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Missing nails suspected in squeaky floor

Fix requires right tools, a helper and a crawl beneath house

Q: About a year and a half ago we bought and moved into a 13-year-old frame house. After moving in we discovered that a 3-by-3-foot area near the center of the bedroom floor squeaks when we walk on it. The room is fully carpeted. The crawl space below is 16 to 20 inches high. The floor is insulated with batting held in place with plastic netting. How can we stop the squeaking? A: There's good news, better news and some not-so-good news. The good news is that we're confident you can fix the squeak. The better news is that it won't cost much, if anything. The not-so-good news is that it's a two-person job and one of you gets to go into the dark, cramped and dirty crawl space and wrestle with a bit of insulation. We suspect the source of the squeak is a shoddy subfloor nail job. Because the house is relatively new we're pretty confident that the subfloor is plywood or oriented strand board nailed onto floor joists of either dimensional lumber (2-by-8, for example) or engineere...

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