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Whether on Teeth or Teak, Crest Hits the Spots

February 22, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: Our beautiful teak tables have been marred by light spots, presumably where hot or wet objects have been set. We've tried various methods of getting them out, but nothing's worked. Any suggestions?


Huntington Beach

Answer: "If you haven't already tried it, there's a folk remedy from 'Hints From Heloise' that I used to successfully remove some water spots off of an antique table," says Reg Friend of House of Douglas Furniture Refinishing in Santa Ana. "You put a dab of Crest toothpaste on a dry, terry cloth rag, and rub it on the spot with the grain. When I did it I didn't expect it to work, but the toothpaste got it out. If it doesn't work, take it to a professional refinisher to have it refinished. They have the equipment and chemicals needed to do the job correctly."

Q: Our two-story, 2,600-square-foot home is showing signs of termite infestation in several areas. I've spot-treated them several times but they keep coming back. What's the best way to get rid of them permanently?


Los Alamitos

A: "The most reliable, effective method of exterminating dry wood termites is tenting, where your home is completely enclosed and filled with an exterminating gas," says David McLemore of Terminix Pest Control in Costa Mesa. "By spot-treating, you're not assuring 100% eradication of the termites.

"There are two different types of gasses that are used, Vikane and methyl bromide. Vikane is generally preferred because it's odorless and you don't need to do as much preparation inside the house. The cost of tenting can range from $800 to $1,600 depending on the cubic feet of the structure.

"In looking for a fumigator, you should make sure that the company you're dealing with is also the company that is actually going to do the fumigation. You should also check the guarantee. See if they offer an extended warrantee that covers future infestations, which is often a good deal.

"When deciding on a fumigation company, you may want to call the California Structural Pest Control Board at (213) 897-7838 to find out if any consumer complaints have been lodged against a particular firm.

Q: I want to install a six-inch crown molding where the ceiling meets the wall. How can I miter the corners when the molding stock is too wide to be cut in my miter box?


Fountain Valley

A: "The best way to do it would be to get access to a radial arm saw," says Jamie O'Conner of World of Moulding in Santa Ana. "To cut the molding for an outside corner, you would place the molding face down and level, adjust the swing arm to 31 degrees and adjust the blade to 34 degrees. For inside corners, you would lay molding face up and level, and cut as you did the outside corner."

Q: We're in the planning stages of remodeling our 30-year-old house. The previous owner had acoustic ceilings applied throughout the house, and we've been told by a contractor that it may contain asbestos and it should be analyzed before work is done. Is this possible, and how is it tested?


Los Alamitos

A: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ceilings with asbestos fibers were applied until 1978, so it is possible that your ceiling contains asbestos. Normally this isn't a problem, except when the asbestos is disturbed, such as during a remodeling project and released into the air.

"There are many asbestos-removal contractors who can test for asbestos and remedy the problem. Contact some local building contractors for referrals to asbestos professionals, and also check their references. You can get an informative booklet on asbestos problems in the home from the CPSC by calling (213) 251-7464.

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