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I live in Canyon Country and have a patio deck that has some sort of rubber topping that has a sand-like texture to it.

In three different areas there are sections about the size of golf balls that has come off as you can see in the photos.

I took a piece of the stuff that has come off to the big box stores and everyone that I asked had no idea what this stuff could be, therefore couldn’t help me by directing me which way to turn regarding repairs. The only thing they could tell me is that it’s a waterproofing system.

Can you tell from the photos what this is, and can you advise me on what to do to fix this? I’m able to do most of what is needed, but not sure about this. Can I even purchase the necessary products?

-Isaac E.


Yes, you can purchase the products. I’ll write you privately and give you the company name.

This is called a 5001-6001 elastomeric system. Unfortunately you’ll need to purchase the whole 5 gallon bucket of this, but it’ll be cheaper than hiring a contractor to do this work.

It’s pretty easy to put down and the nice thing about this system is that you can do spot repairs like you are interested in doing.

First prep your areas by masking off the edges, so that your finish is neat with clean lines.

You’ll put down the 5001 which comes out like a liquid, using a notched trowel and float it in to the damaged areas. This is the rubber part that will keep the water out. In the winter time you’ll likely want to put a blower on it so that it dries out completely.

After the base is dry, use the primer coat that is designed for this system, and since your whole system is color faded, apply this primer to the entire system.

Apply your topcoat to the entire system and then broadcast silica sand over the newly repaired areas, to match as closely as possible to the existing texture. Let this air dry making sure you follow manufacturer’s instructions on drying time, and then vacuum up the excess sand.

If you think you’ll lose the texture of the sand when applying a second coat of top coat, then at this point you’ll need to reapply silica to the entire area and then apply a second top coat with primer to the entire system once again per manufacturer’s instructions.

Be sure to allow complete drying out before you walk or set items on this, then you’ll be good to go for another few years. Good luck.

Hi Robert,

My name is Jenny M., I live in a condo here in Valencia. My upstairs neighbor had a leak and they sent in the handyman who felt the wall and said that everything was going to be fine.

Well, the reality is that water was still coming through my light fixture! I collected about three to four gallons of water in buckets.

I went so far as to use that little moisture stick for plants, and the needle peaked immediately.

How can this handyman say that everything is fine, is this true since the leaking has stopped now?

–Jenny M.


Absolutely this area needs to be opened up and thoroughly checked for moisture. This moisture will not dry on its own, there is insulation that acts like a sponge, and with the damp moist and dark condition in an area like this you are looking at mold starting within 72 hours.

You need to demand that a licensed contractor enters the area and remediates as necessary, following proper drying and then repairs.

Do not let them put the drywall back to the area until you see a moisture meter reading of 0-percent moisture to all affected areas. Do not let this go Jenny, make sure that they follow through because if mold starts then it will not stop on its own, it will just continue. Good luck.

Hi Robert,

I live in Canyon Country where we have a house. About three years ago, and against your better advice, we hired a contractor but we didn’t look up his license information until we started having problems with calling him. The phones are disconnected.

We have since looked up the license number, found out it belonged to a sheet metal company and not a roofing company. So now we have an issue and need your help, please.

Where the slope of the roof meets the flat part of the garage everything looks fine, but right there in that crack where they meet, it leaks not only into the house but also into the garage. With the photos, can you tell me what may be wrong?

-Rick K.


Yes, I can see exactly what the problem is in this particular area. The necessary flashing is missing. Any time there is any sort of transition with roofing, there needs to be flashing installed.

For now, since we are being inundated with rain storms, I recommend that you head to a big box store and get some Henry’s 208 to aid in a temporary repair to the area.

Access your roof very carefully, following all safety guidelines, and get that whole area treated with the Henry’s.

If you’ve got wet drywall in your home and garage, you’ll want to open these areas up and set up a drying system because any time you have these areas wet longer than 72 hours, it’s the perfect “storm” for mold growth.

Do not replace your drywall and any insulation until the area is 100-percent dry, or you’ll eventually see an issue with mold. Once we are clear of rains, you need to get a reputable licensed and insured roofing contractor (if you need a referral please let me know) out there to make permanent repairs to this area.

Be sure Rick, to get referrals and call these guys after you verify that their licenses are active. See what their customer service is like and what the warranty is on their work. Your best bet though, will be the referrals, folks that have used their services previously and have good things to say.

Do all of your homework and you’re likely to be satisfied. Good luck.

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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