Robert Lamoureux

Robert Lamoureux | Proper materials can solve slider situation

Last week, we had a contractor come out to give us a quote to replace our sliders and address the issue of corrosion of the aluminum tracks. The contractor was shocked at the degree of erosion. He indicated it is a construction issue caused by a lack of barrier between the concrete foundation and the aluminum tracks of the door jamb. He indicated that normally there is a painted coating or thin plastic barrier between the concrete and the aluminum. If this barrier is breached, the acid in the concrete will eat/erode the aluminum. He indicated it would start slowly and then accelerate (which explains why one door has more damage than the other door track, and why it has become increasingly worse in the past year). He said it will continue to erode until the entire door jamb is gone.
Picture for Robert Lamoureux | Proper materials can solve slider situation
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Get a second opinion about cracked gutters

Recently I was up on the roof to check my gutters and I noticed several large vertical cracks on my chimney, maybe a quarter-inch wide. I called a chimney company and they checked with a camera and also got up on the roof. I was told that I have a two-story Rampart General masonry chimney system and that I have “significant vertical cracks throughout the chimney exterior and fractures and missing mortar in the flue system.” They are recommending structural repair at a cost of over $29,000. They did quote me a separate crack repair cost and to seal the crown wash with a waterproof membrane. We have used our fireplace less than five times in the 20 years of living here. We have never had a problem with rain or wind coming in. Can I just repair the cracks? What about getting an electrical fireplace that would not need venting? As always, thank you for your help.
Picture for Robert Lamoureux | Get a second opinion about cracked gutters
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Cover wood frame, overlay with Trex

Our outdoor steps and balcony railings are showing dry rot. My husband has replaced a few of the stair treads but now the railing is shaky, and the balcony railing is also affected. We know we have to replace the steps and rails but are wondering what the best way is to go. We have looked at Trex products, but they don’t make long support beams or stair treads. We like the look of the cable railings but aren’t sure how to put it all together. Would we use wood stairs and try to weatherproof them? We would like it to be low maintenance. Any ideas? Thanks,

Robert Lamoureux | Wire size, amps must be coordinated

We have just purchased an electric vehicle, which I am not yet prepared to charge at home, so I am in need of resolving this but would like your guidance, please. I am somewhat knowledgeable in electrical so I’m hoping with some assistance from you I’ll be able to set this up without calling in a professional.
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Ready for a reliable roofing remedy

We live in Canyon Country in a home with an attached garage, which has a flat roof. We’ve had this roof repaired numerous times and it is once again in need of repairs. We are now in a position to replace the roof and I really don’t want to deal with this again. Do you have any recommendations on what we can do to have this result in a one-time job?

Robert Lamoureux | Goof Off to remove driveway oil stains

My driveway is not brand new, but it’s less than 5 years old. I’ve discovered that one of my vehicles had enough of an oil leak that it has caused a stain, which I have been unable to get out thus far. I know there are many schools of thought and opinions on how to do this, but none that I’ve heard of have worked for me. Is there any professional product or secret pro tip you can share that may help with this issue for me?
Santa Clarita,

Robert Lamoureux | Take a deep dive on pool work bids

I’m on a board of directors here in Santa Clarita, and we have several bids for pool reconstruction at our association pool, which includes handrails and several other things. I need some guidance because the bids are all over the place, and we have been thrown for a loop on how to tackle this selection process and all of the things that are factoring in with the details.
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Repairing stucco damage from moisture

I’ve written you before and have always been pleased with your honest answers and possible solutions. Here’s my latest one: I live in a custom-built home in what is called “Vista Point” above the Vista Valencia Golf Course. I love this house, but it comes with a lot of unique issues.

Robert Lamoureux | Temporary and permanent fixes for spalling

I attached a photo for reference, hoping you can tell me what the problem is. The building where this photo was taken was just painted a couple months ago and we are already seeing this issue once again. Whatever it is seems to have crept up to the window ledge. Is this spalling? Can something be done here? There are no sprinklers or pipes in the vicinity, so what could this be? Please advise.
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Taking a look at underneath the cabinets

I need your help, please. You had an article on kitchen cabinet installation, and my husband and I are at odds on this topic. Perhaps you can help. We have linoleum below our kitchen cabinets, and we are discussing whether the new tile goes in first then the new cabinets, or the cabinets first then the new tile up to them. Can you clear up this debate? Which is the proper way to go?

Robert Lamoureux | A cabinet self-install can help save money

We’re remodeling our kitchen and want to install new cabinets. However, we need to save money where we can by doing work ourselves. This will give us more options to choose the products we prefer. For cabinet installation, I think I can do this myself, but what are some of...

Robert Lamoureux | Not enough cold water — or spin

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. What would the reason be for the cold water supply in both my master bathroom and kitchen being at nearly zero, but the guest bathroom is just fine? Any ideas?. We live in a condo, and I’ve checked...

Robert Lamoureux | Don’t get stucco with an unlicensed contractor

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. I live in a 17-unit condo complex that has a parking garage below. We had the entire decking system redone last summer and, after this last rain, five of the 17 units each suffered a significant amount of water intrusion. With the attached photo, are you able to give insight as to what happened here? The contractor is coming out soon, and I’d like your feedback before he arrives so I have an idea of what we are looking at as far as getting this resolved.
Santa Clarita,

Robert Lamoureux | Air-flow issues becoming a drag on cabin living

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. We live in Santa Clarita but own a cabin in Frasier Park. One of the bathroom sinks there, for years, has made a gurgling sound much like a milk jug turned upside down. We’ve spent a lot of time there during the pandemic, and the sound is driving us crazy. I’ve run a snake through the drain to no avail, and am certain that it is draining properly. Any chance you can shed some light on a possible fix, please?

Robert Lamoureux | Is Dutchman repair a viable option?

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. I have a large beam on our pergola that is partially rotted that I’d like to repair. I remember vividly, you wrote about a Dutchman repair to a similarly rotted timber. In my situation, can I do the Dutchman repair?
Home &

Robert Lamoureux | Occasional leak around toilet likely irreparable

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. I am experienced in minor construction and repairs, and have a leak that is beyond my expertise at this point. I’m hoping you can help with new ideas on what may be the problem here. I see the leak every few days, coming from under the toilet.

Robert Lamoureux | Concerns about ‘exploding’ concrete

Share on facebook Share Share on twitter Tweet Share on email Email. I am in Canyon Country. We had concrete poured on our driveway less than a year ago and there are many cracks, which the contractor says are normal, but there is also the issue of the concrete “exploding” from the top. There are four different areas where this issue is about a quarter-inch thick, and is becoming more and more unsightly. There is also an area where the cracking is happening in a circular pattern, which the contractor is also saying is normal. Can you please look at the photos I’ve attached and tell me if this is in fact, normal, or if something can be done?