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 pack rat problem on my concrete tile roof. A rat tore up some of the tar paper under the tiles, and a repairman who looked at it says that the roof needs to be completely redone. Is that true? My roof is 28 years old, and I’m wondering if it really needs that much work. Can’t I just fix the area that is damaged?
ANSWER: Yes, after 28 years, the roofing material under your concrete tiles probably does need complete replacing. It has outlived its economic life. The new types of waterproofing materials on roofs now can last for many years. But you don’t need to replace the tiles themselves. A roofer will take off the tiles and store them while they replace the underlayment. Then they will reset the tiles.
Q: I have a rental property with a very small shower stall measuring 3 feet by 3 feet. The tiled walls in the shower are deteriorating and tile is falling off. I would just like to cover those walls with acrylic panels. I have looked everywhere for a do-it-yourself kit with three acrylic walls, and can’t find one.
A: You are going to have to fix the deteriorated conditions before covering the walls with new panels or tile. Just covering up the existing damage will lead to other problems in future, including mold growth wood rot, insect infestation and more. If any of those occur, it could destroy your investment in fixing the issue.
Q: I have a couple of aluminum-frame, dual-paned windows installed seven years ago in one of my bedrooms. It’s impossible to lock these windows. They seem to open properly and the bottom of the window and the frame seem to be aligned properly. There is no debris in the tracks. What could be wrong?
A: It’s possible that a window installer needs to pull the windows out of their frames to inspect the rollers on the bottom of the movable portion of those windows. While you’re waiting to have that done, you can buy temporary clamps to lock the window if you need to do that.
Q: I live in the Catalina foothills and I have a 17-year-old driveway with one very small area that needs repairs. It’s a tiny divot about the size of a walnut that’s about three-quarters of an inch deep. The driveway is colored concrete that was finished on top with small granules of pea gravel. The hole is small but seems to get a little bigger every year. So how do I fix it?
A: If you visit a masonry store, they can help you with the patching. Just take a photo of the driveway and the divot with you for your store visit. In a situation like this the main problem will be matching the color of the concrete on the driveway. The folks at the store will have colorants to help achieve a favorable patch.
Q: We’re having a problem in our tile floor probably caused by a slow leak. One tile is starting to pop up very slowly. It’s not close to an outside wall. We think it’s a leak problem because there are signs of moisture on a rug in that area. How can we find out more?
A: You need to consult a plumber who can do leak detection or who uses a leak detection service. The tile is popping up because the moisture leaking through the slab is weakening the thin-set holding the tile on the floor.