All I did was pull out the refrigerator to clean behind it. It was supposed to be a quick, easy job, but the end result was an urgent, Priority One repair task. When the front of the fridge tipped, the extra weight made the machines rollers dig into the kitchens vinyl flooring and made a noticeable gouge in the middle of the floor.
If you have vinyl flooring anywhere in your house, chances are it will need minor repairs at some point. Pull the washer, dryer or refrigerator out from the wall, drop a heavy pan, or goof on any number of innocent actions and the result can be noticeable damage. Murphy’s Law as it relates to vinyl flooring is quite emphatic: Accidental dings, cuts, nicks and scratches always occur in the most noticeable or ostentatious location possible. They will never happen in the mud or utility room where nobody cares.
Repairing vinyl floors can be easy, depending on where the damage might be and how big it is. For some of the smaller spots, repair is simple: Just take a putty knife, clean the damaged area as well as possible, and force some of the flooring adhesive underneath the edge or flap of the nick. Use some sort of heavy weight, such as a brick or heavy book, to hold down the repair until its dried.
Sometimes a seam will curl or come loose. In that case, clean and scrape the edge, and apply flooring adhesive. Then, stack bricks, heavy books or other flat, weighty items on the repair until the adhesive is set.
If you have the available storage space, always keep remnants of flooring, carpet and paint for small repairs. If you dont have leftovers, cut a small piece of vinyl from a less-noticeable place, such as under the refrigerator, inside a closet or behind the door in the utility room.
Larger repairs may take more time and energy. Start by examining the floors wear patterns. If the damage is right in the middle of a heavy traffic area, matching the flooring may be hard. A small patch of brand- new material will stick out like a sore thumb and may look worse than the damage.
In those instances, a larger patch is probably the best choice. Match your patterns carefully. If there is a pattern, such as grid squares on the floor, it will be easier to hide the repair. Place the patch piece over the damaged area, and use a straight-edge and utility knife to cut through both pieces simultaneously.
Lift up the damaged piece, and scrape away as much of the old adhesive residue as possible. Then, apply flooring adhesive to the patch and carefully position it where the old piece was. Use bricks to hold down the edges and corners until the adhesive sets.
If you cut the patch accurately, cleaned the underlying surfaces carefully and made sure the patch dried flat, your repair job should be almost invisible and last until the whole floor is replaced.
Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn’t claim to be a “survival expert” or expertise as a survivalist. Leon teaches common sense wilderness survival techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters.
A newpaperman and journalist for three decades, Leon covered search and rescue, sheriff’s departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies. He learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome.