Community Standards Update: August 7, 2018
We want to share the following timely updates and resources related to common concerns in the community. If you need more information or have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-542-6263.
Roof Discoloration and Staining - Do you have large streaks or stains on your roof and wonder what the cause is? Most roof stains are caused by the growth of algae, fungus, or moss that feed on the organic material frequently found in the granules that make up roofing shingles, mainly limestone. The portions of a roof that receive the least amount of sunlight (typically the northern and/or western exposure) are more likely to have growth. Recent comprehensive inspections have revealed that many roof shingles in the community show signs of streaking and discoloration/darkening. If BCA staff has noted that maintenance attention is required to remove the discoloration, then notice is sent to the homeowner.
In response to questions about potential roof shingle damage, staff has reviewed information from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association and found a variety of explanations for roof discoloration and recommendations for resolution, which can be found here. BCA recommends that you research your shingle type along with the manufacturer’s recommended stain removal approach. Examples of the HOA’s standards in regards to the removal of stains and discoloration from shingles can be found here and here.
Exterior Modifications and Design Review Applications - Thinking of building a deck or patio this year to enjoy the outdoors? Or maybe you can’t access the back yard from inside your home and you wish to add stairs? Please remember that all exterior modifications require prior approval from the Covenants Committee. The Covenants Committee reviews applications for exterior modifications on the second Monday of each month; click here for the 2018 meeting schedule.
Applications must contain complete and accurate descriptions of the proposed improvement. Supporting documents are also required, such as copies of the official recorded plat showing the improvement location and dimensions, as well as any plans and material and/or color samples as applicable. Photographs of existing conditions and surrounding areas are encouraged. Often the applications submitted are incomplete. It takes a significant amount of time for staff to review and correspond with homeowners to collect the necessary documents. Please view an example of a completed application here to better understand the Committee’s expectation level for applications prior to submitting your application.
Applications can be submitted via email to email@example.com. If you have any questions regarding the design review process or guidelines, please visit the website or call 703-542-6263. It is always best to turn in applications early so that these projects are not held up waiting for review at a meeting. Applications can be accessed on our website, and completed applications can be scanned and emailed, mailed, or dropped in the drop box located outside of the BCA office building.
Turf Tips for a Beautiful Lawn - With autumn rapidly approaching, late summer is the ideal time to prepare your lawn for next spring. Many homeowners think lawns need less care in the fall because the grass grows slower; in fact, just the opposite is true. During this time of year, grass is busily absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter. Give it a little attention now and you'll be rewarded with a lush, healthy lawn next spring.
Keep on Mowing: Continue to water and mow your lawn as needed throughout the fall. Then, as the season draws to a close, drop the mower's blade to its lowest setting for the last two cuttings of the year. This will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass, leaving less leaves to turn brown during the winter.
Aerate the Soil: Fall is an ideal time to aerate your lawn so that oxygen, water, and fertilizer can easily reach the grass's roots. You can rent a gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerator for about $70 per day. The self-propelled machine will quickly punch holes into the soil and extract plugs of dirt. Most landscaping and mowing companies also offer this service.
Rake the Leaves: It's important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. Otherwise the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, stick together, and form an impenetrable mat that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases if left unmoved.
Fertilize for Future Growth: If you fertilize your lawn only once a year, do it in the fall. Grass leaves grow much slower as the weather turns cool, but the grass roots continue to grow quickly. A fall application of fertilizer delivers essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots now and to keep nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring. Wait until mid-to-late fall, then apply a dry lawn fertilizer to all grassy areas. Be careful not to miss any spots.
Fill in Bald Spots: Late summer is also a great time to fix any bare, bald spots in your lawn. The easiest way to do this is with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture. Sold at most garden shops and home centers, this ready-to-use mixture contains grass seed, a special quick-starter lawn fertilizer, and organic mulch. Use a garden rake to scratch loose the soil at the bald spot in your lawn. Then spread a thick layer of the lawn repair mixture over the area. Lightly compact the mixture, then water thoroughly and continue to water every other day for two weeks.
Weed Control: If broadleaf weeds like dandelions have taken over your lawn, now's the time to fight back. Like most plants, weeds are in energy absorbtion mode during the fall. They drink in everything that comes their way, including weed killers. Apply herbicide now and weeds won't return in the spring. Read the package label before use. Most herbicide manufacturers recommend applying weed killer during early-to-mid fall, when daytime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.