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INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

Faulty Seal on Window Can Be a Pane

ALSO: * Paint-Tainted Carpet; * Removing Wall Mirror

January 31, 1998|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q We have a sliding, metal-framed window in our bedroom, and each morning when we get up it's covered with moisture on the inside. It's caused some of the paint on the sill to peel off. We've tried leaving the window open just a little, and it happens whether the furnace is on or not. What can we do?

I.S.

Laguna Hills

*

A Moisture on the inside of the window usually is condensation from the cold window reacting to moist indoor air, says Debbie Mundt of College Glass & Mirror in Fullerton.

As these types of sliding windows age, their weatherstripping tends to flatten and wear out. Most glass shops carry various sizes of this weatherstripping for all windows, and changing this can help seal the window.

You also might want to caulk any cracks where outside air could be getting in.

This could also be caused by excess moisture inside. However, if the problem is restricted to one room, there may be a problem with the window.

If new weatherstripping doesn't work, you may need to replace it with a dual-glazed type.

*

Q We have carpeting that's 2 years old, and we recently painted the molding in our living room. In doing the painting, we accidentally got some paint on the carpet. I tried some paint remover and a spot remover, but that hasn't taken it off. Any other ideas?

M.M.

Newport Beach

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A The general rule with removing paint from carpeting or any surface is that if you get the spot before it dries, you've got a good chance of removing it completely, says Rich Zelle of Fullerton Paint & Flooring.

There are some specialized removers for dried paint, which you can find at most paint stores, but if the spot has been left to harden, it may be impossible to chemically remove it.

Your only option may be to take a sharp razor and try to cut the dried paint away.

Accidents like this are why it's so important to properly mask a room before painting. Use a good-quality tarp on the carpeting and use wide masking tape along the edges of the carpet against the molding. After painting, remove the tarp from the carpet and check for paint spots before they dry. You should probably wait until the molding is dry to the touch before removing the tape.

*

Q The previous owners of our house had a mirror attached to a small wall in the dining room. I'd like to see it removed. But I think taking it off might damage the wall surface. Any ideas on how to get it off easier?

P.Y.

Santa Ana

*

A Usually, these mirrors are attached with a good mastic adhesive to keep them on, says contractor Jay Gomez of Anaheim.

It's going to be a messy job that will require you to wear heavy gloves and eye protection. You'll have to pry it up from an edge and probably break some of it off. The leftover mastic spots may have to be sanded down. Paint remover might melt it.

These patches will have to be fixed by using a spray texture to make them blend into the rest of the wall before painting.

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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