Maintaining and fixing floors: a few handy tips

September 9, 2015

Part of having a beautiful home is having and maintaining beautiful carpets and the floor underneath them. Here are a few handy tips for removing carpet and maintaining and fixing your floors.

Maintaining and fixing floors: a few handy tips

Tearing out old carpet

  • Installing new carpet yourself usually isn't smart because of the rental cost of special tools, the time commitment and the risk of wrecking an expensive piece of carpet.
  • But tearing out the old carpet is easier and involves much less risk.
  • Tearing out your own carpet can also save you some money.
  • Be sure to talk to your installer to find out just how much you'll save if you tear out your own carpet.

Hiding cables

  • You can keep phone lines, speaker wire and coaxial cable out of sight and safe from the vacuum cleaner if you install them before the new carpet goes in.
  • Just staple the wire every 1 to 1.2 metres (3 to 4 feet) alongside the tack strip.
  • Run it around the perimeter of the room, but not across doorways or other pathways on the floor where foot traffic will damage it.
  • Don't use this trick to hide extension cords or electrical wiring.

Squeaky floors

  • It's easiest to remove floor squeaks when your floor is bare.
  • Drive screws into the floor joists around squeaks.
  • Existing nails or screws tell you where the joists are.
  • Walk around the room, pencil in hand, and mark squeaky spots.
  • Make sure that any screws you drive in are 15 centimetres (6 inches) away from other screws.
  • Add more screws until the squeak is gone.
  • In most cases, 5 centimetre (2 inch) screws are best.
  • For subfloors thicker than 1.5 centimetres (3/4 inch), use six centimetre (2.5 inch) screws.
  • If you want to prevent squeaks from developing, add screws along all the floor joists.

Removing rotten subflooring

  • If your subfloor has any rotten areas, it's best that you discover and fix them.
  • Rotten subflooring is common near exterior doors, especially patio doors.
  • Set your circular saw depth to match subfloor thickness and cut around the damage.
  • Cut along joists so the edges of the new patch can rest on them.
  • Then pull out the damaged piece, cut a matching patch and screw it to the joists.
  • To prevent additional damage, block the source of the water that caused the floor to rot in the first place.
  • Caulking around the exterior trim and under the door sill might keep water out, but the surest fix is making sure you have proper sill flashing.

Pet urine on floors

  • Left untreated, pet urine stains can stink for years.
  • To stop the stench, wet the area on the floor with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water.
  • After five minutes, wipe up the bleach and let the floor dry completely.
  • Then seal the stain with a stain-blocking primer.
  • Be sure to choose a primer that's recommended for masonry if you have a concrete floor.

Keep these handy tips in mind and you'll be able to keep your floors in great condition.

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