e.g., wall, trim, fence) a joint responsibility. If you aren’t sure whose responsibility it is to pay for the repair or replacement of a shared wall or trim, please see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jd0xnbEZEcEhLT3NiWjRKODNlZDBtTWdRdTBJ/view for information relating to party walls. 

Glass recycling: Glass pickup, free for all Lakeport residents, will always be the last Wednesday of each month, but if you’re ever unsure of the date, you can go to http://www.lakeportcluster.org/ and check the calendar under the photo of the Community of the Year banner on the left. Just leave your glass by the curb in a plastic bin or sturdy cardboard box by 7:00 a.m. (they may come by 7:30 a.m.); bins/boxes will be emptied and left (plastic or paper bags cannot be used). Your glass will be taken to the glass recycling center in Lorton so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill with your garbage (it is no longer allowed in the regular recycle bins).

Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids are outside, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians), especially given that the need to maintain a six-foot separation means that people cannot pass on the sidewalk and may well be farther out in the street than expected.


Help Keep Our Community Clean and Beautiful:
Please contribute to the appearance of our community by picking up trash anywhere you see it while you’re out walking and enjoying nature in Lakeport. Also, if you notice overflowing trash from the can in Triangle Park or the one at South Lakes Village, please take a photo and forward it to the Board so we can pass it on to Reston Association or South Lakes Village management company. 

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the RA walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.


Geese:
We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does this attract them, it’s not healthy for them), but do feel free to shoo them off the dock (just be sure not to harm them or allow them to attack you—we just want to make their time on our dock unpleasant enough that they will choose to hang out somewhere else!). 


Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment:
If you’ve been contacted by the Board for not paying your assessment as the end of the month nears (or even if you haven’t), please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you could pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2020). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Lakeport’s portfolio manager Ali Long at along@scs-management.com.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K6Qm0NXCpH62r3OeYg5XMTZ7b-irCYYH/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please ask them to fill out the form to be listed in the directory. Remember also that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory. 


Ripples Recipe – Cranberry and Orange Relish

By Stephen Sapp


With the holidays fast approaching, I thought I would share one of my family’s favorite side dishes. My father was the one who always made it in the home I grew up in, and I can still see him standing in the kitchen in Asheville turning the crank on that old-fashioned hand grinder. I have now assumed the responsibility of making this relish for us, and I have to say that food processors certainly make the task much, much easier!

Cranberry and Orange Relish 

2 oranges, seeded but with peel left on, cut into eighths

1 1-pound package raw cranberries, washed and picked over

1½ c. sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin dissolved in ¼ cup cold water or orange juice

chopped nuts (optional)

1. Wash oranges, cut into eighths lengthwise, remove seeds (if any) but leave peel, and put in a food processor with the S-shaped (standard) blade mounted.

2. Process slightly, add cranberries, and grind until chopped.


3. Add sugar and gelatin (and chopped nuts, if included) and process well (but not too much—you don’t want to liquefy it!).

4. Refrigerate overnight.

IMPORTANT: Make the day before serving or the flavors won’t mix enough.


Fall Maintenance Checklist


Important note:
If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport Design Standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are now more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind, and these suggestions may help to reduce major repairs in the future. If you think you have a problem, however, we urge you to seek advice from a licensed and insured contractor or other service professional.

Outdoor Checklist


  • Although the cluster’s landscaping contractor takes care of common areas, our own driveways, yards, and other areas are our responsibility. Residents should not dump what they collect into the wooded common areas. Instead, they should dispose of leaves and other debris (e.g., fallen branches, dead outdoor potted annuals) from yards, patios, driveways, decks, and entranceways by placing them in large compostable paper yard-waste bags available at home improvement stores and Costco. Pickup for yard waste is Thursdays.
  • Turn off the valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots. Typically, the valves are located in the same room as the hot water heater. After turning off the water, open the outdoor spigot to drain the line so that there is no water in the line to freeze over the winter.
  • Fire-retardant plywood roof sheathing must be replaced if the material degrades due to high attic temperatures, which can cause it to fail to retard the spread of fire.
  • Check wood siding and trim for signs of splintering, deterioration, softness, green mildew, or other discoloration. These are indicative of potential wood damage. Replace damaged siding and trim following Cluster standards for material and color. In the case of mildew or discoloration, ask a home improvement provider to suggest the appropriate cleaner to preserve the wood.
  • Gutters, particularly those that are beneath a tree, may experience two problems: In the fall especially, the gutters easily become clogged, and/or any time of year, the spikes that attach them to the house may be pulling away. When a gutter is not working properly, you’ll often see staining on the vertical wall below the gutter. Fixing the first problem is easy – have your gutters cleaned. Even if you don’t have a tree nearby and even if you have something like Gutter Helmet or a strainer screen over them, gutters can still fill up with cinders washed down from your shingles over time. Gutters that are not slanted properly toward the downspout can put a lot of weight on the gutter, leading to the second problem. If you see gutter spikes coming loose, you can just drive them back in, which may hold for a while. However, there’s a better, longer-term, inexpensive solution. Home Depot sells long gutter screws that can replace failing gutter spikes. They go through a ferrule (a sleeve that keeps the screw from compressing the gutter itself) and screw into the wood behind the gutter. These are far more secure in the long run.

Indoor Checklist

  • Homeowners should check and if necessary replace gasket/pressure regulators in bathtubs and showers (including the overflow) to avoid flooding from a leak.
  • Be sure to replace or clean your HVAC filter regularly.

  • Periodically remove screens and tighten the four Phillips screws for casement windows shown in the photo. This keeps windows operating well, especially if they don’t seem to close all the way from time to time. 


Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp


Despite Covid-19, we’re finding ways to encourage community and to improve Lakeport. The neighborhood adapted and celebrated Halloween—see the Ripples article with photos of kids in costumes, adults promoting safe trick-or-treating, and decorations (including the skeleton at 11119 Lakespray that sported a new outfit each day—such as the Tooth Fairy ensemble at the right—thanks  to Mary and Bonnie Coogan next door). We also continue to get out to enjoy our special location, which allows us to stop and chat with neighbors (from a safe distance and preferably masked). 

A series of landscaping additions are in the works, starting with the liriope recently planted on the Lakespray hill, with more projects coming next month adjacent to Triangle Park, across from the brick Safeway wall, along the Sunrise Valley sidewalk, and on the property we own next to the RA path going to the pool. See the Landscaping article for more details and photos. Thanks to Landscape co-chairs Melanie Clement and Gail Pitches not only for soliciting and evaluating proposals but also doing some of the maintenance themselves (along with Rich Shelton, who deserves a major shout out for his ongoing removal of dead trees and recent stump grinding)—see the “Thanks to Our Volunteers” article for more details about contributions from them and others. 

Covid also required conducting our Annual Meeting via Zoom. It turned out that feedback was positive about the experience, and “in-person” participation was actually higher than last year. In addition, proxies were collected in “proxy boxes” located at three homes to supplement email collection, and we also had more proxies than last year. Owners elected new Board members, approved funding for repaving roads next year (not to exceed $156K), and heard about accomplishments during the past year (including the Community of the Year award, one of the pre-Covid happenings that now seems like ages ago). See the Ripples article for more details and the link to the PowerPoint from the meeting.

Please be sure to check out other articles, including one about two new RA services of interest to owners: a new RA Covenants portal, where you can see all of the RA applications and approvals associated with your home, and discounts at the Herndon Sherwin-Williams paint store.

Although 2020 has been challenging, it was great working with other members of the Board to carry out our responsibilities and have another productive year even without in-person meetings. I’m pleased that Paul Renard and Barbara Khan were re-elected at the Annual Meeting so this team can continue to address other projects next year, including repaving our roads. We certainly anticipate 2021 will be better than 2020 for all of us. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a good fall and a wonderful holiday season.


New RA Services: Paint Discount and Covenants Portal

Reston Association recently announced new services for members that should be of interest to Lakeport owners and residents. 

RA has entered into a partnership with Sherwin-Williams and arranged for a discount of 30% to 40% off paints and stains and 15% off paint supplies at Sherwin-Williams store #3385 located at 495A Elden Street in Herndon (703-471-1484). If you are interested, contact the Board to get the Lakeport-specific code to present to get the discount. 

In addition, RA recently launched a Covenants Portal that has a record of all communications from RA relating to resale inspections and DRB approvals for your home. It also allows you to see the status of current DRB requests. To create an account, go to https://hoa.smartwebs.com/Jicv2 and enter “Lakeport” as your association. If you have any questions or issues or encounter a bug in the new system, contact Meagan Micozzi (mMicozzi@reston.org) or Vern James (vern@reston.org). 

RA has also created a website where you can find current cluster standards for each HOA. Lakeport standards are supposed to be available by the end of the year. 





Neighborhood Watch

By Chuck Foster


In the field of crime prevention, there is a concept called “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design” (CPTED). The application of CPTED practices are all around us, but you may not have noticed. For example, in areas prone to loitering, you may not see any outdoor seating. And in areas prone to littering, you may not see flat surfaces on any outside structures where people could leave cups and bottles. A very common CPTED practice is the use of high-strength bollards dividing roadways from pedestrian walkways. Another practice is to limit the entry and exit points into buildings and public gathering places in order to carefully control vehicle and pedestrian ingress and egress. 

The “crime triangle” has three sides: ability, desire, and opportunity. CPTED is an attempt to limit the opportunity to commit crime. Let’s take a moment to apply CPTED, as well as other crime prevention concepts, to the “design” of Lakeport Cluster.

Building Design and Placement

Lakeport has a diversity of design, which includes the location of each structure on the property. For example, some units have no backyard because they sit directly over the lake. Others have the front and the rear of the properties, including the entryways, clearly visible from the street, the pathways, and/or the lake. When thinking crime prevention, one could argue that these design features are a major deterrent to a burglar considering entering and exiting one of these properties. In contrast, there are other units with the rear facing dense woods with little nighttime lighting. Obviously, these units would be more attractive targets for a burglar seeking daytime or nighttime obscurity. For these units, CPTED would suggest several ways to harden the area, such as nighttime outdoor lighting, the removal of dense shrubbery, fencing with a locked gate, fortified doors and windows, and evidence of an alarm system, a dog, or a camera.

Another design issue is the front walkway to some of the interior units. It can resemble a tunnel, which can shroud the activities of a criminal. Adding to the vulnerability is the lack of lighting and the presence of shrubbery that further obscures the view of the walkway from the street. Nighttime indoor and outdoor lighting, non-obscuring shrubbery, a fortified door (e.g., three-inch screws in the strike plate), noise within the house (e.g., the sound of a radio or a TV), and evidence of an alarm system, a dog, or a camera are all risk-reducing measures.

Public Access

The RA pathway through our property, as well as the German Army base across the street (and the attendant foot traffic on Lakeport Way), are interesting considerations in light of CPTED. Allowing unrestricted public access to our property via the pathway could be seen as completely counter to the goals of a secure community. In addition, there is no fencing or other physical structures separating pathway users from Lakeport property. 

From a purely academic perspective, then, one could argue this is a high-risk arrangement. However, one could also argue the opposite. The routine presence of adults passing through our neighborhood means many people have their eyes and ears on our property. It is highly likely that the evidence of suspicious activity or an emergency (e.g., fire, smoke, scream, a suspicious person or vehicle, or an injured person or animal) would be promptly reported. In contrast, Lakespray Way does not have the same volume and frequency of foot and vehicle traffic, which requires more vigilance from cluster residents.

In addition, our close proximity to the shopping center could be considered an even riskier situation. Crime in the immediate area (e.g., shoplifting, simple assault, and fire-code violation) is concentrated at the South Lakes Village Center. Without being a gated community, we are exposed to bad actors coming onto our property. In this situation, the application of CPTED applies to physical barriers (e.g., walls and fencing), the quality of lighting, and the minimization of effective hiding places.          

Lighting

As with many of the outdoor spaces in Reston, Lakeport Cluster has generally poor lighting when considering the objective of CPTED. There is a history of staff at the Reston Police Station unsuccessfully petitioning the Reston Association to change lighting standards, particularly on the pathways. The belief is that poor lighting facilitates crime and makes it harder to locate people who are lost or in distress. However, if outdoor lighting standards are not going to change, we must adapt our behavior to lower the risk of being a victim of crime.

Other Considerations

Beyond the objectives of CPTED, there are a number of common sense things we can do to reduce the opportunity for someone to commit a crime. It is amazing to read police reports about the following events:

  • stolen vehicle – keys left in the car and/or car running
  • items stolen from inside a vehicle – door unlocked, window down, and/or an item of value clearly visible
  • items stolen from a garage – garage door left open
  • items stolen from inside a house – garage door left open and the door into the house from the garage unlocked or back door left unlocked
  • bicycle stolen – unlocked

The common thread through these events to prevent their occurrence is the use of commonsense precautions to reduce the opportunity to commit a crime.


Landscaping

By Melanie Clement 

Five proposals were received this year for provision of landscape maintenance services to Lakeport Cluster. Of the five, we have chosen to continue our relationship with Blade Runners as our general landscape maintenance and snow removal vendor for the next three years. 


Meadows Farms installed liriope this October along the sidewalk heading up Lakespray hill. This will help mitigate soil erosion and provide a landscaped appeal to the street. Thanks to Henryk Gorski and Melissa Green for volunteering to water the new plants while they get established. 

A very special shout-out to the Lakeport kids crew that participated in garden maintenance to assist the committee co-chairs with sprucing up overgrowth around Triangle Park. The photo to the right shows Eva Collingham, Henry Strickland, Ilana Collingham, and Mary Strickland. 


As you may recall, Riverbend Landscapes removed two hazardous Bradford pear trees next to Triangle Park and a dying Leyland cypress next to the sidewalk on Sunrise Valley Drive. They also trimmed some additional trees and treated a couple of others. Owner Rich Shelton used a rented stump grinder to grind the stumps, and this month Meadows Farms will plant two flowering native snowcloud serviceberry trees on either side of the Triangle Park parking area to replace the Bradford pears and an emerald green arborvitae on Sunrise Valley to replace the cypress. 


Meadows Farms will also plant a crepe myrtle in the median across the RA path from the Safeway brick wall, prior to Riverbend’s installation of a Helleri holly hedge to replace the hedge removed two years ago because of canker. In order to mitigate storm water runoff near the dock, Riverbend extended two downspouts so the water would empty onto the RA path instead of running down the hill where the roses are, and they will plant six junipers to retain soil there.

Restoration of the natural area on the hill to the right of the RA path leading from Sunrise Valley Drive to the Lake Thoreau pool will also begin in November and will include a number of native trees, shrubs, and ferns, all paid for by the County. As previously mentioned in Ripples, the County had damaged this section of Lakeport Cluster property last fall and agreed to reciprocity. 

Please note that according to Claudia Thompson-Deahl, RA’s Environmental Resources Senior Manager, the areas between the backs of homes on Lakeport and Lakespray and along Sunrise Valley and South Lakes Drives should be considered “natural” areas. She advised that whenever possible, we should remove invasives (non-native species that spread from landscaped areas and yards into natural areas) from our natural areas and encourage owners to remove them from their yards. We recently had to pay to remove English ivy that had encroached on the natural area between Lakeport and Lakespray and was damaging back fences and growing up trees. Examples of invasives include English ivy, periwinkles, winged burning bush, autumn olive, and other plants in RA’s brochure and the longer list at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/invsppdflist. If you have one of these plants, please consider replacing it with a native. Also, please note that the Lakeport Handbook “prohibits the discarding or storing of debris, trash, or other items from private property on Lakeport common grounds, including natural wooded areas.” This includes Christmas trees, tree branches, raked leaves, and other debris from an owner’s yard.

Landscape co-chairs Melanie Clement and Gail Pitches continue to walk around the community taking notes for future enhancements, identifying hazards, and trimming dead branches. If you have suggestions, please let them know by emailing Melanie Clement at melonieclement@gmail.com.


From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp


This picture illustrates pretty well what we are all experiencing at this point in history: an attempt to make our lives as normal as possible . . . while knowing full well that they are far from it! This issue of Ripples conveys the same point to me as we offer you a wide range of articles about matters of interest to Lakeport Cluster, ranging from information about the Cluster’s day-to-day operation and the people who make things happen, to helpful tips about maintaining our homes and keeping our community safe, to a favorite recipe of my family that points us ahead to the holiday season that will soon be upon us—in short, all the “normal” items you would expect to find in this newsletter. But, as much as we hope you find the articles in this edition of Ripples informative and helpful, I can’t let you get on with your reading without concluding with these parting words, definitely not the kind of thing I said in last Fall’s Ripples: Till next issue, please wear your mask, keep your distance, and stay well!

As always, please don’t hesitate to send any feedback or suggestions for Ripples to ssapp@miami.edu.

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature is required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades are given. Just read the selected book and then participate in a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish. We normally rotate among members’ homes, but during Covid-19, book club discussions are being held via Zoom, with the conference link sent in the reminder email before the meeting. Call Barbara Khan at 703-390-0506 or e-mail her at bskhan@att.net for further information. 

Here is the November selection:

Book: The Secrets of Mary Bowser, by Lois Leveen 

Monday, November 16, 7:00 p.m.

Mary Bowser was a real person born into slavery in Richmond, Virginia. Freed by the daughter of the family that owned her, Bowser was sent North to be educated—but she returned to the South and became a Union spy by posing as a slave in the Confederate White House.


Board and Committees 2020


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Mary Sapp

Vice President - Paul Renard
Vice President - Kathy Powers
Secretary - Barbara Khan
Treasurer - Kevin Burke

Contact the board via email ID:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board can Expect

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan
Landscape Committee – Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster
Social Committee – Michelle Simoneau
Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll
Welcome Committee – Carol Leos


VOLUNTEERS

Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer


Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp

SELECT COMMUNITY SERVICES

PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Alexandra "Ali" Long
Email: along@scs-management.com    
Direct: (703) 230-8725
Fax: (703) 266-2804
Mailing Address:  
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153  
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-2pm
Owner website: https://app.townsq.io/login 


Summary of 2020 Annual Meeting

By Barbara Khan 

On September 23, Lakeport held its first ever Zoom Annual Meeting. This was allowed by a recently passed bylaw and was needed due to a state of emergency related to COVID-19. All Board members, our management company representative, and residents from 21 homes logged into Zoom to attend the meeting virtually. The following items were discussed, and the PowerPoint can be accessed at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zXRtjcQzG-UjNdfSStj0NiDFFNzuiAPo/view. Official minutes of this meeting will be approved at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

  1. Election of New Board Members. President Mary Sapp presented Paul Renard and Barbara Khan for two-year terms. No additional nominations were received from the floor, voting was done via a Zoom poll, and both candidates were elected.
  2. Updates to Governance. In August owners voted on six Amendments to Bylaws and approved all of them. Earlier in the year the Reserve Study and the Lakeport Handbook were updated, a Code of Ethics as well as Rights and Responsibilities of owners and the Board were adopted, and the website was reorganized.
  3. The 2021 project to repave roads and repair curbs and sidewalks was described, projected costs and funding were shared, and questions were answered. A motion was made to approve spending up to $156,000 in 2021 for repaving Lakeport roads and making any needed repairs to curbs, drains, and sidewalks; voting was done via Zoom poll; and the motion passed.
  4. Financial Report. The 2019 Audit, conducted by Strauss & Associates, was clean. Projections for EOY 2020 and the 2021 Budget were presented, along with cost-saving steps that were implemented this year.
  5. Owners were reminded that Lakeport was selected 2019 “Community Association of the Year” by the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI) in the “Small Community” category.
  6. Board members reported on projects completed since the last Annual Meeting and that are currently in progress.
  7. Barbara Khan reported on the status of the Lake Thoreau Pool reconstruction. 
  8. Lakeport’s many volunteers were recognized. 
  9. Open discussion topics included the probable delay in renovation of the pool. In addition, an informal poll on contracting for glass recycling was taken, and it was overwhelmingly supported.
  10. The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.



Amendments to Bylaws

By Barbara Khan

Last August, 60 of Lakeport’s 82 owners returned ballots to vote on six proposed changes to Lakeport’s Bylaws. All of them passed, and the current version is posted at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yBt5uPknaFcWlO1FDaKJyhqOnMmnVfIk/view.

In case you missed it, here are the results:

AMENDMENT 1 - Allow annual meetings and special meetings of owners to be held electronically instead of in person.

Yes=57, No=3  

AMENDMENT 2 - Allow Board meetings to be held electronically instead of in person during a state of emergency.

Yes=59, No=1

AMENDMENT 3 - Authorize the Board to conduct external home inspections, a standard practice of most Reston HOAs.

Yes=44, No=16  

AMENDMENT 4 - Add duties for the Board president (to serve as spokesperson) and the Board secretary (to maintain records).

Yes=56, No=4  

AMENDMENT 5 - Delete paragraph that had prohibited owners who do not live in Lakeport from voting at Annual and Special meetings of owners.

Yes=42, No=17, Abstain=1  

AMENDMENT 6 - Amend various sections to make stylistic and minor changes to text.

Yes=57, No=3

Lakeport Annual Meeting to be Held Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7:00 p.m.

The Annual Meeting to be held using Zoom. Practice Zoom meetings scheduled at the following times:
  • Thursday, September 17, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 19, at 10 a.m.
  • Monday, September 21, at 2 p.m.

Items requiring a vote at the Annual Meeting:
  1. Elect new Board members. 
  2. Approve up to $156K for repaving roads and repairing curbs, drains, and sidewalks
IMPORTANT: If you do not receive emails from “Lakeport Cluster news@lakeportcluster.org” (for example, the one on Sept. 9 providing information about the Annual Meeting), please email Board@lakeportcluster.org

Key documents:


Summer 2020 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 
Message from Lakeport President – Mary Sapp
Vote on Amendments to Bylaws
Reston Association Inspections Postponed to the Spring 
Landscaping
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Book Club – Barbara Khan
Thanks to Our Volunteers

News from Outside Lakeport
Report on the Status of Lake Thoreau Pool – Barbara Khan
Soapstone Drive Bridge Across Toll Road – Kevin Burke

Helpful Information
Neighborhood Watch – Chuck Foster
Reminders
Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact
Ripples Recipe: Boston Crème Casserole – Paul Renard

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature is required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades are given. Just read the selected book and then participate in a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish. We normally rotate among members’ homes, but during Covid-19, book club discussions will be held via Zoom, with the conference link sent in the reminder email before the meeting. Call Barbara Khan at 703-390-0506 or e-mail her at bskhan@att.net for further information.

Here is the August selection:


Book: American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins

Monday, August 17, 7:00 p.m.

Lydia Quixano Pérez runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Sebastián, who is a journalist, and their son, Luca. When a man starts visiting her store, buying books and striking up a friendship, she has no idea initially that he will be responsible for turning her life upside down. But Lydia and Luca will have to flee Acapulco, setting them on a journey they will share with countless other Central and South Americans-turned migrants. There is very little I can say about this novel that hasn't already been said, and it hasn't even been published yet. The buzz has been building early, and when it does go on sale it will likely be one of the most talked about (and widely read) books of the year. From the colossal opening chapter to the epilogue, American Dirt is a novel of crisp writing, urgent pacing, and remarkable empathy. It deserves the attention of a large audience. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Thanks to Our Volunteers


Please take time to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to get to know people and contribute to your community.

Covid-19
  •  Those who serve on the front line of our community’s battle with Covid-19
  • Those who practice safe distancing and wear masks to keep us all physically well, and those who also perform random acts of kindness or just smile and say hello to others they encounter while they’re outside (even if they don’t know them) to help compensate for our loss of social interactions 

Landscape Projects

  • Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement – co-chairs of the Landscape Committee
  • Melanie Clement – for noticing and photographing County equipment on the Lakeport hill next to the RA trail between Sunrise Valley Drive and the pool, which damaged the small trees and bushes there and allowed invasive pokeweed to take over; the County has offered to plant replacement landscaping
  • Melanie Clement – for removing scores of pokeweed plants on the Lakeport hill and for trimming branches to open up an oak across from 1909 Lakeport Way
  • Marilyn Bursch – for agreeing to weed and water our new raingarden and conservation landscaping
  • Steve Jones and Don Nagley – for helping to water the new rain garden and conservation landscaping
  • Paul Renard – for donating a long hose for the watering
  • Anonymous owner for cutting down a half dozen dead trees near to Lakespray Way and saving Lakeport money for arborist to handle 

Standards
  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee

Social
  • Michelle Simoneau – chair of the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – chair of the Welcome Committee 

Maintenance
  • Paul Renard, Joe Powers, and Andy Powers – for removing the fencing by the shoreline near the dock which had protected the new plants until they were established enough to thrive even with the geese’s depredations
  • Stephen and Mary Sapp – for cleaning out the shed next to 1963
  • Elena Simonenko – for replacing the bulb in the light at entrance
  • Paul Renard – for re-mortaring stones on the wall in Triangle Park
  • Paul Renard – for cleaning all the mailboxes and some of the signs
  • Annabelle Hammer, Jonathan Hammer, and Paul Renard – for keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – for restocking doggie-bag stations

Other 
  • Barbara Khan – for overseeing updates to Lakeport Handbook approved by the Board at its May 2020 meeting
  • Barbara Khan – for reviewing Lakeport bylaws and drafting amendments and the ballot sent to owners in early August
  • Barbara Khan – for continuing to work with Tom Barnett to keep the Lakeport web site up to date
  • Barbara Khan – for representing Lakeport during meetings to discuss renovations for Lake Thoreau Pool
  • Kevin Burke for monitoring County construction projects
  • Chuck Foster – for chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee 
  • James Pan – for chairing the Disaster Preparedness Committee and helping develop the disaster preparedness documents on the Lakeport web site
  • Barbara Khan – for coordinating the Lakeport Book Club
  • Tom Barnett – for maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – for editing Ripples


Soapstone Drive Extension Project Advances; Wiehle Pedestrian Overpass at W&OD Trail

By Kevin Burke

On July 9, the extension of Soapstone Drive across the Dulles Airport Corridor to Sunset Hills Road got an important boost in its funding. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) approved partial funding for the project. NVTA will provide $15 million of the requested total cost of $69 million. This partial funding will allow the extension to move to initial project development, but it does not yet guarantee its completion. Specifically, NVTA has agreed to pay for costs of design, right-of-way acquisition, and some associated initial construction.

The project envisions extending Soapstone Drive, which currently ends at Sunrise Valley Drive and Association Drive, for about a half-mile across the Dulles Access Road and Toll Road to the east of Plaza America, ending at Sunset Hills Road. According to the County’s proposal, a typical section of the new roadway features a three-lane road (that is, one travel lane in each direction and a two-way, left-turn-only lane); five-foot wide on-road bicycle lanes on each side; a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the west side; and a 10-foot wide shared use path on the east side, for a total width of about 100 feet. By providing a third Reston bridge across the Dulles Corridor, the extension is designed to relieve congestion and delays at Wiehle Avenue.

Restonians are not likely to see much activity for this project right away. According the NVTA’s estimates, the project’s design, engineering, and environmental work will not occur until 2025, and right-of-way acquisition will wait until 2027. If the additional funding is secured, actual construction, according to this timeline, will not occur before 2028 and will take two to three years to complete.

Wiehle Avenue Pedestrian Overpass at the W&OD Trail

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has been acquiring land that would support the building of a pedestrian overpass at the W&OD Trail across Wiehle Avenue. Construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2022 and would likely take about a year to complete.


Reminders

Glass recycling: Glass pickup will always be the last Wednesday of each month, but if you’re ever
unsure of the date, you can go to http://www.lakeportcluster.org/ and check the calendar under the photo of the Community of the Year banner on the left. Just leave your glass by the curb in a plastic bin or sturdy cardboard box by 7:00 a.m. (warning: They do come early!). Plastic or paper bags cannot be used, and bins/boxes will be left. Your glass will be taken to the glass recycling center in Lorton so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill with your garbage (it is no longer allowed in the regular recycle bins).

Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).


Boat owners: Lake Thoreau’s Annual End-of-Summer Boat Party will be held Saturday, August 22, from 6-10 pm. Turtle Recall will be performing again, but instead of being on a boat in the middle of the lake, they will perform from the Harbour Point dock. The rain date is Sunday, August 23, 6-10 pm. Donations to pay for the band ($30 per boat recommended) should be sent to David Prochnow, 2000 Swans Neck Way, Reston, VA 20191 (you may also donate via PayPal). Attendance is at your own risk. Keeping social distances and using lights after dark are requested.

Enjoy Time in Nature Frequently: A great way to enjoy nature and to relieve some of the stress we are all feeling right now is to explore Reston's trails. There are many proven benefits for spending time outdoors: better concentration, sharper thinking and creativity, improved mental health, and enhanced immune function. Greenery and exercise are known to reduce stress. With 55 miles of asphalt trails and 12 miles of natural surface trails in Reston, there are plenty of opportunities to explore nearby nature. For Reston walking trails, see https://www.reston.org/portals/3/Whats%20New/RSA_Map_2.pdf. For Fairfax County trails, see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/trails/trail-buddy. Please be sure as much as possible to maintain a six-foot separation from others using the trails and pull masks up when others approach.

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids are outside, playing on sidewalks and in the streets, even in the summer heat. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians), especially given that the need to maintain a six-foot separation means that people cannot pass on the sidewalk and may well be farther out in the street than expected.

Help Keep Our Community Clean and Beautiful: Please contribute to the appearance of our community by picking up trash anywhere you see it while you’re out walking and enjoying nature in Lakeport. Also, if you notice overflowing trash from the can in Triangle Park or the one at South Lakes Village, please take a photo and forward it to the Board so we can pass it on to Reston Association or South Lakes Village management company.

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the RA walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Geese: We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does this attract them, it’s not healthy for them), but do feel free to shoo them off the dock (just be sure not to harm them or allow them to attack you—we just want to make their time on our dock unpleasant enough that they will choose to hang out somewhere else!).

Maintenance of the exterior of your home: With the RA inspection approaching in the spring, now is a good time to line up contractors to make repairs to the exterior of your home to avoid a violation. Also check out the Summer Maintenance Checklist article in this issue for smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future.

Party Walls: Although sometimes counterintuitive, the RA Deeds make the repair of any architectural element that falls on the property line between two houses (e.g., wall, trim, fence) a joint responsibility. If you aren’t sure whose responsibility it is to pay for the repair or replacement of a shared wall or trim, please see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jd0xnbEZEcEhLT3NiWjRKODNlZDBtTWdRdTBJ/view for information relating to party walls.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove. If you recently removed a tree (dead or alive) on your property, remember that RA requires that you replace it with another tree. Reston Association has several resources for finding a replacement tree: See the list of recommended small trees at https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/EnvironmentalResources/RecommendedTrees/tabid/571/Default.aspx.
In addition, you might want to review https://www.reston.org/Portals/3/2018%20PARKSREC/tree%20brcochure%20web%20FINAL%2018.pdf and https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/NaturalResources/TreesinReston/TreesShrubGuidelines/tabid/569/Default.aspx 

Do You Have Carpenter Bees (Lakeport Does!)? If you think you’ve seen lots of large bumblebees buzzing around your deck, chances are they are carpenter bees instead. Although they can be good pollinators, they also can be very destructive of untreated wood, boring tunnels that can cause structural weakness. This article from a pest-control company in New England offers some helpful tips to avoid problems with carpenter bees:
https://www.bigbluebug.com/blog/post/tips-to-avoid-carpenter-bee-damage

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community.


Report Suspicious Activity. If you see suspicious activity, don’t confront anybody but instead call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 (use this number also to report vandalism or another crime that has already occurred). The police request that even if you just have a “gut feeling” something is wrong, you notify them with as many details as possible. It is helpful if you can also take photos unobtrusively. Police will be dispatched (or you may be able to provide a report over the phone). Also notify Lakeport’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator Chuck Foster at chuckfost@aol.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: If you’ve been contacted by the Board for not paying your assessment as the end of the month nears (or even if you haven’t), please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you could pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2020). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view.

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Lakeport’s portfolio manager Ali Long at along@scs-management.com.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oHeCXhec0Uu0n02cE-i1VrAJbZgw1l_g/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please ask them to fill out the form to be listed in the directory. Remember also that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.

Ripples Recipe – Boston Crème Casserole

By Paul Renard

This favorite “low rent” dessert recipe sounds disgusting but tastes great. Our grandkids have adopted it as their go-to birthday cake! All proportions are very forgiving – more pudding, more Cool Whip, less icing . . . everything works. Generously serves 8-10.

Boston Crème Casserole
2-3 packages graham crackers (a little less than one box)
2 medium containers Cool Whip, thawed
1 large package French Vanilla Instant pudding
2 cups milk
2 containers of dark chocolate icing

  1. Make the pudding with only two-thirds of the milk called for on the package (it says three, so use two).
  2. Before it sets up, fold in all the Cool Whip.
  3. Place a layer of Graham Crackers in the bottom of a casserole pan (I use a 13.5x9.5 disposable aluminum pan which should give you an idea of the quantity); the crackers don’t have to fit perfectly.
  4. Smooth one-half of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture over the crackers.
  5. Add another layer of crackers and then another layer of pudding mixture (now completely used).
  6. Add a final layer of crackers that more or less solidly cover the pudding mixture.
  7. Take off the tops of the icing containers and warm the icing in the microwave at low power until it is runny.
  8. Pour the two containers of icing over the top layer of crackers.
  9. Refrigerate at least four hours (overnight is fine). The longer the casserole sits in the refrigerator, the softer the crackers will be.


Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Summer

Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport Design Standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are now more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind, and these suggestions may help to reduce major repairs in the future. If you think you have a problem, however, we urge you to seek advice from a licensed and insured contractor or other service professional.

Outdoor Checklist

  • Be sure to water your plants. The longer days and increased heat of summer mean that the plants in our yards come under greater stress, especially during periods of no or sporadic rain. To maintain the appearance of your yard (not to mention to save yourself the expense of replacement), please remember to water your plants when needed. Helpful information can be found at the following sites (see also “From the Editor” in this issue):
  • Fire-retardant plywood roof sheathing must be replaced if the material degrades due simply to high attic temperatures, which can cause it to fail to retard the spread of fire.
  • Check wood siding and trim for signs of splintering, deterioration, softness, green mildew, or other discoloration. These are signs of potential wood damage. Replace damaged siding and trim following Cluster standards for paint color. In the case of mildew or discoloration, ask a home improvement provider to suggest the appropriate cleaner to preserve the wood.
  • A dark vertical line on the middle of your garage door is most likely caused by insufficient tension on the chain from your garage door opener to the front wall of your garage. Over time, the chain will slacken and start to drag on the door, which leaves that black mark and eventually will wear through the paint if left uncorrected. Most of these chains have a tensioner or turnbuckle that can be tightened to fix the problem. Once you have tightened the chain, the door can be cleaned with something like Scott’s Outdoor Cleaner and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
  • Gutters, and particularly those that are beneath a tree, may experience two problems: The gutters become clogged and/or the spikes that attach them to the house may be pulling away. When a gutter is not working properly, you’ll often see staining on the vertical wall below the gutter. Fixing the first problem is easy – have your gutters cleaned. Even if you don’t have a tree nearby and even if you have something like Gutter Helmet or a strainer screen over them, gutters can still fill up with cinders washed down from your shingles over time. Gutters that are not slanted properly toward the downspout can put a lot of weight on the gutter, leading to the second problem. If you see gutter spikes coming loose, you can just drive them back in, which may hold for a while. However, there’s a better, longer-term, inexpensive solution. Home Depot sells long gutter screws that can replace failing gutter spikes. They go through a ferrule (a sleeve that keeps the screw from compressing the gutter itself) and screw into the wood behind the gutter. These are far more secure in the long run.
  • Exterior railing pipes are prone to rust. Home Depot has a product that cleans the rust effectively. One bottle of Rustoleum Rust Dissolver is probably a lifetime supply (or sufficient to share with several of your neighbors). Scrape rusted areas with a putty knife or flat screwdriver, spray on the rust dissolver, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off with water (clear directions are on the spray bottle.) Keep doing this until all the visible rust is gone. Dry the metal, sand it lightly, and then spray it with a Rustoleum primer. When that dries, you can paint it with the approved trim color for your house. There’s no guarantee that the rust won’t eventually return, but you can prolong the life of your exterior railing pipes (and particularly the collars that attach the pipes to your trim wood) by many years.
  • Driveways should be maintained in good condition with no loose sections of asphalt, holes in the surface, or crumbling edges. All older asphalt driveways will crack, and we recommend filling these cracks annually with semi-liquid driveway patch (available from Home Depot either in a squeeze bottle or in caulk-style tubes.) Patching the cracks will prolong the life of the drive considerably, though this type of product works well only in cracks that are no wider than about 1/4 inch. When small sections of asphalt break up and are no longer easily patchable with a liquid product, cold patch can be used to repair that section: Dig out the loose asphalt, put cold patch in the hole (available in 60 lb. bags from Home Depot), and pound with the top surface of a sledge hammer to compact it. Be sure to bring the cold patch up to the level of the existing driveway and smooth it into the original surface.
  • Driveway sealers help to improve the look of the driveway and cover the differences among the original surface, crack fills, and cold patch fixes. From a cosmetic and lifespan point of view, they also help extend the life of the driveway. Sealers typically come in a five-gallon can and require a squeegee for spreading.
  • All driveways eventually will reach a point where small fixes are insufficient, and they will need to be repaved. When your driveway is more than 5% cold patch or has many cracks that can’t be filled, this is a good indication that professional repaving is needed.


Indoor Checklist

  • Homeowners should check and if necessary replace gasket/pressure regulators in bathtubs and showers (including the overflow) to avoid flooding from a leak.
  • Be sure to replace or clean your HVAC filter regularly.