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Caulking Will Keep Water Off the Wall

February 08, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: We have a slump-block wall on one side of our house, and when it rains heavily, water leaks out between the blocks near the bottom of the wall. Is this a problem with the roof or can water be coming through the wall from the outside?

C. K.

Dana Point

Answer: "This depends on whether the wall is continuous with the house or if it's separate," says Jim Gorman of Rancho Lumber in Westminster. "Generally, when these walls are built, cement is put in the top blocks then a cap is cemented in place to seal it. At the bottom of the wall, some small half-inch grooves are left for drainage so the water can drain from somewhere else.

"If the water is coming from these grooves, and it's separate from the house, you shouldn't have any problem because the wall is draining normally. If the wall is part of the house, and water is getting inside, I would assume it's covered by stucco. You may have runoff water puddling and perhaps a deck that's higher than the plate of the house, and the runoff is seeping through the stucco. In that case, other than tearing down the wall and rebuilding it correctly, you can caulk and water seal it so that water doesn't get through."

Q: I have a marble floor in my kitchen and some vinegar was accidentally spilled on it. After it was wiped up and dried, the vinegar left a dull spot on the floor. Is there any kind of wax or polish I can use to bring back the shine?

T. A. G.


A: "What's happened is that the acid in the vinegar has attacked the marble's finish, which is one of the reasons I don't recommend a having a marble floor in a kitchen," says Ted Smith of Ted Smith Marble Co. in Anaheim. "Granite is a better stone for kitchens since it's not as easily damaged. To renew the finish, you can clean it with soap and water and put a floor wax on it, which would create a glossy finish. Or you can call in a professional to resurface the area and have a sealer put on that will protect it against future spills."

Q: We have had an area rug on top of the carpeting in our den for four years. Now that we've changed the room and removed the rug, there's a difference between the color of the carpet that was under the rug and the rest of it. How can this be corrected?

H. M.

La Habra

A: "It's a problem that relates to the oxidation of the carpet," says Walt Parker of Parker's Floor Coverings & Draperies in Orange. "Let's say you took a remnant of your carpeting when you had it installed, rolled it up and put it in your garage. When you pulled that carpeting out a few years later and laid it down next to the installed carpeting, you'd see a big variation, since the carpet fibers oxidize over time. If you left it out, it would blend in with the rest of the carpeting.

"You should probably have the carpet cleaned and probably over six months, you'll see that the spot where the area rug sat isn't as visible."

Q: We have double-paned windows throughout our home, and the ones that face the ocean (a mile away) tend to get filled with condensation that blocks our view. Outside of replacing them, is there a solution?

J. K.

Corona del Mar

A: "Once a double-paned window gets condensation, it means that it has a leak," says Agnes Green of Green's Discount Glass & Screen in Garden Grove. "These windows are vacuum-sealed between the panes, and unfortunately, you can't create a new vacuum and reseal it yourself. You won't have to replace the window itself, just the double-paned glass, which comes as one unit and is significantly less than getting a new window."

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