Important note: If you are planning to address 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.
- If you don’t have disaster preparedness kits, consider assembling emergency preparedness items, including for your car in case you are stranded in a snowstorm; if do you have such kits, check expiration dates and batteries. For more information, see “Disaster Preparedness Guide” and “Items to Include in Disaster Preparedness Kits” in “Disaster Preparedness” under “Residents” on the Lakeport website: https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/disaster-preparedness-plan.html.
- Change your HVAC filters several times throughout the year to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your HVAC equipment. The recommendation is to change filters at least twice during the summer and once during the winter. However, if you use fiberglass filters, they should be changed monthly.
- Clean clogged filters on humidifiers, but if mildew, mold, or dust mites are present, the equipment should be replaced.
- Replace the water filter in your refrigerator every six months (and the filter on a carafe-style water filter every month) because old filters can trap bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals that can then be dispensed in your drinking water.
- Check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher monthly to be sure the equipment is fully charged. If you aren’t sure your extinguisher is functional, most fire departments can inspect it to determine its status.
- Replace the batteries in all your smoke detectors twice annually (i.e., at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time). Check the expiration date on your smoke detectors and replace them at least every decade.
- Replace your carbon monoxide detector at least every five years.
- Check the contents of your first aid kit annually for expiration dates on materials in the kit. Partially used tubes or bottles of topical treatment materials should be replaced to prevent using contaminated materials. The whole kit should be replaced every five years.
- Snow and ice removal – The Lakeport Handbook states that “Residents are asked to remove snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes for safety reasons.” You should also clear your driveway and consider de-icing it and the sidewalk using pet- and environment-friendly products available at home improvement stores. Shovel decks to avoid water leakage into the house.
- Ice that accumulates in gutters and downspouts can be harmful to the heat retention of the house and can allow water to enter. Where possible and when it can be accomplished safely, remove icicles from gutters and downspouts.
- Remove snow before applying deicers to avoid having the deicer run off before melting the ice below. Use a deicer that is appropriate for the temperature range you are experiencing, and consider one that won’t be detrimental to the environment. After the storm, sweep up and store remaining deicers for the next storm (do not deposit it in Lakeport’s wooded common areas since that may damage plants and trees).