Your Home Improvements

By Robert Lamoureux

Last update: Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Robert,

My name is Isaac M. I live in Santa Clarita in an HOA, but am not on the Board of Directors.

Our association is having a top coat put onto the decks of our balconies and it is my understanding that you need to use a proper waterproofing paint designed for this application. They are actually using a product directly from Home Depot, its Behr patio paint.

I researched online and found that this is incorrect and when I challenged the handy man that is doing this work, he assured me that he knows what he is doing and that this is acceptable.

I tried to talk to the Board and was essentially told to mind my own business. I feel that this is my business, though the HOA owns and is responsible for the patio, it is at my unit and ultimately the quality of work done on it will affect me and the value of my home.

What are your thoughts on this?

Isaac,

You are spot on.

Though the application of this paint won’t in itself cause leaking, you are sure to see flaking within about six months, sooner depending on the amount of traffic and weather this area has to endure. It will be just like dandruff, and any winds that come up you’ll see this paint fly everywhere.

The correct thing to do for top coating any decking system, is to first know what system has been put down to begin with.

Each type of system has its own topcoat that is designed to go with the decking and there are methods to applying it so that it is a successful application.

If it is not documented in the HOA’s records, it will need an experienced set of eyes to determine the exact system such as Fibercrete, urethane, or acrylic, and then have the appropriate preparation done in order for the system to receive the new top coat.

Some require primers and others don’t, but they all need to be pressure washed and have the correct solvents used to prep properly.

There are specific drying times and, then, depending on the amount of times it’s already been top-coated you may have to add additional product such as abrasives, in order to prevent slips and falls.

Your HOA likely chose the less expensive route, but I can guarantee that when these decks start peeling that handy man will not be standing behind his work and redoing it at no charge.

It’s always better to spend a little more to do it right, and have the guarantee that your single biggest investment (home/property) is well protected.

Hi Robert,

I own a home here in Valencia that since the rains I have discovered that I have mold in it.

My wife has respiratory problems and I need to know the best way to handle this, mostly due to my wife’s health.

Do I need to hire a mold testing company, then a mold remediation company?

I’ve attached pictures for you and I really need your sound advice.

I know that there is a lot of newness to this mold thing and not sure if it’s as big of a deal as it’s made out to be or if I can safely handle my situation in my home, and still do the right thing and solve the mold problem all the while keeping our health?

– Bill G.

Bill,

You and many others are experiencing this same issue since the rains.

It only takes 72 hours under the right conditions for mold spores to grow, and especially if the area is not somewhere easily visible, it can become a bit bigger until it’s noticed. My sound advice to you is to not risk your and your wife’s health, and to leave this abatement to the professionals.

I don’t believe that there is a need, especially if what you’re seeing is identifiable as mold, for you to test prior to abatement, it would be futile. Either way this will be treated as mold and by not doing the testing prior, you’ll save about $600.00 or so.

I would absolutely recommend to you though, that you let the pros do the abatement for you, as they have a protocol and techniques to follow that will not only protect the surrounding areas from becoming contaminated, but the transport and disposal of the abated materials must be done per protocol as well.

They set up a containment area to contain the affected area and then they proceed to remove all affected materials and to clean/disinfect the areas as needed to remove all traces of mold.

Once this is done, and this is a very important part: they leave this containment up and it cannot be passed until a certified mold testing company comes in to take samples of the area inside the containment as well as outside of the containment.

Usually, within 48 hours, you’ll receive your results and if you find that the results are clear (they rarely have to return for additional abatement). The abatement company can then return to tear down their containment.

It is a process, but one that is vital to keep the environment and people safe during the process of removing the mold.

Once all of this is complete, you’ll need to follow up with your repairs. As I always do, I’d like to remind you to ask for insurance information and licensing from whomever you hire.

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 robert@imsconstruction.com.

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Your Home Improvements

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Robert,

My name is Isaac M. I live in Santa Clarita in an HOA, but am not on the Board of Directors.

Our association is having a top coat put onto the decks of our balconies and it is my understanding that you need to use a proper waterproofing paint designed for this application. They are actually using a product directly from Home Depot, its Behr patio paint.

I researched online and found that this is incorrect and when I challenged the handy man that is doing this work, he assured me that he knows what he is doing and that this is acceptable.

I tried to talk to the Board and was essentially told to mind my own business. I feel that this is my business, though the HOA owns and is responsible for the patio, it is at my unit and ultimately the quality of work done on it will affect me and the value of my home.

What are your thoughts on this?

Isaac,

You are spot on.

Though the application of this paint won’t in itself cause leaking, you are sure to see flaking within about six months, sooner depending on the amount of traffic and weather this area has to endure. It will be just like dandruff, and any winds that come up you’ll see this paint fly everywhere.

The correct thing to do for top coating any decking system, is to first know what system has been put down to begin with.

Each type of system has its own topcoat that is designed to go with the decking and there are methods to applying it so that it is a successful application.

If it is not documented in the HOA’s records, it will need an experienced set of eyes to determine the exact system such as Fibercrete, urethane, or acrylic, and then have the appropriate preparation done in order for the system to receive the new top coat.

Some require primers and others don’t, but they all need to be pressure washed and have the correct solvents used to prep properly.

There are specific drying times and, then, depending on the amount of times it’s already been top-coated you may have to add additional product such as abrasives, in order to prevent slips and falls.

Your HOA likely chose the less expensive route, but I can guarantee that when these decks start peeling that handy man will not be standing behind his work and redoing it at no charge.

It’s always better to spend a little more to do it right, and have the guarantee that your single biggest investment (home/property) is well protected.

Hi Robert,

I own a home here in Valencia that since the rains I have discovered that I have mold in it.

My wife has respiratory problems and I need to know the best way to handle this, mostly due to my wife’s health.

Do I need to hire a mold testing company, then a mold remediation company?

I’ve attached pictures for you and I really need your sound advice.

I know that there is a lot of newness to this mold thing and not sure if it’s as big of a deal as it’s made out to be or if I can safely handle my situation in my home, and still do the right thing and solve the mold problem all the while keeping our health?

– Bill G.

Bill,

You and many others are experiencing this same issue since the rains.

It only takes 72 hours under the right conditions for mold spores to grow, and especially if the area is not somewhere easily visible, it can become a bit bigger until it’s noticed. My sound advice to you is to not risk your and your wife’s health, and to leave this abatement to the professionals.

I don’t believe that there is a need, especially if what you’re seeing is identifiable as mold, for you to test prior to abatement, it would be futile. Either way this will be treated as mold and by not doing the testing prior, you’ll save about $600.00 or so.

I would absolutely recommend to you though, that you let the pros do the abatement for you, as they have a protocol and techniques to follow that will not only protect the surrounding areas from becoming contaminated, but the transport and disposal of the abated materials must be done per protocol as well.

They set up a containment area to contain the affected area and then they proceed to remove all affected materials and to clean/disinfect the areas as needed to remove all traces of mold.

Once this is done, and this is a very important part: they leave this containment up and it cannot be passed until a certified mold testing company comes in to take samples of the area inside the containment as well as outside of the containment.

Usually, within 48 hours, you’ll receive your results and if you find that the results are clear (they rarely have to return for additional abatement). The abatement company can then return to tear down their containment.

It is a process, but one that is vital to keep the environment and people safe during the process of removing the mold.

Once all of this is complete, you’ll need to follow up with your repairs. As I always do, I’d like to remind you to ask for insurance information and licensing from whomever you hire.

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 robert@imsconstruction.com.

About the author

Robert Lamoureux

Robert Lamoureux

Robert Lamoureux

Robert Lamoureux