Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Home Maintenance Reminders and Tips

By Kay Quam and MaryAnn Hoadley, Board Members

As a result of the annual standards inspection, a number of homeowners recently received notices of maintenance that needs to be performed on their homes. This is a good reminder for all of us to take a close look at the exterior of our dwellings.

Lakeport Cluster is now three decades old. It is inevitable that our homes will need maintenance. We may be more likely to update or make improvements on the interior because we see that every day. In fact, many homeowners have renovated their interiors. We are less likely, however, to notice the need for upkeep to the outside of our homes. Take this opportunity to look more closely at the exterior of your home:

  • Is the trim deteriorating in some places or in need of paint?
  • Are siding boards cracked or rotting on the edges (see below about potential problems if not addressed early on)?
  • Are railings scratched and rusting?
  • Are walks and decks looking worn?
  • Are you wondering if it’s time to replace your roof (see below about why you perhaps should be)?

Now is the time to fix those items before they become big—and more expensive—problems. And if you are planning a major maintenance project (e.g., siding, trim, painting, roof, windows, or driveway) or have had experience with a vendor you would recommend, please pass this information on to the Board. Pricing might be more favorable if several owners negotiate with the same companies for their services.

Remember that the appearance of each home contributes to the appearance of the entire community and also affects everyone’s house values. Let’s make Lakeport a Reston cluster that stands out as a desirable place to live because all of our homes look fresh and well maintained. Let’s also be good neighbors and inform other residents in Lakeport about recent problems we have encountered so they can avoid them.

Learning from our neighbors

Roofs
Because our homes were built in the mid- to late-1980s, we are approaching the 30-year mark, which is the typical warranty timeframe for most roofs. The Lakeport developer used FRTD (Fire Retardant Treated Plywood) as the sheathing under the asphalt roof shingles. Many articles have appeared about this plywood because it is known to disintegrate over time (see, e.g.,
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/11/nyregion/a-plywood-used-in-many-homes-is-found-to-decay-in-a-few-years.html?pagewanted=all). During the recent final move-in inspection of MaryAnn Hoadley’s house, the disintegration of this plywood was clearly visible from the attic. The wood was black and splintering. Obviously this affected the structural integrity of the roof itself, which is why it was the first thing she replaced. The cost of replacing the affected plywood and the shingles was about $5500. Another roofing-related item to be aware of is the flashing around the chimney. In MaryAnn’s case, water had been running down behind the shingles due to flashing that had not been repaired.

Siding
During MaryAnn’s homeowner’s inspection rotted siding where the retractable awnings attached to the house was noted as being in need of repair, a project that ended up being fairly expensive because both the siding and the plywood underneath had to be replaced. As a result of moisture from this problem, some termite damage also had to be removed and repaired (the same moisture sources that cause fungal wood decay can encourage termite infestation). To prevent mold and termites, identify moisture sources like leaky plumbing, leaking roofs, dripping air conditioning condensers, and poorly maintained gutters that don’t drain away from the home’s foundation . . . and then fix them fast! Any of these moisture sources create the perfect environment for mold growth and termites.



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