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WALL AND FLOOR COVERINGS

It is probable that most of the interior walls of your home are covered with a gypsum wallboard known as sheetrock or drywall. The drywall is installed onto the framing members of the home using nails and/or screws. Butt joints are covered with a special tape, and then a joint compound is applied over the nail and joint areas to give the wall a smooth, even appearance.

During the first year, walls are subjected to stress as the framing members expand, contract and stabilize to their new environment. As a result, nail popping, minor cracking, especially in corners and at ceiling joints are unavoidable. These minor defects are usually simple to repair with the use of spackling or plaster compound or in many cases, a new coat of paint is sufficient. It may be desirable to delay major decorating or wallpapering until the curing process is complete as potential future nail pops or drywall seams could mar a newly decorated wall.

In drywall construction, you may notice artificial light will cast shadows on the ceiling and it will appear to be wavy or uneven. This is also true of some vertical surfaces, but not quite so noticeable as the ceiling. In as much as drywall material is of uniform thickness, it follows the contours of the wall or ceiling framing, which may not be perfectly true due to settling or slight movement of the construction lumber. In the event drywall repairs are authorized, we will paint the repaired areas. There is a strong possibility that these painted areas will not exactly match the existing wall paint due to fading of the original paint. We will attempt to match the original color as best as possible, but we will not repaint areas beyond the repair work.

Before repainting walls, it is important that the surfaces be properly prepared:
  • Clean surface, remove mildew,
  • Repair minor cracks with spackling compound,
  • Reset nail pops in drywall, spackle, sand smooth,
  • Let surface dry thoroughly,
  • Sand enameled or varnished surfaces,
  • Follow paint manufacturers directions.

Choose high quality paint appropriate to the area you are repainting. Do not use acrylic paint on top of enamel or varnish as it will not adhere. Use washable paints in areas subject to wear and tear, e.g. particularly kitchens.

Finished wood paneling in your home requires little attention. You may notice the spaces between the paneling open slightly during dry weather or the heating season. This is normal and the spaces should close when more moisture returns to the air. Clean wood paneling with a commercial wood cleaner, treat with linseed oil or a special wax.

Most vinyl flooring products are resilient but will scratch, mar and dent under certain conditions. Shoes with metal cleats, protruding nails or spiked heels can quickly ruin the appearance of linoleum in a short period of time. It is further recommended that you cap the legs of tables and chairs that will rest on these surfaces.

Do not use too much water on your vinyl and tile floors; instead, frequent vacuuming and dry mopping will increase their serviceability. An occasional scrubbing will not harm the vinyl covering if dried thoroughly. Waxed floors are different...be sure to follow the manufacturers' recommendations if you have any doubts about the selection of a wax.

On hardwood floors, you may notice imperfections such as knots, variations of color and grain, which are characteristics of the wood. Never scrub hardwood floors with soap and water, as this can cause darkening, warping and even buckling. Hardwood floors must be cleaned and regularly maintained using the products recommended by the finish manufacturer. Wax finish is generally cleaned and re-coated with wax base products. Varnished floors require cleaning and re-finishing using compatible products. The seams between your hardwood flooring may open and close slightly as humidity changes. This, again, is unavoidable and no cause for concern.

Ceramic tile, slate, stone, terrazzo and similar products will require regular cleaning to remove normal build up of surface dust, soap and other deposits. Use detergent or nonabrasive ceramic tile cleaner on tile. Slate or unglazed clay tile floors should be sealed occasionally to prevent staining.

Unpainted concrete floors may be cleaned with 4-6 tablespoons of baking soda per gallon of water. Use only special concrete sealer or paints on concrete floors.

Carpeting maintenance requires regular vacuuming and removal of spots for longevity. Heavy objects resting on carpet should be periodically moved to avoid matting and permanent markings.

Problems with static build-up in carpeting can be avoided by increasing the amount of humidity in the home. Avoid excessive wetting when shampooing.

As a general rule, all floor coverings last much longer if properly maintained. Regular cleaning will reduce floor covering wear dramatically because dirt, dust, sand and grit act as abrasives, actually wearing down the floor surface and cutting carpet fiber.


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