Robert Lamoureux has 40 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]

Garage cracks, window shopping

Question No. 1 

Hi Robert, 

I’ve got some cracks on my garage floor and the foundation, with water coming in from the foundation cracks. I’d like to know what the best approach is to fix these and if you can, tell me what causes them? I’ve sent a photo for your review. 

— Jeremy N. 

Answer No. 1 

Jeremy, 

These look like settling and shrinkage cracks. You can purchase polyurethane injection kits online, which will help this situation. Of course, you’ll follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, but before that, be sure to first ensure that there is no moisture present, so you’ll have to wait it out if there’s been water introduced recently. Be sure that all sources of water are shut off temporarily so the area can dry out, and you can possibly even set a blower to it for a day or two, to help with the drying process. Then you’ll need to use compressed air in order to fully blow out any particles that may be present. This area needs to be completely free of debris for proper adhesion of the product. It’s a good product because it’ll allow the urethane to get through the entirety of the crack before expanding, thus being a complete application. That will take care of the water entering through that foundation crack. Be aware that there is no guarantee that this will completely prevent any water intrusion, because water will find the path of least resistance so if there is any other cracking or even the porousness of the concrete, it could enter in another area. On to the garage floor slab crack, this will be an injection repair also, and the product for this, too, can be purchased online. This will be a two-part epoxy system, and a caulking gun will be used to inject a mastic first, followed by the epoxy system. The manufacturer will provide instructions, and it’s simple — once you have everything in front of you, it makes sense. Be sure to wear adequate protection for both eyes and hands, for safety. Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck to you. 

— Robert

Question No. 2 

Hi Robert, 

I live in Canyon Country and am in the beginning stages of a significant remodel, adding a room to our home. Part of this of course is new windows and my wife and I are at odds on the type of windows to use. I would like to use aluminum and my wife wishes to use vinyl. I personally prefer the look of the aluminum and believe it to be more durable, but that is where you come in, you’ll be the tie-breaker, as we’ve read in some previous articles. 

— Jim J.

Answer No. 2 

Jim, 

I’ve personally used both aluminum and vinyl, and hands down believe that vinyl is the only way to go for new install, if the aesthetics of the rest of your home will accommodate this choice. Vinyl manufacturing is phenomenal and you won’t get the wear of the aluminum such as the gliding over time. The vinyl will hold up to the weather and wear, much longer. I recommend you both head to a showroom (let me know if you need a recommendation), and once you see and touch both, I believe you’ll choose the vinyl. I’m siding with your wife on this one, and over time it will absolutely help you. Good luck with your remodel. Be sure to pull your permits and use a licensed and insured contractor if you are hiring for this, you won’t be sorry. 

— Robert

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