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Dear Dale

Electric Heat Can Result in Problems for Wallpaper Job

April 28, 1985

Question: We live in a 20-year-old all-electric home. The electric heat is in the ceiling. The kitchen ceiling has a few cracks in it, which I repaired once, before painting. I'm ready to freshen up the kitchen and I'm toying with the idea of papering the ceiling instead of painting it. Do you think the paper would loosen because of the heat when it's turned on?

Answer: As somebody who is allergic to the job of wallpapering, I envy your courage in even thinking about putting the tricky stuff on a ceiling! Seriously, I asked Aubrey Williams of Williams & Williams Enterprises, Tujunga, about your idea and he said that the heat would harden the wallpaper, possibly causing it to crack. Williams recommends staying with paint in the kitchen and cleaning the acoustic ceilings in the other rooms, if you have acoustic ceilings. He specializes in acoustic-ceiling repair and cleaning and says that spring is a good time to clean your acoustic ceiling.

"Whatever you do, don't paint an acoustic ceiling," Williams said. "Painting causes the ceiling to turn a dull milky shade as dirt and stains bleed through and it also fills the holes that give an acoustic ceiling its sound absorbing properties."

Another reason for cleaning the ceilings in your house this spring is that now is the time for hay fever and many other allergies to become active, after being dormant all winter, he said.

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