We all have walls that need some love.

Walls. 

The walls of your home are created by a material that goes by a number of descriptions, including drywall, plasterboard, wallboard, sheet rock or gypsum board. You almost certainly have more drywall than any other material in your home. When it is prepped, textured, and painted, no one particularly notices it. But when it is worn, broken or damaged, it’s hard to see anything else. In fact, drywall repair is the number one category on our neighbors’ to-do lists. After you read this, you’ll know why. 

What’s in the core of drywall? 

It is made of a simple material – a powdery white or gray sulfate material – odorless and non-toxic, that has many uses ranging from soil conditioner to cement. When this fragile material is compressed between two sheets of a paper substance, that gives it its strength to be transported, applied and finished. 

We all have walls that need some love. 

Now that summer is here, most activities have moved outside, which makes this the perfect time to address the damage your drywall may have sustained during wintertime indoor activities. Ace Handyman Services is happy to help in getting your walls looking their best once more. Give us a call or book online now to schedule one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen to repair your drywall. 

The task. 

With drywall sheets and a few simple tools, walls can easily be repaired. The hitch, though, is that building with it and patching it takes great skills that borders on artistry. That’s why most of us seek help in its final finish to make beautiful spaces in our homes. 

The Choice—DIY or a Multi-Skilled Craftsman? 

There are two avenues in working with drywall – DIY or hiring professionals. Let’s cover the basics for doing it yourself. If, after understanding the “how,” you think “uh, not for me,” know that we’ve got you covered. 

The “How To” for you to do it yourself. 

If you are that DIY enthusiast, these Ace Handyman Services Multi-Skilled Craftsman- Approved Steps below will help you through your drywall repair. 

First, identify what type of hole you are patching. If it’s a hole the size of a nail or even the size of a dime, you can use a product called spackle. If you are connecting two pieces of drywall together or patching a larger hole—say little Timmy’s soccer ball was kicked through your wall—you’ll need more materials such as drywall tape, joint compound and probably even a new piece of drywall to fill most of the hole.  

Repairing Smaller Holes: 

With your spackle and a putty knife:  

• Scrape a dime-sized amount of spackle onto the knife and apply a thin coat of spackle into the holes. Make sure the holes are filled, and then even out the surface. 

• Once it is dry, look for shrinkage. Larger holes may require a second or even light third application. 

• Lightly wet-sand the areas where you used the spackle, so you have an even surface to the wall. 

• If you have texture and the hole is larger – you may want to add some texture to help hide the repair. 

• Then you are ready to touch up the wall with the existing paint color. 

Tip: Head to your local Ace Hardware and select a new paint color to create that accent wall you’ve always wanted. 

Repairing Larger Holes: 

If the hole you are patching is bigger than 2 inches (about the size of a doorknob), you will need to follow the large-hole process. This is true for holes from 2 inches to a full wall. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the opening.  

• Trim the edges of the hole to create straight sides and a square or rectangular shape. Use a square and a level to draw a box around the entire hole – use a drywall knife to cut along those lines. 

• Once you have a square or rectangle cut out, take your tape measure and measure the size of the hole. 

• Cut a new piece of drywall that will fit into the opening. 

Tip: Make sure there is no wiring or plumbing behind the drywall before you start cutting. 

The next step is to install Drywall Repair Clips—you can find these at your local Ace Hardware (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/1223494)  

• Take 4 clips (one clip per side) and slide them into the existing opening. These will support the new piece of drywall you are going to install. 

• Use a screwdriver to install drywall screws about an inch and a half below the opening, in line with the drywall repair clip. The screw will drive into the clip and secure it in the hole. 

Now it’s time to place the new drywall that you measured into the hole. Keep in mind, because of the clips, you may have to fine-tune the drywall cut-out. You can do this with some sandpaper or a file so that the new piece fits snugly into the hole. 

• Now install the screws into the clip to hold the new piece of drywall in place. 

• Next, use a pair of plyers to break off the pieces of the clip that you see above the surface. 

Tip: Use the edge of a putty knife to scrape along the entire patch to make sure everything lies flat, and you have an even surface before continuing to the next step. 

Speed Tip:  If you are creative, a speed pro tip is to use a backer board instead of repair clips. This will make the finishing time faster. Cut a small piece of lumber (such as a 1×2) about 4-6 inches longer than the widest measurement of your hole. Fish that board in behind the wall and pull it tight against the back of the existing drywall. Tap in a screw from the existing drywall into the end of the board to hold it in place. Then you can screw your new piece of drywall directly to that board that is now spanning across the center of your opening. 

Next, pick up some fiber mesh tape (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/13510). This tape is the best for drywall repair because it is self-adhesive and simple to use. Tape along each crack so all four sides are covered.  

Now it’s time to apply the joint compound. There are quite a few options when picking out the right type and amount. Head to your local Ace Hardware or give your Ace Handyman Services a call, and our Craftsmen can assist you in making that decision.  

• Take your putty knife and scoop some joint compound onto the surface. 

• Spread the compound over the drywall area until thoroughly covered. 

• Smooth it out as best you can without over-working the compound. 

• Let dry completely. 

• When dry, sand down any ridges or high spots. 

• Repeat these steps three times so you have three thin layers of joint compound.  

Each layer will spread out away from the previous areas by a few inches to help ‘float’ out the patch and will help blend the repair into the existing wall. 

Tip: The key is to apply thin, even coats. Avoid building up the compound so heavily that it creates “humps” along the wall. 

• Use a fine grit sanding sponge or paper to sand all the ridges of what you patched and create a smooth surface that is even with the existing wall. 

• Then paint! 

Again, as we mentioned at the top of this page, drywall repair can be tricky. So, if after reading these Craftsman-Approved, step-by-step processes you decide you need some additional help, do not hesitate to call your local Ace Handyman Services. Our Craftsmen repair drywall all the time and will make sure that your wall is repaired how you want it, in a timely fashion, with their work guaranteed.  

Hey there, Neighbor

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘neighbor’ as “one living or located near another.” The word ‘neighbor’ has been defined in most religious and sociological texts as someone special. Someone who is valuable and important to making society prosper. These definitions exemplify exactly what YOU are: Our Neighbor, and more.

We see each one of our customers as a neighbor. We believe that beyond fixing things and making life better for our customers, we have a commitment to the communities in which we serve. That means on and off the job. You are welcoming us into your most special place – your home. As your neighbor, we don’t take that responsibility lightly. It’s not just about doing the work; it’s about delighting you as our neighbor. It’s far more than just a business transaction to us.

Most don’t know that Andy Bell founded our company more than 20 years ago, with a much-needed change to the industry: To bring ethics and integrity to home improvement. It all started from his basement in 1998 because he wanted to change the world, one community at a time. It’s that same vision that drives us today, that same desire to do more than the work—to treat others with the dignity and respect that serve as a foundation for healthy relationships and a better society.

 “Your home is a private and personal space that we have the privilege of being invited into to help solve your problems and bring joy to owning a home. Thank you for the gift of allowing us to be your neighborly home ally; it truly makes us happy! 
– Andy Bell, CEO

It’s personal. It’s your home. You have unique challenges. We get that. That’s why, when you call, you reach a live full-time professional on our team, not a recording, to help you get what you want—completing projects to make your life better.

So please know, you are not a customer to us. You are a Neighbor. Someone we delight in serving. It’s personal for you, and it’s personal for us.

How To Maintain Your Deck This Summer

Hey there, neighbor—do you have wobbly deck railings, loose nails popping up, or little Johnny just came in crying with a splinter? If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to do a little repair or replacement work to your deck.

Maintaining your deck is more than just making it look nice and safe for your family and guests—it’s completing Ace Hardware’s Three C’s of Deck Maintenance. Now, if these Three C’s sound a little overwhelming, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call; we can come to your backyard and complete them all for you and have your deck looking new again! Now let’s “hammer” down just what Ace’s Three C’s are.

1. CHECK Your Deck’s Condition

The first step to maintaining your deck is identifying the damage. There are a few key ways to check its condition and to determine whether you need to re-stain, or if you might have mold or mildew that will require treating.

To test your deck to see if it’s ready to stain or needs to be re-stained, you can conduct the Water Test. Pour a little bit of water on the wood; if it beads up, then it isn’t quite ready. Wait and retest in a few weeks. If by then it doesn’t bead, you are ready to apply stain.

The Bleach Test tells if your deck has any mold or mildew. If you see fuzzy grey or black areas, take a bleach-soaked rag and hold it on that spot for a few seconds. If the grey or black area is gone when you remove it, you’ve got mold or mildew.  We recommend using Mold Armor E-Z Deck, Fence and Patio Wash 64 oz. Liquid, available at your local Ace Hardware store.
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/home-and-decor/cleaning-and-disinfectants/specialty-cleaners/1645977

If you think your deck has some damage from the sun and weather, do the Fingernail Test. Press your fingernail into the wood; if it leaves an indentation, you have weathering or UV damage that will require treating before staining.

AHS Craftsman Tip: The enduring quality of a deck is maintained by looking at its underside, as well as the top.  It’s equally important to check for other signs of structural damage, such as loose, rotten or twisted support posts and beams, as well as inspecting the points at which your deck is attached to the house.  Consult an Ace Handyman Services if you are unsure about any of these issues.

2. COMPLETE Simple Repairs 

During the Check phase above, you’ll want to note the condition of all the boards, railings, spindles and steps to determine they are all solid, sound and safe.

Give Nails and Screws Some Love 

• If you see nails popping out of the deck’s surface or they do not look level, hammer them back down, or replace the nails with screws. 

• While nails are more convenient, screws do a much better job at keeping the wood in place long-term.

• Apply the same process and thinking to a deck installed with screws. Get out your variable speed drill and tighten them down.

• Since many natural woods shrink over time, take the time to complete this step – your guests and family will thank you for preventing trips and challenges that arise from an uneven, dangerous, surface.

If you have any loose posts, securely tighten and/or replace the bolts or hinges securing them. If the wood is in poor shape, or will not resecure with these tightening steps, replace those sections with new material to finish the job.

3. CLEAN Your Deck

Once you have a good idea of its overall condition and you’ve fixed the problems you uncovered, take the time to clean your deck. Ignoring this important step will negate everything else that comes after this. Click on the link below to find the appropriate cleaning product, based on the condition of your deck: 

(https://www.acehardware.com/search?query=deck+cleaner

Once you find the product best suited for your deck:

• Wet the surface with the cleaner 

• Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes 

• Scrub with a stiff bristle deck brush (if needed), then rinse the cleaner off with a garden hose

• Repeat if needed

AHS Craftsman Tip: To really save time and do a thorough job, rent a power washer. It’s an effective way to clean, rinse and replace the scrubbing that you would otherwise do on your hands and knees with a deck brush.

Experts recommend that you lightly sand the deck surface. This will remove any splinters or rough areas, and it will “open” the grains of the wood so when the stain is applied it, will not only penetrate better, but will also bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Let your deck dry for 24-48 hours.

Stain Your Deck

Now that you have completed the Three C’s of Deck Maintinance, it’s time to stain the surface to prolong its life and keep it looking great. There are plenty of choices when it comes to the types of finishes you can apply. To ensure you are getting the right stain, either call your local Ace Handyman Services or head to your neighborhood Ace Hardware and ask your Red-Vested Hero to choose the right product for your deck. (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/stains-and-finishes/deck-and-siding-stains

Once you have the correct stain for your deck’s condition:

• Stain the deck boards using a roller or a paint pad applicator

• Apply one coat of stain, using long, even strokes

• Use a paintbrush to stain between cracks and in problem areas

• Allow stain to dry for at least 24 hours

You can reapply stain every few years so your deck stays beautiful and durable

Again, if any of these tasks seem daunting and you’d rather have someone else tackle the job, give your local Ace Handyman Services a call. Our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen can complete your deck maintenance for you, and then all you will have to do is enjoy your deck all summer long!

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