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.

Techno-Green-1000x750

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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Help… This Crazy Winter Is Killing My Garage Floor!

background-1069924_960_720Who would have predicted that Greater Vancouver would have the kind of winter it did this year? Not that snow is an impossibility here, but the sheer volume we received from North and West Vancouver all the way into the Chilliwack area has been unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary, to say the least. All kinds of old snowfall records were dashed to pieces this year with all of the white stuff that has fallen since December of 2016 until now.

Since it’s now officially spring, our fingers are crossed that we’ll soon see some signs of spring emerging. However, more snow is not out of the question, and even if it doesn’t snow again, we’re in for a wet spring this year. That being said, your garage floor may be taking an extra-hard beating in 2017, so we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the excellent garage flooring options that Tailored Living offers, which are ideal for life on the Wet West Coast, and how they will protect your cement foundation from all of this moisture.

PremierOne® Floor Coatings: The PremierOne® formula is exclusive to Tailored Living. In other words, you won’t be able to find this product anywhere else. We can’t tell you about the top-secret ingredients in this amazing product, but we can tell you what they will do for your floor: create a continuous, non-porous surface, filling all of those microscopic holes in your concrete and sealing them tight. The process begins with one of our professional installers who will machine-prep the surface of your garage floor. This is a critical part of the installation process because it removes any contaminants (oil spots, stains, dirt, etc.) that might prevent the coating from bonding fully to the concrete.

TL-Before-After-BlogAfter machining, the coating is applied right away so that it is able to sink right into the pores in the concrete, forming a seal that will act as a total barrier between your floor and any stuff that might end up on it, including water, mud and anything else that might get dragged in on your tires. In fact, the exclusive epoxy resin forms a bond that is twice as thick as other floor coatings and which is resistant to spills of all types, like oil, paint and household chemicals. Simply wipe away spills with a soft, dry cloth. No water is typically needed to clean up. Any dry debris can be easily swept away with a soft broom, or, even better, a dust mop (to prevent scratches).

premierone-decorative-texture-steelhead-micro-titleOur PremierOne® Floor Coatings are available in a variety of colors and styles including solid colors (six different ones to choose from) and our most popular Decorative Textures. PremierOne® Decorative Texture coatings come in 18 standard chip color blends. You also have the option of blending colors to create your own custom, one-of-a-kind design floor. You can also choose between ¼ chips or 1/8 inch chips. This seemingly small difference in chip size can actually make a dramatic difference in the appearance,  giving you a garage floor with a truly custom look and feel.

premiertrax-blue-titlePremierTrax Tiles: These easy-installation, no-glue garage floor tiles are semi-permanent and removable. Each tile is made from and 8 percent rubber in a polypropylene mix, making them extremely durable yet also flexible. Not only that, but they are actually ergonomically healthier on feet and knees. Tiles feature an open-weave design which traps dirt and debris. Simply hose away to remove.

Tiles are designed to interlock with one another, so installation is literally as easy as building with Lego. Our professionals can usually install your entire floor in a matter of hours, and you can drive, work or play on your floor as soon as it’s finished. Our PremierTrax tiles come in 18 colors from earth tones to primary colors to bright and contemporary hues. One of the best things about this is that you can choose to create a floor that is one or two colors, or use several colors and create geometric patterns that are totally unique to your home and to whatever suits your garage space. Best of all, these tiles are so well-engineered that we are confident in backing them with a guarantee for as long as you own your home.

Of course, accidents do happen. In the event that a tile does become damaged (say by accidentally dropping a running saw onto the floor), all you have to do is swap out the damaged tile(s) for a brand new one and lock it in place. It is one of the most practical and cost-efficient flooring solutions on the planet, and you can use it in other places too, not just the garage. We have clients who have had PremierTrax installed on decks and patios (it’s totally weather-resistant), in playrooms, bedrooms, rec rooms and basements.

When it comes to water (which is why we are blogging on this topic in the first place), the channels in each tile serve to funnel moisture away from the garage floor’s surface, keeping it dry and safe. You don’t have to worry about skidding or puddles of water collecting on the floor.

Again, cleaning involves simply hosing down the floor periodically. How frequently you’ll need to do this depends on how heavily-used your garage is and what kinds of activities typically go on inside. Aiming for two to four times a year is probably sufficient for most home owners purposes.

Here at Tailored Living, Coquitlam, we truly hope that winter is over too. We’re ready for some spring. We’re also ready to help you solve your garage flooring problems. Spring is a great time to install a new floor, and you’ll be ready not only for the rest of this year’s rainy season,  but also next winter, too. We just hope it’s less white.


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Extend Your Personal Style Beyond the Home and Into the Garage

The garage is no longer merely a utilitarian space or an afterthought on the bottom of the home decorating list. Today more homeowners than ever are viewing the garage as another room, just as important a one as the kitchen, the family room or any other room in the home. They’re recognizing that style and design don’t have to stop at the garage door stoop. Consequently, many home owners, and men in particular (who tend to spend the most time in the garage, though this is a generalization and in no way diminishes the women who like to tinker with motors or DIY projects out there) are extending their own personal style into the garage.

The experts at Tailored Living have put out a brief and helpful list of four things that you’ll want to consider when transforming your garage into the ultimate personal space, Man Cave, workshop or entertainment centre, depending on what you most like to do in your garage. You can view a web version of that list at http://lms.dbmgroup.com/Email/TailoredLivingCorporate/J119263/J119263.asp?EmailAddr=rhelferty@tailoredliving.com&LogID=6940&ID=74046079&EID=NzQwNDYwNzk= .  But we’d also like to summarize those four points here and offer some advice based on our own personal experiences working with our greater Vancouver customers:

1) Personalize your garage with custom cabinetry. Cabinets are not only functional storage pieces, but they can be configured to suit a homeowner’s individual and unique needs. Tailored Living can recommend the best type for the kinds of things that you tend to store in your garage, whether it’s engine parts, sporting equipment or tools. Finally, you can choose from a variety of finishes to match your taste or the rest of your home’s décor.

"Traditional" Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

Custom garage cabinets made to fit YOUR stuff

2) Refresh the look of your garage floor. Tailored Living offers several different garage flooring solutions that provide both protection for your garage’s floor as well as personalized decorative flair. From traditional epoxy coverings to easy-installing PremierTrax garage floor tiles, you can get a look that is one-of-a-kind.

PremierOne floor coating, just one of several excellent garage flooring options from Tailored Living

PremierOne floor coating, just one of several excellent garage flooring options from Tailored Living

3) Remove dangerous materials. All kinds of things from chemicals and automotive fluids to sharp tools can pose a hazard to people and pets. Things like these should be stored carefully, away from children and pets in a locking cabinet or on a high shelf.

4) Provide a walkway or clear path in the garage. This might seem like common sense, but with living and garage space at a premium in greater Vancouver, many homeowners have every square foot in their garage covered with stuff. This can be dangerous not just for walking but can also pose a fire hazard. This is where good cabinetry and shelving comes in, but we also recommend getting rid of as many things as you can. Storing things in your garage that you don’t use isn’t worth the hassle or risk. Donate it to charity or take it to the landfill or recycling depot and make sure your garage floor stays uncluttered.