Roof leak, basement leak, neighbor’s rainwater

If you have damaged tiles on your roof and cannot find replacements, Robert Lamoureux recommends buying the closest match and switching tiles from the back of the roof to the front. Putting the older tiles in the front can give you a perfect match, and the newer tiles won’t be as noticeable.

Roof tiles and paper


Thank you for taking my question. I had gutter repairs done on my home and during the last rains we had roof leaks. I crossed the street to see if I could see anything out of sorts on my roof and sure enough, the wavy tiles we have are broken, probably about 30 or more of them in a section. My husband went to the supply house that you suggested, and they don’t make our particular roofing tiles any longer. The paper on the roof is also likely more than 20 years old, what do you recommend?

— Sara W.


What I’d do in this situation —where you need to repaper your roof—is I’d purchase new tiles in the closest match you can get, and begin the shuffling game up there. While you are repapering the roof you can take the old tiles from the back of your home where the “curb appeal” is less likely to be an issue, and bring them forward to the front for a perfect match. Put the new non-weathered tiles in the back and you’ll have less of an issue. The other thing that you can do—but it is less desirable—is to work on only the front and intermix the new and old tiles. This tends to look more like a patch job and since you need to replace paper anyways, I’d go with bring the old tiles forward. Good luck.

Basement leak


I live in Sand Canyon in a home that has a basement, we’ve been here more than 20 years. This home was built with a basement and we turned it into a rec room many years ago. During the last rains, we noticed that some of the drywall down there was chipping and there was movement. My husband is pretty handy, so he was comfortable opening it up and checking to see what the issue was. He found that the blocks that make up the walls behind the drywall are leaking. It’s not a lot of leaking but it’s obviously causing damage and will get worse, how do we correct this before the next rains?

— Jean T.


I’ll do my best to guide you without seeing photos. You can do what is called positive waterproofing, which calls for excavating the exterior to approximately 7 feet deep to expose the whole exterior of the wall. 

Note that if you do this, you’ll need to properly shore up the area for safety. This is a sizable project and will likely require a professional due to equipment needed. 

Should you choose this, please be sure to hire a licensed and insured contractor that is well versed in waterproofing, this is a costly repair and you want to be well protected. 

Typically they will diamond grind all of the old waterproofing in order to “clean” the surface and prep it for new waterproofing. Should you take this on yourself and get to this point let me know, there are several manufacturers, and I can make a recommendation. 

This is the proper and most efficient way to make this repair, one that will last and is a guaranteed fix. Of course, the proper way is usually more costly as is this, but over the course of years it is well worth it.

Neighbor’s rainwater


I’m in Canyon Country, part of an HOA. We have a neighbor that is dumping some rainwater onto my property which is causing flooding. Do they have the right to direct water onto our property and make my pump work that much harder, disbursing the water to the street?

— Mark R.


Absolutely not. Your neighbor is not allowed to discharge their water onto a neighboring property, and they are also not allowed to direct this water to a city sidewalk. 

The city sidewalks are protected from this due to slip-and-fall hazards, where the standing water can create an unsafe walking surface, causing slip and falls. 

All of the excess water flow is to be directed to the storm drains/gutter system. The city allows curb cores, but they must be approved for safety reasons. 

Too many cores to an area can cause weakened curbs, so the city monitors this and only allows a certain amount per each area. 

I’d let your neighbor know that they are responsible to discharge their own rainwater, and perhaps suggest a small pump to aid with this. Beyond that, you’d have to ask the city to get involved, but, usually, these things can be solved amongst neighbors.

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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