Thursday, 23 June 2011

My Windsor Basement Flooded! What do I do next?

The first thing you should do is call your insurance company! They will immediately assign an adjuster to your case, who will guide you through the steps required by your insurer.

A word here about coverage and how it’s determined. If you have a broken water line or water heater and it floods your basement, your insurer will usually cover the damage but not what caused it. In other words, They will pay for anything in the basement which is damaged by the water but not for repairing the broken pipe or water heater.

Contact a restoration contractor, your adjuster will likely supply you with a list of possible options with whom they normally have dealings. Remember, when you are selecting a contractor, it’s your home and you are in charge of who comes in to do work there. NOBODY has the right to tell you which contractor to use, you’re in charge. Use whichever qualified contractor you’re comfortable with.

Eventually everything damaged must be removed, but not until it’s been documented! That means a detailed inventory must be written (by your contractor) and supported with photographic evidence of damage. The thing to remember here is that if damage can’t be proven, the insurer doesn’t have to replace it. So don’t think you’re helping by throwing everything outside!

The insurance company will break your claim down into two sections:

The Emergency Response:
Your selected contractor will arrive at your home with the intent of assessing the damage which has been caused. They will determine their personnel and equipment requirements and then dispatch a crew with the required equipment.

Their intent during the emergency response is to mitigate the damage. Anything wet will be documented and removed, including carpet, flooring, doors, drywall, furniture, personal belongings etc. If possible, some items may be cleaned, dried and returned later.

During this time your contractor should spray a mouldicide / fungicide on the areas which are not being removed. This is for your protection. Since mould spores are everywhere, you just need to add water and time and you have mould growing. This could constitute a health hazard for anyone living in the home. Remember, water + time = mould.

A word to the avid do-it-yourselfers in the crowd – Bleach does NOT kill most mould, it makes it white! Don’t try to clean up by yourself with bleach, the chlorine gas released from the bleach could be more harmful than the mould, especially if inadvertently mixed with something else!

Once everything damaged has been removed, your contractor will set up drying equipment. This will usually consist of air movers (fans) and large de-humidifiers. Simply put, the objective here is to evaporate all the residual moisture into the air and then suck it out of the air with the de-humidifiers, then drain it into the sewer system of your home.

This process takes 2 – 3 days, it may look dry the next day but there is still enough moisture to nurture mould growth. Your contractor will have special meters to check for moisture content. If sufficient moisture is not removed, there will be mould later.

The Repair:
After your basement has been sufficiently dried it will be time for your contractor to put it all back together.

This will normally be the contractor from the emergency response, but not necessarily so. Since the insurance claim is split into two distinct contracts, you may have the option to switch contractors for the repair segment, your adjuster will be able to inform you if this is an option in your case.

In this phase of the operation, your contractor will make sure there is no mould beginning to grow in spite of their best efforts. Then they will begin replacing the drywall that was removed.

The new drywall will be installed, taped and coated with drywall compound (plaster). Next, it’s time for paint, the insurer will usually cover painting the entire wall area because of the difficulty matching the colour. This is the time, if you were considering changing the colour before the flood, to do so. As long as it’s not a drastic colour change requiring additional coats of paint, your contractor won’t mind changing if for you.

Once all this is completed, it will be time for your new flooring to be installed. The insurer will cover the cost of replacing it with the exact flooring that you had originally. The rule they go by is to make it exactly the way it was 1 minute before the flood.

This being said however, if you would like to pay for the difference in cost, there is not usually any problem if you would like to have your contractor upgrade your choice of flooring at this time. The insurer will pay what it would have cost to restore the floor to it’s original condition & your contractor will charge you directly for the balance.

The next step is for all the baseboards, doors and trim to be replaced and painted.

Once all this has been completed, it will be time for your contractor to bring back all your belongings that were salvageable and restore them in the room(s) as they were.

I hope that this post helps anyone who has had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of Mother Nature’s sense of humour lately. It’s been a wet year so far and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight but I’m sure the sun will come out someday!

I should add at least one shameless plug here, Lakeside Interiors has IICRC trained and certified technicians on staff to handle your flood emergency.
We are fully equipped and can be reached by any of the following methods:


This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor, Kitchener & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-787-5835 or,
lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
lakesidebarrie@gmail.com
lakesidekitchener@gmail.com

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Taps Causing You A Headache in Windsor?

Have you ever gone into your kitchen or bathroom to wash your hands, put the liquid soap on your hands and turned on the taps, only to find that nothing happens?

Many of us have and when you check the taps in another room only to find them to be working correctly you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, that this is not going to be good.

It dawns on you that there is a specific problem with your tap and that it needs to be fixed.

If you are not big on DIY, this can only ever mean one thing – it’s going to cost you money. The first port of call may be to look on the internet for a solution, or even to find out what course of action others have taken who suffered the same problem.

Usually, the upshot is that you need to take the inevitable step of picking up the phone directory and dialing the local plumber.

After deciding whether or not the problem warrants a same day call out charge, you arrange a suitable time.

The plumber arrives and you explain the problem, and he proceeds to investigate. After a little bit of tinkering your tap is miraculously fixed, all in about 10 minutes. For the privilege your plumber will relieve you of about the same cost as a full tank of fuel in your car. This is not to say that a plumber should not charge this amount for what is really a simple job. It is just worth noting that it may be useful and valuable to have a basic knowledge of how simple every-day items like taps actually work.

So, how do you go about finding out how your taps work? There are many options but perhaps one of the best comes from our modern friend, the internet. There are hundreds of websites out there offering help and advice to DIY enthusiasts so this is a great place to start. A word of warning here though, you must make absolutely sure you have fully understood the procedure before undertaking any kind of DIY, especially when it involves your water supply. The last thing you want to do is to create an even worse problem than the one you are trying to fix.

If you take your time, and take precautions, you should be fine. Make sure you turn off your main water supply if you are working on your taps. Failure to do so could result in you flooding your house.

Don’t let this put you off though. By carrying out a few simple tasks yourself over the course of a year you could save yourself hundreds of dollars. The next time something goes wrong with your taps, perhaps you’ll think twice before reaching for the phone book. Instead, get your tools out of the basement and try fixing the problem yourself. You’ll be glad you did, since you’ll be saving money and you will have learned a new DIY skill, which many of us would be proud of.


This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor, Kitchener & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-787-5835 or,
lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
lakesidebarrie@gmail.com
lakesidekitchener@gmail.com

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Today’s Kitchen in Windsor

Your kitchen is where you and your family spend a great deal of time and is most likely the heart of your home, where meals are cooked, homework is finished, and where your family enjoys spending time together. It’s often the place where friends, neighbors and family automatically gravitate, drawn by the aroma of food cooking and the warmth of the room. Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your house; shouldn't it be as beautiful and functional as possible?

There are many options for updating your kitchen, ranging from easily accomplished, bare-bones budget plans, to a full kitchen remodel. With a full remodel, you can do a nice job with a relatively small budget or go for a complete luxury kitchen remodel. When it comes to what is available to update and remodel your kitchen, the sky is the limit!

If you are going for the country look or the shabby chic look, add lots of baskets to put dry flowers, plants or fresh cut flowers in. Also load a basket up with fruit for a walk by snack. Going modern means lots of stainless steel, sleek racks and d├ęcor with clean lines.

Countertops can feature the beauty of natural materials such as granite and limestone. Butcher block and concrete are also popular materials. The same is true of flooring-in today's kitchens, durability does not mean sacrificing beauty. The selection of lighting is staggering and ranges from traditional ceiling lights, to track or recessed lighting to a chandelier. Perhaps you'll want to choose a combination fan and light for your kitchen ceiling.

Changing just the front of the cabinets with interior recessed lighting really updates the look. Consider too, changing out your appliances if need be. Another consideration is a hanging rack from the ceiling for utensils and pots. They add lots of interest to the kitchen and free up more cabinet space. Adding bead board or wainscoting gives the kitchen a nostalgic kind of feel. If you feel your kitchen is the way you want it but still not completely satisfied with the overall look, change the flooring! Go from vinyl to hardwood, for warm ambiance or go with stone for the cozy old world feel.

Your flooring should always reflect the theme of your kitchen. If the idea of being outside cooking is more your thing, consider installing an outdoor kitchen. A well-designed outdoor kitchen can also be an added bonus for your home with hours of fun for family and friends. No more indoor messes! The animals and kids can have a blast being loud!

To start, visit home improvement stores and wander the aisles, looking for ideas for your kitchen remodel. Leaf through kitchen magazines and study the ads and read the articles to familiarize yourself with what's available, including the many new products that are constantly being developed. Start to form ideas about what will and won't fit your budget. At this step, when you see all the possibilities for a new kitchen, you may decide to put a bit more into it than originally planned.

Begin your plans to update your kitchen today. Whether you decide to add a few small improvements or do a full-scale remodel, you'll never regret your commitment to creating the wonderful kitchen of your dreams.

Your kitchen is where you and your family spend a great deal of time. Your kitchen is most likely the heart of your home, where meals are cooked, homework is finished, and where your family enjoys spending time together. It is often the place where friends, neighbors and family automatically gravitate, drawn by the aroma of food cooking and the warmth of the room. Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your house; shouldn't it be as beautiful and functional as possible?

If you have any additional questions I can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask.


This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor, Kitchener & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-787-5835 or,
lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
lakesidebarrie@gmail.com
lakesidekitchener@gmail.com

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Classic’s Back – Why Granite Kitchen Worktops Should Never Go Out Of Fashion in Windsor

Granite kitchen worktops are back in a big way. Why? Because people finally woke up to the fact that flat plastic kitchen worktops are not only ugly but impractical. It’s true, of course, that an MDF (Medium Density Fibre Board) work surface covered with that horrible rubberised vinyl kind of marble effect stuff is a lot cheaper than granite – but it also lasts a few years at most before all the water in the kitchen starts getting inside it and rotting out the chip board. Granite is impervious to pretty much everything, up to and including being hit with a hammer (well, a small hammer anyway) – it cleans easily and well; it looks amazing; and it goes with virtually every kitchen decor.

Put like that, one wonders why granite kitchen worktops aren’t in every home. There are of course cost limitations – not everyone can afford to pay the amount of money required for a stone work surface, even though that total price, when averaged out over the years of unending good service the granite will give, costs less than the cumulative cost of replacing MDF every few years. There are also limitations according to the quality of the rest of the fittings in a kitchen. It’s not just about looks – low cost cabinets simply won’t support the weight of granite kitchen worktops, so installing them in a budget range kitchen simply isn’t practical.

What we are talking about here, of course, is two different types of investment. The kitchen with the quality and longevity of granite work tops and mid to high range cabinets and so on, represents a large single sum in terms of initial outlay – followed by absolutely no maintenance costs. Good quality kitchen fittings pretty much last forever – so it’s only a change of style that warrants a change of kitchen. Your other kind of kitchen, with low mid to budget range fittings, represents a significantly lower single sum to outlay. However, its absence of granite kitchen worktops and good quality cabinets means that it is extremely susceptible to wear and tear – which, in turn, means that it will need replacing on a regular basis. That makes a whole series of lower cost single sum outlays, which add up, as a whole, to the same or even more than the cost of just having a high quality kitchen installed in the first place.

The return to popularity of the granite worktop, and its associated quality items, is as much a reflection of the shift in attitudes towards homes as it is a simple change in tastes. The average Canadian is now spending an average of just over 20 years of his or her life in the same property. That means that he or she is buying, building and extending to last. New kitchen fittings need to be of high quality to last 20 years. Granite kitchen worktops, and all the associated bits and pieces, are that, and will do that. And that’s why they will always be in style.


This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor, Kitchener & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-787-5835 or,
lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
lakesidebarrie@gmail.com
lakesidekitchener@gmail.com