Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


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Are You Ready for the Flood?

flooded garage with minivan inside

Hurricane Harvey nearly swallowed up this family’s minivan which sat inside the garage.

The back-to-back hurricanes over the last two months have produced some horrifying still images and video footage. This time-lapse video of a residential garage in Houston, TX slowly filling up with water during Hurricane Harvey in August chilled the bones of millions of homeowners. The 19-minute video begins with family members, in anticipation of flooding, taking steps to protect the contents of their garage by elevating them. Using collapsible tables, they moved items presumably stored on the floor or below table-height to the table tops. They are also seen stashing some items inside the family vehicle in an effort to protect them.

It’s not long afterward that floodwaters begin to breach the closed door of the garage. Water surges in, and then for a short time it appears as though the water has crested and all of the items on the tables are spared from water damage. As it turned out, this was only the calm before the real storm. Over the next several hours, depicted in just a few minutes of time-lapse video, the water steadily rises. Eventually, it covers the tops of the tables that the homeowners had so carefully placed their possessions on, and everything on them either sinks or floats. By the time the flood waters crest inside the garage, the water’s surface reaches the height of the vehicle’s tail lights before beginning to recede. Undoubtedly at least a little bit of that water entered the vehicle, so that even the things stored inside didn’t escape the water.

These homeowners did the right thing by removing stored items from the floor. However they clearly underestimated just how big the upcoming flood was going to be. Still, it’s likely that many of the items inside the garage, although waterlogged, probably survived the flood, and a good, thorough drying-out is all they needed afterward to salvage them.

dodge viper flood

A 2016 Dodge Viper narrowly misses becoming submerged in a residential garage flood.

What probably suffered most was the actual structure of the garage: flooring, framing, walls, possibly even the foundation, depending on what shape it was in before the flood and how long it was exposed to flooding conditions. Some of the worst damage that can occur is often the kind you can’t see until it’s too late: mold. While, in time, the interior and exterior walls may look as though they have recovered, mold can grow in the spaces in between. If not found and treated early, mold will continue to grow and spread.

You can find some great advice on inspecting your walls for mold at Mold Advisor. If you do discover mold in your own garage or home, you must be very careful in how you treat it. If there is only a little bit, you may be able to treat it on your own. If it has spread to more than about a square foot, it’s best to call in a mold remediation specialist. They will be able to ensure that it hasn’t spread to other locations and also know best how to remove it without releasing potentially harmful mold spores into the air (which can spread mold to other parts of the home AND may cause health problems for people and pets).

Other signs of water damage tend to be fairly obvious, although they may take weeks, months or longer to become apparent. Signs include (but are not limited to) water stains, cracks (in walls, floors, etc), buckling of walls or floors, obvious wet spots that don’t dry out with sufficient time (drywall, in spite of its name, can take a long time to thoroughly dry out), warping or crumbling drywall, soft or sunken spots in the floor that weren’t present before flooding, or splitting in wood.

Thankfully, here in BC we are at much lower risk for catastrophic flooding than the hurricane-prone south, southeast and eastern seaboard parts of the US. Tidal waves are a remote possibility here. However, the more likely flooding scenarios to occur in the Lower Mainland would result from extensive rainfall, something that is definitely within the realm of possibility here. Almost all of Richmond and Delta as well as parts of Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission and Abbotsford lie within the floodplain. While there have only been a couple of major floods in the last 125 years, there is a 30 percent chance that the Lower Mainland will experience a major flood sometime in the next 50 years.

There have been a number of “minor” floods in recent decades, usually resulting from storms with heavy rainfall. The Lower Mainland is well-equipped for some flooding in many areas, but even the extensive dike system found throughout the region can only hold back so much water.

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PremierTrax garage floor tile in Techno Green.

We aren’t flood experts here at Tailored Living, but we are acutely aware of the strong possibility of water damage occurring within the Lower Mainland. It is one of homeowners’ biggest concerns when building or remodeling their garage. Fortunately, Tailored Living carries a number of products that are ideal for withstanding potential flooding conditions. Our garage flooring is one great example. All of our PremierOne® floor coatings are industrial grade hybrid polymer sealants and created to withstand a variety of challenging conditions, including water damage and extremes in temperatures. Our heavy-duty, durable PremierTrax garage floor tiles are also impervious to water damage and can be easily removed, should you have a flood where repairs are necessary, and then put back into place.

We live here too, as do our carpenters and other staff, so it’s important to us that we carry and install products that we confidently use in our own homes, and which we know will stand up to the kinds of weather conditions unique to Greater Vancouver. We would be honored to come in and show you how we can help you make your home or garage more efficient and organized.

 

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Are Harmful VOC’s Lurking in Your House?

PART 2: GREAT, NOW WHAT?

skull-1426813_960_720VOC exposure on an individual level can be difficult to control, and fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry too much about getting sick from exposure if you don’t work with VOCs every day. However, if you feel like it’s important to do your small part in limiting the amount of VOCs that come into your home and get spread into the surrounding environment,

1) If possible, avoid using products containing VOCs. This is not always going to be possible, but there are more and more products coming into the market that are VOC-free. Opt for those whenever they are available.

2) Take the right precautions when using products containing VOCs. Proper ventilation is face-mask-98640_960_720number one on the list. For example, if you are painting your home’s interior, open the windows so that VOC fumes don’t accumulate indoors. Crack the bathroom window open if you’re painting your nails or removing nail polish. When using household cleaners, use the least amount that is needed to do the job effectively. Wear a mask while painting or working with other VOCs, particularly if you must be exposed for more than a few minutes.

3) Get to know the names of the types of VOC’s you are likely to run into when purchasing household products. Here’s partial list of some of the most common ones:

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* Formaldehyde (yes, the same stuff they use to pickle biological specimens for preservation)

* Acetone

* Ethanol

* Carbon Disulfide

* Butanal

* Terpenes

* Toluene

* Dichlorobenzene

* Benzene

4) Opt for products with labels that say “No VOC’s” or “VOC-free.” If the label doesn’t say, check the list of ingredients to see if any of the above chemicals appear.

Why Does Tailored Living Care About VOC’s?

 

Copper-1000x750 premier one elements

PremierOne Elements flooring in “Copper”

Tailored Living is committed to doing its part for both the environment and for its customers. When it comes to VOC’s, we don’t want them in our products. Because VOC’s are commonly found in floor coatings (something Tailored Living works with frequently), we made sure they didn’t go into any of our exclusive, proprietary-blend garage floor coatings. Tailored Living’s PremierOne® Floor Coatings are VOC-free and create a permanent chemical bond with concrete floors. This super-strong bond means you won’t have to worry about your floor peeling. Not only that, but it will protect and preserve your concrete, which will increase its life span.

 

One of the best things about our PremierOne® Floor Coatings is that they’re not just aesthetically beautiful; they’re also practical. They won’t chip or fade, and they are ultra-stain resistant. In fact, the glossy finish repels stains and spills of all kinds, including the things you commonly keep in the garage, like gasoline, motor oil and cleaning fluids. Spills wipe up easily with a dry cloth, and the sealed barrier will not allow liquids of any kind (including water tracked in by tires) to penetrate to the concrete below.

At the end of the day, you get a garage floor that is protective and made to last for many years. Not only that, but you can feel confident about keeping harmful VOC’s out of your home and away from your family and even make a contribution to keeping the air clean and healthy.


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Do I Have to Seal my Concrete Garage Floor?

garage floor raffia(3)A colorful, contemporary garage floor coating adds a nice touch to a room that is sometimes not given much attention. A finished garage floor is often thought of as a luxury, something that is applied merely for cosmetic reasons. However, the benefit of a quality coating is more than just cosmetic. There are a number of other compelling reasons to consider sealing your garage floor, like:

* Weather-proofing: Experts recommend that anyone who lives in a region that experiences freeze/thaw cycles in the winter should seal their garage floors. That includes here in the greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley region. Though our winters are fairly mild, and freezing/thawing doesn’t occur frequently, it does happen. Just a few of those cycles are enough to cause permanent damage to a concrete garage floor.

Here’s why: concrete is porous. When moisture and water get into your garage (which it does with regularity here), water seeps into those many tiny pores. When the temperature dips down below zero, that water freezes and expands. When the temperature rises again, the water thaws and contracts. After just a few cycles of this, those pores start to expand. Eventually cracking, pitting and spalling can begin to occur. This, in turn, lets in even more moisture, compounding the problem even further. Minor pitting and spalling may not be bothersome, but giant cracks will become problematic. Foundational damage may even occur.

* Chemical and stain resistance: Though it’s not as big a problem here as it is northern BC and eastern parts of Canada, road salt is a major concern when it comes to the garage floor. This type of salt, as most car owners know, is corrosive. Just as it can cause rust to a car, it can also corrode concrete. Other chemicals commonly found in garages are also bad for concrete. Oil, gas, antifreeze and battery acid can all cause damage to concrete.

* Easier cleaning: a smooth surface is easier to clean than a porous one. This probably goes without saying, as many readers have probably tried cleaning or sweeping concrete before and know that it’s challenging.

Tailored Living, which also owns the Premier Garage brand, offers a variety of flooring types. If it’s sealing action that you’re after, its PremierOne floor coatings are the toughest floor coatings on the market. This product is exclusive to Tailored Living/Premier Garage and is a proprietary-blend developed by Sika®, reputed worldwide for its industrial grade structural coatings. PremierOne comes in several styles and colours and is extremely durable. You can read more about our PremierOne floor coatings on the Tailored Living website.