Washerless Faucet Leak / Removing Asbestos Tiles Safely / Ridding Wallpaper Blisters

In Asbestos Tile, Plumbing, Q&A on October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am


We have old crumbling tiles on our basement floor that we think may be asbestos. Do we have to call in those companies that wear protective clothing and respirators?


Old, crumbling floor tiles can be safely pried up with a scraper, but first wet them down lightly so there is no dust disturbance. Put the removed tiles in double bags of 6-mil thick each. They should be disposed of at a dumpsite licensed to accept materials containing asbestos. Or you can just put indoor/outdoor carpeting on top of it.

If you’re not sure if the tiles care asbestos wet a piece of tile down to remove it and then put it in a small zip lock plastic bag and take it to a testing laboratory. If the tiles do contain asbestos and they’re in good condition, leave them in place. Just don’t use a buffing machine or stripper machine on them because that will disturb the asbestos and release the fibers into the air.


We have a single-lever Delta faucet that we were under the impression was never suppose to leak, but it sure does. What can we do?


No one ever said they aren’t supposed to leak. The advertising claim is that Delta faucets, and many single-lever faucets, are washer-less and you will never have to replace a washer. The ads are right. You will, however, have to replace 0-rings, springs and seats. This job is easy to do and kits can be purchased containing everything you need for the job, including an Allen wrench. The kits cost under five dollars and are available at most hardware centers.

Start by determining the brand’s model of your leaking faucet. Purchase the repair kit. Turn off the water and stop up the drain. Next, you’ll have to follow the directions on the kit for your particular faucet (you knew there had to be a catch). But believe me, they’ll be simple to follow.


My sister hung wallpaper at my house but since then I’ve noticed some bubbles in the paper. What is causing it and how can I fix the problem?


Wallpaper blisters are usually caused by air trapped behind the paper, or it might be a speck of grit or a paint chip. Lightly press against the bubble with your finger to feel for any foreign object under the wallpaper. If you feel something, purchase some wallpaper seam adhesive and follow these tips to fix it.

Get an Xacto knife, which has a very sharp, thin blade. Cut a small diagonal slit across the blister and carefully lift one edge to remove the grit or paint chip with a tweezers. Using a small paintbrush with a thin tip, apply the seam adhesive behind the slit in the wallpaper, into the blistered area. Press the area firmly against the wall and wipe off any oozing adhesive.

If the problem is an air bubble, cut a tiny slit with the knife or razor blade over the bubble, and inject a few drops of seam adhesive using the glue tube’s applicator tip or a glue syringe. Then press out the air through the slit and wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.

Another cause of blistering is a paint bubble. In this case, make a small X-shaped cut through the blister and peel back the four corners of the wallpaper. Scrape away the paint bubble with a narrow putty knife and then apply seam adhesive to the underside of each corner. Press the paper firmly back into place, smoothing the joints and wiping away any excess adhesive.

Seams can be the most troublesome areas of wallpaper, but they are easy to fix. Simply apply seam adhesive to the loose edge, press the seam against the wall and wipe away the excess glue. Now that you’re not “glue-less” any more, there’s no excuse for falling apart at the seams.


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