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Rpbert Lamoureux: Fan needs balancing to stop quiver

Your Home Improvements

Posted: May 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hello, Robert

We have an older home from the 1980's. I am concerned about ceiling fans installed back then. Youngsters moved in with us and put in several connections of x-box..etc. How does a senior get help/information in regard to preventative maintenance. Secondly if ceiling fan is on high speed it quivers. Is there a danger of roof/ceiling letting loose? Thank you,

H. M.


Hello H.M.,

There's really no preventative maintenance on electrical. If you have any concerns regarding your circuits, then the best advice would be call an electrician.

Your ceiling fan is wobbling because it is out of balance. The repair is easy but tedious.

You can purchase fan weights that adhere to the blades. Then it's just a matter of trial and error, moving the weights along the length of the blades until the fan spins smoothly.

It's difficult to say if there is a danger of the fan coming down from the ceiling. If the fan was installed properly with fan brackets, then it should be fine.

But if it was only mounted to a single gang box with no brackets, then that's something that should be corrected as soon as possible. Have the electrician check the mounting hardware while he is there.



I'm a contractor and I usually don't do this but I'm looking to resurface an elastomeric deck. What would you recommend for the procedure and where do you get the materials? Thanks,



Hi M.H.,

I'll send you the names of the suppliers we use. As far as the procedure, if it's an existing system, you have to first scrub the deck with TSP, and only TSP, because it doesn't leave any film.

Scrub it with a brush or broom and then clean it with a pressure washer. Get everything off of the deck and let it dry for 24 hours.

Since you're re-coating, you can't use a water base. You will have to go with an epoxy base primer. That will give you about 300 sq. ft. coverage per 1.5 gallon kit. Let dry.

If the surface is super slick, you'll have to re-sand. Put a light coat top down at about 125 sq. t. per gallon and use silica base sand and gently broadcast that very evenly. Otherwise, when you put down the top coat it will look lumpy and uneven. Let that dry for 24 hours.

Come back with a Shop-Vac and vacuum up any excess sand. Then lay down another slightly heavier top coat at about 90 to 100 sq. ft. per gallon. Let dry. Keep all furniture off the deck for at least 72 hours.

UV radiation from the sun will deteriorate the rubber membrane that's under the top coat. That's what keeps the water out, not the top coat.

The top coat is water resistant, but not waterproof. That's why it's important to put on a new top coat every three to four years.


Hi Robert,

We're thinking of putting up a monument in front of our community. Will a permit be required? What do we need to know to put this up? Thank you,

Anh M.


Hi Anh,

Yes, you will need a permit for the architectural. If you're going to have it lit, then you'll need permits for the electrical.

If it is more than 4-foot in height, then you'll need permits for the footing.

The best thing would be to contact the city. They can tell you exactly what you're going to need.

Like I've said many times before, Santa Clarita Building and Safety is streamlined like no other. They're courteous, a delight to deal with - and extremely professional.


Hi Robert,

We really enjoy your column. I have a screw that the head broke off leaving the shank surface high in a facia board on our house. It is for one of the street numbers so there is not a lot of material to cover it up if I dig out a hole around it. Any suggestions on how to get it out without damaging the surrounding wood?

Thanks in advance.

Judd B.


Hi Judd,

You would need something larger than the screw to get in there for the extraction, which would only cause damage to the fascia.

You could also use an easy out - drill it out and repair the hole. Would it be possible to move the house number over an 1/8" or so?


Hello Robert,

I really enjoy your articles in The Signal. Even though I couldn't do any of the things you write about, the information is always very educational.

We are ready to make a change from the two pieces of water conditioning equipment we currently rent. One is an exchange soft water unit and the other is a reverse osmosis unit. We would like to be able to replace the two units with one. I still have the article you wrote which was published in the October 2009 newspaper where you reference some of the systems listed on the LACSD web site. Since some time has passed, I was wondering if you feel one system is better over the others. Any guidance you could provide in helping us determine the best product would be helpful. Thank you,



Hi Kathy,

I reviewed the latest water system information posted by the LA County Sanitation District. The list of the top five, five-star rated systems by Santa Clarita residents, listed below, has not changed:

1. LifeSource Whole House Water System (Beotron Water Treatment System.). This system uses Activated Carbon Absorption, Filtration technology. Three year warranty on the timer and 10 years on tank. Activated carbon filters last approximately 18 years. May require a cartridge pre-filter (which would need changing every 6 to 12 months at a price of $6 per cartridge). 800-334-5009

2. Hydromagnetic Activated Carbon System. This system uses Activated Carbon Adsorption, Magnetic technology. Price is between $1,000 to $2,500, with a five year warranty on the control valve and lifetime warranty on the tank. 661-259-1536

3. Rayne Portable Exchange Service. This system uses the Exchange Tank technology. 661-257-2963

4. Pelican NaturSoft PSE1800/PSE2000 System. This system uses Activated Carbon Adsorption, Filtration, Catalytic technology. 10 year warranty on the valves and tank. 866-767-6401

5. Scalewatcher System. This system uses electromagnetic technology that removes scale from hardwater. 10 year warranty and no maintenance requirements. 866-532-3083

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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