Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero’s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.
QUESTION: I have a large two-level patio that is covered with concrete pavers and has very poor drainage. There is always a lot of puddling on both levels when it rains. I have to keep power washing and then resealing the pavers because they discolor all the time due to the standing water. We have no gutters on the house, just scuppers. Do I need to regrade the site and have new pavers installed?
ANSWER: We are huge fans of pavers, but if they’re under standing water all the time, they can discolor. If you have no gutters, you could have them put on the house and that could improve the situation. But you might also have a drainage specialist visit your home to see whether regrading is an option you need to take as well.
Q: I had some difficult problems with a tile installation done in my house recently, and an expert in flooring recommended that we contact the Arizona Registrar of Contractors to file a complaint about the contractor. The registrar staff inspected the job site and notified the contractor that the job was not up to the right standard. So what will happen next?
A: In order to keep working with the state, you will need to give the contractor access to your property to give him an opportunity to fix what was done. Then the registrar will reinspect the job. If the work is still defective, and the contractor will not refund your money, you can probably file for some reimbursement from the registrar’s recovery fund. All contractors who register with the state pay into this fund in order to get a license.
Q: I have a 5- or 6-year-old mesquite tree that’s looking healthy and is loaded with beans. But there are also two holes in the trunk with a gold-yellow goo that’s oozing out of them; the roots are also lifting up some of the bricks that line the area around the tree. What’s going on?
A: Most likely, the material coming out of the tree is nothing to worry about. But the roots lifting up the bricks are probably doing that because you do most of the watering of the mesquite on the surface of the area around the tree. Your tree probably needs to be watered much more deeply, for longer periods of time, and much more slowly.
Q: I want to install an outdoor shower by my swimming pool and want to supply it with warm or hot water. What’s the easiest way to do this job?
A: The easiest solution would be to open up access to a bathroom inside the house that’s closest in distance to the pool. Then you can run a pipe from that room out to your shower area. More expensive ideas would be to install a tankless hot water heater on the cold water irrigation supply or install some other kind of auxiliary heater. One possible problem you might face, however, is that the city planning department could ask you to drain the shower with a connection to the sewer system for your home. In any case, this kind of job requires pulling a permit from the city or the county planning department.