Robert Lamoureux: Solutions for the roof

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]

Question No. 1 

Hi Robert,

We recently removed a wooden patio cover due to aging and replaced it with a beautiful vinyl one. We opted for “slats” instead of a solid ceiling, thinking we could use some extra light in our family room. Now we have glare on our TV and realize we may have made the wrong decision by not getting the solid roof covering. I was considering placing shade cloth on top to filter some of the light but I’m not sure how to secure it? Do you have any suggestions? As always, thanks for your professional advice. 

Mary S. 

Answer No. 1 

Mary,

Thank you for being a loyal reader of The Signal. I would not recommend that you drill into the slats because the water can get into them during the rains and eventually cause them to sag. You may want to try installing eyelets in the fabric and use zip ties to secure the material to the slats. You don’t have to use too many ties; they will only be there to keep the fabric from blowing away. I believe this will be a good solution to this problem for you. You can purchase the Eyelet kits at the big box stores, best of luck. 

Robert

Question No. 2 

Robert

I live in Canyon Country in a homeowner’s association community. We have steel stairs and any time someone navigates those stairs, my entire living room, by my couch especially, vibrates. It is not just a small vibration, it is quite disturbing, a very large vibration and it makes me want to pull my hair out with frustration. The neighbors have 5 children and they are all very busy, going up and down all of the time. Is there anything that can be done to make this irritation go away? 

Lois

Answer No. 2 

Lois, 

Yes, these stairs often cause the same issue, as they are built with steel stringers. The stringer is the part of the stairs where the actual step is mounted, and most often concrete steps are used on these. Concrete steps are very dense and heavy, and when these materials are navigated it does often cause this vibration but not always so invasive into people’s units. The steel is actually flexing, and the vibration is being transferred through the timbers and into your unit. The one resolve I am certain will help though may not take away all frustrations. Essentially what can be done is to add a concrete footing below the stringers and with the installation of steel tubing from the stringer to the footing, you’ll basically transfer the vibration from the stringer down to the tubing. As I said, this will not make the problem go away completely, but it sure will make it much better. Good luck to you. 

Robert

Question No. 3 

Hi Robert, 

I read your column in the ‘Home’ section of the Signal every Saturday. Thanks for your exceptional advice. I know you have discussed replacement windows at various times. I know you recommend going vinyl with your personal choice being Milgard (Presidential series). I have recently heard that when ‘hardening a home’ against fire, there are a type of double pane windows designed to withstand the heat of the fire from outside with a tempered glass? Can you tell me about this? Is it a good choice for here in our fire prone SCV? Also, can you recommend a good window installer? And, on a side note I need the name of a good exterior house painter if you have a recommendation? Thanks so much for your valuable time. 

Greg J. 

Answer No. 3 

Greg, 

Thank you for being a loyal reader of the Signal. As far as fire rated windows go, the steel frame window system can be rated from 20 mins up to 95 mins. The problem as I see all of this is the windows will hold up but everything around it will burn. Most of the fires that are in this area are mostly roof related as I’ve been told and have seen, over the years. In my opinion, I would simply make sure that my home insurance is in accordance with the value inside and out of my home and pray that it never hits my way. I don’t mean to be so cut and dry about this but to secure the openings and the rest of the structure burns at a lower rate is of no value and a waste of your money as I see it. If you decide to move forward let me know and I can put you in touch with a certified window company. Recommendations sent. Thank you again, I hope this helps. 

Robert

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