TALK OF THE TOWNS

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Townhomes of Timberland

T
A
L
K

O
F

T
H
E

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O
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TOWNHOMES OF TIMBERLAND

SPRING 2008


Homeowner’s Association’s to Hold Board of Directors Meeting


The Board of Directors will meet on
Wednesday April 30, 2008 at 7:00 PM at
Ellicott Mills Middle School, 4445 Montgomery
Road. T
he Board has invited “Neighbor to
Neighbor” to talk about emergency
preparedness, and our new ValleyCrest
Landscape Maintenance account manager,
Mr. Jim McKeever, has been invited to
address any landscaping questions or
concerns. Please mark your calendar
s and
plan to attend!


Neighbor to Neighbor


Do you remember what you were doing on
September 11, 2001? Were you ready for the
power outages, the lack of water supply and
the electrical lines that were down in the
middle of neighborhood streets because of

Hurricane Isabel? Could you have been
prepared, or ready, for these horrific events,
despite the fact that they usually arrived
unannounced?


Representatives from the
Community Emergency
Response Network,
Neighbor
-
to
-
Neighbor
, will
speak at our April B
oard
meeting on preparing our community for
emergencies. There are practical steps you
can take that emphasize plans for you, your
family, and neighborhood to take, if instructed
by local authorities to shelter
-
in
-
place
following an unexpected disaster or

emergency. Being able to sustain yourself,
your family and neighborhood for up to five
days is the goal of Neighbor
-
to
-
Neighbor.


Visit the Neighbor
-
to
-
Neighbor website at
www.bepreparedbeready
.org/sites/n2n

for
more

information. Better still, attend the April
30
th

meeting at Ellicott Mill Middle School and
learn more directly from the Neighbor
-
to
-
Neighbor program.
























In thIs Issue…



Parking Problems


2

Join a Neighborhood Committee


3

Do You Have a Gas Leak?


4

Planning to Sell Your Home?


4

Pet Corner


5

Clothes Dryers + Lint


6

Litter and

Identity Theft


6

Now Where Does This Belong?


7

Trash Pickup


7

Recycling Pickup


7

Yard Waste


7

The Dumpsters Return in June


8

What’s Your Home Worth?


8

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p捲敥湳


8

k敥搠䡥l瀠pit栠䡯m攠e数慩rs


9

p灲楮朠䍬敡湩湧 v潵r ae捫



Welcome to the Spring 2008 edition of
Tal
k of the Towns
. In keeping with the time of year,
this issue will look at Spring Cleaning


from the traditional clean up around our homes, to
cleaning up throughout the community. We will also take a look at home improvement tips
and we will visit some
of the bad habits that need to be cleaned out of our community. Enjoy!


Townhomes of Timberland

Neighborhood Parking Problems and Violations


Parkin
g, without a doubt, is one of our
community’s biggest hot
-
button topics. In this
issue of the newsletter, we will look at parking
problems that are violations of either Maryland
Motor Vehicle Laws and/or the Howard
County Code.



It is illegal to
stop, st
and, or park a vehicle
in a fire lane.



It is illegal to stand or park a vehicle,
whether occupied or not:

o

In front of a private driveway, except
with the consent of the owner

o

Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant



It is prohibited to stop, stand, or park a
ve
hicle, except when necessary to avoid a
conflict with other traffic, or when
complying with the directions of a police
officer:

o

On a sidewalk

o

Within an intersection

o

In the opposite direction from the flow
of traffic



When
parking on a two
-
way roadway,
such
as Timberland Circle, park with the
right
-
hand wheels, front and back, parallel
to and within 12 inches of the right hand
curb or edge of the roadway.


While it might not seem like a
big deal when we see a car or
truck breaking one of these
parking laws h
ere in our
community, consider the
consequences of the action.
For the convenience of one, the
entire neighborhood could be
not only inconvenienced, but it safety could be
put at risk.



A car parked in the fire lane could mean a fire
truck might not be
able to negotiate the curve
in the road, delaying the time it takes to
respond to a fire. It could also mean not being
able to hook up the fire hoses to the closest
hydrant.


Parking across the end of a driveway, even
partially, could result in property d
amage to
one or more cars if the resident whose
driveway is blocked tries to enter or exit their
driveway around the illegally parked vehicle.
It could also force the driveway owner to find
another place to park, adding to the already
over burdened parkin
g problem in the courts
or around the circle.


While it might seem commendable to try to get
an extra car or truck into the end or bottom of
a driveway, the resulting blocking of the
sidewalk is also illegal. It is also a safety
concern, as walkers would
have to walk in the
street or through your yard.


When a car, truck, or other
vehicle violates the above laws,
the police will issue tickets, and
in most cases can have the
violating vehicle towed at the
owner’s expense. To report a
car or truck parked

illegally in
the Townhomes of Timberland, call the
Howard County Police non
-
emergency
telephone number, 410.313.2200, to report
the violation(s).




To
wnhomes of Timberland, Inc.

Board of Directors


Leila Bristow

President

Mark Hensman

Vice
President

Kathy Gustafson

Treasurer

Doug Neilson

Secretary

Rob Kimberl

ARC Chair


townhomesoftimberland.com


Management Company:

WP&M Real Estate Group, LLC

7 Gwynns
Mills Court, # F

Owings Mills, Maryland 21117

Danelle Boso

443
.
796
.
7400

dboso@wpmllc.com

Spring 2008

Townhomes of Timberland

3

Become Involved with Your
Neighborhood, Join a Committee


The Homeowner’s
Association’s Board of
Director has set up the following committees
for the improvement and
advancement of the
community. Residents
interested in joining their
neighbors on one or more
of these committees should
contact the Board of
Directors by emailing
the management
company at
dboso@wpmllc
, or sign up at the
April 30
th

Board meeting.




Architectural Review Committee

-

The
committee, under the direction of Board
member Rob Kimberl, will review
homeowner’s requests for improvements,
modifications, repa
irs, or
changes to their
townhouses, based on the
ARC Modification Forms
submitted by the residents.
The committee will make

suggestions for addressing
common problems most homeowners must
cope with

in maintaining their townhouses.


Communications Commi
ttee
-

Members of
this committee will write and publish future
issue of the
Townhomes of Timberland

newsletter,
Talk of the
Towns
. They will also
review, rewrite, update
and recommend
improvements to the
community’s
web site,
townhomesoftimberland.
com
. T
he committee will also propose new
methods by which the Board can improve
communications with the homeowners and
residents of the community. Board member
Doug Neilson will work with this committee.


Emergency Preparedness Committee

-

Working with Board m
ember Mark Hensman,
who brings his experience with the American
Red Cross, the committee will look at ways
our community can prepare for nearly every
kind of emergency, such as fire, tornados,
earth quakes, hurricanes, blizzards, etc. The
committee will d
evelop
an inventory of, organize,
and manage all
resources and
information to help
residents prepare for and
survive any disaster
(large or small) which affects our
neighborhood.




Grounds Committee
-

Working with Board
President Leila Bristow, the Groun
ds
Committee focus will be on landscaping (lawn
mowing service, planting beds in the common
areas, front entrance planting), snow removal,
the care and maintenance of the sidewalks
and court surfaces, and the tennis court. The
committee will look for
ways

to improve the
various services and make
suggestions for community
improvements. Committee
members will be an extra
set of eyes for the Board
and HOA, watching out for problems with the
use or abuse of the Common Areas.




Social Committee

-

Member of t
his
committee will serve as the Townhomes of
Timberland’s “Welcoming Committee.” The
committee will help develop a welcoming kit
with the Board and management company
that will help new residents get to know the
community, their
neighbors, and the
ameniti
es that Ellicott
City and Howard
County have to offer.
Another project will
be to update,
upgrade, and maintain the community
telephone directory.


However, it is not all
about work, as the Social Committee will plan
and organize community events, such as

picnics, cookouts, tennis tournaments,
community cleanup projects, yard sales, etc.

4

Townhomes of Timberland

Spring 2008

X
Do You Have a Gas Leak?


Recently one of our neighbors discovered, for
a second time in 5 years, that the natural gas
connection to their house was leaking. The
leak was

significant, requiring BGE to make
emergency repairs.


All residents are encouraged to check their
gas meters, located either on the front or side
of their homes, and all inside gas connections
for any sign of a leak now and on a regular
basis. One
si
mple
method you can
use to
check for leaks
is to
“paint” the
connections with
a
soapy water
solution (1
-
part
dishwashing
liquid
soap to 2
-
parts water.) If you see any bubbles
in the liquid, you have a leak. You can also
use your nose to check for leaks.

BGE adds
an unpleasant odor to the natural gas supplied
to our homes, making it smell similar to rotten
eggs. (If you have ever been to Yellowstone
National Park or any natural sulfur springs or
geysers, you are probably familiar with this
smell.) Here
is some useful information from
BGE:


Possible gas leaks:



Extinguish all open flames.



Do not use matches or lighters, and do not
attempt to light your appliances.



Do not touch electric switches,
thermostats, or appliance controls.



If the odor is strong
, do not use your
corded or wireless phone. All of these
devices can cause sparks.



Leave the premises and go to a safe
place.



Call BGE:
410.685.0123

or
1.800.685.0123

or
1.800.735.2258

TTY/TDD (Maryland Relay)



Remain at the safe location and wait for
B
GE to arrive.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Planning to Sell Your home?

You will Need a Resale Package



If you are selling your townhouse, you are
required by Maryland law to provide the buyer
with a Resale Package. Resale pac
kages are
prepared by our management company,
WP&M,

The cost for preparing these
packages is $175.00. Once you have
submitted your request with the check, the
management company has 12 days to provide
you with the package.

Your Resale Package
will be val
id for only 90 days from the date it is
issued.


If you do not close on the sale of your
home in that time, you will have to request a
new package and submit another check for
$175.00.



The Townhomes of Timberland Resale
Package includes a variety of docu
ments such
as:



Articles of Incorporation



Declaration of Covenants



By
-
Laws



Rules and Regulations



Budget for current fiscal year



Balance sheet



Planned Urban Development form listing
any violations at the home and/or any
balance due the Homeowner’s
Associatio
n at the time the package was
issued


To get a Resale Package, Contact:

Resale Department

c/o WP&M Real Estate Group

7 Gwynns Mills Court, # F

Owings Mills, MD 21117

443.796.7400


Office

443.796.7188


Fax

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Spring 2008

Townhomes of Timberland

5

Pet Corner…

Please Use Prop
er Pet Etiquette
-

Clean
-
up After Your Pets!


An edition of the
Talk of the Towns
newsletter would not be complete without
including an article on cleaning up after our
pets. Unfortunately, this problem seems to
be increasing instead of disappearing fro
m
our community. Pet waste is
not attractive. It is not a
fertilizer. It can smell bad, and
is a health concern for pets and
humans.


Experts estimate that a single
gram of dog waste can contain 23 million
fecal
coliform bacteria
, which can cause cramps,
diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney
disorders in humans. The EPA estimates that
two or three days’ worth of droppings from a
population of about 100 dogs would

contribute
enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay,
and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it,
to swimming and shell fishing.


Dog feces are one of the most common
carriers of the following diseases:

Heartworms

Whipworms

Hookworms

Roundworms


Tapeworms

Parvo


Corona

Giardiasis


Salmonellosis

Cryptosporidiosis


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), pet droppings
can contribute to diseases animals pass to
humans, called zoonoses. When i
nfected dog
poop is deposited on our lawns, the eggs of
certain roundworms and other parasites can
linger in your soil for years.


Anyone who
comes into contact with that soil

be it
through gardening, playing sports, walking
barefoot or any other means

run
s the risk of
coming into contact with those eggs;
especially your dog.


Under the Howard County Code, pet owners
are responsible for immediately removing
excrement deposited by their pets and
disposing of it in a sanitary manner. If you
see anyone violat
ing these laws, tell them to
clean up after their pets and call the Howard
County Animal Control Division at
410
.
313
.
2780
. If a dog walker cannot bother
with exercising proper pet etiquette by
cleaning up their pets’ waste, they are not
welcome to walk th
eir pets in our
neighborhood. Please help keep our
neighborhood clean!





Keep your Pets on a Leash!


When your dog is not on your property, it must
be on a leash and under the direct control of a
responsible person. Howard County offers
dog owners
an off leash park where dogs can
run, jump, and play.
Worthington Park

is
located at
8170 Hillsborough Road, just off
New Cut Road. For more information visit
www.hocodog.org/Welcome.html
. Your
dog must have a valid Howard
County license and
you need
to
either purchase a daily pass (
$5
per visit)
or obtain a $40
per year user permit from
Howard

County
.

XX

Cat & Dog Licenses


Licenses are required for all cats and dogs
over the age of four months living in the
county. You may purchase a license at th
e
Department of Inspections,
Licenses and Permits, 3430
Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City,
MD 21043
-

410
-
313
-
2455
.
The proper fee, a current
rabies certificate and proof of
neutering, if applicable, are
required. You can download a cat/dog license
applica
tion form the county website at
www.co.ho.md.us/DILP/DOCS/petlicense.

pdf.

6

Townhomes of Timberland

Spring 2008

Clothes Dryers + Excessive Lint [could] = Fire




The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,500
fires associated with clothes dryers occur
annually. The
se fires account for an average
of 10 deaths and 310 injuries and more than
$84.4 million in property damage annually.
One cause of dyer fires can occur when lint
builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct.
Lint can block the flow of air, cause excess
ive
heat build
-
up, and result in a fire in some
dryers.


To help prevent dryer fires:



Clean the lint screen/filter before or
after drying each load of clothes.

If
clothing is still damp
at the end of a typical
drying cycle or drying
requires longer times

than normal, this may
be a sign that the lint
screen or the
exhaust duct is
blocked.

X



Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct
periodically.

Check the outside dryer
vent while the dryer is operating to make
sure exhaust air is escaping. If it is not,
the

vent or the exhaust duct may be
blocked. To remove a blockage in the
exhaust path, it may be necessary to
disconnect the exhaust duct from the
dryer. Remember to reconnect the
ducting to the dryer and outside vent
before using the dryer again.



Clean be
hind the dryer, where lint can
build up.

Have a qualified service person
clean the interior of the dryer minimize the
amount of lint accumulation. Keep the
area around the dryer clean and free of
clutter.



Replace plastic or foil, accordion
-
type
ducting m
aterial with rigid or
corrugated semi
-
rigid metal duct.

The
flexible plastic or foil type duct can more
easily trap lint and is more susceptible to
kinks or crushing, which can greatly
reduce the airflow.


Is Your Recycling Helping a Thief to Your Identi
ty?


One thing our neighborhood can count on
happening nearly every Tuesday night is a
breeze blowing through the neighborhood,
taking papers and plastic bottles that are set
out for recycling and depositing the debris on
the streets, in our yards and al
l over the
common areas. The litter is
not only bad for the ecology,
but often these papers
blowing about the community
contain personal information
that would make it extremely
easy for an unscrupulous individual to steal
another’s identity.


Take a mo
ment to make sure the papers and
plastic items are secure in the bins, boxes, or
bags you use to hold you’re recycling for
pickup. More importantly, make sure that any
personal papers you put out for recycling have
been shredded or censored of personal
in
formation that could help the identity thief.


This problem is real. Last year a resident
found a sheet of charge card checks,
complete with all the information needed to
not only use the checks, but enough to obtain
access to this and other charge acco
unts the
owner might have. The attached letter
indicated that the cardholder had over
$34,000 of available credit to “spend.”
Fortunately, the checks were found by a Good
Samaritan and returned to the account holder.
They were surprised that their recy
cling had
been blown out of their bin. To avoid the
problem in the future,
they said they were going
to an office supply store
to buy a paper shredder
.


Spring 2008

Townhomes of Timberland

7

Now Where Does This Belong?


Peanuts’ comic strip character Charlie Brown
knows that spring breeze
s are perfect for
flying, or trying to fly kites. Charlie Brown is
rarely successful in having his kite catch a
breeze and avoid the kite
-
eating tree. Spring
breezes also enjoy wreaking havoc in our
community, blowing recycling bins, trashcan,
and trashc
an lids around after the county’s
trucks have made their rounds. To help your
recycling bins, trashcans, and trashcan lids
return home on those breezy
days, take a moment to print your
address on them. That way,
when the wind relocates them in
the street
s, a neighbor’s yard, or
on common areas around the
neighborhood, it will be easier for
your bins, cans, or lids to find their way home



Our Weekly Trash Pickup Day is Friday!


Howard County Code states that trash is not
to be put out curbside until a
fter
6 PM the evening before
collection. This is not a
Homeowner’s Association
issue
; it is Howard County law.
The Townhomes of Timberland
trash pickup day is Friday
between 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM.


When placing trash out for collection,
remember...



Only 4
items (bags, trash cans) per
household per week



Each item must be less than 40 pounds



Each item must be less than 4 feet long

The following items are prohibited:



Liquids such as wet paint and motor oil
(they can leak from the
collection truck and cause a

mess)



Hazardous,

toxic, or
flammable materials



Bulk items (such as large
appliances, carpets,
mattresses, or large pieces of furniture)



Car parts
-

tires, wheels or batteries



Yard waste in an area with yard waste
collection
. (Our community has weekly
Ya
rd Waste pickups)



Recycling Pickup


Put your recyclables out after 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday evening for pick
-
up on Wednesday.
Howard County residents do not have to
separate their recycling items in separate
bags or bins. Recyclables
-

metal cans, plastic
s, and
glass bottles and jars can
be combined with mixed
paper and cardboard,
without bagging or binding
the paper separately. One
bin or see
-
through bag is all that is needed for
your recyclables. Remember to make sure
your recyclable papers and plastic
s are
secure in their bins, boxes, or bags.


Yard Waste Pickup


H
oward County collects Yard
Waste in our community on
Wednesday
s, our scheduled
recycling day.


Acceptable Yard Waste:

Leaves

Grass

Small brush

Small limbs

Hedge clippings

Dry seed pods (su
ch as pine cones or
sour gum balls)


Do Not Include:

Dirt

or
Sod

Fruit or vegetables


Man made materials mixed with yard
trimmings

8

Townhomes of Timberland

Spring 2008

The Dumpsters Return in June


The Board of Directors has once again
arranged with the County to have the
dumpsters in

our neighborhood the weekend
of June 7 & 8, 2008. As you do your Spring
Cleaning, remember that many of the items
that are too big or bulky to put out with the
weekly trash or recycling collections are
perfect for the dumpsters. When you clean
out your

closets,
basements, or
garages, keep in
mind that the
dumpsters will be
here before you
know it. However, while planning what you
are going to put in the dumpsters, take into
account that the following items are not
permitted:



Trash and recycling, inclu
ding
newspapers, that would normally be
picked up during regular trash and
recycling curbside pick
-
ups



Remodeling or construction debris



Large tree trunks, stumps, or branches
(pieces less than four feet in length are
acceptable)



Earth, broken paving, larg
e rocks, and
boulders



Liquids



Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners



Tires


What is Your Home Worth?


The real estate market nationally, regionally,
and locally is in a slump. Experts say we are
in a “Buyer’s Market,” when a homebuyer is
able to get a lot more house for fewer dollars.
The sl
ump appears to be
affecting the prices of
houses here in our
neighborhood. To help
you gauge the value of
your home, here is a
snapshot of the listing
price for the houses
currently on the market
here in our community.
The chart was compiled from real es
tate web
sites.


What's the Best Way to Clean
Window Screens?


You have washed the windows, cleaned the
pollen and dirt from the windowsills, and now
you want to clean the screens. Be careful, the
last time you tried to clean them with a hose
as they w
ere leaning against the railing on
your deck. Unfortunately, between the water
pressure and trying to
scrub the fine mesh, you
accidentally twisted the
frames, and the nylon
screens stretched a little.
To make matter worse,
when you were done,

they
did

n
o
t look any cleaner.
Want to try a better way? Relax; it is
easier than you think.



Lay the screens flat on a drop cloth or
an old sheet on a flat, hard surface to
keep from scratching the frames



Hose the screens down and scrub
them with a little all
-
purp
ose cleaner
and a rag or a soft bristle scrub brush



Flip the screens and scrub again



Rinse the screens and tap off the
excess water



Reinstall your screens

Homes For Sale in the Neighborhood

Address

Asking

Built

8504 Timberland Circle

$475,000

1994

8517 Timberland Circle

$480,000

1993

8518 Timberla
nd Circle

$499,900

1994

8518 Timber Hill Court

$494,900

1992

Spring 2008

Townhomes of Timberland

9

Need Help with Home Repairs?


Are you looking for a handyman, contractor,
roofer, painter, plumber
, chimney sweep, or a
licensed, qualified, competent service person
to do work in, on or around your home, but
you are not sure where to turn? As suggested
in the old commercials “…let your fingers do
the walking…” The Homeowner’s
Association’s Board of
Directors offers the
following resources to help you with your
search. It is not an endorsement of any
service, contractor, or repairman. The
description for each service is taken from the
companies’ web sites.




Service Magic



servicemagic.com


“Free
service matching you to
prescreened
,

customer
-
rated
service professionals. Maids,
painters, remodelers,
plumbers, architects & more.
You pick the type of work you need done,
desc
ribe the service needed, and the web
site will contact it network of Maryland
licensed contractors. You are then
contacted by email or telephone by
potential repairmen to bid on your job.”




Angie’s List



angieslist.com



“A word
-
of
-
mouth network for con
sumers, Angie's
List is a growing collection of
homeowners' real
-
life experiences with
local service companies. The people who
join Angie's List
are like you


looking for a way to find trustworthy
companies that perform high
-
quality work.”




411 Home Impr
ovements



411homeimprovement.com

-


Free Price
Quotes From Local Home Contractors.

Select from a list of projects fill out a 3
-
5
minute quick and easy
form to receive a free
price quote on your
project. This process is
free and there is no
obligation to
continue once you receive
your customized price estimate.”




Robs Jobs

-

www.robsjobs.com



410.
750.1599



“Robs Jobs
specializes in
the 'Honey Do'
lists. They have
been serving Howard County, MD (and
surrounding counties) for 16 years. Robs
Jobs has g
rown almost exclusively
through repeat customers and word
-
of
-
mouth advertising. Many of their clients
have remarked that Robs Jobs is probably
‘the best kept secret in Howard County.”
Robs Jobs provides high quality work and
excellent customer service at

extremely
affordable prices. Robs Jobs stands
behind their work will show up when
expected and will work with clients
through
-
out each stage of the construction
and ‘growing pains’ process.”




Mr. Handyman



mrhandyman.com



“One Call Does It All! No Jo
b Is Too
Small. There's
no need to make
multiple calls and
set up different
appointments for
your home maintenance and repair
projects. Call Mr. Handyman, make one
convenient appointment, and we will take
care of everything on your "To Do" list.
We arri
ve at your home on time. Our
service technicians are company
employees. We guarantee our work.
Over half a million households served
nationwide.”


In addition to the above resources, you can
also contact our management company for
the names of local con
tractors and handy men
who have worked with their maintenance
department. Call Ms. Danelle Boso, or her
assistant, Ms. Linda Stran, at WP&M Real
Estate Group, LLC,
443.796.7400

or email her
at
dboso@wpmllc.com
.

10

Townhomes of Timberland

Spring 2008

Ti
me to Spring Clean Your Deck & Privacy Fences Too!


As the weather continues to improve, many of
us are starting to think about spending more
time outdoors. If you are planning to use your
deck as an outdoor
extension of your home, a
place for sun bathi
ng,
grilling, or dining
alfresco, then now
is the time to plan to
clean your deck.
You can hire a
professional, or roll up
your sleeves and with a little
hard work, tackle the job
yourself, by following these steps:

1.

Sweep all the surface dirt and tree
dro
ppings off the deck.

2.

Use a putty knife or a screw driver to clean
between the boards, being careful not to
gouge the boards.

3.

Inspect and if need be, replace any boards
that have splintered badly, split, warped,
or rotted.

4.

Make sure all nails or screws ar
e flush
with the surface of the wood. Do not
pound nail heads below the wood surface,
leaving a dent or depression where water
can sit and cause damage to the board.

5.

Check the bolts holding the deck to the
house. Make sure these are tight, but be
careful

not to over torque the bolts when
tightening, as this can cause the bolt to
snap.

6.

Cover any plants under or next to the deck
for protection from chemicals and/or
cleaning solutions. .

7.

Mix or prepare the cleaning solution.
Experts recommend an oxalic aci
d
solution. It is considered a wood
restorative. The acid penetrates the wood
and kills microorganisms and restores the
wood's pH level. If you are using an oxalic
acid solution, it shouldn’t hurt your lawn or
plant, as it is actually a naturally occurri
ng
acid. It is still an acid, so you should wear
eye protection and gloves when working
with it. You can buy a variety of different
deck cleaning products at any home
improvement store. Just be sure to follow
the label instructions to make your
cleaning

solution. You should not use
bleach. Bleach may look like it is
cleaning, but it is just bleaching the
surface. Over time bleach can eat away
at the wood and impede the wood from
holding a seal. Fungicides are not deck
cleaners either. These will onl
y drive the
fungus problem deeper into the wood.
The black fungus spots usually return in a
few weeks.

8.

Spray on the oxalic acid solution using a
plastic garden sprayer. You can also
brush on the solution from a bucket using
scrub brushes or push brooms
. (Again, be
sure to wear rubber gloves and eye
protection.)

9.

Spread the solution on only a section of
the deck at a time. Let the solution sit for
about half an hour

10.

Rinse the cleaning solution off the wood.
Experts recommend using a spray of
about 30
00 psi, as produced by power
washers and sprayers. (You can rent a
power washer or sprayer from most rent
-
all centers.) However, using a high
pressure spray nozzle on your garden
hose and a brush or push broom to rinse
off the cleaning solution will also

work.

11.

After finishing the deck, don’t forget to
clean your privacy fences as well, using
the same procedure.

12.

If you are going to use a sealant or stain
your deck, wait until the wood is
thoroughly dry, about 24 to 72 hours,
depending on the weather.


Of
course, you can avoid the good time, and
hire a professional deck cleaner. An average
size deck that has never been treated with
sealant will cost about $500 to clean. If your
deck has been previously sealed, you will
have to have the sealant stripped fr
om the
wood. This will increase the cost of cleaning
your deck and fences.