Shattered dad makes a fortune on spray that stops floorboards squeaking
An exhausted dad whose creaky floorboards kept waking his newborn daughter is set to make a fortune after inventing a unique spray that silenced his whole house.
Paul Lanzarotti, 45, reckons he has helped thousands of sleep-deprived parents with his floorboard tonic, made from the same lubricant on Teflon pans.
He came up with the idea after his brand new Italian laminate floor - laid throughout his entire house - shrank, so it squeaked every time he took a step.
Paul and partner Tracy McCreary, 37, put up with it until baby Sienna was born and they had to do a Mission Impossible-style escape every time they put her to bed.
Just walking out of her bedroom would wake her - and the creaks were so loud little Sienna would hear them from any room in the house.
Out of desperation, Paul did some online research and discovered a compound in Teflon could be mixed with with an acrylic fluid, and when sprayed on the floor totally got rid of the noise.
He formed it into a product called 'Stop Creak' and has already sold 10,000 bottles online through eBay and Amazon.
"It was incredibly infuriating," said self-employed digital innovator, Paul, from Hendon, London.
"We were exhausted and it was a nightmare. Our house wasn't fun to live in anymore.
"Trying to get her to sleep had become mission impossible, it was ridiculous. We needed to be able to sleep.
"But now the whole house is silent and the feeling afterwards was amazing. It's like we'd moved into a luxury hotel.
"The whole house is completely silent now. The difference it has made to our lives is massive.
"We have a much happier baby and we are much happier parents."
Paul inherited his parents' 1910 three-bed home in 2014 after his parents died, and bought his siblings' share to make it his family home.
With the help of partner Tracy, they spent £80,000 transforming it into a five-bed property featuring a loft conversion and laminate wooden flooring with underfloor heating on two storeys.
For the first couple of months the new £7,000 flooring was perfect, but the underfloor heating caused the wood panels to contract.
This caused every single panel to rub together when walked on - causing loud creaks to rumble through the house.
Paul said: "By the time Sienna was born it was really bad but it was annoying before she was born.
"It just got worse and worse over time. There were tiny gaps in the wood because it had shrunk.
"Every night it was endless and it became ridiculous. We would creak all the way down the corridor.
"We were pulling our hair out about it. We knew we couldn't sleep train her properly if we carried on like this.
"Wherever we went she woke up and it drove us crazy.
"The whole floor would creek really loudly. It happened with every step. It was a joke.
"It wasn't just in Sienna's room. Walking down the corridor woke her up and our bedroom is right next to hers.
"Pretty much walking on the floor anywhere in the house would make a noise."
Paul said flooring experts told him the only solution was to rip up and replace the floor - at a cost of £5,000.
So the "obsessive problem solver" decided to take matters into his own hands and went on to spend hours trawling the web for a solution.
He learned the noise was caused by friction, which could be stopped if properly lubricated.
Paul also found out that a chemical compound found in Teflon was is one of the world's best lubricant elements.
He decided this was his best hope, and called in the help of a chemical engineering company, who agreed to manufacture a product.
And together they came up with a product now known as Stop Creak - by mixing the lubricant with an acrylic fluid which coats every nook and cranny with slippery liquid.
Paul said: "I tested it at home and just couldn't believe the result. I sprayed it in Sienna's room first and the floor was immediately silenced.
"Eight months later, it is still silent. To be honest I have no idea how long it lasts for.
"It felt like a huge relief. When Tracy saw the difference for the first time, her face just lit up.
"You can treat a couple of rooms in an hour and it was such an easy product to come up with.
"I'm baffled there was nothing like it before. It was such a simple problem to fix.
"The first few nights felt amazing. We finally had a baby that sleeps, and it meant we were sleeping too.
"It has made an unbelievable difference to our lives.
"We couldn't have carried on as we were."
Having nailed his invention, Paul arranged for a batch of Stop Creak to be shipped out to him, and he shared cans of it between friends and family.
Like he was, they were "amazed" at the result, and suggested he tries to sell it online.
So Paul built a website, designed product labels and listed the cans for sale on eBay for £19.99.
Sales were slow at first, and in the first couple of months Paul only sold a handful of cans each week.
Eight months later, he now sells Stop Creak on Amazon, sells up to 130 cans a week and so far has made a gross revenue of around £37,000.
He reckons he has sold between 8,000 and 10,000 cans, and his financial projection predict he may end up hitting £100,000 in sales by the end of the year.
Paul says orders are flying in, and says he has had to put his full-time job on hold to manage Stop Creak.
"It started out as a side project just because we really needed a good night's sleep.
"But now I'm just really happy to be helping other people. I thought there must be other people who are being driven mad by creaky floors.
"It's a no-brainer for any parent with squeaky floors but a lot of people just live with it.
"It is a living nightmare for people but it doesn't have to be.
"People don't realise the difference it makes. It's life-changing."