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Inside & Out | A HELPING HAND

How to Unload Stain Left by Bag on Floor

June 15, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q I placed a plastic grocery bag on the kitchen floor temporarily, and, after I picked it up, I found that moisture had formed underneath the bag because of frozen foods inside of it. The ink from the bag stained the vinyl floor. The floor is less than a year old, and the stain doesn't seem to come off. Any ideas on how to remove it?

C.P.

San Juan Capistrano

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A Check with the store you bought the floor from, since manufacturers recommend different types of cleaners for their products, says Tom Hix of Aaron Anthony's Floor Coverings in Anaheim.

It's going to depend on the type of floor you have and what the wear level of the vinyl is. Stay away from any abrasive cleaner, which could do more damage to the finish. Fortunately, if the floor is not very old and the stain can't be removed, you could remove the stained portion and insert a patch to replace it.

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Q Paint just never seems to adhere to one of our metal window frames and is constantly peeling away. What should we use before we repaint again?

J.G.

San Juan Capistrano

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A You'll need to use the right kind of primer, says Tina Wachtel of Decratrend Paints in Anaheim. Some are designed for ferrous metals such as steel; others are for nonferrous metals such as aluminum.

Scrape away the old paint down to the bare metal, apply the correct primer and then use your finish coat.

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Q From time to time, during warm weather periods, I hear a buzzing sound during the middle of the night. It seems to be most pronounced in the kitchen and bedroom. I've checked appliances in both rooms and have found they're not the source. How can I track this down?

A.A.

Yorba Linda

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A What you may be hearing is a transformer on a nearby power pole, says Mike McCoy of Current Supply in Westminster. You don't hear it during the day because there are other noises masking it and you may be busy. But at night, when everything's quiet and you're in bed, the buzzing becomes very clear.

It's probably best to have an electrician check out your electrical system, because any time electrical buzzing occurs in your home it's cause for concern. He or she will be able to determine whether it's coming from outside or in your system.

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Q We live in a condo, and we're having a problem with noise coming from the neighbors we share a wall with. Is there any way we can soundproof the wall to prevent the noise from filtering into our unit?

L.V.

Fountain Valley

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A The best way to soundproof a wall is to create a dead-air space, says general contractor Steve Elliot of Fullerton. This would mean building a wall in front of your existing wall. Physically, this can be done; however, it may not be legal. You'd probably need some kind of approval from your homeowner's association to build it, and they may not be amenable to your request. Elliot suggests that you talk to your association about the noise problem and the possibility of adding a wall.

If that won't work, try muffling the sound with decorative rugs and tapestries designed for hanging. You also might want to consult with an acoustic engineer.

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Q Under the rim of our toilets, I'm always cleaning off mildew. Soon after I remove it, it comes back. I've tried leaving the lid up, but that hasn't helped. Any other ideas?

N.M.

La Habra

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A The obvious thing you'd want to check in your bathroom is proper ventilation, plumber Andy Geise of Anaheim says. Mildew thrives in bathrooms that get steamy and tend to stay dark much of the time.

Make sure the windows are open during showers and/or a fan is running. Also, try using a stronger household cleaner, such as bleach.

If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to: John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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