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How to Calm Your Squeaking, Wobbling Home

The colder it is, the more likely you’ll hear squeaks and groans from your home. Here are some tips on stopping those annoying sounds.

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Fix squeaky wooden floors

Is a squeak in your floor driving you crazy? Read on to find out how to fix it. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Since we’re spending more time indoors this winter, those home squeaks, wobbles, and tilts that we tolerated all year suddenly are in our faces and getting on our last nerves.

So we gobbled up a recent New York Times article by Bob Tedeschi, who picked the brains of woodworking and repair experts on how to get rid of annoying sounds and unappreciated motion.

Our two favorite tips:

1. Tighten a hole that’s too big for a screw, by stuffing the hole with a couple of toothpicks or a wooden match. (Handy for fixing a wobbly banister).

2. Quiet floor squeaks by sprinkling on some talcum powder, a short-term, emergency solution when guests are coming. Use a paintbrush to work talcum powder, which is a lubricant, into the joints between boards, then sweep away any excess. Or place a cloth or towel over the area you’ve sprinkled, then step on it to work the powder into the cracks. You may need to do this more than once. Instead of talcum, you can try powdered graphite, too.

For a more permanent fix, take a look at this video.

Do you have any tips for fixing squeaks and wobbles?

lisa-kaplan-gordon Lisa Kaplan Gordon

is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL. Follow Lisa on Google+.

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