Robert Lamoureux: Noisy floors and possible leaks

Robert Lamoureux has more than 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]
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Question No. 1
Robert,

I live in a two-story condo in Canyon Country, where I am on the second floor and I have two children.
I had wood floors put in and also added cork to the install, for sound barrier to the below neighbors.
Unfortunately at this point, they are complaining of noise, and I’ve received a letter from the association through management telling me that I have to remove this flooring due to the circumstances of the noise disturbance.
I paid extra for the cork to prevent this very situation, and now am asking you if, with your experience, you know of anything I can do at this point, to avoid the floor change and help with noise barrier?
Do you think that the people below me are exaggerating or is this a reasonable complaint?
— Linda T.

Answer No. 1
Linda,

This is most certainly a legitimate complaint, it is a very common problem with wood floors in an upstairs area, whether it be in a home or a condo.
In a home, it is of course, less disturbing due to it being one family in most cases, but in a condo with two different families, it happens a lot.
You can try to put many area rugs down, but the likelihood of that really solving the issue is minimal.
At this point, you are likely looking at adding carpet, which you can probably install right over the wood, but you’ll probably have to shave the door bottoms to accommodate the height. Your installer will determine this for you though, when the bidding process happens.
This information is generally in the CCR package, noting that the first floor may install wood, but the upper floors are banned from it due to this very issue.
I’m sorry you’ve gone to this expense and having to redo work, but another good reason to be fully versed in the CCR package when purchasing a condo or townhouse. Unlike single-family residences, those properties have much stricter guidelines to follow in order to reside or own there.
Good luck to you,
— Robert

Question No. 2
Robert
,
We have a balcony that was water-tested, and it appears that a hairline crack is the source in the winter time and rains, that causes water leaking.
It is late in the season now to begin repairs, so is there anything that we can do such as tarping, to help prevent additional water intrusion during the rainy season, so we can buy some time until later in the year when the weather is better and we have more funds?
— Brian M.

Answer No. 2
Brian,

There sure is, but please know that this will be a temporary fix only, and it will buy you no more than a year at best, before you need to make the permanent fix.
This is also assuming that this crack is the only source of water intrusion. If that is the case, this should help; You’ll need to start with pressure washing the surface and let it dry completely so that an elastomeric primer will stick. Once the elastomeric primer is dry, then apply an elastomeric paint to the entire surface generously, and allow to dry completely.
Use caution when setting down any furniture on this newly applied paint, and do not leave anything down where water will accumulate such as potted plants.
Be sure to keep the permanent repair on your radar for as soon as you are able to do it.
Good luck to you,
— Robert

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