John J with Matthew Robert White

Matthew Robert White, Pop-Up Retail for Valentines – Black Roses

I know exactly how Matthew Robert White makes the Black Roses he sells in his Pop Up Retail Outlets on Roncesvalles High Park and in that rinky dink farmer’s market on Sorauren Ave at Wabash Ave in Toronto, because I showed him how to do it.
Black Rose Valentines, Matthew Robert White

John J with Matthew Robert WhiteAt the Sorauren Farmer’s Market, there is a local beekeeper selling a wax rose standing beside Matthew Robert White holding his bitumen covered black rose, which you cannot really see that clearly against his dark jacket, but i believe the picture expands if you click it. The wax rose is perfect crafty valentine and will be a hot item in Matt’s store.

The secret to popup retail is hosting timely events that resonate with some distinct part of society at a particular time of the year.  Valentines Day is a great opportunity for sell all different types of roses and chocolates and romantic gifts. But this article is about people making different types of roses,including dried roses and even copper metal roses which are great variations on a theme that might not be as relevant to society another other day of the year. Popup retail is huge trend now as the events can double as internet attractions and travel coupon destinations.

Ired roses dipped in flat roofing tar wrote about how I made Black Roses for Valentines on Smart Canucks and this left this piece on D.I.Y bitumen covered roses on Medium last week by photographing and comprehensively documenting a visit to their their tarpots which are known in the industry as ‘tar boilers’, but which are in fact filled with 500 degree bitumen. Dave the flat roofer at the ToughRoof flat roofing job site in Toronto gave me lots of good information and was very accommodating and even   delved even deeper in the science of the operation on this post on Fuel Ghoul which is my chemical science theme Typepad blog.

Roofing tar may contain coal tar but is mostly petroleum bitumen especially with Canada being blessed with the tar sands in Alberta. This material is certainly a by product of that refining process.

dave beside solid unmelted roofing tar, petroleum bitumen

Roofing tar is solid at room temperature. It gets delivered to the job as a black solid block that when heated to 500 degrees becomes an oily liquid used on flat roofs to fix leaks. It is made from coal tar and petroleum byproducts. Coal tar is a deep brown or black residue, which is made during coal production process. Coal tar must be refined and processed to meet standards for roofing use.

Dave tarring rosesToughRoof seals, bonds or repair areas on the roof that damaged or are slowly deteriorating. Newer formulations of roofing tar are asbestos free, but may contain solvents, surface adherents, plastics and mineral fillers/fibers. Coal tar roof cement is applied by trowel, while other types of roofing tars are applied like paint or caulk.

Most roofing tar formulas are black in color, but some manufacturers have also created versions in lighter colors like silver and white. Some brands of roofing tar can be painted when dry to match the roof’s original color scheme. Roofing tar can be removed by using a tar remover, but removers may cause damage to certain roofing surfaces.

The black rose is certainly beautiful and has inspired both pop-up holiday retailers and copy cats

beautiful black rose

Local Basement Waterproofing Contractor also makes Valentines Day Rose

Bill Korenowsky of Royal Waterproofing is a basement waterproofing contractor in Toronto who also made up some custom treated roses for Valentines Day, but its probably not something Matthew would deign to sell in his fashionable pop-up stores.

Bill Korenowsky with Waterproof Rose

Bill Korenowsky with Waterproof Rose

Bill dipped roses in Bakor Aqua-Bloc® 770-06 which is a one component elastomeric waterproofing compound designed to replace conventional hot mop felt ply and/or pre-formed sheeting systems. It is applied in a single application, which cures through solvent evaporation to provide a heavy-duty, seamless,  rubber-like impervious membrane. This is a liquid applied waterproof product that is good for year round use.

dipping red roses in waterproofing compound

Dipping red roses in waterproofing compound with Bill Korenowski of Royal Waterproofing in Toronto.

Excellent for use on concrete, masonry foundation walls, parking decks, planters and reflective pools its not that great for flowers.  Contractors use with Yellow Jacket reinforcing fabric to treat cracks and joints but the mixture is too stiff to penetrate the plant’s crevices. Heavy bodied trowel grade coating this stuff probably does a wonderful job on cement to provide seamless rubberized asphalt membrane, but it’s terrible for roses.

red rose plastic membrane from waterproofing contractor

In the language of flowers, black roses signify death, or supreme hatred, but a perfectly preserved red rose could symbolize a perpetual romance, and a supernaturally strong enduring love that defies nature.

Waterproofed roses might be considered kitschy or artificial but such a product would satisfy a gift givers desire for originality and quality messaging. The idea of preserving the flower’s beauty in a transparent or beautifully coloured body cast is universally appealing to retailers and romantics.

 

 

West40, Toronto Movers Help Clean St Marys of the Virgin Church at 40 Westmoreland

Its a sign of the times that churches are now going condo all over downtown Toronto.  West40 is a loft conversion by Dog Day Developers in what was once St Marys the Virgin Church at 40 Westmoreland Ave.  This stunning example of Neo Gothic architecture stands out as being ultra unique in an age of steel and glass condominium towers. This is living in history.

Toronto movers at West40Architects Asen Vitko and W. A. Langton have combined history,  grand architecture and urban living into this unique project. West40 has been designed with attention to brick detailing, a stunning bold tower and Tudor-arched openings.who was recognized for his attention to brick detailing has clearly demonstrated his flare on this century-old church.

Other key elements include a stunningly bold tower and Tudor-arch openings all of which will be restored to its original glory.

The style was distinguished from the late 19th century Gothic Revival by its reduced scale and more restrained interpretation of design elements associated with early medieval English architecture.

Seventeen one-of-a-kind residences will be carved from the church, each one incorporating the beautiful interior details that include soaring cathedral ceiling with heights up to 21 feet

Toronto movers are clearing out the appliances found in the makeshift worker’s Kitchen as the property gets another overhaul by the sandblasters who are due to arrive

moving fridge, Toronto movers, automatic tailgate on truck

YELP Josephson Opticians is a neighbourhood optical shop ; buy glasses in Toronto

In the 1920s and early 1930s there was reknown Anglican ministers who made St. Mary’s Church popular with the people of the city. The church always had a rich Music Ministry, and was known for some measure of Liturgical Reform.

St Mary’s Parish remains at 130 Bathurst St, Toronto Ont.

Spray foam guys insulate upscale Toronto

What is it like to be a spray foam guy?  There is a good story on Bizcovering magazine with an inside look at life as a spray foam insulation guy in Toronto and the piece used some pictures seen below.  This is Tim, a spray tech, who is also the truck driver and generator operator.  He’s on site to meet me first thing in the morning, opening up the back of the company truck and getting ready to help his teammate, the prime applicator. The prime is the rock star spray foam applicator who has had lots of training in the fine art of insulating residential houses with polyurethane rigid foam insulation. The pictures below shows Rob Campbell’s ride along on Oct 22nd to document a Toronto spray foam insulation company at work insulating a new home construction in a posh Forest Hill neighbourhood.

Opening Sprayfoam truck , day in the life  of spray foam guy

Spray foam insulation is an excellent albeit more expensive choice for home insulation.  The cost is minimum $3 per square foot of wall and roof, and the price varies depending on whether its open cell or closed cell foam being installed. Spray foam comes in two varieties, open-cell and closed-cell composition, and both types have different properties which make them good for one thing or another.. i might explain. Of the two options, closed-cell foam is the better insulator. Once cured, it also becomes a vapor retarder (because the tiny cells are closed moisture cannot enter the foam). but its disadvantage is price and weight.  Its heavy and expensive and sometimes you dont need that much insulation , and sometimes its too much and open cell is better.  Open cell foam has open bubbles Open-cell foam has a lower R-value, and acts as more of an air temperature and acoustic barrier; open cell foam is not an effective vapor barrier. Open cell foam is lighter, less dense and cheaper (because less material is used as it expands larger) and is applied as interior wall home insulation in places where moisture isn’t a variable.

Below Montana Mike puts on a full has-mat suit with respiratory system, boots and gloves, helmet and visor. Its intense.

put on suit for spray foam insulation application, back of truck,

Like any good chemical reaction there are some rather noxious chemicals produced as a bi-product of spray foam reaction between Isocyanates and the Walltite resin, both components are prepared by BASF and detailed on Fuel Ghoul blog about spray foam insulation in Toronto which outlines the process by which a Graco H40 component proportioner heats and pumps both liquids to the sprayer unit whereupon they combine at the nozzle tip of the gun.

mixing spray foam components together on job site with Graco H-40 Plural Component Reactor

The two substances must be hot when they combine to create the best chemical effect, and to make the best R-value rigid foam insulation. In the photo below, the tech tweaks a Graco H-40 Hydraulic Series Plural Component Reactor‘s front panel , adjusting temperature on the 12.0 kW heater in the machine. From residential foam insulation projects to high-volume commercial projects, Graco brand proportioners are a mainstay in the mobile spray foam industry. This rig alone, not including the truck and generator could cost about thirty five thousand dollars and comes with fifty foot of hose, and ten feet of heated whip and a Fusion AP  spray gun applicator.

Graco H-40 Hydraulic Series Plural Component Reactor With 20.4 kW Heater

Spray foam insulation is a bit of phenomenon especially here in Canada partly due to celebrity endorsements the home renovation TV shows that have propelled spokespeople to fame and fortune. These TV personalities have made deals with spray foam insulation manufacturers to endorse the product as being green and environmentally responsible, energy efficient, and 100 % cost effective – all of which is true.

spray foam tech basement wall headers in Forest Hill neighbourhood TorontoAll the same, spray foam insulation has been in the news lately and the people and processes have been called into question by a CBC Marketplace TV news doc that shows ‘how spray foam can go very wrong’ by examining the unlivable homes of unhappy customers.

The History Spray Foam Insulation

Otto Bayerm Germanchemieist who created polyurethane riigid foamWhat we know today as rigid foam insulation was invented in the 1950s by the German scientist Otto Bayer. He was trying to come up with something to replace rubber tires. He was eventually quite successful, but polyurethane wasn’t used to make wheels until the 1970s . Today the wheels under the folding metal steps of modern escalators are made of polyurethane, as are skateboard wheels.

Polyurethane has been around for about sixty years now – it has history stretching back to Germans scientists who pioneered many synthetics before World War II.  They were searching for synthetic textiles, rubber and silk. Twelve years after the war ended, in 1957 Otto Bayer and a German research team made advances with alkyd resins when they modified them with diisocyanates for the first time and made coatings and the first ever rigid foam products.  Today, anyone that has ever taken high school shop class, or refinished furniture, or stained a deck knows something about urethane wood finishes and the hard substance created when it hardens on the brush.

spray foam technician doing basement headers in Toronto Here is the crew starting work insulating the basement of a new home in Forest Hill.  They start at the bottom of the building doing the exterior wall ‘headers’. The team takes over the job site for a few hours each day and they often work lunches and late into the evening to be there when the other contractors are absent.  These guys are very careful not to expose any other tradespeople to the noxious gasses often created during the spray foam application process (I had to wear a breathing mask, visor and cover-alls as I followed the applicator around the basement).

Spray Foam in Toronto

Fuel Ghoul reports that the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association (CUFCA) estimates that spray foam insulation was installed in approx 350,000 homes in Canada last year, a number that has been growing by 33 percent every year over the last decade. Part of the product’s appeal is that, when properly installed, spray foam insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to fifty (50) per cent, according to the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association (CUFCA) and so this really is advanced chemistry at work.

Residential Basement Waterproofing After Summer of 2013 Flood Raises Toronto Real Estate Property Value

On weds Sept 9th 2013, a wet basement calls forth a couple of very experienced ‘Dry Guys’ who tackle the waterproofing project from inside the house!  They make it look easy because they’re very efficient, and full of handy DIY tips and tactics.  These guys are good people and I learned a lot while hanging out with them for an afternoon.  a couple of dry guys do wet basement waterproofing remedyScarborough Jack and Ian Boghagdan know that a good happy house has to have a warm and dry cellar, and they know that a house for sale has to advertise that is has a warm dry basement esp after it flooded in the July 2013 storm of the century.

345 Godsen Ave, wet basement

The Summer of 2013 will probably go down in history as being one of the wettest seasons on record. It rained for weeks at a time and one flash flood in late July dumped an entire month’s worth of rainwater onto the city in one night.  People who have never had a basement flood were suddenly deluged, and one such residential property was the house across the way… just fresh on the Toronto real estate market.

Myself and a nosy neighbor had the pleasure of watching a residential DryShield Waterproofing Solution Corp team tackle the job from inside the house. They were in and out of the space of a week, and they didn’t make a lot of noise about it.

taking out the trash1The first phase of the assignment was to remove the moldy drywall and wet insulation from the summer flood.

Six garbage bags of material were brought outside on the very first day, and a few more the next.  The wall was filled with old newspapers, fiberglass insulation and sawdust as the piece on Dumpdiggers blog illuminates no animals were seen or harmed.

The house is very clean at the moment, as the homeowner has moved out of the domicile on account of the flood.  The torrential rain drowned his prospects of a quick summer sale, but the waterproofing work is also fast and relatively painless. While I watched, the DryGuys went about clearing the wall under which the run-off entered the basement and they began cracking away the concrete under the wall to make an eight inch gully along which they ran a long length of perforated plastic pipe covered in a course silky hose . The trench slops down into a well in which there’s an electric sump pump.

shovel gravel in trench, waterproofing wet basementThe internal gutter remedies wet basement in Toronto story on Fuel Ghoul outlines the building supplies and gives more details alongside original pictures from my Typepad photo hosting account.  There is another story about how frost action cracks Victorian era brick walls on the Distillery District blog.

The wall of the basement is then affixed with a thick plastic membrane that has nipples and runnels to drain away any excess moisture down into the freshly dug gutter at the bottom of the wall.

Here is Scarborough Jack cutting the plastic waterproof membrane with a special blade; this stuff is hard to cut.

Image

Next it must be nailed to the wall.  Look how Bogdhon has maneuvered the piece to fold it over the joint between the wall and the floor.

Apply_membrane1

Membrane_overlap_gravel

This is literally a ‘dry shield’ that covers the cement wall and forms a barrier between the wood and drywall and wet concrete.

Do you see how it overlaps? And how it ends over top of the eight inch gulley.  Wall panels will cover this trench with a special wainscoting or floorboards trim.

There is a Bizcovering article about waterproofing wet basement from inside the home which also outlines these procedures and has even more original pictures and DIY tips.