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Robert Lamoureux: Glue and staples are not enough

Posted: September 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Hi Robert,

We are having an addition put on to my house. Where the house transitions into a block wall, the contractor is gluing the stucco paper to the last stud and stapling it down. I’m a nurse not a contractor, so this is not my specialty but it just doesn’t seem right to me. Wouldn’t you need more than glue and staples? If this is the way things are done then I’m sorry for bothering you. Thank you very much,

Stacy T.

Hi Stacy,

This is absolutely not the way things are done. Good for you for spotting it.

Find the contractor and ask him: Where is the flashing detail?

At minimum you would want vulkem to attach the paper to L-flashing, and apply it over and under the paper.

Where it lands against the wall, use more vulkem and use that as your sealing point. Otherwise it will leak. It may not happen in the first few years, but it will eventually.

If you install a flashing detail as described, you will get a lot more life out of it. These are the minute details that can translate to major damages five years from now.

Hello Robert,

I have DE, diatomaceous earth in the bottom of my pool. I’ve checked the filter grids and the valves. I have resealed everything and so far nothing is helping. Can you offer any suggestions? Sincerely,

Clint M.

Hi Clint,

Inside the filer itself is a manifold. Sometimes it looks fine when you see it but if there is a hairline crack, it will expand under pressure and allow DE to blow back inside your pool.

Also you’ll want to make sure your grids are all in really good shape. At first glance they may appear to be fine, but examine them very closely.

There could be a small tear at a seam which could exacerbate this problem.

Hey Robert,

We are building a patio cover in our backyard. The contractor screwed a board through the stucco above the sliding glass door. I’ve always heard you say you can’t drill through stucco or you will have a leak. He told me that he put in plenty of caulk and that would take care of it. What do you think? Thank you,

Mike P.

Hi Mike,

He should have broken out the stucco above, put in the equivalent of a z-bar flashing and then installed the ledger board.

It’s not too late to rectify this situation. He can break out about six inches of stucco above, install the flashing and then proceed with the construction.

Especially if it is a south exposure building, the sun beating down on the caulking will deteriorate it and will cause leaking at those bolt holes in three to five years.

Water will sheath down the wall, hit the bolt and then chase itself inside the house.

We have designed a custom, full-color The Signal/Your Home Improvements T-shirt we will give you if we answer your question. The T-shirt is available to be picked up at our office.

Robert Lamoureux has 25 years experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contacting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor, after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Send your questions to


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