Soil care

Soil care

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A few small routine repairs are within everyone's reach… You still need to know the procedure to follow. Here are some tips for solving all your little soil problems.

When the wood has moved

• Squeaky parquet boards: annoying, but easy to spot. Wood does not like hot and dry atmospheres too much. Make sure the nails are all fully set, then sprinkle the noisy blades with talcum powder, which you will penetrate with a soft brush. If the noise persists, nail the stubborn blade in one of the corners with long headless nails.
If you want to sneak out of the house and the wooden steps of your staircase creak, here are two ways to make them perfectly silent: Using a flat screwdriver or a wood chisel, slightly lift the riser and put a small piece of cardboard covered with wood glue in the gap. Repeat until the step no longer squeaks. If that is not enough, glue a triangular piece of wood under the stairs, at the corner of the step and the riser. Reinforce the bonding with screws.

• Over time, old parquet floors often retract a little, revealing gaps between the boards: dust nest, passage of air currents or simply aesthetic concern, here is the recipe for a filling paste as practical as easy to make.

The step by step


In a bucket, soak fine sawdust for 2 to 3 hours.


Make wallpaper glue following the manufacturer's instructions, or use wood glue, then mix the glue with sawdust to obtain a fairly flexible paste. You can, at this stage, add a little natural pigments or wood stain in the aqueous phase.


With a coating knife, apply this paste to the slots and holes in the parquet that you have carefully dusted. Let dry at least 24 hours before sanding and then finishing.

When tiling accuses the years

• To revive the red of old floor tiles, use, after dusting and washing with liquid black soap, colorless wax, which you will brush over. After 24 hours of drying without entering the room, pass a layer of warm wax with red pigment. Leave to dry for a few hours before buffing with a woolen cloth. For simplified subsequent maintenance, apply a ready-to-use surface waterproofing or water-repellent product. It lets the terracotta breathe while protecting it from water stains.
Make a homemade cleaner by mixing, in a bottle or can, 25 g of baking soda, 10 cl of ammonia and 5 cl of white vinegar with 1.5 l of hot water. Stir vigorously and use on clear tiles before rinsing with hot water.
Pour lemon juice over the blackened joints. If, after washing, they are not yet very clean, rub them with a quackgrass brush or with an old toothbrush.
Remove rust stains by covering them with Spanish white. After a night, vacuum ... The rust should be gone. Know-how - home decor © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2006