Ask The Expert


Hi Robert,

We are planning to install two stop signs in our community in Valencia. Is there a height regulation we need to abide by? If so, do you know what that would be? Are there any regulations determining what they are attached to? Thank you,

Janet M.

Hi Janet,

Yes, there are codes for just about everything. Regarding stop signs, you want to be sure that no one will hit their heads on the sign if they were walking underneath. The code for the bottom of the sign, minimally, has to be at 7 feet from the ground.

They can be mounted on a 4” x 4” post or a steel, perforated post.

The bottoms of stop signs are required to be 4” taller than door clearances, which are only 6’ 8”.

Hi Robert,

Every year we find a family of ducks living in our pool. I’m told we are not allowed to chase the ducks away; we can’t scare them — we’re not allowed to do anything. Don’t get me wrong, for the first year or two they were so cute we were all out there feeding them. But after a while the cuteness fades away and it comes down to them creating a huge mess that needs to be cleaned up. I don’t want to hurt them; I just want them to go away. What can we do? Thank you,

Diana J.

Hi Diana,

I know they can get messy. Once they find a place like your pool, that location is locked in their brain and they will keep returning, year after year.

There is netting on the market that you can secure all the way around the pool deck. At the time of year when your ducks come by for a visit, attach this netting to your coping as necessary.

The openings in the net are not large enough for the ducks, so they can’t actually touch down in the water. If they can’t swim, they won’t stay.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to people that have these nets and it’s a very good way to keep the ducks away. Just keep putting the net down and they will stop dropping in. After two or three seasons, that duck family will learn that Diana’s house is no fun.

Hi Robert,

We’ve got a bit of a mystery going on here and I have to admit that we’re stumped. We live in an HOA and there are random areas of our sidewalks that are lifting, for no apparent reason. There are no trees – nothing in the area. What could be responsible? Many thanks,

Joseph W.

Hi Joseph,

The probability is that you have expansive soils. The only way to get around it is to demo the concrete. This must be done due anyway because of the tripping hazard. Then excavate down 6” to 8” and backfill with a plaster washed sand.

When you’re ready to repour, form it out and pin the remaining sections with rebar to hold the new pour in place after it dries.

To pin, take a hammer drill and put a 4” deep hole in the adjoining slabs, and epoxy in about a 1’ length of rebar. This will take care of the problem.

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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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