B L O G
FOLLOW ALONG WITH MY VARIOUS GARAGE PROJECTS AND SHENANIGANS
I highly doubt there's a Canadian garage with a cleaner floor than mine. Maintaining a spotless floor during the inhospitable Canadian winter isn't always an easy feat, but the Swisstrax floor and channel drain/catch basin system are a huge help. The weather threw me a bit of a bone this weekend, so I took the opportunity to clean the floor and empty the basin before another polar vortex hits! Check it out:
Here's a few photos that demonstrate how the catch basin grill can be accessed under the Swisstrax floor. I have filed off the connectors between two tiles of the Ribtrax and the solid Oak Vinyltrax. This allows for quick and easy access to the catch basin. I am quite fortunate how well all of this worked out.
The weather Gods threw me a bone this weekend with double-digit Celsius temps, so I pounced on the opportunity to perform a much needed cleaning of my garage floor. This was the first time cleaning the floor with the new drainage system. In this video, I demonstrate the process of rinsing the debris into the channel drain and then emptying the catch basin with my 1/6 horsepower sump pump. The entire process was highly satisfying and took me just over an hour. The garage is easily the cleanest garage in the city.
Winter is the perfect time of year to shift my focus to the garage itself. I have always endured drainage challenges that come with snow and ice melting and then freezing just outside the garage door. This ice damning can occur often in the winter, so conceiving a drainage system that prevents water from escaping the garage and wrecking havoc on my driveway has always been a goal of mine.
I finally pulled the trigger and enlisted a concrete firm to install a channel drain/catch basin system. The installation process was labor intensive and required a 48" wide section of the existing floor to be demolished and removed by hand. Once the concrete was removed, four 1-meter sections of trench drain were precisely positioned one inch below the level of the existing floor and pitched towards a large catch basin with a 30-gallon capacity. The concrete was then poured and shaped in such a way that all water will be directed towards the channel sections. No water will now escape the garage and cause me headaches in the winter.
While that job was in progress, I took it upon myself to paint the ceiling and install all new lighting. A company out of Saskatchewan called LevKom reached out to me and generously offered to supply me with all new LED lighting necessary to turn my space into an even more effective detailing environment. With the help of an electrician friend, we removed all nine existing fluorescent 2-bulb fixtures and installed four 60-watt "trilights" and eleven 30-watt 48" LED linkable tubes. The lighting install took six hours in total and turned out great.
These three upgrades have breathed a lot of new life into my garage. I am still in the process of cleaning up all the dust from the concrete work and sanding of the ceiling, but it already looks even more amazing than before. In addition to just looking better, I am now able to conduct details year-round. The garage is now a much more comfortable and efficient place to do my thing! I have documented all of these changes in a 3-video series I call "Floor to Ceiling".
This video demonstrates the demolition stage of the drainage project. The crew worked tirelessly for about six or seven hours removing a 48" wide portion of the existing slab.
I wasn't able to record the footage of the actual drain and basin placement, but this video shows how they were placed in the excavated portion of the floor.
This video demonstrates the final result after the concrete was poured to fill in the system. It also demonstrates the system in action as I perform a quick floor clean.
The top guy at Swisstrax Canada reached out recently to let me know that dozens of orders had been placed utilizing the RAD GARAGE discount code. I was happy to hear that. On the other hand, I don't think Swisstrax Canada was prepared for the volume of orders they have received so they have requested that the discount be modified. From this point forward, Swisstrax Canada is extending a $0.25/square foot discount to RAD Garage referrals.
I ordered and received some solid black oak Swisstrax tiles to replace my aging "Carpetrax" tiles at the base of my garage stairs. These grey carpet tiles were looking a bit worn and dingy so I decided to swap them out. I also preformed a thorough clean of the garage floor by dividing the Swisstrax tiles in long sections and dragging them out onto the driveway. The garage is pretty clean as I tackle an exciting Golf R32 project.
I'm pleased to be able to offer a $0.25/square foot discount to those Canadian friends wanting to purchase a Swisstrax floor for their garage. Simply reference "RAD GARAGE" in your email or phone call to the sales staff at Swisstrax Canada when placing your order. Be sure to keep your eye on Swisstrax.ca for any specials as well. Currently, they are running a 20% off sale on Ribtrax systems and a 15% sale on Diamondtrax tiles. As always, if you have questions about Swisstrax, feel free to shoot me a question. I am always happy to help people decide if Swisstrax makes the most sense for them and their garage.
I was feeling pretty good about the state of the garage the other day so I threw some photos on two different car/garage enthusiast Facebook groups I belong to. Obsessed Garage and DetailWise are private pages, but worth joining if you are interested in seeing the car and garage-related craziness other people are up to.
I'm still in the research phase of this project, but I am starting to connect with potential contractors because I do have a vision for a system that would "catch" water before it leaves my garage. If you know someone who would be interested in helping me bring my vision to life, please shoot me a DM here.
I'm obviously a huge fan of Swisstrax flooring. Recently, there has been a lot of conversation in the comment section of my videos as well as on the Facebook forums I belong to. I felt it was necessary for me to share my experience with a Swisstrax floor in terms of function, practicality and maintenance. I have uploaded two videos to my channel that hopefully provide the information a person would need in order to make a decision regarding the suitability of this floor to their garage.
I used up the entire contents of my 18.9 litre bucket of high gloss concrete sealer on the driveway and rear patio, but my neighbor had some left over from his project. He generously allowed me to have it so I put it to good use on my garage floor. I do this every couple of years to add a layer of protection to the garage floor. The amount of road salt mixed with muddy water the floor sees in a given year is substantial, and by coating the floor it makes me feel better about the floor's condition and longevity. I have yet to see any signs of damage to the floor and I think the use of the sealer is the major contributor to its condition.
Sealing the floor was easy. I just pressure washed the floor and allowed it to air dry before painting on the sealer with a standard paint roller. The whole coating process took less than fifteen minutes. I anticipate the sealer will last about a year.
I found it comical that a professional concrete sealing company would leave a "door knocker" considering how good my driveway and walkway look. I guess they thought it was worth a shot! The amount of money these pros are asking is just ridiculous. For a job ANYONE with a paint roller can perform, I don't know where they get off charging what they charge.
By far, the best part of this garage hobby is having the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. I spend a lot of time responding to comments and questions on YouTube as well as carrying on behind-the-scenes conversations via Instagram and email.
Recently, a viewer from Belgium reached out to me to share some photos of his garage space. Geoffrey admits many design and organizational elements of his Belgian garage were inspired by my garage and the similarities in layout, organization and style are clearly apparent. Even more humbling is the fact that Geoffrey attributes the creation of his detailing business to watching my YouTube detailing videos! Learning what I have done with my standard suburban garage in Calgary has inspired a fellow detailing enthusiast living 7000 kilometers away is just remarkable. You can check out Geoffrey's "Masters of Shine" website here. I am sure you will agree he has created a top notch site. I wish him all the best as he chases his dream and I truly appreciate him taking the time to share his story with me.
I have posted a gallery of images showcasing the evolution of Geoffrey's professional detailing theatre. As you pursue the gallery, I am sure you will identify a number of common features of our two garages.
I'm not weird, you're weird. I love my driveway and applying an acrylic sealer to it every couple of years is something that gives me immense pleasure. Here's my attempt to capture the beauty of the process through cinematic videography. I think you will agree that my exposed aggregate driveway is the envy of the neighborhood. Be sure to stick around to the very end of the video to see the driveway glisten in the evening sun!
I performed an undercarriage detail of my SQ5 last weekend and the floor paid a heavy price. The floor under the Swisstrax was absolutely caked in mud and filth from the wheel arches and undercarriage. I performed a very deep cleanse of the floor using some of my new tools. The process was cathartic and the video illustrates each one of the steps I followed to restore the garage floor to pristine cleanliness. Here's the video:
I am so glad the weather has turned Spring-like. Not because I want to tiptoe through the tulips, but because I want to finally give my SQ5 the spring cleaning it so richly deserves. The outside and inside are immaculate, but the undercarriage and wheel wells are still coated with a thick layer of winter muck. I spent the better part of two days giving the neglected regions of my car some attention. With the QuickJack, I was able to pull the wheels off and perform over twelve hours of care to the car with it safely perched in the air. This makes getting to the undercarriage and wheel wells incredibly easy and satisfying. I put a lot of work into capturing the art of this process and I hope you will find the video as satisfying as I do. I will include links to most of the products and tools I used for this project below. Happy spring everyone!
A D A M ' S P O L I S H E S P R O D U C T L I S T
Mega Foam Shampoo
All Purpose Cleaner
Rubber Mat and Liner Cleaner
Ceramic Paint Coating
E Q U I P M E N T L I S T
Quickjack BL-5000 SLX Portable Lift
Ryobi Water Broom
MTM PF22 Foam Cannon
CarPro Merino Wool Wash Mitt
MetroVac Master Blaster Car Dryer
Detail POPO "Ocean" Microfiber Towel
Adam's Polishes Detailing Stool
IK Continuous Sprayer
The weather conspired to keep me indoors all weekend, and I had nothing to detail or organize. So, I pulled out a few external hard drives and began reviewing photos of my garage spanning all the way back to when our home was under construction. I put a video together that demonstrates the evolutionary process that occurred in order for RAD Garage to become what it has become. Behold:
It's an ongoing battle keeping the garage clean, but I enjoy the process. I was able to do a full wash of the floor yesterday and then my son and I filmed a guided tour video. Check them out:
A buddy of mine hadn't mounted his winter wheels all winter, but we had a pretty brutal blizzard hit this weekend. He brought his car over and we did the swap using my QuickJack portable lift system. Due to the snow he tracked in under his car and in the wheel wells, I was left with a bit of a tidying up once the job was complete. No worries.
To say it has.been a while since I updated my blog is a massive understatement. I have no excuse other than I have been busy with other aspects of life. But, I am back and I wanted to update readers on what has been going on in my "car and garage life".
Project: Audi A6 Full Detail
This project involved a friend's 2012 Audi A6 that was in serious need of a thorough interior/exterior detail. We agreed on an 8-hour timeline and I set to work. The video does a nice job of demonstrating the various processes I went through returning this car to extremely clean condition. The paint remains in need of correction,. but I am hopeful I can take a crack at that in the Spring. This video has been my most popular post to date with over 120k views!
Ceramic coating my SQ5
Back in the Fall, I had a lot of fun re-coating my SQ5. I used Adam's Ceramic Coating and the process was highly satisfying and enjoyable. It is a few months into winter and I am very pleased with the performance of the coating to date. This video demonstrates all the stages I went through to get the SQ5 re-coated.
It took me an hour to haul the centre section of my Swisstrax floor onto the driveway, clean the garage floor and then set things up again. I used to "snake" the floor in long sections, but the Swisstrax doesn't have the flex or strong connections for that, so I have to break it up into 3x4 or 4x4 sections and stand those sections up against a garbage bin to power wash both sides. Here is a little photo gallery that demonstrates the various steps in my floor tile cleaning process.
I'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Let me explain to you how cold and miserable February has been in these parts. The average daily temperature for last month was minus-19 and we had snow on 25 of 28 days. The mercury dipped below minus-30 on 14 occasions. This has made keeping the garage clean very challenging. I spent a few hours in there today cleaning up the mud and rocks that have accumulated over the past week or two. I am really hoping March will bring milder weather, because I don't know how much more of this I can take. At any rate, here's a video demonstrating the process I went through to bring things back to a tidy state.
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
This city has been caught in the icy clench of a nasty cold spell for two weeks and counting. There has been no opportunity for me to do any major cleaning of my garage floor. Day after day, I track mud, rocks, salt, and all kinds of debris into the garage where it falls onto the floor, dries out and creates an unsightly mess. Today, I finally found the inspiration to tackle the job.
Step 1: Vacuum
Step 2: Mop
Step 3: Scrub
Step 4: Mop
RAD GARAGE is my personal detailing theatre. I am a teacher who finds immense pleasure in completing deeply therapeutic, thorough and highly satisfying detailing projects in my residential garage. I have converted my suburban double car garage into a world class detailing environment and I enjoy caring for my own car and select cars belonging to others. The garage and the work I complete in it have allowed me to connect with other detailing enthusiasts from around the world.
I have teamed up with Teespring to offer viewers an opportunity to grab some RAD gear! Click here to see the current inventory of RAD merchandise available at my Teespring store!
Use "RAD10" to save yourself 10% until the end of March, 2021.
Carzilla is a local detailing store that caters to the North American community of professional and enthusiast detailers. I have been a longtime customer and I am fortunate to call the owner a friend. Besides stocking a vast quantity of top quality detailing products, the owner has supported various garage and detailing projects of mine over the years.
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