Monday, February 13, 2012

You Can’t Fix Stupid

When I asked why there was vinyl covering the wood floors in the dining room, the previous owner said, “There was some black stuff on the floor so we covered it up.”  That might have been the biggest understatement I’ve ever heard. I was envisioning some water damage or something to that effect. Not wall-to-wall tar. 

DSC_0585

It took about an hour to, first chip up the underlayment, then scrape off the tar of a 4 inch by 3 foot strip - and then it was still black. Pitch black. That, coupled with the fact that we know there must be a couple of huge plumbing holes in the floor since this was once used as the bathroom, means all hope of refinishing the floor is gone.

Luckily, we were able to remove the vinyl from the underlayment though and will be able to reuse it. Which is a darn good thing, because it is nailed down every two or three inches and has melded to the tar.

You can’t fix stupid.

DSC_0595

I’m contemplating our options. Wood laminate would probably seem out of place against all the antique wood floors in the rest of the house, so I’m leaning toward putting back a vinyl. Something about the same color as the wood so it wouldn’t stand out so much as the old white floor.

In other news, the internet, once again, saved me from an impending breakdown.  Thanks to all of your suggestions, I have figured out the problem with the loom. I don’t have it warped yet, but I know what the problem is – it’s me.  I’m an idiot. It is a counterbalance loom. Counter. Balance.  As in, if you want to lower one shaft, you have to counter it with another in order for it to balance.

There are dents in my desk from where I banged my head.

You can’t fix stupid.

15 comments:

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Tell me about it. We purchased a home in 2000 that was 18 years old and had to deal with the past screw ups of the 3 previous owners. The worst thing they had done was put a header in over a double wide walkway between the family room and living room and never even attached the header to anything... they just put it in and I guess prayed that the ceiling would never fall down. LOL IDIOTS! Anyway, we installed a new header and WE attached it!!!

Nancy K. said...

You, my Dear, are anything but stupid!

Historical Ken said...

Our home's previous owner connected two basement ceiling lights with - get this - an extension cord with the ends cut off! He also ran the entire house on four 35 amp fuses - way too high for the old wiring inside this house. We replaced the 35 amps with four 15 amp fuses. We couldn't run more than one item at a time (toaster and mixer for instance) without blowing a fuse, but at least we were safer. A year later we had a circuit breaker installed.
IDIOTS!!
Scary stuff!

Karen Anne said...

Okay, I'll ask the purpose of the tar - is it apparent to (1) everyone but me? (2) no one? :-)

Christine said...

I'm going to have to say #2 because I have no idea why it is there.

Kimme said...

Ah the joys of renovating an old house! I think most of your time is spent asking WHY? And Christine you are anything but stupid! :-)

Jayne said...

Oh lordy. That's awful. I wonder if the tar is glue from carpet or a previous vinyl floor? Either way, it's STUPID.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I think you'd be fine with wood!

Romonia Dinkla said...

The tar is probably there because it's an old house and at some time they had an area rug in the center of the room and put not vinyl but old fashioned linolium around the edges because it was easier to keep clean than the wood. The only way to get it up is to sand it off. I really enjoy your blog, the animals get my attention and I can't wait to see what you do with the loom.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

You have your challenges!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Karen Anne said...

I seem to recall seeing someone blog about removing horrid black stuff from a floor, on their hands and knees with a heat gun :-)

YarnKettle said...

Oh Honey,
Stupid is different from ignorant, and good news, you can fix ignorant. Just ask the internet!
Hope your loom goes easy on you now that you have the data you need.

dynochick (Jan) said...

What about the new wood looking vinyl that they have out now. It's thinner than wood and the sample I saw looked more like wood than laminate flooring. Plus it comes in strips like planks.

We had black tar like stuff and I thought it was the type of glue they used back in the day. It was nasty but it did come up with lots and lots of work.

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness. We had the exact same thing in our dining room too, though they covered the linoleum with carpet. We pulled up both and had wall to wall tar! Since there are no subfloors in our house, the original hardwood floor became the subfloor and we learned how to install a new hardwood floor on top of that! Ah the joys of someone else's "fixes."

Tifany said...

We had the nasty black tar like substance on the floors of an old Victorian we restored. We found saturating it with water would soften it enough to scrape off. As far as the underlayment, that is a problem. Good luck!