News & Notes

Have you noticed black stains on your roof? Most people believe that these black stains are caused by the natural process of the roof shingles breaking down over time. A majority of roofs are replaced not because of structural damage or deterioration, but because they are unsightly. These black stains are caused by algae that is eating the crushed limestone granules used to provide strength to the fiberglass backing of the shingles. The algae is retaining moisture and eventually the limestone granules will lose their adhesive properties and fall off. Loss of the limestone granules will cause the shingles to fall apart exposing the roof structure. The stains are caused by the waste material released by the algae, mold, and fungi.  There are several remedies available to homeowners who are experiencing this unsightly problem. One possible solution is to install zinc or copper strips on the roof. The theory behind this is that the copper or zinc ions will wash down the roof during a rainstorm and kill the algae, mold, and fungi. The drawback to this method is the fact that it is expensive and is only a short term solution. Another solution would be to clean the roof using a deck cleaner, an oxygen based cleaner, a sodium per carbonate compound, or common laundry bleach. There are also a number of commercially available roof stain removing chemicals available for use.  Never use a power washer to clean your roof, as this could result in substantial damage to the shingles and may lead to replacement.  When washing your roof, you should always use a low pressure garden hose and disperse any chemicals using a garden sprayer attachment. Always read the directions and be aware that certain chemicals may be harmful to plants, pets, and children.  Always use extreme caution while working on the roof and never try to walk on a wet roof surface, as serious injuries can occur.  Another possible solution would be to hire a roofing contractor that specializes in roof cleaning.  If you plan on having your roof replaced, you may want to consider using an algae resistant shingle.  These shingles are available from most shingle manufacturers.

The City of Eureka will now be issuing permits for all residential electric work. As was the requirement with St. Louis County’s Department of Public Works, a licensed St. Louis County electrician must apply for the permitted work. In the event that a homeowner wishes to perform any residential electric work on their own residence, an electrical test will be available for the homeowner to take. All electrical work performed must comply with the 2009 International Residential Code, as amended by the City (copies of amendments are on file in the Building Commissioner’s office). If a homeowner wishes to take the test, they may call City Hall at 636-938-5233 and ask to speak to a representative in the Building Department for more details.

A number of households and businesses have backflow prevention devices installed as part of their plumbing system. This device prevents outside contaminants from being introduced into the water system as a result of certain types of water usage. While there are a number of instances in commercial plumbing systems where a backflow prevention device is required, the most common use in residential installations is in conjunction with a lawn sprinkler system. For those of you who have a backflow prevention device installed at your residence or business, please note that an annual inspection by a licensed tester is required by Missouri State law. If you have such a device, you need to coordinate your annual inspection as soon as possible and provide the results to the St. Louis County Public Works Department. You may wish to check with a local plumbing professional who may either be licensed to perform the inspection or may be able to recommend a licensed tester.  St. Louis County also issues the permits for installation of the backflow prevention devices.  If you have any questions regarding the program, you may call the St. Louis County Public Works Department at 314-615-2559. 

If you are considering finishing your basement, keep in mind that you will need to obtain building, plumbing and electrical permits from the City and a permit from the Eureka Fire Protection District. Under the current building code regulations, a finished basement is required to have a second emergency means of egress. Also, any bedroom that is constructed in a basement is required to have its own emergency means of egress directly to the outside. Our Code contains the minimum size and placement of a second emergency egress. Basement windows normally used in today’s construction do not meet these requirements, so such means would need to be a door or a larger window.  The number of deaths every year of residents and firefighters in basements has been rising. This is the reason for building codes becoming more restrictive where basements are concerned and having one of our inspectors review the work as it is being done will prevent hazardous situations and questionable construction techniques. If you have any questions regarding your basement finish or any construction project, please feel free to call or stop by City Hall and talk to one of our Building Department inspectors.

For those residents who may not be familiar with the regulations, the City has an Exterior Appearance Code to ensure that structures and property do not become or remain in a deteriorated condition.  Should the Building Department determine that your structure or property is not in compliance, you will be notified and given a reasonable period of time to address the identified deficiencies.  In the event the issues are not addressed within the time period given, the potential exists for the issuance of a summons.  The intent of the Exterior Appearance Code is to promote sanitation, to prevent neighborhood deterioration, and to preserve property values. All property owners need to work together to maintain high standards.

Just a reminder, as required by City Code, all residential property located within the City limits must have address numbers, a minimum height of 4″, affixed to each residence or placed on the property so as to be clearly visible by emergency and City vehicles from the street in front of the residence.

With the exception of a single driveway limited to a width and length necessary to serve only the capacity of the principal garage or carport operated in connection with a single residence, no driveway or driveway extension may be constructed or utilized unless approval is received by the City.