Perhaps you can help us solve a problem with our patio and cement walkways. They were put in with boards dividing the sections, and over the years the wood has rotted, leaving about a 3-inch gap. We can't figure out how to anchor new wood. We have tried filling these voids with cement and aren't pleased with the results. There must be many with this same problem. - Burrell J.
A - The real chore is to ensure that the new wood you pick to border the concrete is suited for the work: specifically, earth-to-wood contact. We'll bet your original material was redwood. It's attractive as a border to concrete and has certain innate properties that allow it to resist deterioration from fungus or pest infestation. Still, with time and prolonged exposure to the elements, even redwood won't hold up.Improved technology has given us materials that are pressure-treated with chemicals specifically designed to withstand the demands placed upon them when in contact with the earth or concrete. So start your repair project with a trip to the lumber yard for a batch of pressure-treated fir.
While there, ask for a tube of epoxy or some concrete glue. You'll want to apply a hardy portion of the adhesive to both the face of the board and the concrete.
It's vital that the new trim board has been cut to size and tested for the fit before you get to the gluing step. In order to achieve a good permanent bond, make sure that both the concrete and the wood are completely dry and free of any surface debris.
Q - A few years ago I read how to repair burn marks on no-wax, resilient kitchen flooring. I now have this type of flooring in my new house and it has a cigarette burn mark. How do you get such a burn mark out and repair the linoleum? - John
A - Resilient flooring or linoleum is one of those finishes that has to look good while being subjected to a tremendous amount of wear and tear. For this reason, this is one of those instances where we recommend you consider leaving the job to the professionals. A professional repair could save you from having to replace the entire floor.
The repair technique employed by a repair contractor will depend on several factors, such as the age of the floor, the quality, (cushion or inlaid) and the location of the burn.
If you have a scrap of the original flooring left or if the pattern is still in production, then the best fix would be a small replacement patch similar to a wallpaper patch.
Even if you don't have any scraps or if the pattern has been discontinued, chances are that a small piece can be removed from below one of the appliances, such as the refrigerator.
The person making the repair should remove the small damaged section and replace it with the repair piece, paying attention to pattern match and making sure the seams are clean and well sealed. Chances are that after the repair is made, only you will know where the patch is located.
Morris and James Carey, who own a home-remodeling business in Contra Costa County, Calif., write this column weekly for the San Francisco Examiner. Address questions to Carey Brothers, c/o Real Estate Desk, San Francisco Examiner, 110 Fifth St., San Francisco, CA