Emergency fixes for all kinds of floorings

You’ve nodded off for just a minute, shrouded by the soothing aroma of scented candles, when suddenly, disaster strikes! You wake up to find your candle’s scorched a large, black hole in your new cream shag carpet, then you venture into your dining room and find that your dog’s knocked over his water dish and the water has seeped into your precious hardwood cherry floor.

Don’t panic, and don’t hurry off to call in the experts. With a little basic home repair knowledge, you can make some DIY fixes to make your flooring look good as new!


If your carpet’s been scorched

Don’t sit there steaming, here’s an easy solution that will minimize the unsightliness of the damage.

You first need to find either a scrap of carpet which matches your original exactly, or use a piece of excess carpet from a discreet area, such as under a large chest or behind your wardrobe.

First, using light sandpaper or steel wool, gently rub the burnt area to remove the charred carpet fibers. Then vacuum the area to completely remove any excess ash or loose fibers. Sometimes, these two steps are enough to remove the burn marks completely, but if the burns are serious, you will need to take the more drastic measures mentioned below:

Cut out the burnt area cautiously, using a utility knife. Bear in mind not to cut the floor underneath; only cut as far as the carpet backing, and leave a margin of at least 2 inches beyond the burnt portion.

Trace the outline of the cut-out carpet on a piece of paper and cut out this pattern.

Following that, use the paper pattern to cut the exact same size and shape out from the piece of new carpet.

Then, use a glue gun to apply glue to the flip side of the new carpet and place it in the hole where the old carpet was. Finish off by rimming the edges of the patch with glue to prevent the patch from being dislocated too easily.

If the edges of the patch are too obvious for aesthetic comfort, roll over the patched area with a carpet tractor, then allow the area to dry thoroughly.


If you’ve mixed wood and water

Even sealed or waxed wooden floors are susceptible to staining if water is left out on its surface for more than a few minutes.

All the tools you need are:

  • Masking tape
  • Oxalic acid crystals (available in paint or hardware stores)
  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Stain or seal
  1. First, use masking tape to partition the damaged boards from surrounding boards.
  2. Next, remove the waxed or surface finish by using steel wool or sandpaper, respectively. Sand right up to the border of the unaffected boards.
  3. Mix your oxalic acid crystals with 1 cup of hot water and stir to dissolve. Keep adding crystals till the solution is saturated ( no more crystals are able to dissolve). Then pour or sponge this solution onto the damaged floorboard(s), wait for it to dry completely, then brush off excess crystals and repeat until the stain disappears.
  4. Stain or seal that portion of the wood, then refinish the entire area.


If your tiles are grimy

Nobody likes the look of a mould-infested, slimy bathroom! Cleaning that gruesome fungus off your bathroom tiles is possible with the right chemicals and some hard work.

Before you start, gather these materials:

  • Terry cloth towel
  • Rubber latex gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Commercial grout cleaner or heavy-duty all-purpose cleaner (with bleach)
  • Stiff brush
  • Commercial grout sealer
  • Small paintbrush
  1. First tackle excess mouldy buildup with a wet towel, then don your gloves and safety goggles and keep the windows open to protect yourself from being suffocated by harsh chemical fumes.
  2. Next, attack the nasty fungi with the commercial grout cleaner. After several minutes, scrub the fungi with a stiff brush then rinse well.

Use a bleach-containing cleanser to blast mildew and mould. If you don’t have any, make your own:

  • ¼ cup (60ml) chlorine bleach
  • 1 qt (1 litre) warm water

Let the disinfectant sit another ten minutes, rinse, then dry. To finish, apply 1 – 3 coats of commercial grout sealer with a small brush.