Your Home Improvement, by Robert Lamoureux

By Robert Lamoureux
Signal Contributing Writer

Question No. 1

Hello Robert,

I am a fan of yours, and as a real estate broker, I have been able to refer many clients to you for your excellent advice regarding everything about their home improvement.

We have three stamped concrete patios that are colored brown. We have had these for many years, and the color is wearing, fading, etc.

I remember you saying that you knew someone who can recolor the concrete and we would appreciate a referral from you. Attached are some photos. (The first two show the hard water stains and fading. The last picture is how it should look, however that is also faded.)

Thank you again for your very informative column.

Warm Regards,

Sharon

Answer No. 1

Sharon,

The problem here as I look at the pictures, is that if you color the stone then the grout lines will also be colored the same.

Unless someone gets down on all fours and hand-colors each of the stones, it’s going to look like one big sheet. Unfortunately, when installers do designs like this they don’t tell you what’s going to come of this down the line.

I’m happy to give you a name but I’m afraid they’re going to tell you the same thing. My advice is to acid wash the stone and grout and make the best of it.

The acid will make the hard water marks go away and brighten the stone a little.

Best,

Robert

 

Question No. 2

Robert,

I am a new home-buyer here in Canyon Country, and with the new home came a pool.

I’ve lived in Santa Clarita my whole life and I know it gets cold in the winter, here.

I’ve never had a pool and I hear that sometimes the pool lines can crack and break when the temperatures drop to near freezing levels, though it’s not for long or often.

Is there anything that I can do to protect these lines? It’s beginning to cool down at night now and I’d like to do all I can.

Gilbert G.

Answer No. 2

Gilbert,

Great question: One of the best things that you can do is to run your pool pump at night.

The constant movement of water will prevent the water in the pipes from freezing. This is the single most effective way, and if you have an Energy Star-certified pump that runs at night, you’re doing the most you can to also save on energy. Any of the pipes that are above grade (above ground), you can wrap them with insulation, this will also help.

They typically don’t wrap these but if you are concerned, it certainly can’t hurt, and if in fact we get an odd freezing temperature, you’ll be that much more protected.

Definitely run your equipment at night though, this will be your best shot.

Sincerely,
Robert

 

Question No. 3

Robert,

I live in Canyon Country on a fairly large piece of property which has a decent-sized water feature.

We used a rubberized product, but about every five years we are having to revisit this due to failure. Is there anything else that we can use as a waterproofing product, which will last longer?

We take good care of this water feature, we don’t use any sharp objects when working on it, but the product just doesn’t last. Any help you can give would be great. It’s a rectangular fountain that is about 4 feet wide, 20 feet long and 3 feet deep. On top of the rubberized system, we have granite, which we’re able to remove and replace the rubber product over the concrete base.

George S.

Answer No. 3

George,

Yes, there are many different options out there, but my recommendation is an AVM product. Go to AVM Industries in Canoga Park, ask for their 740 system.

It is imperative that you remove all of the existing product that is there now, all the way down to the bare concrete. There cannot be any residue of product, and if that means that you have to sand blast the feature to get it perfectly raw, then this is what is necessary to get the new AVM product to hold.

The preparation is the most important part, but if you take the time to do so, you’ll have many years of freedom with no leaks.

They’ll provide you with the necessary information and product you’ll need if you are new to this, they are very helpful with their information. There are several steps for the process, finishing up with the troweling of the final product x2 layers, with drying in between.

Once cured, then you’ll do a standing water test which means to mark a line and fill the area with water to the line, and as long as the water doesn’t reduce in amount, you’re good to finish up.

At this point, you’ll add one more coat of the concrete layer (they’ll inform you of all of this), which will protect your waterproofing, and you’ll finally be able to add the granite back in and finish up your water feature. This process though time consuming and labor intensive, will give you a very long time problem free, and it’ll be well worth it.

Good luck to you,

Robert

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