Robert Lamoureux:

Courtesy photo To repair deck and pool tiles, home improvement writer Robert Lamoureux recommends picking up some Dek-O-Seal.

Question No. 1
Robert,
I appreciate your Signal articles. You recommended Sika to fix a patio crack in your April 13 article. Is this the same product that you would recommend to fill the border between the deck tiles and pool tiles?
— Robert S.

Answer No. 1
Robert,

No, Sika Flex is not the product for this application. Go to a pool supply and get a product called Dek-O-Seal. The size of the deck around the pool will determine how many kits you’ll need.
This is a two-part system that you mix and then apply. Remove all the old Dek Seal with a utility knife or small 4-inch grinder and get it clean. You may need to use a Shop Vac to get all debris, as it is important to get the area clean. If there is a void of more than 1.5 inches deep then backfill it with sand and or backer rod (backer rod is a round foam). Mix the two products and, using the squeeze bottle that is supplied in the kit, apply.
If you don’t have a steady hand tape both sides of the gap and then apply so you end with a clean look. Apply 1 inch deep of the Dek Seal into the gap. This is not a very forgiving product once it hits a surface and can be messy, so protect all surrounding areas as needed.
Once it’s in place, you can broadcast some light sand to give it a rough surface, this will minimize slipping. Once the product dries, vacuum up the excess sand.
— Robert

Question No. 2
Robert,

I enjoy your weekly column in The Signal. Last year, we remodeled our master bathroom and installed granite slabs on the walls of our shower and as part of our “his-and-her” sinks.
The granite was sealed as part of the installation process. We have been grappling with the problem of hard water stains on many parts of the granite surfaces, particularly at the seam points.
I have tried numerous “over-the-counter” granite cleaners but they haven’t helped.
I read online that there are a number of cleaners made to eliminate hard water stains that can be very detrimental to granite surfaces, such as CLR. Even white vinegar is not recommended.
Also online are YouTube videos of people “scraping” hard water stains off or aggressively scrubbing surfaces. We have scrubbed the surfaces carefully with pads that are supposedly granite-safe but that has not resolved our problem.
We do squeegee our granite after every shower we take to eliminate much of the excess moisture on the surface.
Do you have a recommendation for removing hard water stains from granite surfaces?
Many thanks in advance for your help.
— Best, Russell M.

Courtesy photo
Removing hard water stains from granite is not easy, but it can be done with a razor knife, some steel wool and a lot of elbow grease.

Answer No. 2
Russell,
Thank you for writing in to The Signal. I did some homework, reaching out to those more knowledgeable than myself on granite, and this is the best way of dealing with the hard water deposits: Get a utility knife with a razor blade, this is going to take some elbow grease. Scrape the hard water deposits with the razor knife and be careful NOT to get cut.
Once the majority of the hard water is off, then use 0000 steel wool and polish the stone with the wool to get the hard water marks off.
Once you have it removed to your satisfaction, then apply a good sealer on the stone to help minimize the water build up.
I’m sorry I don’t have an easier way for you, I’m told this is the only way to not damage the stone.
Best of luck.
— Robert

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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