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Robert Lamoureux: Water leak might require new floor

Your Home Improvements

Posted: January 15, 2010 10:07 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
We have designed a custom, full color Signal / Your Home Improvements T-shirt that we will send to you, with our compliments, if we answer your question in our column.  Thank you, Robert Lamoureux

Robert,
We have “interlocking” laminated flooring in our kitchen. We had a water leak in the kitchen, and as result of that water on the floor, some of the boards warped. Is there any way to “flatten out” the boards short of removing them and replacing them with new laminated boards. If replacement is the only way, and because the boards are “interlocking”, does this mean replacement of the entire floor, or can individual boards be cut out and replaced? Thank you,  
Roger P.

Hi Roger,
All of the damaged boards have to be replaced. You have to take the floor apart and just install new pieces. They are interlocking so that means you start on the outer edge and work your way in to where the bad pieces are and reassemble. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle.  
Some flooring installers put the floors down with glue. You’ll know when you get to the first piece. If they glued it down, it’s all over. You’ll have to replace the entire floor.  

Hi Robert,
All my friends have either tile, laminate or granite countertops. I am looking for something truly unique. Is there an alternative to these countertop surfaces? Thank you very much,
Countertop Curious

Hi Curious,
If you’re looking for that custom made, one of a kind countertop, there is a product called Shirestone. It is a natural stone product that has been pulverized and powdered so it is actually poured in place. Since everything is custom designed and created at your home, there is no off site fabrication so installation in most cases is completed in four to five days.  
Once on site, the stone powder is mixed with hardening agents, and is then custom colored and textured to suit your preference. A company representative said the color choices were “virtually endless.”  
Once it sets, it becomes a heat and stain resistant surface that is both strong and seamless.
Also, there is no demolition necessary. It can be poured over brand new cabinets, or if the existing countertops are in good structural condition, poured directly over them for the remodel. And since it is a stone product, other applications could include outdoor kitchens and BBQ’s, outdoor tables and fire pits.  
For more information, see www.shirestone.net, or contact a local dealer at Grandeur Countertop Creations, (661) 259-0051.

Good Morning Robert,
And thank you for your informative column which is faithfully read for the most useful information.
Having read your answer regarding ball valves in the Saturday, Jan. 9, “Signal” a question came to mind. Our  gate valve was replaced with a ball valve which we always turn off when going away for a couple of days. When we return and turn the valve on, there is a hissing sound which lasts for about a minute. Does this means there is another leak (we have a 40-year-old house which has had its share of them) somewhere in the house or is this just  an evaporation issue with the water heater or a toilet?
Also, do you know if it is possible to leave the ball valve partially on by not turning the lever all the way? Thank you for all the help you have given us.  

Teri A.

Hi Teri,
Thank you for the kind words. That hissing sound you are hearing is just the water passing through the valve. That is exactly how it is supposed to sound. Remember to crack it — turn it back on, very slowly. Especially if you’ve got compression fittings or old hoses and you turn the valve on like you’re in a hurry, it could be trouble. That sudden surge of water pressure at 60, 70 or even 80 pounds can blow out angle stops or fittings and could do some damage until you were able to valve down again. Once you stop hearing the hiss, then the lines have pressurized and it’s safe to open the valve all of the way. The larger the pipe diameter, the more critical this becomes.
Yes, it is possible to leave the ball valve partially on by not turning the lever all of the way. If you want to know for sure, put it in the position you normally consider closed. You will either hear hissing of restricted water flowing through the valve, or you could just turn on a kitchen faucet. The amount of water running, if any, will be the same volume of water flowing should you spring a leak while away.     

Hi Robert,
I have an approximately 6-year-old top loading Maytag washing machine. I don’t see a model number on it but it has “heavy duty/supersize capacity/4 speed select/quiet series 100/13 cycles” written on it. Every time I do a load of clothes using the delicate cycle in cold water I get white lint deposits on them. My clothes look dirtier after I wash them. My husband does his clothes using the regular cycle & cold water but he doesn’t get these lint spots. Shouldn’t the rinse cycle get the lint off no matter what cycle you use ? I’m guessing the majority of the lint comes from the full load of white gym socks my husband does occasionally. What do you think can be causing this? Thanks!
Jane D.  

Hi Jane,
Although my expertise would be more of how to tie off, sweat and install the hot and cold copper water lines for the washer or how to add another circuit to your panel and run the electrical to power your washing machine, I would suggest running an empty cycle to clear out the sock lint your husband is leaving behind. The white “lint deposits” are probably on the socks also, but not as noticeable since both are white. Or, maybe you could call the Maytag repairman? From what I understand, he’s just sitting around doing crossword puzzles.

Robert Lamoureux has 25 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor, after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Send your questions to Robert@IMSConstruction.com.

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