Union Mills Union Mills Union Mills
 
 
Login | Register
 
Annual Inspections 2014
Home
Our Community
 
Association Government
Business Directory
Services and Amenities
Neighborhood Watch
Search Site
Welcome Package New Residents.
 
FAQS
 

IF YOU'RE NOT SURE OR HAVE QUESTIONS, PLS CALL SHANNON COOK AT 703-803-9641 OR EMAIL SHANNON@UNIONMILLS.COM.  PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CALL.

 
Buying and Selling
  • HOA Disclosure Package - HOA Docs - We're selling our home, do I have to contact the HOA for anything?
    Yes! If you are selling your home, you are required to provide your buyers with a Resale Package. This package includes all the updated Rules and Regulations for the community as well as a current year budget, newly adopted resolutions, newly adopted rules and regulations and most importantly, an inspection letter that identifies to the potential buyers any problems with the property. 
     
    COLD FEET – BUYER’S REMORSE—The Property Owners Association Act (the “Act”) gives contract purchasers three days to review the HOA docs, once they have been delivered to the purchaser, and cancel the purchase contract if unsatisfied with the Association’s setup or condition. If you have a current set of HOA docs that you can provide to purchaser in a timely manner, with financial information current within thirty days of the sales contract, your buyer might be less prone to back out of the contract.  (Confer with your Realtor on this). If you need the certificate updated later, Sequoia will charge a nominal fee for reinspecting the home and reissuing the resale certificate. Also, remember that  the Act allows Sequoia up to 14 days to process Resale Disclosure Request. Besides the exterior site inspection and production of the HOA documents, there are several other processes that have to be performed behind the scenes. Producing the HOA docs is just not as simple as you would think. Sequoia will be looking for items like the ones referenced below as well as any of the maintenance items referenced on page 1 under “Annual Home Inspections”.
     
    Download ACC application pdf from Sequoiamanagement Management (click here) or Contact Shannon at Sequoia Manament to order your resale package at 703-803-9641.  

Community Life
  • Board Meetings - I'd like to attend a Board Meeting, when are they?
    Board meetings are usually every two months (please check calendar on this website).   The meetings start at 7:30PM and there is a short session at the beginning of the meeting for a Homeowner Forum. If you have questions for the Board, please come and ask in person! We’d love to meet you!
     
    Location - Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly, VA 20151.
     
  • Property Manager - How do I contact Sequoia Management
    Sequoia's office is conveniently located at 13998 Parkeast Circle, Chantilly, VA 20151.  Your community Manger is Shannon Cook and her assistant is Genel Clark who can be reached at 703-803-9641 and Shannon@sequoiamgnt.com
     
  • Quarterly Assessments - How can I pay my HOA quarterly fees?
    You may pay your quarterly fees numerous ways. 
     
    You can submit payment via mail to our offices at 13998 Parkeast Circle, Chantilly, Virginia 20151-2283. Please  make sure to annotate your account number or address on your check. 
     
    You may also sign up for our eft program where we will deduct your quarterly dues each quarter around the 10th of the month. Please visit the link below to access the eft form and submit to the Sequoia Management offices at 13998 Parkeast Circle, Chantilly, VA 20151 you may also fax it to 703-968-0936 or email it to your community manager Shannon Cook at shannon@sequoiamgmt.com
     
     
    ONLINE ACCOUNT ACCESS
    Sequoia Management is pleased to announce that over the past year, we upgraded our accounting and architectural tracking software.  The initial phase of implementation allowed us to recognize efficiencies in our accounting system.  The next phase enables homeowners to pay their dues online and view their account history. Check back frequently for additional features. To utilize these services, please visit and register for access at:
    sequoia.cincweb.com
    **There is an administrative fee of $8.95 per transaction for this service which is charged by the credit card company, not Sequoia Management, and is non-negotiable.**
     
     
  • Volunteers - I'd like to get involved and help out the community
    Volunteers are essential to any organization's ability to fulfill its mission. Union Mills Community Association (UMCA) is no exception. Your community needs your help with its ongoing efforts. We all have busy schedules yet a small commitment of time can make a difference.
     
    High school students wishing to earn community service hours by volunteering at various Union Mills Community Projects. Responsibilities will vary based on event and need. For more information, please email Mike at umcacc@yahoo.com.
     
    All members of the UMCA Board and committees serve without pay or financial benefits of any kind. But as a volunteer to UMCA, you would be instrumental in making our community a premier place to live, and in the process, you would be helping yourself by discovering new interests and friends.
     
    At the moment UMCA has opportunities for you to contribute your skills and strengths in the creation, implementation and management of all of our on going efforts. If you have an interest and want to contribute to any of UMCA's committees to include Budget/Finance, Communications, Architectural, Budget/Finance, Open Spaces, and Welcoming Committee, please email any of the Board members or contact Shannon Cook at 703 803-9641. Shannon is with Sequoia Management and can be reached by email at shannon@sequoiamgmt.com.
     
    Thank you and we look forward to working with you.
    Union Mills Board of Directors

     
     

     
     

Fireworks - Fairfax County Law
  • Fireworks - Fairfax County Law

Parking Plan
  • Parking - Where can I park and how long
     
    Parking is restricted in the townhome section except for the state maintained portion of Ruddy Duck Road. 
     
    Visitor parking is restricted P- PR2010 -5(e)  Visitor Spaces.   No vehicle may be parked in an unassigned (common area) parking space (designated “visitor” space) for a period in excess of four hours on three (3) consecutive calendar days without written permission of the Board of Directors.  Any vehicle remaining in an unassigned parking space in excess of 4 hours on three (3) consecutive calendar days shall be subject to enforcement action, to including towing of the vehicle at the owner’s risk and expense.
     
    Residents are responsible for advising their guest(s) on parking in the community.  During the winter, residents may use the pool parking lot for overnight guest parking. 
     
    All visitor and reserved spaces are showed on the Reserved Parking Plan 93-11-1
     
     
     
  • Parking for Visitors - Where can visitors park
    Visitor Spaces - There are 111 visitors spaces for 311 Townhomes.  Visitor spaces are "Common Area" and not to be used on a continuing basis by residents either on or off the street in which they reside.  These spaces are intended for the resident's guests and visitors, tradesmen, delivery people, etc.  No vehicles - residents, visitors or tradesmen - may be parked in a visitor's space more than three consecutive days (defined as 4 hours or more out of each 24 hour period) without approval of the Board. Residents with more than two vehicles must make appropriate alternate parking arrangements and must not use the visitor's spaces on an extended basis.
     
    All the visitor spaces are all clearly marked and you can refer to the Reserved Parking Resolution in the Documents section if you'd like to see where the spaces are located any any of the streets in Union Mills.  Visitors can also park on State Maintained Ruddy Duck Road.  Also if you're having a large party or gathering, you can use the pool parking lot overnight.
     
    Please remember that you are responsible for where your guest(s) park.  See Exhibit B PR 1993 (Reserved Parking Resolution)  - "All residents are responsible for notifuying their guest of the parking restrictions of the Association" 
  • Parking Plan - Commercial Vehicles
    Please do not park commercial vehicles overnight on any of the private streets.  You may park some commercial vehicles on state maintained Ruddy Duck Road (subject to Fairfax County's definitions and limitations).  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/parkingcodechanges.htm
     
    PR 2010 (d) Commercial Vehicles. Parking of commercial vehicles in open view within the community is not allowed. A commercial vehicle is defined as any vehicle that (i) bears any visible commercial advertising signs, names logos, dealer tags, letterings or initials (not including bumper stickers or similar sized stickers); or (ii) is used, or intended for use, as a car for hire or a work vehicle, which may be evidenced by open carriage of pipes, lumber or other work-related construction, equipment, machinery, materials or ladders, including but not limited to ladder racks, pipe racks, tools or other equipment; or (iii) vehicles designed or intended for use as commercial buses, cargo vans, express vans, delivery vans, flatbeds or trucks used for any other purpose other than for private/consumer use. Advertising is defined to include, but not be limited to the display of a company name and/or product name and telephone number and/or email address.
     
    8. Towing.
    (a) The Association has a standing arrangement with a commercial towing company to provide both on-demand towing and towing of all vehicles parked in fire lanes, parked across sidewalks, and parked on common area grass. Unless as required herein, any vehicle parked in violation of the Declaration or these regulations shall be subject to immediate towing without notice or process.
     
     
  • Reserved Spaces - Someone is parked in my reserved space
    PR 2010 8. (b) The Association is not responsible for the enforcement of the reserved parking space plan except as noted above. Homeowners who find an unauthorized vehicle in his or her assigned space may initiate a tow in accordance with Exhibit B of UMCA Policy Resolution No. 93-11-1 (See Documents Section).  As set forth therein, homeowners who authorize the towing of a vehicle assume all responsibility and liability arising from that act. 
     
    You might want to see if the vehicle belongs to a guest of one of your neighbors, but you are authorized to have the vehicle towed.  Call JDR towing at 703-856-0270.   http://www.jdrtowing.com
  • Towing Information
    Towing Information - Should you wish to tow an unauthorized vehicle from your reserved space, or if one of your vehicles has been towed by JDR towing to their impound lot, or if you need to have a vehicle towed for mechanical reasons; please call JDR Towing at 703-856-0270.  They are conveniently located at 2875 Tower view Road, Herndon, VA 20171.  http://jdrtowing.com/contact/
     
  • Where do my Contractors park during the Day
    While I'm having work done on my house, where do my contractors park?
     
    PR 2010 - 7. Tradesmen. Vehicles of companies making repairs, replacements, deliveries, etc., are permitted between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Companies needing all-day parking should park in visitor spaces or the homeowner’s designated parking space. No overnight parking of commercial vehicles is permitted. The term "commercial vehicle" is defined in Section 21 of the Design Guidelines and is further defined in Section 9(d) below. During normal daytime business hours (7 am to 9 pm), a commercial vehicle owned by a company which has been contracted to provide service within the community may park in any visitor space and/or the reserved space of the driveway of the owner who is contracting their services. Commercial vehicles may not be parked in fire lanes or other non-designated spaces within the community.
     

Pets, Rules (Pet Waste and Leash Laws)
  • Pets - What are the rules regarding Pets
    Pet Stations have been located conveniently throughout the community.  Please take advantage of these stations and pickup after your dog.  When it rains, uncollected waste runs into streams and rivers as runoff.  In addition to worms and protozoa, pet waste also contains fecal coliform bacteria. This group of bacteria includes the specific bacteria E. Coli which can cause serious illness and even death to people who ingest contaminated water. There is a direct correlation between bacteria concentrations and gastrointestinal illness.
     
    Fresh water is the source of many recreational and life-sustaining activities, including swimming, fishing, and of course, drinking! As a result, many communities across the country, including those in Virginia, work hard to keep their water clean and useable.  One of the most preventable and significant water pollutants is dog waste.  Each gram of dog poop contains 23 million fecal coliform colonies.  Unfortunately, many people do not pick up after their dog, and the uncollected waste eventually becomes part of storm water runoff and flows into and pollutes creeks, streams, and rivers.
     
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the extent of pollution bodies of water are allowed to contain and still be usable.  This measure is referred to as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). TMDL is essentially a pollution budget which communities must live within. Communities found in violation of their allotted TMDL are subject to penalties. Pet waste is one of many contributors to TMDL and communities working to improve their waterways must manage its overall contribution.
     
    POOPER SCOOPER LAW:
    Section 41.1-2-6. - Animals causing unsanitary conditions.
    It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal or animals to keep such animal or animals in such a manner as to cause unsanitary conditions. The owner or custodian of any dog shall be responsible for the removal of excreta deposited by such dog on the property of another, including public places. (26-04-41.1.)
     
    LEASH LAW:
    Section 41.1-2-4. - Unrestricted dogs prohibited; leash law.
    (a)  No dog shall run unrestricted, as defined in Section 41.1-1-1, in the County. Any person who is the owner of a dog found unrestricted in the County shall be in violation of this Section. This Section shall not apply to any person who uses a dog under his direct supervision while lawfully hunting, while engaged in a supervised formal obedience training class or show, during formally sanctioned field trials, while a dog is in an area owned, leased, controlled, or operated by Fairfax County designated by resolution of the Board of Supervisors as an off-leash dog exercise area, or while a dog is in an area owned, leased, controlled, or operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority and designated by resolution of the Fairfax County Park Authority as an off-leash or dog exercise area, or while a dog is in an area, leased, controlled, or operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and designated by resolution of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board as an off-leash or dog exercise area. It is a violation of this Section for any owner of a dog to place such dog or allow it to be placed into custody of any person not physically capable of maintaining effective control of restricting such dog.
    (b)  Any dog found unrestricted in violation of subsection (a) shall be impounded, except that if the rightful owner of the dog can be immediately ascertained and located, then that owner shall be allowed to have custody of the animal, but shall be subject to issuance of a summons for violation of this Section. (26-04-41.1.)
     
    See also Design Guidelines Appendix D100-D104
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Pool Information
  • Pool Passes - How do we apply for our pool passes
    Pool Rules and Applications were mailed on around February 15, 2012 of this year.  You may complete the applications and mail them to Sequoia Management (Attn: Shannon or Genel) at 13998 Parkeast Circle, Chantilly, VA 20151-2283.  (no walk-ins please). 
     
    Or, on Sat April 28, 2012 (10am-2pm), Shannon Cook will be at the pool at 13550 Ruddy Duck Road,  to process applications.  Note - Also that (like last year), we going to try to have a community cleanup party from 8-11:30 and then a BBQ afterwards in the pool area, although the pool will not be open at that time.

Remodeling or Exterior Changes and Additions
  • Architectual - Exterior Changes - I'm making a change to the exterior of my house, so do I need to get this approved?   (Updated)
    You should submit an architectual applicaton for changes made to the "exterior" of your home. This includes, but is not limited to, color changes, additions, storm doors, exterior entry doors, windows, siding, roofs, roof shingls, decks, fences, playsets, and exterior decorative objects.  Please refer to the architectual guidelines for a more specific list of requirements or contact your property manager, Genel.  You may download the ACC application form (see link below) and email it to  SM@Unionmills.com
     
    MAKE sure that you have all your specs, Manufacturer names, Model #'s and details listed on the actual application.   While other supporting documentation (IE - Brochures, Web Links and physical samples are great), the specifics must be listed on the ACC Application itself.  Thank you.
     
     
    2006 UM Design Guidelines
     
    202.1 Unless expressly exempted, Applications are required for all major and minor alterations as set forth in Chapters 3 and 4 of these Guidelines, and for any otheraddition, alteration or modification to the lot or residence.
     
    301 Major Exterior Changes. Major alterations are generally considered to be those that substantially alter the existing structure either by subtraction or addition. Major building alterations include, but are not limited to, rooms, screened porches, garages, driveways, decks,and fences.
     
    104 Changes That Must Have CC Approval
     
    104.1 Article 8.1(b) of the Covenants explicitly states that all exterior alterations require the approval of the CC. Any circumstance not covered by these guidelines should have a CC application submitted for clarification by the CC Committee and a determination made prior to starting the project.
     
    104.2 It is important to understand that approval is not limited to major alterations, such as adding a room or deck to a house, but includes changes in colors, materials, landscaping, etc. If in doubt about making any change, contact the CC or the management company before doing anything. Failure to do so could result in the possibility of undoing what was done without approval.
     
    104.3 Each Application is reviewed on an individual basis. There are no “automatic” approvals unless provided for specifically in these Guidelines. A homeowner who wishes to construct a deck identical to one already approved by the CC is still required to submit an Application. Refer to Appendix H for the Application
     
  • County Building Permits - When do I need a permit and where can I apply for a building permitL?
    Anything stuctural (even replacing old deck boards) will require a permit.  Call the county if there is any question. 
     
     
     
  • Deck Maintenance and What Stains can I use on my deck?
    Reminder - An ACC Application is required for all deck staining or exterior painting projects. Also - We encourage you to consult with a professional for best results on this type of a project.   How to stain your deck like a pro.
     
    Step 1: Take your Time
    With every step of the staining process, take your time. When the project is completed and your tools are cleaned and put away, nothing will have had a greater impact on the quality of the job. Here's a few tips before you get started. Take your time to allow new pressure treated lumber to weather for a few months and dry out before staining it. Allow stain strippers to be left on the surface long enough to break down old finishes before you rinse it off. Take your time to prevent overspray and spills on non-target surfaces and wait to start your project until the weather forecast is favorable.
     
    Step 2 - Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
    Preparation is key to the final results. All wood needs to be cleaned well before staining, whether it’s a brand new deck, or an older deck that’s been out in the weather and needs to be re-stained. Brand new lumber needs to be cleaned to remove “mill scale”. Mill scale is a crushing of the grain that takes place during the milling process. If it's left un-cleaned, it can prevent wood stains from properly penetrating into the wood surface.
    On an older deck, dirt, graying from the sun, mildew and old stains all need to be removed prior to staining. Sodium Percarbonate wood cleaners, also known as oxygen bleach wood cleaners, are a great choice for this step. They are highly effective at cleaning the wood, yet won’t harm plant life and vegetation. Best of all, they won’t hurt you either. Their soapy consistency won’t burn your skin.
     
    If there is a build up of old stains on the deck then the job gets a little tougher but not impossible. Instead of a sodium percarbonate cleaner you’ll need to use a stain stripper.  Strippers are a little more caustic so follow the directions carefully. They work great and will remove most weathered stains in a single application. Lastly, if there are small spots of stain that won’t come off during the cleaning process, they should sand off easily using a palm-type sander after the deck has dried. If those spots of stain are left on the deck, they will show through the new finish and detract from the deck’s final appearance. Some stain manufacturers offer a free instructional video to help walk you through this entire process. They’re a terrific tool to use to ensure that you do it right the first time.
     
    Step 3: Brighteners are Beautiful
    In the deck staining process, no step is skipped more than this one. It's by far the easiest step to do and it will have a dramatic effect on the final results. Wood brighteners are easy to apply. They help open up the surface of the wood to improve penetration, neutralize any stain strippers that were used, and restore the appearance of old, weathered wood to like new again. That's a lot of things for one product to accomplish, but brighteners will do all of that so don't skip using them . To use them, simply spray them on, wait a few minutes, and rinse them off. No scrubbing, and no "elbow grease" needed. There are so many benefits and they're so easy, there's no reason to not use them!

    Decks are best stained with a semi-transparent wood stain. These types of products allow the natural grain of the wood to show through, allow the wood to naturally breathe, and are easily cleaned and reapplied. Pay attention to the directions and don’t over apply these types of products. You’ll end up with a beautiful, shiny finish that will probably peel off over time. When too much stained is applied a film can form, much like paint, that will longer allow the wood to breathe. When this happens the end result will be peeling and that’s a real mess. So only apply as much stain as the wood can easily absorb.
     
    Step 4: Rinse like Mad
    Use lots and lots of water after using any cleaning chemicals. Even though some of these chemicals can seem safe and harmless, they all need to be rinsed off extremely well after they are used. Left in the wood, these chemicals can resurface over time and begin to attack and break down the new stain. So once you are done cleaning, rinse the deck thoroughly to get all of the chemicals out of the wood.

    Step 5: Stay Away from the Cheap Stuff
    Now that the deck is clean and dry, it's ready to be stained. Before you decide which stain to buy, keep in mind that you always get what you pay for. Better ingredients cost more money. If you expect premium results then you'll need to buy a premium product. There is a difference in quality when it comes to resins, pigments, mildewcides and many other materials that make up a gallon of wood stain. So stay away from the cheap stuff if you expect it to last.

    Step 6: Take a Look at Waterborne Stains
    Water based deck stains have become really popular in the last few years. If you have been reluctant to try them in the past, don't be reluctant any longer. Air quality regulations have forced manufacturers to really improve these products some are now better, more durable and longer lasting than conventional oil-based alternatives. They offer some distinct advantages to the user that oil base stains can't offer. Good quality water based stains clean up with soap and water, there are no nasty solvents to breathe, they have a significantly better resistance to weathering, the wood doesn't need to be completely dry to use them, they dry more quickly than solvents and they are much easier on the environment.

    Additionally, some of the waterborne stains are synthetic as well, such as DEFY Extreme Wood Stain. Synthetic resin wood stains are far less susceptible to mold growth, mildew and algae. So if you're in area with a fair amount of moisture and humidity, there are some real advantages in waterborne synthetic stains.

    Step 7: Read the Can...Follow the Directions
    Every product is a little different so always read the label for directions. It only takes a few minutes and it will ensure that you have all of the right information before you get started. Pay attention to how many coats of stain to apply, how long to wait between coats, how long to wait after cleaning and how long to allow wood to weather. So read the label first and you're likely to get it right the first time

    Within the Union Mills Townhome section, we need to strongly emphasize that the goal is for the wood to appear as natural as possible and you must be able to see the grain in the wood. (please NO stains that are either dark, brown, red, Green, etc).  "Natural Cedar" is usually a good choice (Considering that the VanMetre homes orginally came with cedar fencing while the Batal homes came with pressure treated pine fences).  We need to emphasize in the Guidelines for the townhomes that (1) wood finish must appear natural and you must be able to see the grain. 
    Uncoated wood may have mill glaze that can cause a coating to fail. The PREMIUM DECK, FENCE & SIDING PREP Products will prepare the uncoated surface, allow the new coating to fully penetrate the wood surface, and ensure a longer lasting, more durable finish.  
     
    Remember that Solid Stains are Prohibited in the townhome section along with Red Stains and Dark Stains.  
     
    See ACC design Guidelines for info on deck stain choices.
  • PAINTING - I need to paint my house and I'd like to keep it the same color, where do I get the paint
    I need to paint my house and I'd like to keep it the same color, where do I get the paint?
    Both Batal Homes and VanMetre Homes used McCormick Paints.
     
    The original wood trim color for Batal Homes is McCormick Amber White and the original wood accent trim colors for VanMetre Homes is McCormick Amber White, Colonial White or Wheat. Please do not paint the trim the same color as the siding.  Exterior Trim colors MUST be a semi-gloss (McCormick calls it Lustre).   PLEASE DO NOT USE FLAT PAINT.  Doors and Shutters are painted the same color (with a few rare exceptions)
     
    Paint Schemes - You may notice that some colors (IE Shutters and doors) are almost completely washed out and faded on many of our homes (especially on homes that are face south and West). You can especially see this with the Batal homes where the front door is protected by the porch. The front door may have retained most of it’s original color for the most part, but the shutters are faded and oxidized (bleached out). 
     
    Original McCormic Paint Scheme - Shutters and Entry Doors for Batal and VanMetre Homes to match.
    • Old Colonial Red 225
    • Carolina Slate 
    • Chesapeake Blue
    • HearthStone 216
    • Kentucky Green
    • GreyStone
    • Incense
    • Georgetown Green 220
    • Foxhall Green 202
     
     
    Selecting and Matching Paint—Important! Thinking about repainting the trim, shutters, and front door of your home? Please make surethat you’re using the correct color on your house. Here a a few tips that might help you.
     
    Try sticking with McCormick Brand paint in order to get a good match. Many of these colors are factory mixed (not mixed on site). The original paint on the townhomes was McCormick and if you use a McCormick mixed color, you can usually never go wrong. If you try to color match using other paint manufacturers, you may find that the paint does not match.  Also, please don’t try to match the color by using an old faded, oxidized shutter or other paint same.  If you’re going to use paints (other than McCormicK), try a small test area and let it dry before you paint everything.  If you’re not sure about your house colors, contact the property manager or the ACC committee and inquire. 
     
    If you wish to change the color (from the original color that the builder used on your home), you MUST get get it approved by the ACC committee. (sumbit an ACC application).  McCormick Paint store is located at 14526 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA 22304 just off Route 50, (near Chantilly Costco/Target shopping center)  703-631-6622.  http://www.mccormickpaints.com/Commitment_to_Service/McCormick_Stores/
     
    IMPORTANT NOTE - While viewing McCormick's color system on line, please note that the colors on your monitor are an approximation of paint color. For an accurate representation of color, visit a McCormick Paints store to view color chips or consult a McCormick Paints fandeck. Contact McCormick at info@mccormickpaints.com or 301.770.3235 with specific color questions, or visit their local store on LEE Road in Chantilly. APPROVED COLORS ARE THE ONES THAT ARE BLOCK-CIRCLED IN NAME.  DO NOT USE ANY OTHER COLORS UNLESS YOU FIRST GET WRITTEN APPROVAL.

Roof Maintenance - Black Roof Stains
  • Roof Shingles - Why are my roof shingles turning black
    Roof Algae (Gleocapsa Magma) - What Causes Those Ugly Roof Stains?
    Contrary to popular belief, roof cleaning is about more than just having a nice-looking house. It’s also about  attending to the overall health of your roof and home. The black streaks that you’re seeing on your roof consist of Gloeocapsa Magma, which is a hardy type of blue-green algae that if left to its own devices will eventually start to compromise the integrity of your shingles. 
     
    No, we didn't previously have this problem with the older style shingles (without limestone) that were installed on some of our homes in the early 1990's.  In April 1999, a powerful hail storm hit.  Insurance companies declared all of Centreville a disater area, because almost every house needed a new roof and siding.  Homes in Union Mills looked like new after the roofers and siding companies finished their work.

    Usually the process begins when an algae spore lands on and attaches to your roof. It then begins to consume the limestone filler in your shingles’ granules. The limestone acts as a food source for the algae and allows it to grow and eventually cover larger and larger portions of your roof’s surface.
     
    Those unsightly black roof stains on your shingles appear to be some sort of roof mold, but it's actually called a roof algae. This is a hardy species called Gleocapsa Magma and it you aren't using the right chemicals or methods, it can be extremely difficult to remove. Call it roof mold, roof algae, roof mildew, or anything that you'd like, clean it off in a timely and safe manner. Experts also tell us that the spores travel from roof to roof, so if you clean your roof (and your neighbor does not), you'll find the roof stains will return more quickly. This is one of those jobs that is best left to the professionals and you'll find that there are companies that specialize in this kind of work.
     
    This black mold, like the stains and streaks on shingles caused by an airborne algae or fungal growth used to be limited to warm, humid climates, but now this can be seen on houses as far north as Canada. Some experts attribute the spread to the increased use of crushed limestone as a filler material in asphalt shingles. Limestone is economical and makes a durable shingle, but the calcium carbonate in the limestone supports algae growth.
     
    In the newer algae-resistant (AR) shingles, zinc or copper granules are mixed in with the colored stone topping. When the shingles get wet, the zinc or copper is released, inhibiting algae growth. Warranties for algae resistance are usually for less than 10 years since the protection ends when the mineral washes away. Some shingles have longer lasting protection than others due to a higher percentage of AR granules.
     
    LICHEN COLONIES Lichens are a fungus, usually of the class Ascomycetes, that grow symbiotically with algae, resulting in a composite organism that forms a crust like or branching growth on shingle granules. Lichens put out root-like tentacles that will penetrate deep into the shingle’s organic, oil base for nourishment, eventually ruining them by creating dark spots, or pock marks where they grow.
     
    MOSS
    Thick moss growth with its shallow root system keeps the roofing materials damp for extended periods of time and this moisture promotes wood rot and can and does erode the asphalt shingles. Moss typically starts to grow at the top of the vertical slots between the shingles. These areas of asphalt shingles are the last place water evaporates from a roof. Moss, like lichen colonies, is quite damaging to shingles and some of the granules underneath the moss may be gone. To keep the algae from coming back, you can insert 6-inch-wide strips of zinc or copper under the row of shingling closest to the roof peak, leaving an inch or two of the lower edge exposed to the weather. That way whenever it rains, some of the metal molecules will wash down the roof and kill any algae trying to regain a foothold on your shingles.
     
    HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM—If your roof on your home is turned mostly black due to the Algae, you may want to consult a professional, since there companies that specialize in this type of work. 

Snow
  • More Snow Facts -Who is responsible for Snow Removal
    Homeowners are required to clear the sidewalks in front of their home.

    Roads in the single family sections are maintained by Fairfax County.

    Roads in the townhome sections are maintained by the Association.
  • Snow Facts - Where should we push or move snow?
    Snow that is removed from sidewalks, driveways, vehicles and parking places should be piled in your yard or other common area green spaces, or other resident spaces.  Please DO NOT shovel snow back into the roadway.  During particularily heavy snows, you may have to shovel out behind your vehicle. 
     
    ALSO - Due to liability issues and property damage control, residents may not contract for other plow services to push snow within the townhome section of the community.  This section contains all private roads. 
     

Storm Doors
  • Storm Doors - Can I Paint my Storm Door
    Most professionals advise using an oil based paint and say not to use a nylon brush with oil, but the most important thing is that you have to use a good primer on the storm door before you paint a metal storm door.
    Disclaimer - Please consult with your professional contractor and get their input on this project.

    Kyle, Christi and Mike at Chantilly McCormick will suggest using the "Underlok" water based Acrylic Urethane Hybrid (easy cleanup with Warm Water and Detergent) for the primer and the "Interlok" (water based) product for the final finish coat.  They can color match these to the trim color, Siding color or Entry Door color.  
    1 quart will cover 100 Square Feet. 

    Cost - Underlok - quart 16.12 per gallon, $40/gallon.   Interlock $52.99 per gallon, or $20.99 per quart. 
    If you tell them that you're from Union Mills, they will give you a 10% discount. 
     
    If you wish to change the color of your storm door, you must submit a change request by filling out an ACC application.   You may paint the storm door with the same color as your Wood Trim colors, Siding color and you may also paint the storm door to match your entry door.  
     
    The original wood trim color for Batal Homes is McCormick Amber White and the original wood accent trim colors for VanMetre Homes is McCormick Amber White, Colonial White or Wheat. Please do not paint the trim the same color as the siding.  Exterior Trim colors MUST be a semi-gloss (McCormick calls it Lustre).   PLEASE DO NOT USE FLAT PAINT.  If you are not sure as to who built your home, please email Shannon@unionmills.com or Genel@unionmills.com. 
     
    If you're installing a new storm door, you can purchase storm doors that closely match the trim, siding or entry door, but you will most likely have to order it.  Some of the box stores may stock the Almond and Sandstone doors and the additional cost is nominal. 
  • Storm Doors - What types are Allowed - ACC application still required
    DOORS, STORM/SCREEN - What styles are acceptable - Remember to file application for any new door.
     
    Storm/Screen Doors are optional. However, when installing or replacing a storm/screen door, prior approval from the Architectural Committee is required. When applying for approval, the following should be considered:  
    1. New or Replacement storm/screen doors must be full view or self-storing full view (no panels). Variations to this style will not be approved. All full view or self-storing full view (no panels) storm/screen doors are to be painted to match the approved wood trim color, front door color, or the siding color. 
    2. Properties that received earlier approval for other styles of storm/screen doors might be grandfathered, providing the door is properly maintained. When replaced, the replacement door will require approval and must comply with current guidelines. 
    While some suppliers do stock the almond or sandstone colored doors, usually the colored storm doors must be orders.  There is nominal cost for colored storm doors.  
     
    Submission Requirements
    1. Photographs showing the house, existing windows and doors and the proposed location of new and/or replacement doors.
    2. Catalogue photographs or manufacturer's "cut sheets" identifying door type and style, including the specific 'name' of the door, Model #’s,  if applicable; and dimensions, materials and colors.
    3. A sample of the door finish and color, if applicable
     
    Examples of Full View Storm Doors
     
     

Storm Water Ponds
  • How do Storm Ponds Work - Understanding Stormwater Ponds, Wet Ponds, Dry Ponds and Stormwater Pond Retrofits
    Understanding Stormwater Ponds: Wet Ponds, Dry Ponds and Stormwater Pond Retrofits - From Fairfax County
     
    Stormwater ponds capture, control and filter runoff from roofs, roads and parking lots before it enters our local streams. In Fairfax County, the construction of stormwater ponds became a requirement for new development in the 1980s. Today, there are at least 2,162 stormwater ponds in Fairfax County; 1,325 are maintained by the county and the remaining ponds are privately maintained.
     
    Why control runoff? When new roads and buildings are built, the increased amount and velocity of runoff can damage nearby streams. Streams will rise to new peak flows (the maximum amount of discharge after a rain or snow). If unmanaged, stream banks begin to erode under the increased flows. Sediment (soil), excess nutrients and other pollutants are carried downstream, negatively affecting aquatic life.
     
    Stormwater ponds slow the flow of water, filter pollutants and improve stream health. Along with riparian buffers, rain gardens and other infiltration practices, they are an important tool to help protect local streams
     
     
    Wet Ponds and Dry Ponds
    There are two general types of stormwater ponds: wet ponds and dry ponds.
     
    How can a pond be dry? A dry pond is designed to hold water for a short period of time before allowing the water to discharge to a nearby stream. Dry ponds control peak flows of runoff, help improve water quality and lessen the effects of erosion. Between rain events, a dry pond looks like a large, grassy low area. When it rains, the pond fills with water. They hold water for 48-72 hours to allow sediment and pollutants to settle out. Because they detain water for a brief time before allowing it to flow out, dry ponds are also called detention ponds.
     
    Wet ponds, on the other hand, maintain a permanent pool of water throughout the year. They remove pollutants by allowing sediment to settle as water slowly moves from one end of the pond to the other and through biological uptake, as plants absorb excess nutrients. Wet ponds frequently have smaller pools, plants and a wetland area. Wet pond water levels can increase dramatically as a result of rainstorms, like dry ponds. Because they retain water for a longer time, wet ponds are also called retention ponds.
     
    Both wet and dry ponds remove sediment, phosphorus and other pollutants. Because water stays in them longer, wet ponds typically are able to remove more pollutants. Dry ponds are more common, however. They are less expensive to install, require less maintenance and may involve less liability for the communities around them.
     
    Stormwater Pond Retrofits
    Many older county maintained stormwater ponds are being renovated so that they work more effectively in managing the quantity of stormwater runoff. For example, sometimes a stormwater pond will be resized to fit new conditions when a neighborhood grows. A larger stormwater pond can hold more water and store runoff for longer periods of time.
     
    Some stormwater ponds also are being redesigned to improve their pollutant removal efficiency. A shallow permanent pool (often called a sediment forebay) may be added to trap silt and sediments and improve pollutant removal. Stormwater ponds are occasionally dredged, removing excess sediment that has built up throughout the years. The addition of a sediment forebay in a pond makes dredging quicker and easier since the sediment is confined to a small space. A small wetland area can provide essential habitat and further water filtration. Native plants and wildflowers are added, promoting nutrient uptake and stimulating ecosystem development.
     
    At first, these changes can be unwelcome in a neighborhood. Residents may not be aware that these previously mowed, grassy areas are stormwater management facilities. Even though the county warns against using stormwater ponds for recreation, some people do. Some also worry about insects. (Ponds are actually not good mosquito breeding sites. See below: What about Mosquitoes? to learn why.) Once neighbors understand why their stormwater ponds are undergoing these changes, most come to accept and even enjoy the amenity.
     
    After all, these pond retrofits are part of a bigger idea: helping streams to return to their natural pre-development flow. Before the roads, roofs and parking lots found all over Fairfax County today were built, this area was mostly farmland and wooded areas. These green areas allowed water to filter into the ground slowly, recharging groundwater and having a lighter impact on streams. With increased development over recent decades, stream quality has degraded. Recent efforts to restore streams naturally have focused on slowing runoff down, spreading it out, and soaking it into the ground.
     
    The purpose of stormwater ponds is to control excess stormwater runoff and improve water quality to nearby streams. When enhanced with plantings, they can be attractive and increase residential property value. They can provide habitat to attract turtles, frogs, butterflies and birds that also help improve our own quality of life.
     
    Stormwater Pond Questions and Answers
     
    Here are some answers to common questions about stormwater ponds.
     
    1. The Trash Rack: What is That?
     
    In both dry and wet ponds, there is a screening device attached to the control structure which prevents trash and other debris from leaving the pond and entering the stream. The county does not remove trash from ponds. If the trash rack gets so clogged with litter, leaves, and grass clippings that the water cannot freely pass through it, then the facility will not function properly. “Adopt a Pond” is a new campaign to enable and empower residents living near a stormwater pond to help clean out the debris.In both dry and wet ponds, there is a screening device attached to the control structure which prevents trash and other debris from leaving the pond and entering the stream. If the trash rack gets so clogged with litter, leaves and grass clippings that the water cannot freely pass through it, then the facility will not function properly. “Adopt a Pond” is a new campaign to enable and empower residents living near a stormwater pond to help clean out the debris. To find out more, contact the Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division at 703-877-2800, TTY 711, or via email.
     
    2. Why Are There Warning Signs?
     
    Stormwater ponds are essentially designed to “flash flood.” If it is raining in the watershed, water can accumulate in
    the pond very quickly. Don’t go in the pond when it’s raining!
     
    3. What about Mosquitoes?
     
    It may seem counter-intuitive, but stormwater ponds with pools or permanent wet areas are not good breeding sites for mosquitoes. Why? These ponds have mosquito predators such as fish, frogs and dragonflies. These predators feed on mosquito adults and larvae, and successful female mosquitoes will find a safer place to lay their eggs.
     
    The Fairfax County Health Department offers recommendations for controlling mosquitos. Top mosquito breeding sites include sagging or clogged gutters. Mosquitoes are not able to fly very far, so if they attack when you walk out the door, check gutters and any downspout extensions first. The Fairfax County Health Department has an inspection and treatment program for mosquito control, 703-246-2300, TTY 703-591-6435,
     
    4. Can Plants Be Added?
     
    The county encourages property owners to plant vegetation in and around dry ponds as an additional pollutant filter. For this reason, some ponds also have “No Mow zone” signs to encourage plant growth around the perimeter of the pond. Residents must follow county guidelines. For more information, see Tree Planting in Detention Ponds.
     
    5. Who Owns the Pond?
     
    Publicly maintained dry ponds often exist on privately owned land. While the county maintains the pond area, it is the land owners’ responsibility to perform routine maintenance outside the pond easement. Publicly maintained ponds have easements for county maintenance access that have to be kept clear of obstructions. No structures are permitted within an easement. Wet ponds often are maintained by the private company or homeowners’ association where they are located. The property owners are required to follow county maintenance guidelines.
     
    Learn More
     
    For more information about stormwater ponds, see:
     
    Emily McVearry is an intern and a graduate student in Environmental Management at University of Maryland.
  • StormWater Management Ponds - Who maintains the Ponds and what is the county's plan for retrofitting?
    We currently have two Storm Water Ponds in the townhome section and one in the single family section on Lonesome Dove.  Although the land is owned by the association, the ponds are maintained by Fairfax County.
     
    A dry pond with a shallow wetland marsh provides better treatment of polluted stormwater and poses less of a mosquito problem than a dry pond with lawn grass because of natural controls such as the fish, frogs and dragonflies associated with a wetland marsh ecosystem. The county encourages property owners to allow vegetation to grow on the pond floor as an additional pollutant filter. The county does not remove trash from ponds.  We currently have Premier Landscaping removing the trash during dry periods.
     
    Although the SWM pond has been retrofitted previously, the two SWM ponds in the townhome section have not been updated with a modern more efficient, attractive design.  There are engineering plans that have been done and proposed, but until these projects are funded, the ponds will not be upgraded.  Eventually, when they are retrofitted, they will remove the concrete trickle ditches and upgrade the facilities.  The end result will be much more attractive, more effective solution that requires less maintenance.
     
    In early February fo 2013, the maintenance division for the department of Stormwater Management had indicated that they would soon plant additional rye and other grasses in order to stabilize the basin floor and later in the warmer part of the spring they will also plant some water grasses. 
     
    The following is from Fairfax County's website.  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/utilities/swm_facility_maint.htm
    If a stormwater management pond on your property or in your community is maintained by the county, please observe the following guidelines:
    • Publicly maintained ponds have easements for maintenance access, thus all easements must be clear of obstructions. No structures are permitted within an easement.
    • As part of a routine maintenance program, the county ensures dam embankments of all publicly maintained ponds are mowed once every one-to-two years for function and safety. The county encourages property owners to allow vegetation to grow on the pond floor as an additional pollutant filter. The county does not remove trash from ponds.
    • Publicly maintained ponds often exist on privately owned land; it is the land owners’ responsibility to perform routine maintenance outside the pond easement..
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Trash, Recyling, & Yard Waste
  • When is Trash Pickup - What Days?
    When days does Patriot Disposal pickup regular trash, yard waste and/or recycling.  
    Tuesday - Trash and Recycling
    Wednesday - Yard Waste - Bundled limbs, Grass and Leaves in paper yard waste bags ONLY. 
    Friday - Trash only. 
    Special or Large items - Furniture, appliances, electronics, Mattresses and other large items - Call for special pickup - 703-257-7100.   Patriot Link click here
     
    442 Trash/ Recycle Containers.  Containers shall be placed for pickup not earlier than 6:00pm on the eve of the scheduled pickup day and not later than 7:00am on the scheduled pick-up day.
    442.1    Trash is to be placed in appropriate plastic containers manufactured for trash storage. Dark, heavy-duty plastic bags shall be used to combine smaller, white trash bags and 
    other small, loose items to prevent trash from blowing away on windy days. It is recommended that wet trash (kitchen, garbage, etc.) be placed in covered containers as a deterrent to scavenger animals, domestic and wild. 
    442.2    Recycling materials should be placed in bins provided by the contractor and newspapers either tired or placed in paper bags. Loose newspapers tend to be blown out by the wind. 
    442.3    Remove trash and recycle containers from curbs on the same day pick-up is completed.
    442.4    Containers must be stored so that they are screened from view from the street. Back yard or garage storage is preferred. Side yard storage is prohibited. 
    442.5    It is highly recommended that lids and containers be identified with the house number to assist neighbors in returning wind-blown items. 
    442.6    Do not store trash on upper decks. Wet trash being held in back yards for the next schedule trash pickup shall be stored in covered trash container for health, sanitary, and aesthetic reasons and also to deter scavenger animals, domestic and wild. 
  • Yard Waste - When does Patriot Disposal Pickup Leaves, brush, grass etc
    Leaves and/or Grass must be in bio-degradable paper yard waste bags or clear plastic bags.   Patriot will not pickup grass, leaves or other yard waste in black plastic bags and they only pickup yard waste on Wednesdays.
     
    Due to Fairfax County code, Chapter 109.1, yard waste (leaves, grass, and brush) is required to be recycled from all town house and single-family homes in Fairfax County. The code requires that residents in town houses and single-family homes separate yard waste from other trash and recycling for collection at the curb. It also requires that refuse and recycling collectors collect yard waste separately from refuse and other recyclables and deliver it to a recycling facility designed to manage yard waste. Tree stumps and limbs must be cut into 4 foot lengths and bundled (arm-full size) with rope or twine and should not exceed 50 pounds. Tree stumps and limbs larger than 6 inches in diameter and 4 ft in length will not be collected.

    Union Mills has contracted with Patriot Disposal to begin collection of yard waste for all Townhomes located in the community every Wednesday during yard waste season (March 1 through December 31).  From January 1 through February 29, all yard waste is to be placed at the curb for pickup with your regular household trash.
     

Yard Care