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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cornerstone Countertop Repair. Greensboro NC

These folks have a Cornerstone countertop that has been severely cracked in 3 places by the use of a Crock pot. (I know, why did it take 3 cracks before they stopped using the Crock Pot?) Would you believe, 2 of the cracks fixed themselves?

Of course they did not really fix themselves. There is a neat little thing that happens with a lot of these solid surface countertop cracks that many of my customers over the years have told me about. They hear the countertop crack, usually described to me as a gunshot sound, but they are not sure where the sound came from. They walk around the house and look for anything that may have fallen over or something. After being unable to find anything they quit looking.

Typically, a few hours later or in some cases even days, they may be wiping down the countertops and they find the crack because they can feel it, even though the speckled countertop pattern hides the crack from sight. Unless of course it is a gapping crack that you can see into.

Both of these pictures show the countertop with the cracks in them. Look closely, can you see the cracks?

I'm short on time right now so I will finish this post later. Be sure and check back or subscribe to the blog (top left column). Part 2 of this article can be found here http://cssrblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cornerstone-countertop-repair.html

Another awesome repair from Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hi Macs Sink Reattachment. Cary, NC

I got a call from a customer that told me that her sink had fallen out of her Hi Macs countertop. We talked for a couple of minutes before I realized that the sink that fell out was also a Hi Macs sink. I thought she meant she had a stainless steel sink or some other material that was not the same as her countertops, but sure enough she had an integral Hi Macs sink.

In my 16 years of fabricating and repairing countertops I have never seen a solid surface sink actually come loose from the countertop like that. These sinks are installed to stay in forever, even if you try to get one to come out you can not make it happen without some major damage to the countertop in the process. What could have possibly made this one seperate and fall out?

Well, once I got there and saw the sink, it was very apparent what had made the sink fall out. Poor installation. Nothing else. That may explain why her fabricator left her hanging and would not come over to help her get her sink back in place. She actually had been without her sink for 11 days before she decided to quit messing around with that fabricator and find someone on her own (Me) to get her sink reinstalled. She had even been given the number of a couple of other fabricators and the number of another repair specialist in the state and still could not get anyone to help her. They all said they would get back in touch with her and then she just never got any other communication from any of them.

The sink was layig in her kitchen floor when I got there and immediately I could tell that it was never installed the way it is meant to be installed. There was definitely not enough of the joint adhesive placed around the perimeter of the sink. This was apparant because you could see the amount of adhesive that was stuck to the sink and stuck to the bottom of the countertop. The other big indicator was the discoloration of the top lip on the sink. It was all black and brown from long term exposure to water. No doubt it had been working its way loose for quite some time.

Since the first task is always finding out why the problem occured, we were off to a good start. Now the real work begins and it is time to get this sink put back into place, the right way.

Here is the sink in the floor. Notice the staining around the back and left side of the sink. That is from water exposure.

Yep, that is where the sink came from and that is where it is going back to. Fortunately none of the plumbing fixtures were damaged when the sink fell out. Unfortunately, the drain lines were not so lucky because the main drain pipe under the sink did end up getting cracked and they had to get a plumber out to rework the drain lines.

Well here it is. Back like it is supposed to be and now with no chance of falling out again.

Here is her testimonial about the job.
"After the undermount sink detached from our countertop, we spent several frustrating days unsuccessfully trying to contact the original installers to come and repair. Finally, I gave up on them and called Bryan on a Friday evening. He returned my call the next morning and was there to repair my sink by Monday afternoon. It was amazing! Bryan's work is terrific and my sink looks wonderful. No one would ever suspect this sink fell through the countertop and ended up on my kitchen floor. Bryan made it look brand new again. I can't say enough wonderful things about Bryan's workmanship and work ethic. Thank you Bryan!"

Sid & Heidi Manning

Cary, NC

I always love hearing those testimonials. Hi Macs sink reattachment in Cary, NC proudly done by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing

Friday, May 22, 2009

Formica Solid Surface Integral Sink Replacement, Pilot Mountain, NC

Today I did a Formica Solid Surface Integral sink replacement. The sink had a crack in one of the bowls. Notice the yellowish smudge on the crack. The homeowner went out and bought one of those kits that claims that it will fix your cracked sink or countertops so you will not have to call a repair specialist. Needless to say, the repair is ugly and the sink still will not hold water.

The job went great. The customer is a 3rd shift worker. I came in and went to work while they slept. A short 4 hours later the customer woke up and stumbled out of his cave to find that he had a new sink. He was glad to have it done and I was glad to do it.

I can't take all of the credit. I'm sure there is no way that I would have gotten the job done without the help of "Rocky".

Rocky made sure that I didn't slack off. He was a good helper for the day.

Formica Solid Surface Integral Sink Replacement, Pilot Mountain, NC. Done By Complete Solid Surface Refinishing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Staron Countertop Crack Repair. Oak Ridge, NC

This Staron countertop is cracked. The homeowner used a Crock Pot directly on the countertop and did not use any cutting boards or heat trivetts. Unfortunately for them, the countertops were in their home when they moved in and no one instructed about the dangers of using a Crock Pot on an unprotected surface.

This crack is 14" long and it is actually a seam that is seperating.

This has cracked all the way down the front edge. The color pattern looks different because of different camera angles and lighting (remember the effects of lighting) but it is the same countertop.

Luckily, even though she did not use her cutting board, she did have one so we were able to get a good dye lot match on our repair.


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Monday, March 16, 2009

RV countertop repair in Winston Salem, NC part2

RV countertop repair in Winston Salem, NC.
Hello subscribers and new readers. Sorry I kept you waiting a little longer than I meant to. Let's talk about this Vendura countertop repair.

As you probably know, I almost always do my countertop repairs on site with the countertop still installed. Because it is relatively simple to remove the countertop, and because I have to be able to access the bottom of the countertop, I chose to remove it.

One of the problems that contributed to the cracking I believe, is the fact that the particle board substrate is completely tight to the backside of the drop edge. For this reason, I am going to cut a relief into the particle board and give it some clearance from the drop edge.

First I make a rough cut with a skill saw.

Next, I finish the relief cut with a Dremel tool.

Now its time to cut away at the particle board so I can break the piece of countertop off. The countertop and the particle board are glued together as one piece so it takes a little bit of doing. I need to leave as much of the particle board in tact as I can because that ensures a stable and secure installation with no gaps in support.

Now, I flipped the top over so it would be right side up, and I have removed the broken piece of countertop. What looks like a crack near the back is actually a "soft seam" and we I am not doing any repairs to that.

I re-attached the broken piece of countertop an it's ready to be re-installed.

There it is. All fixed up and ready to hit the road.

These pictures should go into the post about how lighting effects solid surface countertops. You can plainly see just how different this countertop looks from different times of daylight and then with the lighting inside the Winnebago.

RV countertop repair by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful Winston Salem, NC!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

RV Countertop Repair. Winston Salem, NC

RV countertop repair in Winston Salem, NC.

This countertop is in a Winnebago. It's nice too. I entertained the thought of making the customer take me on vacation with them next time they hit the road as payment for services rendered.

Of course I have bills to pay and vacations with customers don't get my bills paid. Besides who in their right mind wants to drag the countertop repair man along on a family vacation. I'll stop babbling again. Here's the story.

There is a crack in the countertop coming from the cutout for the gas stove. This is a Vendura solid surface countertop. Winnebago use this brand in their RV's. It is a 1/4" thick product instead of the usual 1/2" thick that most solid surface materials.

This product is also laminated directly to a full sheet of particle board, or maybe melamine. Being a repair specialist I have some knowledge about things that are just a bad idea. This is one.

Like Wilsonart SSV, this material is laminated to a full piece of underlayment. Both the solid surface material and the wood will expand and contract. SSV will do it because of temperature changes and the wood will do it because of humidity changes. With both things swelling and shrinking for two different reasons, something has to happen in order to relieve the stress that is caused when this happens. That something is normally to crack. I picture the countertop going, "AHHH, that feels better."

Another thing that contributes to countertops cracking in RV's is because the countertops are usually screwed extremely tightly to the cabinets. As the RV is on a steel frame, when it is traveling and manipulating throught its daily journeys the frame will bend and twist. Not like a tornado got a hold of it but still it twists ever so slightly. Unfortunately for the countertops, that is all it takes to cause a stress relieving crack to form.

This ended up being a very complicated repair to talk about so I will have to break up this story in two or three segments. Like the Shamwow guy says, "I can't do this all day!"

I will be posting the full story here in a few days (And here it is) so be sure an check back soon!
Don't forget you can subscribe to the blog and get an email when the post is up.

RV countertop repair by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Greensboro NC - Solid Surface Repair- Acetone Burns

Here they are finally. The pictures that I promised in my last post. As you can see, acetone can have a very damaging effect on solid surface countertops. I hope you can see too, all the actual melting and smearing of the material. You can click on these pics and see them up close.

This is what we ended up with after some extensive and vigorous belt sanding followed up with some more vigorous orbital sanding. It isn't totally without some scarring but it is very tough to see.

The homeowner was extremely happy and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Don't forget, keep the acetone away from your countertops.

Another countertop saved by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Solid Surface Repair. Greensboro, NC Acetone Burns

Solid Surface countertops have a few enemies. The most common foe is heat. From a Crock Pot or any hot pots, griddles, etc. You probably already know that. But one thing a lot of people do not know about is the devastating effect that Acetone can have on their countertop.

Acetone is found in several forms. Naturally the most destructive form is to get from a can labeled "Acetone". This is straght acetone. Nothing but the mean stuff.
It is also found as an active ingredient in a few different items around the house such as finger nail polish remover, some paint thinners, and in some brass and silver cleaners.

Whether it is found in a mixed form or the straight form, it can cause great damage to your solid surface countertops. This is an account of the worst case of acetone burn that I have ever come across.

Greensboro, NC. I felt really bad for these homeowners because they had only had their Hi Macs countertops for a few months. I felt bad for the lady because she cried and cried when it happened. They had scrimped and saved to get the countertops and she loved them.
Then, I felt bad for the man because his wife was about to kill him for doing this to her new countertops. I also felt bad for him because he had not idea that he was about to destroy their new investment. Yeah, the man did it. Looking back on it, I think this could have been a Tim Taylor Tool Time episode.

What happened was, he was painting the ceiling in his kitchen. He had laid down a thick canvas drop cloth on the countertop to protect it from splattering paint. Good move. At some point though, he broke out the paint thinner and ended up spilling it onto the drop cloth. Since he had no idea of the destructive power of the paint thnner on his countertops, he did not immediately pick up the drop cloth and rush it out the door. It just sat there for a while.

It was not until later that the horror of what just happened would become apparant. When he finally went to get the drop cloth off of the countertop he found that it was stuck to the countertop. He finally got the drop cloth to come up. He immediately did the next worse thing that he could have done. He poured more paint thinner onto the countertops and gave it a paint thinner wipe down to try and even out the damaged look. This was not the best idea that he had that day. Instead of giving a nice unform look, he evenly distributed the destruction. Man was he shocked!

Be sure and check back in the next couple of days to see these pictures and get the rest of the story. You won't believe your eyes! You can subscribe to my blog using the form on the top left of the page too!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Countertop Repair. Laurinburg, NC. Heat Damage.

Countertop Repair, Laurinburg, NC. Heat damage. This countertop, as you can tell, has a little problem. It fell victim to holiday cheer. Here's what I mean.

Holidays are a time to really give your kitchen, particularly your countertops, as real workout. All of the baking and boiling and broiling and crock potting and candy making can be very uplifting and enjoyable but countertops often get the most damage during those times.

This countertop was cracked totally in two while the homeowner was making peanut brittle candy for Christmas. She told me she had been looking for a slab of marble to roll out the candy mixture. She could not find one and thought that it would probably be just fine to flop the candy mixture down on the countertop. She had never been told about the kind of damage that can occur when you mix very hot heat with solid surface countertops.

It's bad enough when you have one major crack, even worse if you have more than one crack. This kitchen had another major cracking episode. This one was not caused by candy making. It is just a typical cooktop cutout crack. Of course, this one needed to be repaired too.

It was a pretty long day but finally the cracks were all fixed and the kitchen was back to normal. Here's the pics.


Unfortunately, she learned the hard way like so many before her. Fortunately, she found Complete Solid Surface Refinishing and had her countertop repaired. Now all is well. Her top is no longer cracked in half and she has been educated about the hazards of excessive heat on her solid surface countertops.

Countertop repair, Laurinburg NC. By Complete Solid Surface Refinishing.

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