A recent spat of mild weather enabled me to do a thorough spring clean of the garage. The floor wasn't too bad, but a lot of grime and debris was lurking in the vents of the Free Flow tiles and it was time to get rid of it. The entire process took a few hours. I put a video together that demonstrates each step of the process. Enjoy.
It's probably the most common question I get; is a RaceDeck Free Flow floor system a good idea for people who endure winter? The answer is dependent on a number of factors, but my short answer is "Yes". The Free Flow tiles provides a crucial layer of protection from the dirty water that constantly pools on garage floors during the winter. Some of the muck that drops off the undercarriage dries to the top of the tiles, but that is easily dealt with by a shopvac and mop. I can walk around my garage in my socks minutes after pulling into my garage. Another thing I appreciate about the RaceDeck is that I am not grinding gravel into an epoxy finish every time I pull into the garage. Right now, the floor of my garage is a total mess. I have a few months of compiled crud on the floor, but it's all hidden below the tile floor. I know it's there, but I don't have to do anything about it. When the next heavy chinook hits, I will perform a thorough clean of the floor and tiles. In the meantime, here's a quick little vid I posted on my Instagram account. You will hear the crackle of gravel and debris as I walk on the tiles, but the mic on my iPhone is making that sound much louder than it actually is. Just imagine doing this on an epoxy-coated floor.
The RaceDeck Free Flow system has been my saving grace since its install six years ago. Some maintenance is required, but there is no floor that will keep itself clean during the winter. Let me know if you have any questions about my floor by shooting me an email here.
It's been quite a while since I updated this blog. The holiday season was a whirlwind with family staying with us, and winter's tight grip on the city has been keeping me busy. After about a month of freezing temperatures, the mild weather arrived so I have been doing my best to combat the salt and mud that the nice weather generates. Keeping the exterior clean is a hopeless endeavor, but I will never let the mess infiltrate my interior!
I have two sets of all-weather interior mats. One set by Husky and the other by WeatherTech. I can't say I am in love with either of them, but they are what I have so I make the most of it. It's nice having a second set at the ready for when the other set is caked with salt residue and mud. The Husky's don't fit as well as the WT's, but they do offer more protection. The WT's have a lower profile which allows water to escape and stain the carpet. I had to remove some salt residue that had dried into the carpet. I used my Mytee Steamer and Rupes iBrid as you can see in the photos below. I used Griot Garage's Carpet Cleaner and used my steamer to open up the carpet fibres. I worked the cleaner into the carpet using my iBrid. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of the various steps I take to maintain a clean interior. I have had to perform this job numerous times in the past month or so.
Cleaning Garage Floor
I have not been able to perform a full maintenance wash of my floor this winter. Each day, my car is dragging in mud and slop and it ends up falling to the floor and seeping through the cracks in the Free Flow tiles. On particularly bad days, huge chunks of debris fall from the undercarriage and wheel wheels and compile on the tiles. I use my shopvac to clean up the mess and finish with a quick mop. It is not a particularly difficult job, it just takes a bit of time. I am waiting for some really mild weather to hit so I can actually drag the floor out to the driveway and clean the mess off the garage floor. As it is now, there is a lot of mess under the tiles, but the tiles themselves remain clean as long as I mop the floor. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of what I'm dealing with.
Since purchasing my BL-5000SLX QuickJack lift, I have been putting it to the test quite regularly. I have taken the wheels off a number of times to gain access to the wheel wells and I have been able to perform some touch ups on the paint around the rotor hats. It has been a helpful tool as well as a cool one. My friend, Geoff popped by a little while ago with his camera gear to snap some shots of the QuickJack in action and here's a little slideshow that demonstrates how it has helped me raise my detailing game. The photos give you an idea of how I have the system set up. Like I have said before, it works great for my needs and it is a purchase I am very happy with.
I bribed my photographer friend, Geoff to snap some more shots of my garage. This time, I wanted to focus on some of the work I perform in the garage (detailing, wheel swaps) as well as some of the main equipment I use. The QuickJack got quite a bit of camera time, and I'm very eager to see how the shots turned out. Geoff sent me this teaser pic, so I hope the rest are just as cool. Stay tuned.
The title says it all. I finished applying the high gloss acrylic sealer to the aggregate driveway. I do this every year to combat premature aging due to the sun and the salt on the winter roads. Here's some photos that illustrate the process.
The annual process of sealing my garage floor and driveway is in full swing. I removed the RaceDeck floor and pressure washed the concrete. I allowed it to dry for a few hours and then took my Master Blaster Car Dryer to the cracks to ensure all the moisture was dealt with. I started by using a 1" brush to apply a liberal coating of sealant to the cracks in the pad. I really let the sealant seep down into the cracks and fill up the little gaps. Then, it was time to apply a thick coat of the sealant to the vulnerable parts of the pad. The stuff dries relatively quickly, so I will be pulling the floor back in soon. At that point, I will shift my efforts to completing the driveway.
Sidenote: The sealant went up in price from $119/pail last year to $168. Robbery!
Here's a slideshow showing my work:
This virtual tour should give you a great sense of how things are laid out in my garage. I have to say, things are approaching perfection. It's just a matter of fine tuning the little details at this point. I hope you enjoy.
I had a few hours to myself today, so I decided to give the floor a thorough clean. This meant removing every RaceDeck tile and power washing the entire floor underneath. Moving items in the garage is a breeze with the RaceDeck floor, so its a relatively easy process. Here's some shots of the big event.
The QuickJack does what it says it does, and it lifted my SQ5 in fine fashion. I was very pleased that the even weight distribution of the QuickJack meant there were no divots or impressions in my RaceDeck Free Flow floor. Here's some shots, but you'll have to excuse the current state of the SQ5, it has been a busy and messy week. We actually had some snow on Thursday.
My new QuickJack portable lift system arrived this week. After hauling in home from the shipyard in my SQ5, it has been sitting in the middle of the garage. I was under the weather today, and spent all day in bed. I finally got up some energy so I decided to head out to the garage to assemble and test this puppy out. The detailed instructions made assembly a fairly painless process and it seems to be working well. I quickly ran out of gas, so I haven't had the opportunity to lift my vehicle with it. Once I feel a little better, I plan to put the SQ5 on it and see what happens. I'm hoping to find some time over the weekend to spruce up my rusty brake rotor hats, so stay tuned. I'm quite curious to see how things go with the RaceDeck floor. I think it should be fine, but I will keep you posted.
So, why QuickJack?
The main reason I went with the QuickJack lift was the portability factor. I will probably use it a dozen times per year, so I didn't want something that was going to permanently occupy valuable real estate in my double garage when not in use. Its low profile design enabled me to slide each section away so it won't get in the way of the other happenings in the garage.
The other reason I chose this over a scissor or two-post life is that it is tailored more towards my needs. I plan on using it primarily for wheel swaps and detailing, so I don't need my car way up in the air. At max height, it should provide me with a foot of body lift which will make a world of difference when polishing the lower portion of my SQ5 and detailing my wheels and wheel wells. I think it was the perfect solution for my needs.
Click here to learn more about the BL-5000SLX.
The order has gone in. Soon, I will be using one of these little beauties for various garage-related activities. Be sure to drop by in a few weeks when it is ready to show off. I can't wait.
We've been experiencing a mild winter this year, which equates to a messy winter. The temperature was a balmy plus-6 degrees Celsius today, so I was able to tackle my floor after months of watching the dirt and debris compile. The process has been captured in a video, but here is a little slideshow to show you today's process. This is the dirtiest the floor has ever been, but all is fine now.
Every couple of years, I seal my exposed aggregate driveway, but I have never actually sealed the garage floor. This year, I decided to do it first. I am using the same sealer as I use on the driveway which has a high gloss finish. This will make my garage floor quite slick, which I don't mind since my RaceDeck FreeFlow floor will sit atop of it. The sealer should help protect the floor from the damaging salt that the city lays down in the winter as well as aid in rinsing and cleaning the floor. The sealer goes on with a basic paint roller and the entire job took about 2 hours including the time it took to power rinse the floor and dry it with my Metro Master Blaster Car Dryer. After allowing the sealer to cure for 4-5 hours, I will pull the RD floor back in. Here is the finished product:
One question I get a lot is, "Can you lift a car using a floor jack atop the FreeFlow floor?". The answer is yes, but you will damage it. In this video, I demonstrate how the floor reacts to the force of a floor jack lifting my Audi SQ5. I had a few extra tiles laying around, so I thought I would give anyone interested in installing a FreeFlow floor by RaceDeck a look at how it performs in this regard. While the damage isn't terrible, you will see some significant divot marks and gouges caused by the casters sinking and cutting into the tiles. I use a heavy duty rubber mat to protect the floor, which is an extra step, but keeps the floor free from damage.
I can't believe I'm doing this, but I am going to show you the ugly side of things in the garage. The slope of my slab forces water out the left-hand side of my garage (when looking out), and with all the water and snow that gets tracked in during the winter, it causes me a bit of an issue. As you can see in the photos below, the garage door track rusts. It's not a big deal to clean up, but it is a job I could live without. You can see the calcium chloride residue that likes to cake itself over everything. Winter is rough.
As you can see from the pics, the calcium chloride clings to the tiles and the floor and looks pretty gross.
During the winter months, a lot of my time is spent trying to keep my car and my garage space clean. Given the weather conditions up here, it can be a monumental chore. The City has introduced a new road salt product that is disgusting in every regard. It is a calcium chloride mixture and this stuff is nasty. It clings to everything and is a real pain to remove from floors and car surfaces. I'm thankful that my RaceDeck Free Flow floor allows the water to pool beneath the floor tiles, but the run-off contains so much of the substance, that my floor inevitably becomes coated with the crud. The City claims it is "environmentally friendly", however the findings of a 2000 Environment Canada study examining the impact of de-icing agents would suggest otherwise. It concluded that calcium chloride is toxic to the environment, and I can say that I've noticed huge dead patches of grass in the Spring in the areas that my garage run-off drains to.
I've been doing some quick cleans, but I really need the weather to warm up so I can do a more thorough job. I keep my garage door an inch off the pad to allow the water to drain out. I am very jealous of my garage buddies who live in more hospitable climates.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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