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Squeaky floorboards may signal your house’s history, but they’re a pain in the ass when you’re just trying to get a glass of water in the middle of the night. Here’s what to do:

What you need: An old makeup or paint brush and baby powder. (Baking soda will work in a pinch.)

What you do: Sprinkle the powder on the offending area and use the brush to sweep it into the cracks between boards. Test it out. If it still squeaks, sprinkle in a little bit more.

Why it works: The powder lubricates the wood and keeps it from rubbing together.

What if it doesn’t work? It’s time to call a contractor. There could be a gap between the joist and the subfloor. Or the subfloor could have shifted.

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