Ask The Expert


Hello Mr. Lamoureux,
My husband and I both enjoy your weekly columns and hope you can give us some guidance.
The 32-year-old home we bought last year has an unpermitted addition, a covered patio that was converted to a room, with carpeting and the sliding glass door removed between the house and the addition. The roof is nearly flat, so when we get a ton of rain, like we’ve had lately, the water pools up and the gutters can’t keep up. We have rubber mats, towels, and bowls catching the water leaks.
Is there any product we can apply to the roof itself to improve its waterproofing? Eventually we plan to tear the room off and rebuild a proper addition in its place.

Thank you
Lisa H.

Hi Lisa,
Strictly on a temporary basis, and only to get you through the rains until you have time for a more permanent repair, use Henry’s 108. Wait until dry and pour the Henry’s 108 directly on top of the roof, then spread it around with a squeegee or broom. It will come out of the bucket soupy, but just spread it evenly over your entire roof surface.
If you have any vent stacks coming through the roof, you would first apply Henry’s 208, which is much thicker, around the base of all of the vents, pipe joints or flashing that may be leaking.
One thing to remember is to start at the far side and work your way to an exit.  You don’t want to paint yourself into a corner.
Hello Robert,
I had my house in Valencia re-roofed in 2006 with steel tiles, replacing cedar shake. Our house has some attic area, through which some of our water pipes travel, as well as a 13 1/2 foot vaulted ceiling (minus an attic) in the living room and dining room areas.
It is clear to us that the steel tiles absorb and retain far more heat than did the wood shake roofing. During warm weather months, the hot water is hotter (not such a bad thing), but the cold water is also much warmer. Even more important is the higher temperature in our living room, where I spend a lot of time. Yes, we have working air conditioning, but still… I’d like to clean the steel tiles and spray on a clear reflective coating that will minimize the heat radiating down into the living room.  Can you recommend a suitable material, one that will adhere properly to cleaned steel tile roofing and effectively reflect sunlight?

Allen S.

Hi Allen,
The best suggestion I could make would be contact the manufacturer. Typically, they are the ones that spend the money to find out which products work best with their own. I’m sure they’ve done reflective and temperature testing, and would be able to recommend the best product available for use.
Regarding the water pipes, I would get up there and insulate all of the hot water lines for good energy management. You can go to your local home improvement store and purchase the insulation wrap, which is slit all the way down the side. You just cap over, and it grips onto the pipe. During the winter especially, you’ll notice the temperature difference with the hot water.

Submit your questions to Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 30 years experience as a commercial general, electrical, and plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Ask the Expert” are not to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made.

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