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I’m replacing part of a sewer line in my front yard. In the past, I’ve done a lot of projects on my last house and I never got permits. I had no problems at all, except when it came time to sell, the value of the unpermitted work like a guest bedroom was deducted from the sale price like it wasn’t there. I lost a lot of money. Now I get permits for everything, but I have never worked on a sewer line before. Roots got in through the rubber connectors and clogged up my line, so I need to replace a section of pipe. My question: Is there something that the inspector will check? I want everything right. Thank you,

Bruno B.

Hi Bruno,

One thing the inspector will probably check is the torque setting on the no-hub bands, which is 60 lbs. You’ll want to use a torque wrench, which is a T handle wrench.

The wrenches are set at the factory at 60 lbs., so tighten it down until the wrench starts to spin like a ratchet and you’ll know you’re at the right torque.

The probability that the inspector will go down into the hole and check it with is own wrench is high. I’ve been on jobs where they don’t, but most of them do. As a rule, I’d say that 85% of the inspectors will go down and put their own wrench on it to make sure.

Hi Robert,

I am your biggest fan and I hope you have the time to answer this question.

We performed a water test on our home, exactly as you described, to find out how water was getting into our home, and determined we have bad paper. I spoke with a neighbor and he said I can paint the stucco with Elastomeric paint (rubber paint) and this will waterproof the wall. Do you agree? The man at the paint store said it might not work because I have heavy lace stucco. Thank you very much,

Kyle D.

Hi Kyle,

He’s right. If you have a heavy texture like a Spanish Lace or a heavy knockdown finish, the Elastomeric paint probably will not work.

If you had a relatively smooth texture like a sand finish, the Elastomeric is usually successful. With heavy laces though, the paint typically does not get down deep into the small crevices and doesn‘t seal the surface completely. It might help to a certain extent, but it will not keep all of the water out of your home. I’ve seen how this was tried on various homes over the years and inevitably they continue to leak.

With a heavy texture, unfortunately, my advice would be to bite the bullet, take the stucco down to the studs, get your permits and replace the paper. Do it once, do it right. This will be a good opportunity to replace the old stucco with a more modern lighter lace or a sand finish. You can remove as much wood as you can and add some planton around the windows and doors. This will bring some positive changes for your home, giving you a brighter and fresher look.

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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