Your Home Improvements

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I live in Canyon Country and have a flat roof on my garage.

In the last rains’ I’ve discovered that there are many pin holes that are in that gray sort of sandy paper. It really looks like there are a million microscopic holes in this material.

I’m not in a financial position to redo this roof at this point, so I need your best advice on what I can do personally, to get at least this season out of this roof.

I’ve read about the Henry’s product but isn’t that stuff super thick? I think it would take me hours to lay that product down. Is that what I have to do?

Are there any other options that may be easier to install for a one man crew?

– Leonard B.


No, Leonard that is not your only option.

Henry’s 208 is what you are referring to, however, Henry’s 108 is a liquid asphalt emulsion that solidifies as it dries. This is another roofing product and appropriate for this application.

Get yourself this product and a very inexpensive broom, mop or squeegee that you’ll discard afterward.

Unlike the 208, 108 cannot be applied when it is wet outside, so you’ll have to ride out the rain until you get some drying time.

Lay the product down thoroughly onto the affected area and possibly do a second coat. With this treatment you should be able to ride out this winter. It will likely give you about six months of protection, at which time you’ll need to either revisit this application (because the product dries out and cracks with the heat of the summer), or possibly, and more preferably, be in a better position to replace the roof at that time.

Good luck with this.


I live in Santa Clarita and read your articles all of the time.

I’ve gone online to see how to mount tile onto drywall on an existing fireplace in my family room.

But, there is nothing that tells me if I can mount this directly onto the drywall, if it will hold, or if I need to put something in between the drywall and the tile.

It’s a pretty big fireplace and my wife would prefer tile rather than just drywall, but, I want to do it correctly.

-Vince S.


All you need to do to make the tile adhere properly is to score the drywall all over the application area. You can use a utility knife or even something as simple as a screwdriver.

Make “x”s throughout the area to receive tile, and this rough area will be what the thin set mortar “grabs” onto. I recommend about ¾” to 3/8” deep grooves, and this will do the trick. Of course, start at the bottom when setting the tile, and work your way up.

Be sure to protect all of the adjacent areas, as mortar can be unforgiving and cause you grief trying to get it off. Good luck.


We live in a four-story building with a hot water circulating system.

In the last two months we’ve had four significant leaks where we’ve had to break out stucco, drywall and replace interior items that have been damaged.

This building is only seven years old, and my question to you is when do we replace the recirculating line? It’s always this line that is the culprit and it is always at intersections.

We are not funded to do a replacement of this line, but is this something that we need to make happen?

Please share your expertise, as this is costing the HOA thousands in emergency calls and repairs and they’re not even permanent repairs.

– Michael P.


This is dependent on many factors.

Seven years is not that old especially if they used Type L copper. It wouldn’t be too uncommon, however, to have this happen at intersections even after only this much time.

The water hits the intersections at such high rates that it can prematurely wear out the fittings and connection points where we solder, at a higher rate than in the straightaways.

If you were to replace the entire loop, the cost would be near the level of “national debt” so I recommend that you deal with these leaks one at a time.

More importantly though, thoroughly communicate with your homeowners/tenants that they immediately report any leaking or suspected leaking, as the sooner you catch these, the less likely you are to incur such astronomical charges.

I hope this answers your question clearly. The alternative would be to replace that entire loop but you’re looking at, like I said, the national debt for such work.

Good luck to you, feel free to reach back out with further questions.

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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