By Robert Lamoureux
Signal Contributing Writer
Thank you for all of your insight.
I’m on the board of directors for a gated community in the Santa Clarita Valley, and lately the high-speed traffic in our community has gotten out of hand.
We recently had a child injured due to this speed, and we are looking to put in speed bumps now.
Are we supposed to follow the same rules as the city when installing them or because we are a private gated community, can we design and designate the placement and type of speed bumps that we feel best for our community?
We need to do this as soon as possible, we want the children and families safe and to get this speeding under control. What are the requirements for us?
You are inviting both residents and others in the community to your association, so you will definitely be required to install signage noting the speed bumps, and all caution signs associated with them.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department will need to be your first contact, you’ll have to get them approved by the Fire Department first, due to emergency services and their vehicles, plus speed limitations they’d also be restricted to for safety.
Once you have Fire Department approval, you can move forward, but noting the above about signage, as well as painting of the speed bumps, so they are identifiable.
You’ll want to reduce your homeowners association liability for damages as much as possible, and this will include you notifying all residents and visitors at least 30 days prior to install, that there will be traffic changes and that speed bumps will be installed. This gives everyone adequate opportunity to be forewarned of the upcoming changes, and with the signage that should go up ahead of the bumps, they are then fairly warned and cannot hold the HOA responsible for their vehicle damage.
Be sure to note the effective date on the signs, and send this via email to all owners, too. Photograph the before and after areas and keep all progress documented, especially the notifications. You want to be able to show that you gave adequate notifications, so you’ve done the right thing.
Sign height is important so be sure to do all of your homework for each aspect prior to committing, and then you’ll have a safer neighborhood. You can always put a call or visit in to the city of Santa Clarita’s Building and Safety Department, staff there can also guide you on the steps to take.
HOA Building Painting
I’m part of a homeowners association here in Santa Clarita, and we want to start painting our buildings, but it’s getting a little late in the year with the possibility of the rains coming. I’m told that it’s not a big deal to paint during the rains because the paint used will be water-soluble.
I trust your judgement, what are your thoughts on this?
I disagree. If you were to paint and rains soon followed, there is a condition called surfactant leaching.
This condition is a concentration of water-soluble paint ingredients on the surface of latex paint. It can show up as tan, brown or clear spots or areas, and can sometimes be glossy, soapy, oily or sticky. The moisture in the air retards the curing process, and allows the surfactants to separate and rise to the surface. The rain that could accumulate on the surface of the freshly painted building, and when it evaporates, the residue is left behind and ends up being unsightly.
You could immediately wash the areas if this happened, but it would not be a guaranteed fix; it would possibly need repainting. Any good quality paint job on a building is going to cost a decent amount of money, and you certainly don’t want to pay this twice so it would be my best recommendation to not paint unless you have sufficient good weather to allow a proper cure.
Check with your licensed and insured painting contractor, they’ll best be able to advise you on the appropriate timing.
Here in the Santa Clarita Valley our window of opportunity is much longer than many other states, or even areas of California, as the weather holds steady for so long.
You could likely get away with doing in in the next week or two if the weather outlook is good, but aside from that I’d personally play it safe and wait until the official “rainy season” of California is over.
Good luck on this project,
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