Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from Reston Association’s Design Review Board.
Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind. The Board has been building a checklist with suggestions that will reduce major repairs in the future. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.
Outdoor Checklist (these items will also help you prepare for annual inspections)
- Several Lakeport owners recently have had to replace their roofs because of damage from windstorms and aging of the roofing materials. If you have not accessed your attic to check for leaks, it’s a good idea to do so. You may avoid potential damage to the interior of your home.
- 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 (or whatever you prefer) and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
- Check for mildew, mold, and grime on exterior walls, garage doors, fences, decks, walkways, brick, roofs, etc., and power wash if needed.
- Sand and paint rusted railings so the rust doesn’t cause further damage.
- Trim overgrown vegetation.
- For most Lakeport homes, make sure your home address numbers are properly positioned over your garage door or entry arch (see House Numbers standards). If you have a brick wall by the sidewalk, be sure the brass number plate is glued tightly to the surface and that the numbers are legible from the street. This helps first responders find your house more easily in case of an emergency.
- Inspect and repair any damaged fences or other outside boundaries. If you have a brick wall in common with your neighbor, examine it for mildew and mold. If there is staining from either, try removing the stains with a power washer.
- Check the outside lighting around your house and replace bulbs and batteries that aren’t working.
- If you have outdoor security cameras, make sure they haven’t been damaged by snow or harsh winter weather. Check that camera lenses are focused on the areas you want them to cover. Clean lenses with a microfiber cloth and tighten all camera mounts. As summer approaches, you may want to protect your cameras from spider webs and insects that can obscure the view. One suggestion is to attach a dryer sheet to the outside of your camera with a rubber band (just make sure not to cover the lens); the strong smell will keep bugs away. You can also try looping a flea collar around the camera.
- Remove leaves and other debris that have collected over the winter and place in large paper yard bags available at home improvement stores. Check the current waste management company procedures for proper disposal.
- Remove leaves from gutters and make sure gutters are still firmly anchored and properly connected to downspouts.
- Take steps to protect wood on the decks, patios, and entrance walkways. These areas should be sealed every two to three years. The wood will hold up better with a sealant rather than with paint.
- Check your siding for staining. If you see a problem, check with a home repair supplier for a suitable cleaning product.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
- If you have an alarm system, periodically change your access code and remove passcodes you’ve given out to contractors, cleaning people, babysitters, or guests who no longer need access to your home. Test your security systems regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and communicating with the central station.
- Flooding is the single largest source of loss for homeowners, so it may be helpful to install water leak sensors in flood-prone areas. The sensors will detect accumulation of water caused by cracked or broken water pipes, loose pipe connections, inadequate drainage, or flooding. Some sensors connect to larger security systems, some work alone, and some connect to an app on your phone.
- Move boxes or other items at least 30 inches away from your furnace and water heater; crowding either could lead to a fire.
- Do a semi-annual check of the furnace/heat pump to assure that you have sufficient refrigerant for air conditioning. Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing air filters (typically once per month or quarter). A clogged air filter places an unreasonable load on the HVAC system and will likely shorten its life.
- Turn on outdoor water spigots from inside the house and be sure the spigot is closed on the outside. The valve is usually in a storage area near the water heater or utility tub.
- Inspect the firebrick panels inside your wood-burning fireplace for cracks and replace them if they are damaged. Have the fireplace cleaned if you use it frequently or haven’t used it in a long time. Remove all ash from your fireplaces and clean the grates. Additionally, schedule a chimney cleaner to inspect the flues once a year.
- Check all window and door locks. If any seem loose or faulty, tighten or replace them.
- If cleaning your windows isn’t already part of your spring-cleaning routine, then add it. Clean windows will make your home brighter and improve the visibility of your surroundings.