This checklist is intended for homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are more than 30 years old and unique in several ways.
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.
- 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 or on the street. Instead, they should dispose of leaves and other debris from yards (e.g., fallen and pruned branches, dead outdoor potted annuals), 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- In past winters several Lakeport residents have had to deal with burst water pipes as a result of freezing temperatures. If you have pipes that are vulnerable, you should take steps to avoid broken pipes and potentially costly damage and repairs. It is also a good idea to arrange with a neighbor to have access to each other’s homes in case one or the other of you is out of town when this (or some other emergency) arises.
- Turn off the inside valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots. Typically (but not always), the valves are located in the same room as the hot water heater or the main water shutoff. 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.
- 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 the home. 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 (e.g., possibly bird seed for light snows). After the storm, sweep up and store remaining deicer for the next storm (do not deposit it in Lakeport’s wooded common areas because that may damage plants and trees).
- 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.