Robert Lamoureux: Patio options, pool problems

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

Robert,

I do appreciate your column in The Signal.  Maybe you can help me?

I removed a solid roof on my patio and replaced it with a patio cloth material. Have loved it until the recent rains. It would appear that the rain is getting between my 2-x-4 cross pieces and my 4-x-6 support beams and I can only guess removing rust from nails and depositing all over my patio.

How can I stop this process and remove the stain I now have on my concrete patio?

Thanks for your help,

Fred

Answer No. 1

Fred,

Thank you for being a loyal reader.

The rust can be removed with a rust remover for concrete, which you can purchase at a big box store.

The ongoing rust can only be stopped by stopping the water source, or replace the nails/screws with galvanized or stainless.

The nails were made of steel and not galvanized or stainless, which caused the rusting. Another option is to waterproof the overhang, but this would mean going back to a solid roof.

I realize you like the cloth — I’m sorry I can’t be more positive regarding what you prefer.

Best,

Robert

Question No. 2

Hi Robert,

I live at the base of a hill and am proceeding with re-plastering my pool. 

The pool company came out and drained the pool in preparation, then it started raining.

Suddenly, my pool is 2 inches higher than the concrete patio/deck, as though it was on a lift and raised up out of the ground!

The pool guy says he’s never seen this before, and has no idea how or why this has happened. 

Do you know what this could be, why it happened and if it can be fixed?

This is absolutely crazy to see, and I’m hoping that this is fixable. Also, does the liability lie with the pool company, do you know?

Mike H.

Answer No. 2

Mike,

This is a very simple answer.

An empty pool during rains is like a ball in the ocean, it will float. Especially at the base of a hill where most of the surrounding water travels to, it of course saturates the ground at high rates and without the pool being filled and heavy with water to weigh it down, it literally succumbs to the pressure of the groundwater and “pops” (comes up out of the ground).

Unfortunately, Mike, this pool needs a complete demo and rebuild, as all of the underground plumbing and infrastructure is going to be damaged and the integrity will be lacking. 

As far as responsibility, I recommend that you have documentation (hopefully his insurance information) of the work dates, as well as weather, and reach out to the pool company, giving them an opportunity to take on the responsibility. 

This is really something that should be known by a pool company, and I’d certainly attempt to hold them responsible.

In the meantime, you can reach out to your insurance and see what advice they have for you.

Good luck to you sir,

Robert

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