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Solving squeaks in new house

Q. Despite renailing, the two bedroom floors in our new house squeak. The builder says he believes the squeaks are the result of a wet beam and that when the beam dries out, the squeaks will go away. The only other way to fix the floor, he adds, is to cut through the plywood between the floor and the beam, but I am reluctant to have this done. What do you say? The house is still under a one-year warranty? John J. Lee Scarsdale, N.Y.

A. If the contract documents clearly warrant, I'd require the contractor to definitely correct the squeaky-floor problem any way it has to be done.However, I too, would be adamant against cutting the plywood floor system from above.

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Some years ago a process was developed which involves both nailing and glueing plywood to floor joists. The combination of glue and nail successfully mated the floor system, thus doing away with squeaks in most cases.

Modern architects and builders use this system on new construction since it reduces the number of callbacks because of floor squeaks.

Whether this process can be retrofitted to your existing bedroom floor system should be determined by an inspection at the site.

If the crawl space is accessible there may be a way now to reduce or stop the movement of plywood rubbing against itself by adding glue, wedges, etc., from below.

One construction adhesive manufacturer is Dap Inc., 5300 Huberville, Dayton, Ohio 45401. The phone number is: (513) 253-2929.

A phone call or letter to the company might yield more specifics.

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