Robert Lamoureux: When it’s time for a new gate


Question No. 1

I have a multi-fold question for you.

I’m on a board of directors in Santa Clarita, where we have two slide gates that are old, and we are now having a technician out about once a month. This was never the case before, our handyman has always been able to service this gate so I think we are nearing the end of life on these, unfortunately.

I’ve attached some pictures so you see the configuration which may be helpful to you, so you can advise us. Recently the gate hit a car and we aren’t sure how this happened, whether the car hit the gate or if the gate failed.

What feedback do you have on this, please?

Richard W.

Answer No. 1

Richard, looking at the photos, I see that this is an access control operator.

This is as old as the hills and explains what is happening with the quantity of service calls that it is requiring.

Yes, you are likely looking at this needing to be replaced, there is only so much they can do and when you are making repairs this often, you have to weigh the value. At some point you have to purchase new and not waste your money any longer, I think you are there. I see that in the ground you have loop detectors, which sense the entry and exit of vehicles, and tells the gate to open. This all works if the loop detectors are operational.

If the car sits for too long on these detectors, the loop can go into an automatic reset and start closing again. I see this all the time where two cars will stop on opposing sides and the drivers are talking for several minutes. The loop detectors don’t know this and go into function and close the gates. This is a possible scenario for what happened, whether or not your system needs replacing. I recommend to you that this gate operator be replaced if you are in the position to do so, and I would also post signs if you don’t already have them, letting people know to not stop in the area for long. We now follow UL safety regulations and I am pretty sure that the system you have in place does not. I highly recommend that you only use a gate technician for all of your gate repairs, you are much more protected if something goes wrong if you’ve hired someone licensed, insured and more knowledgeable. Good luck

Question No. 2

I live in Canyon Country and have a concrete wall where water is leaking through. I’ve sent pictures so you can see what is happening, maybe you can help us to know what is wrong. I called in a contractor that says to use this stuff called Gorilla Mud on the walls, says that you just paint this stuff on and the leaks will stop. I can’t afford to dig out the backside of the wall and fix it from that side, it’s about 7 feet deep. Does this stuff work, is it good? Should I try this route?

Martha R.

Answer No. 2


I went online and checked this stuff out that you are describing, and I disagree.

This is used for patch repair of concrete, it is not a waterproofing repair. You are speaking of negative waterproofing, where the wall would be waterproofed from the inside, where the issue is seen.

Positive waterproofing would be on the outside digging down, as you described. The negative waterproofing can be done but it is not a permanent or guaranteed fix, however, it does help and sometimes, buys a number of years’ time before permanent repairs are necessary. For the size of the wall and if funds are limited, you can do the negative waterproofing but you’ll have to start by having this wall sandblasted to remove the paint. It needs to be completely free of any product and it will need to be pressure washed, following. It will need to dry for 72 hours, in order for the new waterproofing product to take hold and do its job. Xypex is a product that can be applied per the manufacturer’s direction. You can get this at the big box stores in 5 gallon buckets and you’ll apply it just like paint but in two decent coats. After this you can paint it a preferred color for aesthetics. Again this is not a permanent fix but is quite successful for some time, if it is done correctly. 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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