Ask the Expert

Hi Robert,

We have a fiberglass tub that is leaking. We had a man come out and he said we had to take it completely out and replace it with ceramic tile. Or we could bring in a new shower of the same style, but we would have to open holes in the walls in order to make the turns and navigate it through the house to get the new one into the bathroom. Is there another option? We’re retired and on a budget so we would really appreciate any help you could provide. Thank you,

Gloria W.

Hi Gloria,

There is a company in theSan Fernando Valleythat does nothing but repair and refinish fiberglass. They will recoat the entire wall and tub assembly, and when finished, it will look completely new.

The first day they will come in and make the repair and will then re-glaze on the second trip. After the re-glaze, you’ll be limited to non-abrasive cleansers, but they will give you recommendations.

I’ve used this company on various jobs over the last 30 years. I will forward contact information to you privately.

Hi Robert,

I have a wall that’s been uprooted by my neighbor’s tree. This has been going on for a couple of years when I first noticed the wall starting to crack. He cut the tree down and says that’s all he intends on doing because once the roots rot, the wall will settle back down. It makes sense but I would like to get your opinion. Thank you very much,

Darlene F.

Hi Darlene,

No, that’s not true. At this point, the roots have lifted the footing and it won’t go back down. For the repair, the wall will have to be disassembled, dig up the roots, repour the footing, and then repair the damaged portion of the wall.

Hello Robert,

I’m doing some drywall repair. It’s a splatter coat but it comes out of the can too thick. When I try to make it smaller it just makes a mess. Should I go with a machine to spray it on? If yes, where do I get one and what is it called?

George D.

Hi George,

The reason it’s coming out thick is because the can is too cold. Run warm water over it or submerge it in a sink for about 10 minutes. Warming up the can will thin out the texture.

I would buy an extra can or two to practice with. Once you get it warmed up, take a piece of cardboard and spray it until you get the kind of texture and consistency you want for your wall.

If you’re looking for a knockdown finish, spray the material onto the test piece and let it dry for 5–7 minutes. Then you gently drag the leading edge of a trowel over the semi-dry texture.

Don’t expect this to look great on your first try. It’s more of a hit and miss, especially when starting out. Drywallers are craftsmen; they are like artists. I’ve seen from the very good to terrible. I happen to be a terrible drywaller. That’s why I have employees that are the artists. Some people take to it relatively quickly, but don’t get discouraged if you need extra practice.

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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