Ask the Expert



Can you advise us on this topic?

The sun shines directly on two glass doors in our den. Will some type of screen doors solve the heat problem? We have only one screen, on the non-sliding window.

Thank you for a response and any suggestion you may have.

Dan H.

Hi Dan,

Solar screens prevent up to 90% of the sun’s radiant heat from entering your home. This not only translates into energy savings but also gives you more privacy. Screens make it more difficult to see into your home while providing nice visibility from the inside out.

There are several options available in installing solar screens. One is to remove the old screen from the frame and replace with solar screen mesh available at your larger hardware stores. At about .70 per square foot it is very inexpensive.

Remove the screen and frame from the door. Remove the spline which is the rubber gasket that fits into the groove around the perimeter of the frame that holds the screen in place.

Overlay the new solar mesh on top of the frame. Secure the mesh to the frame by replacing the spline with a spline tool. Taping the opposite sides of the door will help keep the mesh in place. The same process can be used on all the screens at your home. This option may be the most effective because the screen blocks the heat before ever reaching the window.

For doors or windows without screens, you can attach a pull-down solar shade mounted on the inside. The shade is attached with a pair of brackets. Most have a decorative fascia plate that snaps over the brackets and roller for a finished look.



I am going to put in a roof over my front and rear porch. Since the areas are so small, is this something that I will need permits for?

Andy G.

Hi Andy,

I don’t really have enough information to provide an accurate answer. I don’t know the dimensions. Is it wood or aluminum? The best thing to do would be to go down to your local Department of Building and Safety.

Just take a sketch with dimensions and go up to the counter. There’s a good chance that you will need permits, but talk to the City. They will tell you whatever you need to know.


Hello Robert,

I’m a property manager and have just picked up a new property with underground parking. They have metal pans attached to the ceiling of the garage with PVC pipe draining onto the floor. Do you know why? Thanks,

Paul C.

Hi Paul,

They are band-aids. There’s a pool, common area planters or decks that are leaking through the podium slab and into the garage. They put those pans up to prevent the water from dripping on cars or pedestrians.

This is going to create a two-fold problem. One, the slab is not poured with underwater concrete and is not designed for constant water exposure. If not corrected, the concrete will fail, spall and fall. Two, the drainage from the PVC will become mossy and slippery which will create slip and fall conditions.

I recommend you contact a general contractor with waterproofing experience. Have them perform a water test and repair as needed.

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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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