Ask The Expert


Hello Robert,

We just ordered Direct TV. I read what you said about never putting any holes in the roof to prevent leaking. They said that the dish will be roof mounted. Is there an alternative way to mount the satellite dish? Thank you,

Susan T.

Hi Susan,

Sure. They can mount it to a fascia board. This way you are not going through the roof.

There are also concrete ped-estals with a metal pipe through the center. The base is heavy enough to prevent the dish from blowing over. There’s an attachment that mounts from the dish to the pipe that provides a secure installation.

In any event, do not let them tie into the exhaust vents. Believe it or not, people actually mount dishes to the vents. With today’s construction, they’re ABS, which is plastic. With any high winds, the dish will start to move back and forth. The vent pipe goes through the flashing jack which has a mastic seal. That movement from winds will eventually cause that seal to leak. Or, with a strong enough wind, it will snap the vent pipe off of the roof.

I’ve also seen dishes on the side of homes, mounted into the stucco. To prevent leaks, a good rule of thumb, don’t run any holes in stucco. You go through the paper and violate the waterproofing of the building. So, don’t let them mount it through the stucco either. Tell the installers to mount it to the fascia, or with a concrete base install.

Mr. Lamoureux,

I have a front door that has become very dull. It has lost its sheen. I bought some latex paint, but then started thinking that maybe there was oil base paint on the door originally. They said I can’t put latex paint on top of oil base. How would I tell if there is oil base paint on there now? Also, I saw a product that you can put on top of the paint and you don’t have to sand it. What do you think about this?

Greg J.

Hi Greg,

No, you can’t apply latex paint directly on top of an oil base.

One way to find out what type of paint you have is take some rubbing alcohol on a rag and rub it on the surface. If it restores its sheen, then that’s an oil base paint. If it becomes gummy and gooey, then you have latex paint.

If you have an oil base and you want to put a latex paint over it, you first have to use a transitional primer. All of the major paint suppliers produce their own brands of transitional primers.

Concerning the “no sand” products, I like the fact that you have to roughen the paint for a better finish. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to do good job. I’m one of these guys that like to do it once, do it right.

So, apply the transitional primer and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and then sand. Then apply their top coat. 

Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 25 years experience as a commercial General, Electrical and Plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Ask the Expert” are not to replace the recommendations made by a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made.

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