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Adhesive caulk pulls double duty for repairs



Published: Sat, April 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Spring is home improvement time. Generally speaking, this falls into major categories such as: spring cleaning, lawn and garden work, maintenance and repairs, upgrades and the usual list of accumulated small things.

Deciding what to do (and in what order) is an annual survival technique for those emerging from a long winter hibernation - and the answer is obvious. Spring cleaning requires lots of motivation and dedication. Lawn and garden work (once started) goes until next fall. And doing "big stuff" requires dragging out tools and costs some evenings and maybe weekends as well.

Thus, for those wanting to "ease" into their chores -- the "honey-do" list wins hands down. And this year, completing it (and then some) is incredibly easier and more creative than ever.

Previously, it required digging out a full complement of repair "goodies" -- glues, caulks and adhesives, nails, screws, hooks and duct tape -- all in preparation for that which needed to be done.

Practical application

Not this year. Many quick and creative household tune-ups can now be found in a handy four-ounce mini-tube of all-purpose adhesive and caulk.

Though the idea of a "double-duty" formula that holds like an adhesive and seals like a caulk may not be new, the "abbreviated tube" is a new applicator that makes caulking and home repairs requiring adhesive simple. An added benefit of this "new and improved" packaging includes a re-sealable "stand-up" cap that simplifies storage and accessibility and prevents the product from prematurely drying out.

Besides all the traditional uses (such as small caulking jobs for the kitchen and bath), the new "mini" is invaluable for everything from saving time to saving money. Here are a few ideas and interesting uses:

ULoose tile in the shower? On a countertop or backsplash? Remove it, add a few dollops and press it back into place. In 24 hours, you' re good to go. Grout needs a touch-up? Use some there too.

UNoisy cabinet doors or drawers that slam shut with a "bang?" A dab on inside corners (or on the frame) serves to quiet "bumpers."

UKeep picture frames and mirrors hanging straight with a dab on corners too.

UMake non-scratch, non-slip "feet" for soap dishes, liquid soap dispensers and ceramic canisters.

UFlower pot or patio table rocks back and forth due to an uneven surface or bottom? To make "self-leveling" feet, turn it over, add a few dabs, let it partially set up (six or seven hours) and place the bottom or legs down on pieces of wax paper right where you want it. Next day, you'll have a "solid" fit.

UToilet tank lid doesn't fit right? Scrapes and grinds because its loose? Put a bead around the top edge of the tank or inside the lid. Let dry for 24 hours and replace for a snug (and quiet) fit.

UCondensation makes your toilet tank "sweat?" Drain and cut foam insulation board to fit inside walls. Glue foam panels in place with adhesive/caulk and let dry for 24 hours before refilling tank.

UWant wood baseboard where it can't be nailed, like around your bathtub? Glue it in place with adhesive/caulk instead.

URepair cracks and holes in walls, molding or railings (or hide mitering mistakes). Leave white or paint within two hours.

ULoose linoleum, floor tiles or wood trim? Glue down with adhesive/caulk.

UUse as wallpaper "helper." Glue loose edges back into place and seal to prevent curling due to moisture.

UNo need for mounting holes in exterior surfaces for hooks, signs, decorations or thermometers. Just apply adhesive/caulk onto the item, tape it into place and let dry. Great for brick, stucco and all types of siding. (Adhere address numbers on the house and mailbox too.)

UMount pegboard panels on studs in garage, carport or in the attic for storage.

UFirm up wobbly chair and table legs.

More tips

Before running off to attack your "honey-do" list with a mini tube of adhesive/caulk, have a look at the following handy tips. They will make your projects go more smoothly and render professional results.

UAlways "knead" the soft tube to ensure a smooth adhesive/caulk mixture.

UHave everything you need ready before you start.

UTest flow and practice on scrap material first.

UFor better "control" on smaller jobs, squeeze adhesive/caulk into a disposable container first (paper cup, bottle cap or jar lid) and apply dabs or dots with an applicator stick or toothpick.

UTo smooth a bead of adhesive/caulk, use a popsicle stick or moistened finger. Many pros use an ice cube for a "slick" finish.

XFor more home improvement tips and information visit www.onthehouse.com.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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