Q. Kevin asks: We just moved into a new office with damaged carpeted floors. We have decided to pull up the carpets and strip the glue and previous paint so that we can put in acid stained concrete floors as the finish. Basically, we would like to create the coffee look. Our problem is that the floors are covered with two-three coats of paint as well as carpet glue. What would be the best way to strip these floors in preparation for the acid stain? So far we have tried chemical, and large buffing machines with diamond tip strippers with no luck. Recently people have mentioned a bead blaster -- is this the way to go?
A. Our guess is that the chemical that you tried is some sort of concrete cleaner with either a phosphoric acid or a muriatic acid base. Even the most concentrated mixtures of these acids will not affect some surfaces (such as paints and glues). Our suggestion is to try a paint stripper. Apply the stripper, wait for the paint to bubble and use a floor scraper to squeegee away the mess. Be careful: paint remover is deadly stuff and could cook your lungs and sinuses, burn your skin and destroy your clothing. Need we say more about the importance of being careful with paint stripper? Make sure there is plenty of ventilation, but don't let the stripper dry. If this happens, it won't work. You might have to use several applications of the stripper.
Q. Joanne asks: My water was running (on and off) in the toilet tank. I replaced the flapper and that stopped the leak, but the pressure isn't as good as it was. Feels loose in the handle.
A. When you installed the new flapper, you left too much slack in the chain that connects the flapper to the flush lever. When this happens the lever doesn't fully raise the flapper when the handle is depressed. Go back into the tank and take most of the slack out of the chain. Everything should then begin to work as it did before the flapper replacement -- except that the leak will be repaired.
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