By admin | June 21, 2013 | Categories: Custom Homes Luxury
Check us out in the Calgary Herald written by Gerald Vander Pyl
Throughout Alberta, people are still dealing with the aftermath of flooding and the resulting damage to their homes. For Calgarian Frank Turner and hisfamily, the goal isto bring their home in Roxboro back to itsformer glory, consistent with the feel of the historic inner-city community. When they purchased the home in 2000 after moving to Calgary from Toronto, the location was a major attraction, and remains so even after the flood,says Turner. “This is a community that we wanted to live in and are going to live in again,” he says. During the flood, Turner says they only had about three hours from the time of the evacuation order until they had to leave their home. When he and other Roxboro residents were finally allowed to return, it was the beginning of the recovery process in the neighbourhood. “Of course we were dismayed to view the extent of the damage when we were able re-enter our homes on the Sunday,” explains Turner. “(But) there was really an unbelievable sense of determination and co-operation to quickly get on with the job of getting the water out and removing the water-damaged materials.”
The flood damage to the home required tearing out the entire basement down to the concrete floor and wall studs. Next was an extensive period of heating and drying, and also the use of machines to clean the air in the home of any mould or other contaminants. The reconstruction now underway will include using the latest flood mitigation technology and materials, says Turner. Oliver Brown with RuschProjects, which is handling the rebuilding effort, says there are several steps to restoring the home to its previous condition. The Turner home had undergone a renovation and had an addition built a few years ago, so the company’s work would be to return everything to that state, says Brown.Amajor challenge was dealing with hardwood on the main floor, which had been totally submerged by flood waters, he says.
Initial hopes the flooring could be dried out and saved were not realized because the hardwood had been installed over a subfloor that itself was glued and nailed to the heritage home’s original six-inch plank subfloor. “There were three layers there and too much moisture held between those layers,” says Brown. Instead a group of workers had to pry up the hardwood and plywood in large sections, then remove the original subfloor, a task that required five men working as a team. Brown says they took advantage of the floor joists being exposed to level any low spots and also add a few more joists to reinforce the original construction “and give it a bit less bounce.” He says other tasks that needed to be done before rebuilding began included removing electrical and plumbing work from the basement along with all ductwork.
When the flood water receded, it left a layer of contaminated mud in the ductwork. “When you cut the ductwork open you can see a layer of dry mud in it, and it’s too risky to try to clean it out.” Tradespeople are already lined up to begin reconstruction, and the overall project to return the Turner home to its former state will take about four months,says Brown. His advice to anyone in a similar situation is to not rush the process. “I think patience is very important. You want to make sure everything is good and dry before you do close it up. At the same time I understand a lot of people want to get things going and get back in their home. But you don’t want to trap any moisture in there.” Brown also suggests people have their contractor or home renovation company look into any new building requirements that may come into effect, and consider using the latest in flood-resistant products. “If you are in a flood fringe you do need to look at what the province is asking for, and also what other things you can do — should this ever happen again — that could reduce the effects of it.” An excellent resource for the many other families facing a similar rebuilding situation isthe Calgary River CommunitiesAction Group (crcactiongroup.com). It wasformed by a group of homeownersto advise people on issues related to the flood and also the recovery process. “They have been putting out absolutely excellent information, both in terms of interactions with government agencies as well asinformation on choices around flood-mitigation technologies and materials. “So I would strongly encourage anyone who’s had flooding to (go to) that website and get on the mailing list because they send useful information out almost every day.”