Q. The vinyl in my bathroom is curling up at one of the seams. It is quite unsightly and is becoming a real maintenance problem. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

Q. The vinyl in my bathroom is curling up at one of the seams. It is quite unsightly and is becoming a real maintenance problem. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

A. Yes, but first it's important to find out why it is curling. One of the most common causes of curling vinyl is excessive dampness in the crawl space caused by poor ventilation. We have even seen homes where a hot water pipe is leaking in the crawl space, resulting in the "steam bath" effect that causes the vinyl to lift. In your case, a quick check of the crawl space is in order and so is improved ventilation. Install additional foundation vents at the perimeter.

As far as the floor repair is concerned, start by applying some heat to the seam with an iron. Lay a towel down first to prevent damage to the vinyl. Apply steady, even heat while pulling open the seam a couple of inches. This will permit you to clean the area up with a vacuum and apply some fresh vinyl adhesive. Use a modest amount though — too much will cause the vinyl to ripple. Re-lay the vinyl and apply constant pressure to the area with heavy objects like books. After several hours, remove the weight and apply a bead of clear vinyl seam sealer at the joint. Your floor should be almost as good as new.