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HANDYMAN Q&A

Get to the root of curling vinyl, then straighten it out

May 04, 2008|Morris Carey and James Carey | Associated Press

Question: The vinyl in my bathroom is curling up at one of the seams. Can I fix this?

Answer: Yes, but find out why it is curling. One of the most common causes is excessive dampness in the crawl space due to poor ventilation.

In your case, a quick check of the crawl space is in order. To get better air movement, install additional foundation vents at the perimeter.

As far as the floor repair is concerned, start by applying some heat to the seam with an iron. Lay a towel down first to prevent damage to the vinyl.

Apply steady, even heat while pulling open the seam a couple of inches. This will permit you to clean the area up with a vacuum and apply some vinyl adhesive. Use a modest amount though -- too much will cause the vinyl to ripple.

Re-lay the vinyl and apply constant pressure to the area with heavy objects such as books. After several hours, remove the weight and apply a bead of clear vinyl seam sealer at the joint. Your floor should be almost as good as new.

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How to clear that slow drain

Question: The drain in my bathroom was running slow, so I tried a chemical drain opener but it was ineffective. Is there a home remedy I can use?

Answer: Commercial products should be more effective than any household remedy. Look at the ingredients of the type you used. The newer ones that use enzymes are less effective than the old types, which were made of pure lye.

Your clog could be caused by debris or hair buildup in the P-trap underneath the sink. If you are comfortable handling this repair, try removing the P-trap to clean it out.

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For home improvement tips, go to www.onthehouse.com.

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