Ask The Expert


Hello Robert,
I have a short question: What kind of doors would be best in order to reduce noise from a busy street? I have fiberglass now and they are double entry.

Daniel F.

Hi Daniel,
The first thing would be go with a solid core wooden door. This would be a better insulator. When installed, you want a very tight reveal and be sure and put in all necessary weather stripping.
Use door a door sweep and door shoe. Make sure that the sweep and the threshold touch, with no gap in between. This will alleviate a lot of that road noise and will save on energy costs.
The next step would be to put shrubbery along the front of your property. The road noise that you are hearing is caused by the tires on the asphalt. People think that the noise comes from the engine, but most of it is actually caused by the rubber on the road.
These two steps, the shrubbery along with the solid core doors, will not only beautify your property but will give you a noticeably quieter home.

Dear Robert,
I have a ceramic soap dish in the shower that is not flat. Whenever I put soap on it, it slides off onto the floor. I tried to take it off, but it won’t come off. How is it possible to make it level? What can I do?

Thank you,

Hi K.M.,
You could get a soap-on-a-rope?
The soap dish will come off the wall. You’ll probably have to chisel it off, so you will break it in the process and you may even damage some of the surrounding tiles of your shower, but it will come off of there.
Once removed, clean up the remaining mortar from the wall and repair any damaged tiles as needed.
Install your new soap dish with thinset mortar, level it and put it back on. That’s all there is to it.

Hi Robert,
First time, long time. Our guest bathroom was added by the previous homeowners. It does not have a ceiling fan, that I would like to install, and it does not have a vent duct for the fan. Is it possible to vent directly into the attic? Should I put in a duct?

Thank you,
Craig F.

Hi Craig,
You can’t vent to the attic.  You would start growing mold once you blew in all of that humidity. It has to be vented to the outside. If the bathroom is on an outside wall, then vent out through the wall. If not, you’ll have to go through the attic with exhaust pipe, out through the roof and vent it outside.
If going through an outside wall, open up some drywall, core a 3” or 4” exhaust hole in the side of the house, install a hood, flash it properly so you don’t get interior leaks and exhaust it out the side.
If you’re going through the roof, counter flash everything properly. If you’re not experienced in flashing or cutting holes in your roof, I would call a roofing contractor and let them come out and do it for you.

Submit your questions to Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 30 years experience as 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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