Winter is tough on the community’s properties. Following are some of the features of our properties that may need your attention now that winter is behind us:
Fences are the single largest architectural issue affecting the appearance of the community. Many fences have warping and rotting boards and posts and a large number of fences are sagging and tilting. The high winds this winter did not help. Our fences also have aged and weathered, which exacerbates the mottled appearance in the community when pieces of the fences are repaired or replaced. Currently, fences are not allowed to be stained, which, if permitted, might help mitigate the differences in colors as components are replaced. Additionally, fences are required to be made of pine or cedar. Other fencing materials, such as PVC composites are available, whose color may be less affected by weathering and which may require less maintenance over time. The Board would be interested in your opinions about the staining of fences and use of alternate materials. Please e-mail us with your perspective or use the ARC feedback form posted on the website. Meanwhile, please check your fences and replace damaged components.
The winter wind and storms caused a number of houses to lose shingles. Now is a good time to check your roofs for needed repairs before the summer foliage blocks your view. Particular attention should be paid to the chimneys in Van Tuyl. The chimneys in Van Tuyl are not real brick but rather a decorative artificial shell surrounding the fireplace smoke stack. The wood frame supporting the shell is subject to water damage and rot, which often causes the chimney to appear to be tilting. Additionally, the high winds may have pulled loose some of the internal guywires stabilizing the shell, again causing the chimney shell to tilt or even collapse. We recommend that homeowners access their attic and inspect the connections lashing the chimney shell to the roof rafters.
Brick surfaces need to be cleaned periodically to remove dirt and mold. When evaluating your brick surfaces attention should be paid to whether or not there is a residue of fine white crystals (efflorescence) starting to appear on the bricks. This is salt leaching from the mortar and indicates a water infiltration problem that may cause significant damage over time.
The brick should be cleaned and “tuck pointing” done to repair the mortar. Typically, crack filling on brick surfaces need to be done every 3 to 6 years. You may also want to consider application of a clear brick sealer in particularly vulnerable areas to help prevent water infiltration.
ARC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
We are seeking applicants to become members of the Architectural Review Committee. The Committee will meet once a quarter and the principal responsibilities of the members will be to assist in the annual assessment and other periodic inspections of the community as well as to make recommendations to the Board regarding possible changes to the Architectural Guidelines. If you would like to participate, please send an e-mail to the Board via the property manager, Mary Lockhart at mlockhart@nrpartnersLLC.com. We hope to hold the initial committee meeting in June.
EXTERNAL CHANGE REQUEST
Finally, please remember that most exterior repair activities do not need advance approval. However, replacement of external features, like roofs, windows, and doors do require homeowners to submit an External Change Request. The External Change Request form, and the overall Architectural Guidelines document, can be found on the MPHOA community website: www.mcleanprovincehoa.com