The mesh forms a backing to which the filler can adhere. e It is relatively easy to mend a hole that spans the ceiling joists. The resulting patch should make a neat, easily concealed repair that can simply be redecorated. e Where the old ceiling plaster thickness cannot be matched, fixing a framework of battens to the joists will help to e Work cellulose filler into the crack using a filling knife. When the filler has set, rub it smooth and flush with the surrounding plaster. To prevent the crack reopening, fix a scrim mesh across the crack and cover it with lining paper
Nail the side battens to the joists first, and then carefully tack cross battens on their ends. Protecting a light fitting To protect light fittings, turn the power off and encase the flex and fitting in a plastic bag held in place with adhesive tape. 9 • Floors “CI :1:1 .” “CI ~ :a ~ -I ::> z Whether you plan to lay a new floor covering or to make a decorative feature of an exposed floor, careful repair and preparation are vital. The floor should be as level as possible, clean, dry, and smooth. Smoothness is important, since any projections will quickly ruin a covering.
CHECKING THE flOOR • To help find small nails and tacks left in floorboards, slip an old nylon stocking over your hand and run it lightly over the boards.
- To check if the boards are uneven, lay a straight batten across the run of the boards. Draw the curtains or turn out the lights, then shine a torch behind the batten. Light will shine through where the boards undulate. • Where the boards are badly worn, try lifting them and turning them over instead of buying new ones. Repairing a ceramic floor o Break up the damaged tile with a ham- mer and chisel and remove pieces with a small cold chisel. In case of splinters flying up, wear safety goggles at all times. Solid floors If a floor shows signs of dampness, it is important to deal with it.
A minor case of rising damp might be cured by coating the floor with a special latex waterproofing compound, but a floor that is really damp will have to be dug up and replaced with a new concrete base, damp-proof membrane, and screed. If the damp is simply the result of moisture condensing on a cold surface, this usually clears up when the floor covering is laid. Where the floor is just dusty, vacuum off the dust, then treat the floor with a coat of PVA adhesive, diluted one part adhesive to four parts clean water.