Q: We have a stucco bungalow that we painted with Towerthon elastomeric paint in the late 1980s, and it has endured our rainy climate well here in Vancouver, Canada.

However, it is time to repaint, and we have received different advice from different painters. I would appreciate it if you could give us some guidance in this matter.

One painter suggested painting over the original elastomeric with latex paint. He said not to use elastomeric again.

Another painter suggested painting over the elastomeric paint with "EC Insulcote," which is ceramic-filled. He said not to use latex paint. This painter is also willing to use the Towerthon product again, but recommended the EC Insulcote over Towerthon.

This is an expensive project and we don’t want to make the wrong decision. We realize that the elastomeric product is more expensive than latex paint, but we are willing to spend the money for a better product.

A: Since you have dueling contractors with separate opinions, ask each the reason for his recommendations.

We assume that since the elastomeric paint has lasted more than 20 years, it was a darn good choice. Elastomeric is a high-solid acrylic coating that can cover cracks in stucco up to 1/16th of an inch wide. We don’t see any reason why recoating would not be recommended, but we suggest you contact the manufacturer for advice and ask the question.

We’ve used elastomeric paint before and have been pleased by its look and durability. Here is a specification sheet for Towerthon Elastomeric coating that may shed some light on your question.

We’re not familiar with EC Insulcote, but we were able to find this information from a New Zealand company. A quick read of the specs makes us think this might be a product worth checking out.

So we suggest you do a little more research by contacting each manufacturer and asking them why their product is the best solution for your situation.

At any rate, if in rainy Vancouver you get another 20-plus years from this paint job, we think you’re way ahead of the game.

Q: I just read your article on the pet odor problem in subflooring and carpeting. What if it is in the basement? I just rented an apartment, and the upstairs main living area is fine. But I am afraid previous tenants’ pets urinated on the downstairs rug. What cost-effective measures can I recommend to my landlord?

A: The odor problem almost certainly is coming from the carpet. The best solution is to tear it up and take it to the dump. This will mean a few hours of work, but we don’t see another way. With the carpet out, scrub the floor with a bleach solution to disinfect the concrete slab. Because it’s a basement, recovering the floor shouldn’t be necessary. The only cost is labor to take up the carpet and any dump fees.

As a tenant you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of a reasonably maintained dwelling. Offensive animal odors do not qualify as reasonably maintained. Your landlord should alleviate the nuisance.

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